04-Nov-2005 -- We have been studying this confluence for two years since we started confluence hunting. 12N 125E is at the middle of Samar Island. It is only about 130 km from Matobato, Calbayog City, the hometown of my wife, Santah. We plan to live here when I retire from my office work in Manila in 2007 so we built a house here, bought a farm land and run two fishing boats. 12N 125E has been very tempting but all my studies show that it is a difficult one since it is in mountainous terrain, probably uninhabited and located about 4 kilometers from the nearest road.
Today, We made the attempt or at least explored the possibilities. We invited the cousin of Santah, Rudy Gonzaga, who, with the nature of his works in Department of Agrarian Reform, has visited several inner barangays of Samar including the area of Lawaan, Calapi and Hinica-an. These small sitios of Motiong are along the 20-km limestone road from the main concreted highway to Eastern Samar to the dead-end old town of San Jose de Buan.
We left Matobato, Calbayog City at 6:15 AM and reached the area about 11:00 AM. We were delayed because we decided to stop & help a car whose right wheels fall of the concreted road and got stucked in the mud somewhere few kilometers from Catbalogan, our breakfast stop town.
It was a relatively easy drive because I was using a new four-wheel Toyota Hilux pickup inspite of badly damaged roads and the limestone road to Hinica-an. We have noticed army checkpoints in these small barangays, one of which searched my pick-up and I was told by Rudy that the area is infested with the New People's Army and one of these barangay has been burned down about 10 years ago at the height of the rebel conflict.
We reached Hinica-an and the GPS points about 4.2 km to the confluence. A little further is a smaller barangay of Paranas, where the distance is about 3.5 km. Pointing to the grassy hills, we asked a farmer if the area has people and he said yes but looking at the area we can hardly guess it was so. Besides, we do not see any signs of trails to the area. It will be mountaineer climb and we are not ready for it. We decided to forego the climb.
Maybe, someday when I am retired and has all the time in the world, we will make the attempt. With right preparation, it can only be a whole day affair.