As mentioned in the Calicoan Surf Camp post, there are other things to be done around the area if you are not the intrepid surfer. With just minutes of driving, you can head to the town that hosts the resort: Guiuan of Eastern Samar.
Coming from Leyte, from the moment you pass the San Juanico bridge, the Samar island’s life is quite the stark contrast as compared to the busy streets of Tacloban City. And it is even more apparent in Guiuan, which is pretty much at the edge of the island, facing the Pacific Ocean.
While it is not as fast paced, it is not necessarily laid back. You will rarely see someone not doing anything, which is a sign that this is a bunch of hard working people. And the reason for such hard work is the cold faced reality that life is hard here. One day of slacking off can mean a day of no food to feed the family.
A big reason for the hard life here is that Samar is one of the places that welcome the tropical storms that hit the Philippines from June to October. It is apparent in their modes of transportation: regular motorcycles with makeshift roofs.
However, even with such difficult conditions, the town is rich in history and has been quite the desirable location for the past and present government. It has become a port and aviation facility during the American colonization, with their commissioning depot being established here. As a matter of fact, an airstrip is still operational that is run by the national government’s Department of Transportation and Communication. Chartered flights can land here, and the strip is so long and wide, small jet powered planes have no problem landing here.
One can even imagine having this leased to private institutions as a small airport to cater to nearby towns. And there is a possible demand for trips here for tourism purposes.
The beaches are generally untouched and those that have been developed by private companies have worked with the local government to ensure sustainable development. We can only hope that these won’t go the ways of some of the Philippine’s popular beaches that have been overdeveloped without a long term vision.
Complementing the beaches would be some sights and sounds of the town. The town church retains old walls from the Spanish colonial era, and the altar is marvelous to look at.
Beaches, culture, history, the accessibility to modern transportation, and a hard working community with hospitality that aims to please, it seems like the town of Guiuan has the formula to make the quiet town into a jewel of a community. What it does need is more recognition that Guiuan has so much to offer even if it is out of the way of most travelers.
Then life may not need to be so hard for the good people of this town 🙂
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