Waiting for Sunrise at the Bel-at Rock Formation in Biri


The sound from my alarm clock started to get annoying. I wanted to throw my phone out of the window so that I could continue sleeping but I immediately gathered my thoughts and tried hard to remember why I set the alarm in the first place. It was still 4:30 am and the entire population of Biri Island was still fast asleep except for 2 individuals (i think) – Christian and our guide –  who were both preparing for our dawn trip back to the rock formations. We agreed to wake up early so that we could take photos of the sunrise at the rock formations in Biri Island.

Because the Biri Island shuts down its power supply from 12 midnight till 12 noon, the small town was still covered in darkness the moment we started heading for the rock formation.

Kuya Jun, our driver and tour guide, said that it’s best to witness the sunrise at the Bel-at Rock Formation. After 5 minutes or so, we found ourselves walking the dark walkway bridge that’s supposed to bring us to the rocky side of the island.

dawn walk going to bel-atwalking in the dark

It was really hard to see where we were going. Since I could not see the bridge, I was too careful not to slip my feet in between the gaps of the wooden bridge. Then after passing through the long walkway, the bridge ended and we had to climb down an unfinished flight of stairs to reach the ground. We continued our walk passing in between mangroves. We also had to cross a few boulders that blocked our path to get through the other side.

Kuya Jun carefully instructed us on where to pass through as we might end up slipping in the huge natural pool that covers most of the area of the Bel-at Rock Formation.

When we finally reached the rock formation in Bel-at, we had to wait for a few more minutes since the sun was still trying to wake up from its sleep.

sunrise at Caranas Rock Formation

It was still dark and we patiently waited for the skies to change its hues.

sunrise in biri island samarphoto credit: Christian of www.lakadpilipinas.com

I was still adjusting to the camera that I was using. My camera stopped working when it got wet after witnessing the sunset at Magasang the day before. It was a good thing that Christian was so kind enough to lend me his camera for our adventure on this day. I just had to do a crash course in learning how to use his Canon D10 and Sony NEX-5N.

sunrise in Samar

While waiting for the sun to rise, we also took photos of the nearby formations on the other side of Bel-at. There were 4 rock formations to our left and we already explored the farthest two the day before. Later that day, we’d be exploring the two rock formations nearer to Bel-at. But for the time being, we just waited for the sunrise so that we could take photos of the place.

sunrise at Makadlaoour motorcycle driver/tour guide patiently waiting for us

Getting a view of the magnificent sunrise in Biri Island was a challenge since the skies were still looming with dark clouds, an indication of a not-so-good weather ahead of us that day.

Sunrise over at Caranas in Biri Island

Then suddenly, the sun’s rays started to light up the skies, flooding the entire area with its blinding light.

sunrise at Biri Island in Samar

The rock formations beneath us slowly started to have a life of its own. One by one, we slowly saw their true form as the sun glimmered its rays, revealing their unique shapes and texture.

sunrise at Biri Island Samar

If you look closely on certain angles and if you are curious to look for them, the sunrise causes the rock formations to reveal different shades – brown, green and even red.

biri rock formations during sunrise

Seeing the rock formations display different hues was really something. The sight was so beautiful.

rock formation in biri island samar

While taking photos of the sunrise and the rock formations that surrounded us, I also took the opportunity to ask Christian to give me some pointers on how to capture wonderful photos. Since he is so talented in capturing images, I asked him how he’d take photos of a certain scenery and I compared it with my shots. He happily obliged. I am just happy and contented that this humble fellow took his time in giving me some tips so that I could also improve my photography skills.

Puhunan Rock Formation

Although I was still adjusting on how to put into practice the short lesson we had as well as how to handle the camera that I was using, I am just thankful that I was given the chance to tag along Christian’s adventure and got first-hand lessons from one of my idols in the field of photography! 🙂

Bel-at Rock Formation in Biri

By the time the sun was fully beneath us, Christian explored the nearby rock formation, Puhunan, to capture more photos.

panoramic view of the Bel-at Rock Formation in Biri Islandplease click photo for a larger image of the Panoramic view of the Bel-at Rock Formation

While waiting, I happily clicked my camera’s shutter button and took photos of anything that fancied my eyes.

wishing I was really that tall

Puhunan Rock Formation in Birithe Puhunan Rock Formation from a distance

When we were done taking photos after the sunrise, we all agreed that it was time to go. We still needed to go back to town to have breakfast for the long day ahead as we need to explore the remaining 4 rock formations in Biri Island.

shadowsour shadows – Kuya Jun, Christian and I

natural pool at bel-atnatural pools of Bel-at

By the time we started heading back to the bridge, we finally saw the huge natural pools of Bel-at. We were supposed to go night swimming in there the night before and I was happy we didn’t push through as I thought it would be scary to swim in there in the dark.

wooden bridge in biri island

We finally saw the bridge that we passed by at the break of dawn, this time seeing with our open eyes what it looked like. It was a long wooden bridge that makes it convenient for tourists and locals to reach the rock formations at Bel-at.

biri island wooden bridge in bel-at

The bridge was still not finished. Without the bridge, it would be very difficult to reach the rock formation in Bel-at since one has to wade the waters of the mangrove area that covers the entire surrounding.

bel-at bridge

Although it kinda destroys the natural beauty of the place around the Bel-at Rock Formation, I’m also thankful that the bridge was constructed there. Otherwise, it would have taken us forever to reach that place in time for the sunrise.

wooden bridge at the bel-at rock formation

For more sunrise photos at the rock formations in Biri Island, please click here.

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?
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    <— you are here now 😉
On Being Stranded at the Caranas Rock Formation
Learning How To Drown in the Natural Pools of Biri Island



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