Calbayog is a city of 183,000 in the province of Samar in the Philippines. It is home to many waterfalls, so its nickname "City of Waterfalls". Calbayog is a stop along the Asian Highway 26 or the Maharlika Highway.
With an area of 880 km2 (340 sq mi), Calbayog is one of the largest cities in the Philippines by land area. That said, most of the city sits on the coast, and the rest being sea and rainforest. It is a commercial center of Samar Province; it has an airport and seaport, and Calbayog city proper hosts most commercial activity.
Calbayog started as one of the earliest settlements in Samar island, the village of Tiaybang. Tiaybang is named after a river of the same name, but a flood forced its residents to move the community into Jibatang, after another river. Jesuit missionaries assigned to Samar first arrived in the 17th century, and that time, Jibatang took its present name.
Calbayog was a visita, a large village with a single chapel, and a barrio of Capul. Its first church is built in Malabungto, and is made of stones from a nearby scree. Calbayog became a town (pueblo), and the visita promoted to a parish in 1785. The pueblo of Calbayog used to include large barrios nearby, namely Caybago, Santa Margarita, Weyler, and Santo Niño; Santa Margarita and Santo Niño became their own municipalities, while Caybago and Weyler will merge back to Calbayog in 1948 as the districts of Oquendo and Tinambacan
In 1878, Calbayog was hit by a cholera epidemic, which killed half of the town's population. The town's parish priest was forced to leave, along with his sacristan named Biktoy, which would become an officer of the Spanish Army stationed in the Visayas. The town was also the hometown of Benedicto Nijaga, a revolutionary fund collector for the Katipunan, which would lead the Philippine Revolution. Nijaga, along with 12 other revolutionaries, were executed in Manila in 11 Jan 1897. Calbayog's central plaza would be named after him.
During the American era, Calbayog was made the seat of the new Roman Catholic diocese covering Eastern Visayas. Also during that era, two major Catholic educational institutions were founded, the Colegio-Seminario de San Vicente de Pablo and the La Milagrosa Academy. During the Japanese occupation, the Calbayog diocese was divided into smaller dioceses.
In 1948, Calbayog became a city, merging with the nearby municipalities of Tinambacan and Oquendo.
Calbayog is composed of 157 barangays, but is more conveniently divided into three districts: Calbayog proper, Tinambacan and Oquendo. Calbayog district comprises the downtown area and suburbs, while Tinambacan and Oquendo are mostly rural.
- 1 Calbayog Airport (CYP IATA). Cebu Pacific has flights from Cebu while PAL Express has flights from Clark, both using turboprop aircraft.
- Since Calbayog is along the Maharlika Highway that connects the island of Luzon to Mindanao, plenty of buses run through Calbayog City going to Tacloban and Legazpi City. To get a ride, visit the bus terminal.
- Minivans are available for transport of passengers going to Tacloban, Catarman, Catbalogan.
- Van terminals for Grand Tours, DupTours and T'urbanada are separate from each other and are stationed on the southern side of Calbayog along Maharlika Highway
- Cokaliong Shipping Lines has an overnight ferry to/from Cebu City three times a week, leaving from the port at Maguinoo, half hour north from Calbayog City.
- Booking office in town on Rosales Avenue. Free shuttle service is provided to and from the booking office to the port.
- Lite Shipping lines has a ferry to/from Bogo Cebu island four times a week at 10pm. ₱610 per person for open air bunk. Booking office at the Fish Port. Ferry departs from Calbayog City Port
- Grand Ferries operate a fast SeaCat, passenger only, ferry daily to Cebu City from Calbayog City Port. Travel time about 6 hours. Booking office at Grand Tours terminal in town.
- Tricycles are available to anywhere in the city, both pedal and motorised.
- Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral (Calbayog Cathedral). Constructed in the 1800s, it became the see (central church) of the new Diocese of Calbayog in 1910. Considered to be the biggest church in Samar, the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral was rebuilt and renovated through the years and evolved to a blending of many architectural eras. The structure reveals some are new and some are old. The old dome, the spire and the thick walls are what is left from the original Spanish-built old church. In general, the Spanish influence in the architecture is but revealing. The church is built with stones were from a limestone scree formation near Malajog. Outside the cathedral, there is a controversial landscape painting depicting Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
- Nijaga Park. The large central plaza named after the revolutionary Benedicto Nijaga. The park also has an artificial replica of Bangon-Bugtong Falls.
- Sacred Heart Plaza (Julio Cardinal Santos Plaza) (Across from the cathdral). A plaza with an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a fountain.
- Bagacay Beach, Maharlika Hwy, Bagacay (20 minute walk or 7-minute drive or ride from downtown). An uncrowded pearl white strip of coastline, with coconut trees, offering a scenic view of islands and towns.
- Binaliw Isle, Maguino-o, Tinambacan District (Take a boat across the Silangan Channel). A potential deep diving spot, about 40–50 m (130–160 ft) from the seafloor and measuring less than a hectare in area. The islet is surrounded with aquifers equally and uniformly spread at the peripheral limits of the islet with white sand and pebbles. Beneath the deep waters are corals of multifarious varieties, rare white pebbles spread over the floor, 20 types of shells, and ornamental types of aquamarine species
- Malajog Beach, Malajog (40-minute drive from downtown). Grayish sand, blue waters, swaying palm trees, towering rocks and three balconied cottages give this spot a South Sea island appeal. Magnificent view of sunset behind nearby islands. This beach is famous as it is frequently visited by foreign diplomats and VIPs, and several films are shot here.
- Malajog Ridge Nature Park. The mountain ridge forming this park is the source of the stones used to built the Calbayog Cathedral. The park's major attraction is the Calbayog Zipline (Calbayog City Zip), which goes down from the mountains facing Malajog Beach down into an island, and after that, you get on a boat back to the mainland on Malajog Beach.
- Mapaso Spring (30-minute ride to Rizal II, and 15-minute hike from the village). "Mapaso" literally means hot in Waray. Fresh crustaceans (pokot) abound. They are naturally pinkish resembling scalded shrimps due to the high temperature.
- Mawacat Slide, Mawacat, Oquendo District (35-minute ride from downtown to Mawacat, then 25-minute walk along a trail lined with tall, shady trees). It is a natural spoon-like formation which inclines by about 45 degrees and stretches 50 meters long. Water flows along this giant cistern and from the top you can slide through the mossy lane to the cool inviting pool below.
- Naga Beach (10-minute drive from downtown). Cottages line its grayish sandy shore. Its cool fresh water and scenic view of Samar Island attracts picnickers and beachcombers.
- Bolongto Cave, Malajog, Calbayog District (Near Malajog Beach).
- Danao Cave (14 km (8.7 mi) from city proper). Made up of seven chambers inhabited by various species of snakes and bats, as evidenced by deposits of guano. The cave serves as an initiating place for those who want to acquire a talisman.
- Guinogo-an Cave (Lungsdo Cave), Longsob, Oquendo District (Drive or take a tricycle to Cabugawan, the hike for 50 minutes). Its large entrance leads to a natural tunnel with an uneven ceiling, some portions of which touching your head making for an eerie trip through the dark, cool interior.
- Tinagoan Cave, Lungsod, Oquendo District. Tinago-an means hiding place in Waray. Its naturally dark tunnels offers excitement and thrill to adventurers.
- Bangon-Bugtong Falls, San Joaquin, Calbayog District (Take a 1 hr 15 m tricycle ride to Tinaplacan and walk for 45 minutes). The most majestic of Calbayog's waterfalls. As you ascend the stream, you will see a circular pond about 30 m (98 ft) in diameter, wide enough for swimming and deep enough for dinging. The cascading water comes from streams flowing endlessly, resulting from pressure on its disgorge, which becomes larger as the day passes
- Lologayan Falls (Drive or take a tricycle to San Joaquin for 45 minutes, and hike for 25 minutes.). It is separated from the mainland by the Silangan Channel. A series of towering altars of rugged stones where between its depressions flow ribbon-like cool water that appears to cleanse the hair of a legendary lady. A source of drinking water for local folks.
- Pan-as Falls, Pilar, Oquendo District (Drive from downtown for 1 hour, and hike for another 1 hour from barangay Pilar). These falls are the primary source of water for Calbayog's residents. At places where the cataract is so high, the water falling into the pool below becomes a mere mist.
- Tabokno Falls, Cagbayang, Oquendo District (Drive for 1 hour to Cagbayang, and walk for 40 minutes from village center.). A beautiful and scenic waterfall, and a favorite picnic site for Calbayog residents
- Taragban Falls, Malaga, Tinambacan District. The most beautiful of Calbayog's many waterfalls
- Ton-ok Falls (Drive for 45 minutes from downtown, and hike for 30 minutes.). A scenic waterfall hidden in lush tropical vegetation. Its waters are also used by a nearby hydroelectric dam.
- Gaisano Super Metro Supermarket, Magsaysay Blvd. 8AM-9PM.
- Metro Bank, Rosales Blvd. 24 hour atm. Has a Master Card/Visa Card ATM.
- Gaisano Grand Mall, Gelera Street. 9AM-9PM. Has a supermarket.
- Hello Po, Gomez St. 7AM-10PM. breakfast 7AM-11AM
- Cafe Dania.
- Fusion Cafe.
- Ciriaco Hotel, Km 745 Maharlika Highway, Brgy Bagacay, ☏ . Deluxe and Superior Rooms, all equipped with Air-conditioning, Internet connection and Cable TV. Facilities and services are Cafe Elsa restaurant, Business center, Wi-Fi Internet service and Spa. From ₱2100.
- Meldas Lodge, corner Orquin and Nijaga Street., ☏ , (cell phone). Fan single rooms with out side bathrooms. Fan double rooms with out side bathrooms. ₱300/₱450.
- IS Plant hotel, brgy carmen., ☏ . A/C matrimonial bed with own bathroom. Has a swimming pool. ₱700.
- San Joaquin Inn.
- Sigma Lodge, Burgos Street. from ₱500.
- Marju Kristel Resort Hotel, Maharika Highway. Fan single/double room with own bathroom. from ₱350.
- Bay Park Hotel
- Social Hygiene Clinic & City Health office. City Hall compound. S P Jose Avelino Avenue. phone +63 55-2091267. free HIV testing.
- Bureau of Immigration Calbayog Office. Room 201. 2nd floor. Calbayog City Convention Center. phone +63 55-2093310.
|Routes through Calbayog|
|Allen ← San Isidro ←||N S||→ Santa Margarita → Catbalogan|