About Sambawan Island
Philippines has more than 7,000 Islands. Each Island has its own unique features and characteristics that are worth exploring for. For sure it will take so much time for me to cross out every island on my list. As what Kulas of BecomingFilipino once said, One day at a time, One Island at a time. Super Apir!
Sambawan Island is located 5km off the west coast of Maripipi, province of Biliran. Biliran has so much to offer, from hot spring to stunning waterfalls to beautiful beaches. I’m really hoping to go back soon and visit the other attractions. Anyway, this semi-curved island has a picturesque view from the top. A rock formation covered with green grass as your background. The island also is endowed with white sand mixed with pebbles, rich marine life and coral gardens, which invite divers and snorkelers especially on summer season.
I’ve been to Sambawan Island twice already for my work as a wedding Photographer but missed the chance to film and showcase the Island since my purpose was to do an engagement session. My first visit was year 2014 and the second was late 2017. Never get tired of visiting this Island. I can feel the tropical Island vibe with Sambawan.
Pictures below were my recent travel to Sambawan Island.
Actually, we had hesitations with our recent Sambawan trip due to low pressure area crossing the Philippines area of responsibility. Good thing the weather has another plan and let us enjoy the whole trip.
Things to do
Enjoy the bumpy boat ride
Kawayan Port where the docking area of the pumpboats going to the Island are located. It takes 1 hour pumpboat ride going to the Island. The waves going to this island was a bit bumpy but believe me, struggle is next to great reward.
P.S If you’re not adventurous enough, i suggest to check accuweather first before going to this Island.
Pumpboats going to the Island. If given a chance, choose the bigger once.
Explore the unspoiled area of the Island
I can see the Island from afar. I can tell, this will be a great one.
Here’s the view of the island from above.
Camping / Overnight
No space rental for tents
I suggest to rent a cottage also.
It will be much more convenient to cook your own food.
The island also allow overnight stay.
Tents – 350 per overnight
Medium Cottages – 1,500 per overnight
Large Cottages – 2,500 per overnight
At the far end of the picture below
The cottages by the way has foam beds, electric fan,
and its own CR with fresh water for your convenience to stay overnight.
Open cottages– 500 pesos for daytour only
Kamalig – 500 pesos for daytour only
Their markers are made of bamboo and circular baskets.
Very festive and creative. Kudos Sambawan!
In every destination, has its unique markers for their tourists.
Make sure you don’t miss one.
Watch Tower climb
There is a watch tower specifically built for tourists to enjoy the stunning view of the island.
It takes 5 mins hike to reach the top of the hill.
As what i’ve said, struggle is next to great reward.
Enjoy the stunning view from the top
A good place to exercise. hehehe.
Never underestimate the hike, it looks easy but for me it is not.
Bring water with you. Keep hydrated.
From the top of the hill,
you can also see the volcano of the Maripipi Island in the background.
Province of Maripipi
Sunrise and Sunset
Enjoy the sunrise and sunset of the Island.
The good place to watch the sunrise / sunset is at the watch tower.
As for me, It’s not a perfect sunset if there’s no silhouette shot.
Kayaking / Standup paddle
Can be rented for only 200 pesos for 3 hours.
Buy something like t-shirts as your remembrance at this small canteen.
They also serve snacks, drinks and food canned goods depending on the availability.
Chillax at night time and feeling the tropical island vibe of Sambawan while waiting for the perfect night photography.
Bring your speakers with you. It’s very relaxing to listen to your favorite songs together with the sound of the waves.
Not a perfect time to do milky way shot, but it’s okay, star trail is enough
Tour around the Island
10 mins walk and a short rock climbing to the area and enjoy the other perspective of the Island.
We decided to explore the far left side of Sambawan and waited for the sun to show up.
The view of the other side of the island.
Say hello to the goats owned by the locals occupying around the area.
Giant giant trick. ha ha ha
At this moment, we were pretending that were on our own private island in the middle of nowhere.
My favorite part. The Snorkeling.
Also one of the reasons why we chose Sambawan.
Look at those corals!!!
Bring your gears if you are going to this Island
The water is clear and perfect for snorkeling.
We had a great time swimming with not-so-big fishes and enjoying the view of corals beneath.
As what I’ve expected, I saw Nemo in the area.
Overall, I enjoyed my Sambawan adventure.
The unlimited picturesque scenery alone was worth the trip.
I cannot wait to go back and ofcourse visit the other attractions of Biliran.
Here’s our short travel video of the Sambawan Island.
Please watch in HD.
How to get there
If you’re coming from any part of the country, book a flight to Tacloban City. From Tacloban airport, take a jeep going to downtown, (Savemore). Once arrived at savemore, walk through to the back portion of the mall where the terminal of the vans are located. Then, take a van going to Naval, Biliran. Travel time is about 3 to 4 hours. Once in Naval, take a tricycle ride going to Kawayan where the docking area of the pumpboats going to the Island are located. It takes 1 hour pumpboat ride going to the Island.
Tips for your Sambawan Island Trip
-Contact a tour guide first to book a pumpboat going to the Island
Our contact was Malou – 0921 262 8154
-To fully enjoy its beauty is to travel and stay overnight on weekdays where it is less crowded.
-Bring life jacket, aqua shoes and flippers.
-Sunblock and Sunscreen
-Bring your cooking set.
-Bring you flashlights / led lights
-Bring your sleeping bag with you
-Camera with wide angle lens to capture the stunning landscape
-Drone to capture the other perspective view from above
-Make sure to bring your own food and drinks before jumping off to the boat.
There is a small canteen on the island, they have snacks, drinks and food (canned goods) but depends on the availability.
Each cottage has a griller. Just bring your own charcoal.
-Electricity is only available from Sunset to Sunrise so make sure to charge all your devices during night time.
Electric sockets are limited, bring your own extension wires.
Rates and Fees
Our breakdown in Sambawan Island. We stayed in cottage 1 that can accommodate about 4 to 6 persons.
The cottage was actually large enough for the 4 of us. It also has an attic and a small veranda where we cook our food and a private CR with fresh water.
-Pumboat (back and forth) – 2,500
-Entrance Fee – 80
-Environmental Fee – 20
-Cottage – 1,500
-Tip to malou since she was very accommodating and responsive. (optional) – 100