Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Salcedo's Locsoon Cave and Jagnaya Beach

At the quiet town of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, they have a well-kept secret, that even the residents of nearby towns (including our tricycle driver), doesn't know about it. I guess this post will be one of the very few accounts of this relatively unknown place on the world wide web.

The secret I'm referring to is the natural saltwater pool along Jagnaya beach that extends inside Locsoon cave. On low tide like during our visit, it is more beautiful, as the clear water is more defined along the submerged rock's edges. 

I've been to the beautiful beaches of Hundred Islands, Boracay, Panglao and Coron, but this one is unique. Where else can you swim on seawater minus the splash of the waves and protected from harsh sunlight? Still, there are fishes that swim with you, and the seafloor has very fine white sand.

It may be devoid of urban comforts (restaurants, cottages, etc.), but its not crowded. At one time, we have the whole place to ourselves, except for a local teenage girl sharing the natural pool with the four of us. This is the good part when going to less known places with few tourists, so visitors can have more privacy.

This beach in the town of Salcedo is about 3 hours drive from Tacloban City, or 30 minutes north of Guiuan downtown. If coming from Tacloban, just turn left on a waiting shed that leads to barangay Jagnaya (pronounced "hagnaya"). After the cemented road on rolling hills, we entered a fenced private property on the beach side, and paid Php 5/person as access fee. 

Within the property, there are many collapsed portions of the land, where I suspect the presence of underground caves or sinkholes. The trek to the target site would only take about 10 minutes from the road.

We turned right and the sandy portion of the beach now has more pebbles, before turning into solid rock on the sea surface. The semi-submerged rocky terrain has some sharp portions carved by the waves and the tides, so wearing slippers or sandals is recommended. 

For a beach, this is unfamiliar territory and seems like stepping on moon's craters, so a few people may find it a bit scary. After encountering a few rock formations, we finally saw the cave's twin mouths, like a pair of large eyes watching the sea.

Only when we got closer that we saw the invitingly clear natural pool of water with swimming fishes. Even if there is no washroom nearby, we could not resist the temptation to dip ourselves in the water. So we immediately switched to our swimming attire, and secured our belongings from getting wet.

The water could have been clearer, if there are no swimmers that disturb the white sand on the seafloor, making the water turbid.

Aside from various fishes, we also saw a juvenile bluecrab hiding on the submerged rocky crevices. Egrets and white herons searched for fish and snails on the rocky beach, while red-necked finch birds hold on to the rock wall of the cliff. Other life forms we saw are corals, lots of starfishes, sea urchins, and mudskippers perfectly camouflaged on the marked photo below.

I walked away from the cave and natural pool, to get closer to the edge of Pacific Ocean. These waves produce "grinding" sounds, as their splashes echo on the cave's walls.

From afar, the two entrances of the cave look like two hollowed eyes. My wife told me that there are few garbage left by previous visitors inside the cave. Those few trash left by irresponsible visitors are the only downside of this place.

The big rock formation look like a mushroom from this spot. During high tide, it gets submerged by at least half a meter.

After about 2 hours of enjoying the place, we returned to Guiuan downtown. Our driver Allan Tan on the photo below charged us Php 600 for the tricycle rental to Jagnaya beach. His mobile number is +639474380855. 

I hope that the place don't get commercialized, and that visitors would have the discipline not to leave their trash on the area, to maintain its pristine state.

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  1. fantastic place !

  2. Have visited this place many times. Everytime, I see new Species washed Ashore
    by the waves in the evening. I thought of
    a longer stay if there were accommodation
    offered along the Beach. This could be
    an unforgettable vacation. Thanks Noel for


    1. If more tourists visit the place, transient rooms may be offered by the local community. Or you could just pitch a tent for now. Thanks for the visit.

  3. Locsoon made it through the typhoon ok, if a bit changed. The old church in Guiuan did not fare well, nor much of Guiuan itself. Over half of Jagnaya disappeared with many lives lost. Recovery is in the works now, but will take time.

  4. the lucsoon is very different after the yolanda,the stones are scattered,the pool was now deep.. but still it is a same lucsoon.. :)

  5. This Beach is now called Yolanda because the Beach Stone is covered with white Sand after the Supertyphoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
    The place is much more interesting because of wider , longer Beach and the big Coral Stones along the way are exposed after the strong Winds cut down the Trees. Google: Yolanda Beach, Salcedo, Eastern Samar Visit also Binabasalan Island