I’ve been to Guiuan, Eastern Samar several times, since my parents were born from its nearby towns. My father is from Mercedes and my mother is from Salcedo. I have also been to Sulangan Church or the San Antonio de Padua Church which is well-known in Eastern Visayas for its miracles and for granting the prayers of its pilgrims. However, I have never set my foot in Calicoan, an island between Sulangan and the town proper of Guiuan.
Calicoan Island is famous for its beaches, resorts, and surfing hubs. But after Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Visayas, I wasn’t already sure if the tourist attractions in the island are already back. So when my family decided to visit Eastern Samar on October 31, 2015, I did not hesitate to go with them.
Originally, my plan was to visit both Linao Cave in Sulangan and ABCD beach surf camp in Calicoan on November 3, 2015. However, due to some circumstances, I started my journey in the afternoon and was only able to visit Linao Cave during that day.
On 4 November 2015, I was already supposed to go back to Tacloban but I just can’t leave Guiuan without trying surfing for the first time. So I decided to proceed to Calicoan to try it even for just 2 hours before I go back to Tacloban.
Since I came from Mercedes and left there after lunch, I arrived in Guiuan at 1:00 PM. People can get to Calicoan Island by riding a Multicab going to Sulangan. Travel time is about 30 minutes and fare is P30 per person. But since I’m in a hurry, I chose to negotiate with a Tricycle driver to bring me to Calicoan and wait there for me for 2 hours, then get me back to Guiuan – we agreed for P300.
I didn’t have any idea where to go and who to approach at ABCD Beach since I have not contacted any person before going. However, the tricycle driver knows the place. Moreover, since the surf hub where the surfing pros reside is well-known in the area, the locals guided me to the right direction.
Here are some photos I took during my quick visit at ABCD beach in Calicoan Island to try surfing with the waves from the Pacific Ocean.
Here are some photos I captured on how Neil surfed his talk.
How to get there:
1. From Manila or Cebu, you can fly to Tacloban City in Leyte with your favorite airline. Travel time from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is around 1 hour, while it takes around 40 minutes from Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
2. From Tacloban City, you can ride a bus or van to Guiuan. Travel time is around 3 hours for a 150-kilometer journey. I chose to ride an air-conditioned van when I returned to Tacloban – it costs P160 per person.
3. From Guiuan town proper, you can get to Calicoan Island by riding a Multicab going to Sulangan. Calicoan Island is located between Guiuan Town and Sulangan so you can just tell the driver to drop you off at ABCD beach in Calicoan. Travel time is around 30 minutes. Fare is P30. Another option is to hire a tricycle driver for a fixed rate to bring you to the surf camp and fetch you back to Guiuan after your surfing session. This will cost you P300 or more.
1. It costs P500 for a single surfing session during my visit. This includes the surfboard rent and the trainer’s fee. You may contact Neil Cabig at 09152172590 for an early reservation.
2. The best season for surfing if you’re looking for big waves is during the months of September and October. The waves during the month of May in summer are also good for surfing.
3. Get some exercise like push-ups to strengthen your arms and do some yoga sessions to improve your balance.
4. ABCD beach has rocky portions so bring surf booties or surf shoes to protect your feet. Fortunately, they let me borrow a pair shoes when I got there since I was the only client during that time.
5. Wear proper and comfortable clothing for suring. Bring a sunblock to protect your skin from sunburn.
6. Stay calm. Waves can be intimidating but you must befriend them and go with the flow to have a nice and enjoyable surfing experience.
7. There is an Andoks offering fast food near ABCD beach so if you get hungry, you can eat in there.
8. I stayed at my Aunt’s house in Mercedes (a nearby town of Guiuan). Hence, I can’t really tell where to go if you want to stay in a hotel or resort in Guiuan. But I observed that there are several hotels in the town proper of Guiuan if you prefer to stay at the downtown. There are also some resorts that have already rebuilt since Typhoon Haiyan, and they are already offering accommodation services. If you know any hotel and resort operating in Guiuan town or in Calicoan, feel free to share them in the comments below.
And by the way, don’t forget to bring your friends and family with you. Make sure that one of them knows how to capture a great photo of you while surfing with the big waves.
For more information about tourism in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Eastern Visayas, you may contact the office of the Department of Tourism Region VIII at Magsaysay Blvd, Kanhuraw Hill, Tacloban City with phone numbers +63(53)832-0901, +63918-8976225, and +63916-6184280.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s surf the talk!