Baker's Hill is a famous hang out place in Palawan, known for their freshly baked goodies like hopia, munchies and crinkles. It is located on top of a...
Basey is a municipality in the province of Samar. This little fishing town is about a 45-minute drive away from Tacloban, passing through the famed San Juanico Bridge. Basay is from the Waray word mabaysay, meaning beautiful. The town's name is pronounced “bAsay,” not “basEY.” Basay is said to be Leyte's capital during the American period. It is the current record holder of the world's longest mat or banig, which is presented in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The town of Basey is most famous for its Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, which is one of the must-see destinations in Eastern Visayas. Situated at Rawis, Brgy. Guirang in Basey, it covers an approximate area of 840 hectares. Fascinating geological features abound in the area of the national park such as caves, hugs, limestone boulders, rock holes, weathered formation rocks and underground rivers. The most prominent assemblages in the park are the cathedral-like caves, which are the Panhulugan I, Panhulugan II, Sohoton and Bugasan.
The Sohoton Natural Bridge is a fantastic huge arch-shaped rock that connects two mountains ridges spanning the Sohoton River. It has a vertical clearance of 23 feet, about 8 meters in width and 40 meters in length. The Stone Bridge is forested at its upper portion while on its underside hang heavy karst formations of giant stalactites forming like swords and rockets.
Also located within the Sohoton National Park is the Panhulugan Cliff. It is a high and steep rock formation directly across Panhulugan Cave I. Down this towering cliff is a narrow curve of the Sohoton River wherein passing “bancas” (boats) are dragged during low tide. The name Panhulugan is from the waray-waray word “hulug” which means to drop from atop.
Aside from the spectacular caves of Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, another distinct landmark of Basey is its old church, the St. Michael the Archangel Parish. This 17th century church resides on top of a hill and was once used by Spanish friars as a place for teaching Christian doctrines. One notable feature of this church is that the walls were constructed using large blocks of limestone – a material that is abundant in Samar. The people of Basey have commendably managed to maintain the church's original design and layout despite the storm that almost destroyed it back in 1880.
The town annually celebrates the feast of St. Michael, its patron saint, during the month of September. Having weaving as its prime industry, the feast is highlighted by Banigan-Kawayan Festival, where the women of Basey weave a variety of intricately designed mats from sedge grass locally known as tikog. This tradition was handed down from many generations. The festival features a street dancing presentation showcasing the beautiful products made of banig (mat) and kawayan (bamboo).