by Dov Weinman
Please quit complaining about your coworkers bragging about their off-the-beaten-path visit to a remote island you’ve never even heard of. Finding those getaways isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s one: Nestled in the water between Leyte, Samar, and Masbate lies Biliran — a mountainous, rice-terraced, and waterfall-filled island spot that will make you want to update your travel bucket list.
If you haven’t heard of Biliran, maybe it’s because you see that little island on the map and think it’s a part of Leyte. Up until 1992, you would’ve been right. In 1992, Biliran became one of one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines at just over 200 square miles. Biliran affords plenty of opportunities to get lost in true island life regardless of its small size. With provincial charm and no tourist traps that plague other well-known island destinations, Biliran is one of the country’s best kept secrets, and it’s waiting for anyone adventurous enough to unlock its hidden gems.
To jumpstart your journey, here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this magical province:
1. Biliran is the waterfall capital of the Philippines.
Outdoor adventure junkies will love Biliran’s legendary waterfalls. The province has such a high concentration of waterfalls (a total of 30!), that the Department of Tourism brands it as the “waterfall capital of the Philippines” in their promotional materials.
Just north of Naval, the Municipality of Almeria is home to some of the island’s more impressive falls. Take a short hike uphill from mountain-based Barangay Caucab and follow the trail to the cliff-sided Bagongbong Falls. While you swim in the refreshing pool, you can stare up at the cliffs to see trees leaning out for the sun and vines cascading down the lush walls.
An even taller waterfall awaits near Barangay Sampao. There, the Ulan-Ulan falls cascades 90 feet down, and you can witness the water break apart and fall from the sky like the rain it’s named after. A bonus for making this trip is the nearby Recoletos Falls, located directly above Ulan-Ulan, which isn’t quite as impressive but flows into a refreshing and swimmable pool with great rocks for relaxing and enjoying the view. Continue reading Discover Biliran: The Waterfall Capital of the Philippines