STILL STUNNING. The rock formations of Biri, Northern Samar never fails to attract the attention of the visitors. The rock formations of the island- municipality is considered to be among the country’s iconic natural tourist attractions. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)

Known for its stunning rock formations

BIRI, Northern Samar – This town, known for its majestic rock formations, is soon to ban the use of all kinds of plastics as a way to preserve the environment and its natural attractions from harm cause by the use of plastics.
The Sangguniang Bayan members are now in the process of drafting the needed ordinance calling for the prohibition on the use of plastics across the island municipality and not just around its famous rock formations, Mayor Antonio Delos Reyes, Jr. said.
He said that they have to protect the natural beauty of their town and the environment in general that gives livelihood to his people.
Banning plastic is part of their advocacy to protect the environment and for the promotion of sustainable tourism, Delos Reyes said.
Instead of using plastics, the town mayor said that they will encourage tourists, to include the local residents to use reusable materials.
“Plastics takes time to decompose. It does not only pollute our water, it’s also one of the reasons why some marine animals are dying. For us to enjoy these beautiful sceneries we have here in Biri and for our visitors to enjoy their stay, we have to protect it by not using products that will destroy it,” Delos Reyes said.
Delos Reyes added that there are plastics that can be found in the mangrove area at the rock formations but these are not from their town but from other communities, swept by waves to their area.
Delos Reyes added that the local government unit is strictly implementing the no smoking, no vandalism and no bringing of liquor to the rock formations site to avoid accidents.
Tourists are only allowed to take pictures, swim in the lagoons and climb the rock formations and will be accompanied by the ‘habal-habal’ drivers who were trained by the Department of Tourism as community tour guides.
Popular for its unique rock formations, Biri Island is the top tourist destination in Northern Samar. Tourist arrivals is at its peak during summer season.
There are seven rock formations in the island but only six are accessible to tourists (Magasang, Magsapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, and Caranas).
The seventh rock formation, where a lighthouse is located, is found in the entrance of San Bernardino Strait, that guides international cargo ships that are entering the country.
The giant rock formations are close from each other but are separated by crystal clear water. It will take almost half day to explore the rock formations.
Aside from the rock formations, the local government unit of Biri is planning to develop a surfing area but this will only be open for the professionals or expert surfers as the waves in the site are big and dangerous for amateur surfers.
Delos Reyes said that they only allow tourist to go at the surfing site during summer and when there is no weather disturbance.