Samar town transforms from NPA stronghold to cold spring resort attraction

Once a communist hotbed, the town of Matuguinao in Samar province has developed its cold springs into resorts aimed at drawing tourists.

According to town Mayor Aran Boller, the local government unit has invested PHP5 million on the initial construction of two spring resorts. “We develop this to become an income-generating project for the local government. We hope this could bring economic development, help promote the town’s tourism potential, and erase the negative image of the town tainted by armed conflict,” Boller said.

The two spring resorts are Maslog Cold Spring, located on the Gandara-Matuguinao Road, and Matugnao Cold Spring, located near the town center.

The entry fee is just PHP25, and the facility is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Matuguinao was formerly a geographically remote and disadvantaged location that could only be reached by a six-hour boat trip. However, with the completion of the road network financed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in 2017, the town is now just a 45-minute drive away.

According to Boller, the local government will also also construct bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as multi-purpose facilities for meetings, cottages, and kiosks.

Aside from the cold springs, the town has waterfalls and caves for visitors to explore.

Matuguinao is a fifth-class town in Samar province with a population of 7,288 inhabitants. Tacloban City, the regional capital, is 105 kilometers away.

Photo credit: Philippine News Agency