Samar boatmen TORPEDO receive new motorboat engines from Tourism Promotions Board.
Samar is a hidden gem for adventure seekers with some of the best-underrated attractions. One of the activities we recently experienced in Samar was an exhilarating river ride in Ulot River.
Located in the town of Paranas, Ulot River stretches for 90 kilometers, from San Jose de Buan in Western Samar to Can-avid in Eastern Samar.
One of the best ways to experience Ulot River is by riding its rapids through the Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure managed by the Tour Guides & Boat Operators for River Protection & Environmental Development Organization (TORPEDO). The boats used by the organization are called “torpedo boats,” which can cut through the rapids at up to 160 kilometers per hour.
Each torpedo boat can hold up to five passengers, guided by boatmen on both ends of the boat. The scenic and thrilling ride run for 10 kilometers through narrow inlets. At the end of the boat adventure, visitors can swim in the river or jump off of small waterfalls for a more exciting experience.
TORPEDO is a people’s organization based in Samar that manages and facilitates community- and eco-tourism sites and attractions. Most of the members of TORPEDO were former illegal loggers that used to transport the logs along Ulot River. TORPEDO was established with the help of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources back in 2007 to run the boat adventure along Ulot River. The organization has also received national praise from the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines in the 2018 DOT Pearl Award for Best Tourism Practices.
Last December 17, 2022, Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure members received an early Christmas present from the Tourism Promotions Board. Ten motorboat engines were given to the tour providers.
According to TORPEDO President Eugene Igdameo, the new motorboat engines provided a new sense of hope to its members by helping their recovery from the stifling pandemic restrictions that resulted in zero earnings.
TPB Head for the Domestic Promotions Board, Cesar Villanueva, recollected their first visit to the town in 2020 when they saw the situation of the community-based tour providers. More than half of the boats used in the boat adventure were rented from local boat owners, and 60 percent of the organization’s income goes to the boat owners. To help the community, TPB decided to donate boat engines.
“There was a bit of delay in the turnover because of the procurement process, but now the engine is here; I hope you will use this properly,”
Paranas Mayor Eunice Babalcon, Department of Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, and Samar Tourism Officer Marvin Pecson, representing Governor Sharee Ann Tan, witnessed the turnover of the motorboat engines, which were then received by TORPEDO President Eugene Igdameo.
How to get to Ulot River
Ride a van headed to Catbalogan from downtown Tacloban and get off at Buray Junction. From the junction, take a tricycle to the Ulot River Jump-off Point along the Paranas-Taft Road. The travel time from downtown Tacloban to the Ulot River Jump-off Point is around 2 to 2.5 hours, and the fare is around P500.
Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure
Location: 37 Taft – Paranas Road, Paranas, Samar
Rates: P2,325 for 5pax
Contact: 0956 887 7710