Calbayog City: A Journey of Faith, Culinary Delights, and Resort Wander

Calbayog City is located in the Western part of Samar in the Eastern Visayas region. It has a rich history dating back to as early as 1600. Throughout the years, Calbayog City has thrived as an agricultural hub, with agriculture being the primary economic activity in the area. It has a population of 186,960 people, according to the 2020 census.

The fiesta of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral is a highly anticipated event in Calbayog City. Celebrated annually on June 29th, this fiesta attracts locals and tourists alike. Aside from its religious significance, the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral is a historical landmark. Built-in the late 19th century, it has withstood the test of time.

Calbayog City is a destination that truly lives up to its reputation as the "City of Waterfalls." Renowned for its stunning waterfalls, this hidden gem attracts adventure enthusiasts from all over. However, we will explore a different side of Calbayog City. If you're not the adventurous type just like me, don't worry – I've got you covered as I will focus on its diverse culinary scene and serene attractions.

S&R Bed and Breakfast (Accommodation)

If you are in search of a comfortable place to stay in Calbayog City, look no further than S&R Bed and Breakfast. As a family-owned business they take pride in providing personalized service to their guests. With their affordable rates, S&R Bed and Breakfast offers a delightful accommodation experience. The establishment boasts five spacious and clean rooms, including three-standard room and two deluxe rooms. Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, S&R Bed and Breakfast is the perfect choice for a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Calbayog City.

Have you ever dreamed of waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a delicious breakfast? If so, you might want to check out Cafe de Razso, a cozy and charming coffee shop attached to their guesthouse. Here, you can enjoy a cup of brewed coffee (pour-over coffee style) like Colombian Pink Bourbon, Costa Rica Jaguar Tarrazu,  and Brazil Dutra Jatoba. You can also have blended coffee beans - mocha, hazelnut, and vanilla flavor. Or have a hearty breakfast plated meal that includes 3in1 coffee or Milo, egg and rice, choices of Tinapa, corned beef, Hungarian sausage, hotdog, labtinaw, or bacon. Cafe de Razso is more than just a place to eat and drink; this is a place to relax and connect with other travelers.

City Cafe at Western Prime Hotel

As we stepped into City Lights Restaurant, I like its modern and stylish decor. The interior is furnished with a delightful combination of brown and red hues, creating a modern and inviting ambiance. The comfortable couches, upholstered in red fabric, beckon you to unwind and indulge in a memorable dining experience.

One of the aspects of City Cafe is its extensive menu, catering to an array of tastes and preferences. It was an early dinner, and we were still a bit full, so we just ordered the grilled chicken pesto pasta, a delicious combination of tender chicken, al dente pasta, and aromatic pesto sauce. The flavors were perfectly balanced, leaving a lasting impression on our taste buds. Alongside the pasta, HB and I opted for the pork ala tender strips in a bowl, a hearty dish that satisfied our cravings for succulent pork and flavorful sauces. It was good.

To complement our meals, we decided to indulge in some refreshing beverages. The mango shake was a delightful blend of fresh, tropical sweetness, while the mocha frappe provided a rich and creamy coffee experience. For those seeking a unique twist, the blueberry cheese frappe offered a delightful fusion of fruity and creamy flavors. Additionally, the iced cafe mocha was a perfect combination of sweetness and coffee bitterness, leaving us thoroughly satisfied.

City Cafe pays meticulous attention to detail when it comes to its presentation. The gold candle holders on top of the table and gold cutleries added a touch of elegance to our dining experience, elevating the overall ambiance. The unique white lamps hanging from the ceiling created a warm and inviting atmosphere, making us feel relaxed and comfortable throughout our meal.

Not only did City Cafe excel in its food offerings, but it also boasted an impressive selection of alcoholic beverages. The bar was well-stocked with spirits, wines, and craft beers. 

Calbayog City Coastal  Road

 We had the opportunity to explore the newly constructed coastal road, which serves as an alternative route to alleviate traffic congestion. As we strolled along the road, we were captivated by the vibrant atmosphere surrounding us. It happened to be a fiesta in one of the barangays, and the streets were bustling with people from all walks of life. The atmosphere was filled with a medley of sounds, from lively music playing in the background to the laughter of children enjoying various activities. The aroma of delicious food wafted through the air, enticing us to try the mouthwatering delicacies offered by the numerous food stalls lining the street. It was a truly festive experience, immersing ourselves in the local culture and enjoying the lively ambiance of the coastal road.

 However, as we walked further, we noticed that the other half of the road was quieter and cooler. It was a peaceful and refreshing moment, contrasting the liveliness on the other side of the street. Overall, our walk along the coastal street was a delightful experience, filled with vibrant energy and tranquil serenity.


Salt & Pepper Cafe and Bar: 

One of the establishments in Calbayog City is Salt Pepper Cafe and Bar. Located on the upper floor of the Western Prime Hotel, this restaurant offers a delightful dining experience. Upon entering Salt Pepper Cafe and Bar, we were immediately captivated by its cozy and inviting ambiance. The air-conditioned room provided the perfect respite from the warm city weather, allowing us to enjoy a comfortable meal. As we settled into our seats, we couldn't help but admire the elegant decor and the pleasant aroma wafting from the kitchen.

The highlight of our visit  was undoubtedly the delectable dishes that graced our table. Every dish was thoughtfully crafted and beautifully presented, showcasing the culinary expertise of the chefs.

One of the highlights of Salt Pepper Cafe and Bar is its small open-air bar area, which offers a stunning panoramic view of Calbayog City. As you sip your favorite drink, you can admire the city's skyline, with its charming mix of modern infrastructure and natural beauty.

However, I recently received feedback from people I know who visited the place, mentioning that the sweet and sour fish they ordered was dry. They had to request some sauce to enhance the dish. Acknowledging the feedback I received, I understand that taste preferences can vary, and occasional inconsistencies may occur in any restaurant. Such feedback to the management allows them to improve their offerings.


Kalye Mango

Kalye Mango is a restaurant that not only serves delicious food but also provides a unique dining experience. With the option to watch movies on Netflix while enjoying a satisfying meal, it offers a delightful combination of entertainment and gastronomy. Whether indulging in their Lomi (Filipino noodle dish made with thick egg noodles, meat and various vegetables), relishing the mango graham shake premium, or savoring the crispy fries, patrons are guaranteed a memorable time at Kalye Mango.


Cafe Buenaventura

The restaurant, is tucked away in a hidden alley. While it may be challenging to find, once you enter the establishment, one will immediately notice a sprawling open-air area perfect for enjoying a meal or having a relaxing drinking session. If you prefer a cozier atmosphere, they also have an air-conditioned section. You'll be pleased to know that some areas of the restaurant are Instagrammable, allowing you to capture beautiful moments during your visit and adding a touch of aesthetics to your dining experience. 

We opted for the Crispy bangus and their Family Summer Bundle, which was a fantastic choice. Priced at only 999 pesos, this bundle offers a delightful combination of flavors that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. The bundle includes BBQ Pork Liempo, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Pinakbet Tagalog, providing a variety of dishes to please everyone at the table.

Daughters of Mary Consolatrix Monastery

Daughters of Mary Consolatrix Monastery is a hidden place nestled amidst the beauty of lush tropical foliage. As you enter the premises, the sight of a charming chapel will greet you, where you can attend mass and find solace in your faith. The serene atmosphere made it a perfect place for reflection and prayer.

The chapel is known for its tranquil ambiance, surrounded by vibrant greenery that adds to its natural allure. It truly felt like an oasis amid the bustling city. The serene atmosphere made it a perfect place for reflection and prayer.

One unique aspect of Mary Consolatrix Chapel is the opportunity to make special prayer requests. Whether it's for personal intentions or the well-being of loved ones, the chapel provides a space to express our deepest desires and seek divine intervention.

Located far from the main road, accessing the chapel may require a private car or hiring a tricycle. However, finding the way is not a challenge, as there are clear signages along the route that direct visitors to this peaceful haven.


Bamboo Sunset View

We arrived at this charming spot of Bamboo Sunset View late afternoon to enjoy a tasty snack. Our top choices were the delicious halo-halo and crispy fries, a light snack to satisfy our hunger.

What made Bamboo Sunset View truly special was its location along the sea. The restaurant itself was lovely, but we always opted to sit outside, where we could fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature. The view was simply breathtaking, especially during the sunset. As the sky transformed into shades of orange and pink, we couldn't help but feel a sense of peace and tranquility.

One of the standout features of Bamboo Sunset View was its gigantic swimming pool. This pool is available for guests, with a small fee, to enjoy its refreshing waters. If you want to take a dip or relax poolside, this amenity would add an extra touch to the experience.

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The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Shrine

Near Bamboo Sunset is the Marian Shrine, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Grotto. A magnificent 22-foot grotto dedicated to Mother Mary  gracefully perched at the apex of this tranquil and holy place. As you ascend the stairs, you will come across 14 stations adorned the pathway, each depicting a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus Christ.

The shrine also showcases a beautiful nativity scene, capturing the birth of Jesus, as well as the glorious ascension of Christ into heaven. These intricate scenes provide a visual representation of significant moments in Christian history.

One of the highlights of the Marian Shrine is its breathtaking panoramic view. Upon reaching the top, you will see a stunning 360-degree vista of the surrounding landscape. It is an awe-inspiring sight that allows one to appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility of the area.

Villa Marcelina

Villa Marcelina Hotel and Resort is undoubtedly the most beautiful resort I have ever seen in Calbayog. Its stunning location along the beach immediately captivated my attention. Our intention was initially to indulge in its delectable dining options. However, to our dismay, their restaurant was closed during our visit.

Nonetheless, our disappointment quickly dissipated when we encountered the friendly and accommodating guard of the resort. He graciously offered to give us a brief tour of the resort. We explored the expansive grounds and discovered the resort's marvelous features under his guided tour.

One of the highlights of Villa Marcelina is its expansive swimming pool. This large and inviting pool is the perfect place to cool off from the summer heat and unwind amidst the resort's picturesque surroundings. Guests can lounge by the poolside or relax on the comfortable sunbeds provided.

The resort boasts an array of white cottages that exude a cozy and inviting atmosphere. These cottages are well-appointed, offering a comfortable and homey feel. Whether you're traveling alone, with a partner, or with a group, Villa Marcelina has accommodations to suit every need and preference.

Furthermore, Villa Marcelina Hotel and Resort provides various recreational activities and facilities. Guests can engage in water sports such as snorkeling and kayaking.

 What struck me the most about Villa Marcelina when I discovered that this resort is said to be owned by the family of the late Mayor Aquino, who tragically met his untimely demise in an ambush. This knowledge added a layer of depth to Villa Marcelina. While this event may add a touch of intrigue to the resort's story, let's focus on the present and respect their privacy.

Calbayog Airport Terminal

During the final days of our vacation in Samar, we found ourselves bidding farewell to the beautiful place. We departed from the newly constructed Calbayog Airport terminal, which still gleamed with its pristine cleanliness due to its newness. Compared to the old airport, the upgraded one was a significant improvement, and we were grateful for the modern facilities. However, one downside was still the noticeably higher fare compared to the flights from Tacloban Airport. It seemed that the monopolization of the airline service in the area contributed to the inflated prices. It's possible that it's just my hunch, but there could be other reasons as well. Nonetheless, our overall experience at the new Calbayog Airport was pleasant, marking the end of our memorable trip to Samar.

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