Previously known only to locals, Minasangay Island in Balangkayan, Eastern Samar is consistently drawing in huge crowds and garnering positive reviews since it was launched in 2008 as the Minasangay Eco Park and Resort. It has, in fact, become the biggest income generating venture for the local government unit which is managing the place, or so I heard.
I expect that many more tourists will descend to this island once the road project that will rehabilitate the 220-kilometer Samar road which traverses 15 towns from Paranas in Samar and ending in Guiuan in Eastern Samar is completed.
Last week, I once again found myself re-exploring her inner sanctums (as is customary when I’m home). And oh how it has changed!
Let me count the ways.
The Minasangay of my youth was not for the faint-hearted. There was no road back then and you have to walk past mangroves and swim (yes swim!) to cross to the island. Granted it does not have the length of the English Channel but it was a hurdle just the same.
And how can we ever forget those stories about magical beings inhabiting the island? We were told not to be too rowdy while in the island lest we disturb them. Today, the island is lighted at night to accommodate folks who prefer to enjoy its beauty and other comforts that it can offer at night-time.
One of the attractions that Minasangay offers up to now is cliff diving. There were no diving boards back then and you had to get your thrill on by finding a good spot (which means getting past those pesky island flora) before you can jump off.
Many tourists however fail to venture farther from the resort area. They are missing a lot, I’m telling you now. Not far from the area are coral reefs and other marine life living mostly in shallow water (which is why I was able to take the following photos).
Let’s hope that the local government unit will be able to maintain this paradise of my youth.