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Sailing the Sea of Samar, Philippines

We Took a Nice Boat from Tacloban to My Home Village

I traveled to my home village in the province of Samar to celebrate the Fiesta San Juan. I was lucky to fly from Manila to Tacloban, Leyte. The next day I took a private boat with friends and family. The trip takes four hours and goes under the famous San Jacinto bridge into the Sea of Samar.

Tacloban Loading the Boat

The boat is a normal "banca" boat, but bigger than most of the boats in my village. We are loading the boat in this picture. I was lucky and slept in a hotel the night before we sailed to my village. Six members of my family joined us to eat that night, and then they just slept on the boat. It was OK for them.

The next day, we had luggage for a friend of mine and for me, two 50-kilo bags of rice, a 50-kilo block of ice, about 2,000 pesos of food, mineral water, and too many bottles of soda and beer!

I had a fight with my family about the soda and beer. Money is very precious here in the Philippines you know. This boat has a nice covering to protect people from the sun. It has a little motor to move it, and the driver steers with a bamboo pole that is connected to the rudder.

Here are some more pictures. I hope you get a good idea. The area of Leyte and Samar is very beautiful. Many visitors say it is the most beautiful place in the world. I agree, but you know I always say life is very hard for most people here. There is no electricity or running water in my village. There is never any money. But if you are not lazy you will not starve there because you can fish and you can eat fruit from the trees. I think sometimes that life is harder where I live now in Pampanga, because if you are wala pera (without money) you are wala food!

Sacked Out 1Tacloban SidewalkSan Jacinto Bridge 2Tacloban Fishing BoatTacloban MountainBiliranVillageMain Street BurabodTacloban Crab

More Stories By Inday Vinyas

Inday Vinas grew up in Samar Province, Philippines. She left high school after three years to work and help her family, including seven brothers and sisters. She is now a writer and small businessperson.