Biri Island‘s claim to fame is the magnificent Biri Rock Formations. Located in the province of Northern Samar, this rugged island is a photographer’s paradise. Untamed Pacific Ocean waves lapping on its eastern side, verdant mountains and mammoth rocks heavily eroded over time, etched with swirls and ridges, are the usual scenes in Biri.
The accommodating habal-habal (motorcycle) driver who drove me to Biri
Rock Formations offered to guide me for my security but I politely
declined. I preferred to commune alone with this splendid masterpiece of
Over the years, Biri Rock Formations were naturally carved by the wind, storms, and the monstrous waves. There are 5 formations, namely: Puhunan, Magasang, Bel-at, Caranas, Macadlaw and Magsapad. The most famous rock formation is Magasang but the geological formations at Bel-at are more diverse.
I stood on the edge of
the craggy cliff and watched how the waves crashed into the gnarled
rocks, a process that continues to reshape the island. I saw white
feathered-birds that look like egrets frolicking near the edge of the
sea. From time to time they dart through the water to catch fish.
Suddenly, laughter filled the air. My lens caught a group of locals
having picnic on the other side of the rock formations. Righfully so,
Biri is a famous destination for family getaways. A few meters away, on
the natural pool, a fisherman and his child, topless and wearing
obsolete goggles, were patiently looking for shells.
If you plan
to explore Biri Rock Formations, pack your bags with food since there is
no store nearby. The heat of the sun is unforgiving so make sure you
bring water to stay hydrated. Go there during low tide because you have
to walk a few meters to the rock formations. I walked through the
knee-deep water with baby mangroves planted everywhere. Some slippery
rocks underwater are covered with moss so take extra care to avoid
tripping. There is a bridge currently under construction that will
easily take tourists to Magasang Rock Formations in a few months’ time.
I just hope they don’t overdevelop the place to preserve its natural
I used to just look at the images of Biri Rock Formations online, but standing there, dwarfed by these gigantic formations and seeing its splendor up close is a totally different experience.
(Gael Hilotin is a female solo traveler currently traveling around the Philippines. Follow her adventures at The Pinay Solo Backpacker).