In terms of its status, Biri is known for its scenic rock formations, which attract tourists to the area. The local government has been promoting eco-tourism in Biri to boost its economy and improve the livelihoods of its residents. The municipality has also been implementing various programs and projects to improve infrastructure, health services, and education in the area. However, like many other rural areas in the Philippines, Biri also faces challenges such as poverty, lack of job opportunities, and limited access to basic services.
Biri Island in Northern Samar, Philippines has several native delicacies that are popular among locals and visitors. Some of these delicacies include:
- Tumtumo – a sweet treat made from grated coconut meat and sugar.
- Binagol – a steamed snack made from grated taro root, coconut milk, sugar, and a variety of nuts and fruits. It is often wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over low heat for several hours.
- Moron – a sticky rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and chocolate. It is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
- Barobohan – a sweet delicacy made from coconut milk, sugar, and glutinous rice flour. It is often shaped into small balls and served as a dessert.
- Kiping – a colorful and crispy wafer made from rice flour and food coloring. It is often used as a decoration for local festivities.
These delicacies are just some of the many food items that you can try when visiting Biri Island.
How to get there?
To travel to Biri Island in Northern Samar, Philippines, you will first need to go to the provincial capital of Catarman. From there, you can take a van or a jeepney to Lavezares, which is the jump-off point to Biri Island.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get to Biri Island:
- Fly to Catarman Airport: The nearest airport to Biri Island is the Catarman Airport. You can fly to Catarman via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines from Manila or Cebu.
- Take a van or jeepney to Lavezares: From Catarman, you can take a van or jeepney to Lavezares, which is about a 45-minute to 1-hour drive.
- Take a boat to Biri Island: From Lavezares, you can take a passenger boat to Biri Island. The boat ride takes about 1-2 hours depending on the sea conditions.
Alternatively, you can also take a direct bus or van from Manila to Lavezares, but the trip can take up to 20 hours.
Once you arrive in Biri Island, you can hire a tricycle or a habal-habal (motorcycle) to take you to your accommodation or to the island’s tourist spots.
Biri Island, located in the northern part of Samar Island, has a rich history that dates back to the pre-colonial period. The island was once inhabited by the ancient Waray people, who were skilled seafarers and traders. They had close ties with the neighboring islands and had a thriving maritime trade network.
In the 16th century, the Spanish arrived in the Philippines and colonized the islands. Biri Island became a part of the Spanish colony and was administered by the colonial government in Manila. The Spanish influence can still be seen in the island’s architecture, particularly in the old church in the town center.
During World War II, Biri Island was occupied by the Japanese forces and was the site of several battles between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The island suffered extensive damage, and many of its residents were killed or displaced.
In the post-war period, Biri Island slowly recovered and gradually became a popular tourist destination, known for its scenic rock formations, crystal-clear waters, and pristine beaches. The local government has been actively promoting eco-tourism in the area to boost the local economy and improve the livelihoods of the island’s residents.
Today, Biri Island is a thriving community with a unique culture, rich history, and stunning natural beauty that continues to attract visitors from all over the world.