Two hours after I arrived at the port of Calbayog, my feet landed at Allen’s Jeepney Terminal. The first time I visited this town was almost 10 years ago. We passed by Allen when we were on our way to Sorsogon. The town was already sleeping when we reached the area so I didn’t have the chance to see Allen. However, on this instance, I decided I’d spend the night here, instead of Lavezares, while I wait for my friends’ arrival the next day as we travel to Biri Island.
Allen Jeepney Terminal
I asked a local how much is the fare for a “depadyak” or a ‘rickshaw’ bike before getting on one. She mentioned that short distances would range from P5-7 but a trip to Dapdap where lodging houses and resorts are found would cost me P15 or more. Once I had that information, I decided to look for my ride. After agreeing the fare I need to pay the driver, I asked him to bring me to an affordable guesthouse or lodging house. He first brought me to Pahayahayan Hotel, which was inside the Allen Ferry Terminal compound, as it was a stone’s throw away from the center of the town. Their room rates start at P250 for a single fan room good for 12 hours. I thought that it was too expensive so I asked the depadyak driver to bring me to a different inn.
We went to a boarding house within the town proper. After seeing the P100/night room, I couldn’t wait to leave the place. I had goose bumps when I saw the room. I think I might have a hard time breathing there if I decided to stay there.
Paradise Inn and Mirasol Inn
I asked the depadyak driver to bring me to the inns in Dapdap instead. We passed by the Paradise Inn where fan rooms start at P350 for single occupancy good for 12 hrs. Just across the road is Mirasol Inn and after learning that their single rooms cost P150/night, I decided to end my search and rented a room for the night there.
my P150.00 room at Mirasol Inn, Allen, Northern Samar
The room looked harmless at first. There’s a bed good for two. A wall separates the bathroom with a curtain serving as its door. But when I settled my things, I realized that I might have to stay awake all night because I didn’t feel secure inside the room. The room’s door is made from plastic, those that are normally used as bathroom doors. There’s no double lock and I kinda feel that anytime, someone might break in from the windows. There was no electric outlet inside the room except for one that’s used to power the wall fan. That’s the room I got for being stingy. The Mirasol Inn have larger rooms though and better looking (I think) than what I rented.
I stepped out of the inn and walked to the town center to buy some groceries and food. I had to hurry going back to the inn to make sure my stuff are still in there. By night time, I decided to do a movie marathon of the Studio Ghibli Collection, which showcased the works of Hayao Miyazaki, to stop myself from dozing off. My paranoia attacked me that evening. I tried hard not to fall asleep. By 3am, there was a power outage and the rain started to pour so hard. In less than 5 minutes, the electricity came back but the rain didn’t stop. I finally gave in to slumber as I needed to get some shut-eye 2 hours before sunrise because my sinusitis decided to show up after confining myself in that tacky room. With that heavy downpour, I didn’t think no one would attempt to break in my room anymore. But just in case, I let my laptop play a movie to pretend that I was still awake. hehehe
When I woke up 3 hours after, I still had all of my stuff with me. I started packing my things. My friend Jerome, who was supposed to join us on our trip to Biri, sent me a text message saying he arrived late at the NAIA airport due to the bad weather and declared that he won’t join us on our adventure to Biri anymore. Christian, on the other hand, was scheduled to arrive in Allen from Tacloban by nightfall. I didn’t want to travel ahead to Biri so I decided I’d wait for Christian and we’ll leave at the break of dawn the next day instead.
I decided to visit Paradise Inn, which was just across Mirasol Inn to check their rooms. We’ll be spending one more night in Allen before we travel to Biri Island so I decided to find a more decent room. When I stepped outside my room, I discovered that huge trucks occupied the vacant parking space of the inn. I suddenly realized that that inn serves as a stop over place for truck drivers to rest and sleep before continuing their journey to neighboring towns.
The landlady at Paradise Inn greeted me when I entered their premises. I learned that their fan room rates start at P350 for 2 heads good for 12 hours. The rooms were bigger. They had twin bamboo beds which can fit a party of 4. Since my friend won’t be arriving till late afternoon, I decided to go back to Pahayahayan Hotel and check out their room rates for two persons but I ate brunch first at their restaurant on the ground floor.
Pahayahayan Hotel is conveniently located a few meters from the town center. It’s the ideal place to stay for travellers passing through Allen. When I learned that they only charge P300 for their fan rooms, which is good for 2 persons for 12 hours, I immediately asked them to show me the room. The P300 room was small but it was decent enough compared to the other inns I visited. I immediately reserved a room with double decked beds and told them I’d check in at 5pm.
The staff at Pahayahayan Hotel were very courteous, warm and friendly. Kuya Albert was the one who assisted me and he even agreed to let me leave my backpack that morning while I explored the beaches of Allen in Northern Samar.
Things to Know About Allen and Where to Find Cheap and Affordable Accommodations in Allen, Northern Samar
– If you are travelling by boat from Cebu to Calbayog, you will approximately reach Allen on or before 9am. You can directly ride a jeepney or tricycle to get to Lavezares (15-20 minutes travel time) and find a boat going to Biri. It is best to travel to Biri before lunch time since the waves get rough in the afternoon.
– Most of the lodging houses or inns in Allen have a standard rate good for a 12 hours stay. You have to pay more if you want to rent a room for 24 hrs.
– Some of the inns in Allen are used as a stop over point for drivers who needed to rest for the night before continuing on their journey to neighboring towns within Visayas and Mindanao.
– The town of Allen in Northern Samar is the entry point of those travellers coming from Matnog, Sorsogon, which is the southern tip of Luzon.
– There are 2 ferry terminals in Allen – one is the Sta. Clara Ferry Terminal in Dapdap and the other one is the Allen Ferry Terminal, which is approximately 2 kilometers away from Dapdap.
– When I told the landlady at Paradise Café that I feared for my safety when I spent the night at Mirasol Inn, she told me that a couple of nights ago, one of the guests at Mirasol got robbed inside his room. He was badly beaten and lost 800k. I think he was a sales distributor and those were his collections from different establishments in that area (but I’m not too sure). I was thankful nothing bad happened to me on my stay there.
– There are beach resorts in Dapdap and in Buenos Aires (not Argentina), a few kilometers away from the town center of Allen, where you can stay for the night too.
– When you decide to look for affordable places to stay in Allen before you travel to Biri Island, make sure you don’t compromise your safety and security for a lousy few pesos. Check the security of the inns and be cautious all the time.
– Conversion rate: $1 = ~P42.00
80.00 – Calbayog to Allen (2 hrs travel by jeepney)
150.00 – overnight stay at Mirasol Inn
150.00 – 12 hrs stay at Pahayahayan Hotel (P300 room rate shared with Christian)
140.00 – de padyak for 2 days (paid fares ranging from P5 up to P50)
213.00 – Food for 2 days (lunch – 37, snacks – 27, dinner – 65, brunch – 60, dinner – 24)
632.50 – Miscellaneous (Gobe & Smart load, Smart sim card, groceries, electrical outlet, Neozep)
1365.50 – TOTAL Expenses for my 2-days stay in Allen, Samar
This post is part of my Biri Island Adventure series.
For more information on the previous posts, please refer to the links below:
Majestic Rock Formations: The Hidden Gems of Biri Island
Biri Island Series: En Route Cebu to Calbayog
Biri Island Series: Looking For Affordable Places to Stay in Allen? <— you are here now 😉
Biri Island Series: Side Trip to Spice of Life Beach in Allen
Biri Island Series: Waking Up Biri Early Morning
Biri Island Series: Biri Rock Formations Tour Activate!
Biri Island Series: The Hills are Alive in Magaspad
Witnessing the Sunset at Magasang in Biri Island
Waiting for Sunrise at the Bel-at Rock Formation in Biri
On Being Stranded at the Caranas Rock Formation
Learning How To Drown in the Natural Pools of Biri Island