Torpedo Boats of Samar, Philippines

A friend of mine recently asked me if I would be interested in getting together for a planned day trip to Paranas, Samar for a day-long wild boat ride up and down the Ulot River where you can put your courage through the test altogether while enjoying the beautiful deep jungle flora. You will also observe the curtain waterfalls along the way and maybe do some boulder jumping and swimming in the jungle’s deep clear water holes. When you live in such a paradise, and in one of the most bio-diverse areas of the planet, one must take advantage of all there is to do. Then I thought it would be great to write about this adventure afterwards until I came upon the attached article (somebody already did). The organized trip take groups of 5 up and down the Ulot River Watershed in 21′ Torpedo Boats specifically designed to handle the rough rapids and rocks and operated by experienced river boatmen. “Torpedo” is actually an acronym for Tenani Boat Operators for River Protection and Environmental Development Organization and is described in more detail in the attached article from the Manila Online News Service. Read the article and see more photos at:

Take a ride on the wild side of Samar!

Taking a swim break along the way
Taking a swim break along the way

So, if you are up for one of the most bio-diverse eco-tourism adventures anywhere, come visit Paranas, Samar. Make a day of it. We will!


12 thoughts on “Torpedo Boats of Samar, Philippines

  1. It actually does look and sound like fun. I might be too out of shape to enjoy it too much, but I actually do not do too bad for a big guy, if it’s something I’m enjoying. I’m sure it costs money to go though and we always seem to be short on that these days and I’m just starting to pay back the people that loaned us money for when we got stuck in Okinawa. I’ll shoot for being ready to go when Kevin gets here. I for sure need to get out more.

  2. Not sure Mark about any height or age requirements but here is a number for a tour operator that you can call: 09286095500. Or you can call Joni Bonafacio at Trexplore in Catbalogan: Tel: Bayan Tell :055-2512301 Globe: 5438550 Cell: (Smart) 0919-2943865.

  3. Hi Randy
    Did this trip a little while ago. Its an easy 2 hour drive from Catbalogan.. Turn off at Paranas taking the road towards Barongon. Its easy to find as you just report to the Samar Island Natural Park office, its all very well signposted .P1850 per boat good for 5 .We were 9 so had 2 boats plus there were a couple from Tacloban on a romantic break making that only 3 boats on the river.
    60 mins downstream skimming past rocks and through rapids. There is about 1 hour break at Deni point.We did some white water swimming and had our picnic.The wife having brought enough food to feed our group plus 6 boatmen and the Tacloban party. I never can figure how she knows such things in advance.
    90 mins upstream lots of splashing and shouting.Its a great day out.
    All safety equipment is provided and is in good condition. The guides /boatmen are experts trained in first aid and white water rescue. All the staff are polite efficient and really do want you to have fun even diving into the rapids to show how its done.
    The real treat of the whole trip was for me was the Samar Island Natural park itself. It is unbelievably beautiful. The trees are so tall so old.
    There are no height or weight restrictions you don’t have to be in great shape.No pre-booking is necessary just turn up and go.
    We went on a Wednesday and it was quiet not so sure what it would be like on the weekend.

  4. Great info and summary Corjo. My only concern is going now while school is out. Did you go just recently or back when school was still in?

  5. Hi Randy
    Yes its just this Summer. I have one studying at S.S.U. and another at St Mary’s. As this is the first year S.S.U. did not have a summer term we took a vacation in Oslob and Cebu city the sharks zip lines and Tumalig falls gave the girls a taste for adventure and as we had some time when we got back to Catbalogan we looked for something local.
    Having seen your article here and the one by Gerry Ruis we decided to give it a try.
    I believe that the kids are going back to school on June 1st ,that will eliminate the chance of being overrun by school kids
    Unfortunately Php 1850 for a day out is unaffordable for most in the area so most of the riders will always be Foreign tourists or young professionals on an adventure break. The verdicts on the trip,my eldest 20yo “We should go again as soon as possible” the youngest 15yo “It was better than the whale sharks on about the same level as zip lining”.My wife found it exhilarating but a little dangerous. It is a great fun day out but it is a real river with real rapids through real jungle.
    Our expenses for the day Php 3000 food for 15. Php 1000 fuel and Php 3700 for 2 boats .I think that is less than $150 for 9 people great value.

  6. It sounds like I’d better pack up the car and head down that way. Is there a safe place to park our car? That would be my only concern.

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