Samar Backpacking Adventures: The Mangroves of San Andres, Villareal

I have always been in love with mangroves, despite the fact that for many they look pretty boring, tend to clutter up white beaches and and annoy swimmers. If I find out that a place I visit has mangrove parks, going there becomes a priority. Maybe because as a child I passed by mangroves along the coast whenever I came to Manila, and they do evoke in me memories of beautiful days gone by. Of mangroves’ ecological and economic importance I will not list here: they should be known to everyone. The Philippines has actually one of the richest diversity of coastal plants in the world, as 46 of the world’s 70 mangrove species can be found here.


The pristine coast of San Andres, Villareal, Samar


The narrow walkway to the jetty


Such a wonderful early morning scene. I could hear birds squawking in the distance.



Anyway, on my client and I’s last day in Villareal, Samar last February, I asked our motorcycle driver to bring us to the jetty. I was surprised to see how pretty and tranquil it was under the early morning sun. What’s even more remarkable was the healthy state of mangroves all along the coast. Probably the small size of the local population and the geographical location has something to do with it, for their little barangay can only be reached by motorcycle and boat. It is almost like an utterly delightful sanctuary for mangroves and gives me hope that there are still many pristine places like this in the country.

Kudos to the people of San Andres, Villareal, Samar for taking care of their mangroves!


The road to the jetty is surrounded by thick mangroves.

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