OPEN TO TOURISTS. The Canhugas Nature Park in Hernani, Eastern Samar. The destination is now open to local tourists after six months of closure due to the health crisis. (Photo courtesy of Canhugas Nature Park)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Canhugas Nature Park in Hernani town, Eastern Samar has reopened to local tourists this week after six months of closure due to the health crisis.

The local government strictly follows the directive from the governor to open the destinations only for residents of the province.

This is in compliance with Executive Order No. 68, series of 2020, or the general health and safety guidelines governing the operation of tourism sites, activities, and accommodation establishments under the new normal in Hernani.

“Local tourist who would like to visit the site will have to do pre-registration, a policy for the enforcement of the 50 percent carrying capacity,” the local government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The documents tourists need to comply with when going to Canhugas include confirmed bookings from the local tourism office, health declaration form that can be downloaded at https://forms.gle/GhghAgP9ZDLfQpUu7, village certification that allows the tourist to travel, municipal health certificate, and mayor’s travel pass for a non-resident of Hernani.

An Eastern Samar resident who wanted to visit Canhugas is encouraged to send a message or call the local tourism office for assistance at 0915-616-1935 or send a message at their e-mail address canhugasnaturepark2017@gmail.com and hernanitourism@gmail.com.

Payment upon booking is also not required but tourists are encouraged to be on-site before noon to avoid cancellation of their bookings.

The management also implements the no face mask, no entry policy. Only guests who are 22 to 59 years old are allowed to explore the site.

Canhugas Nature Park opens from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Overnight stay is still prohibited. The entrance fee is PHP10 for Hernani resident, PHP20 for non-resident, and PHP50 for foreigners.

Considered as one of the top tourist destinations in Eastern Samar province, the nature park is located in the town center, just a few meters away from the national highway.

Canhugas was derived from the local term “hugas” (wash) is a place where fishermen used to wash their catch.

The tourist destination had become popular with tourists for its gigantic waves that crash onto the large rock formation.

Its breathtaking scenery of big waves attacking the Bato-Bato Peak facing the Pacific Ocean makes it picture-perfect. Another attraction is the Canhugas mini-falls with overflowing waters from the big ocean waves.

Visitors may also do snorkeling and swimming in small lagoons inside Canhugas.

Aside from Canhugas, the local government also opens other tourist destinations like the Panglaw Beach and Surfing Camp, Guinduyanan Cove, and Tunog Beach, Atang Beach, and Pook Beach, Bura Beach, and Bangon Falls. (PNA)