TACLOBAN City is the gateway to all the splendid things Eastern Visayas has to offer. Although it was devastated to an irreparable extent during the catastrophic Typhoon Yolanda, the city seems to be coping just fine. Scars of the wounds they sustain from their battles throughout time still remains but other than that, everything feels and looks normal. The town’s people were as lively as ever and traces of that dreadful day Yolanda came to shatter every life in the city were no longer evident in their faces. Instead, there were smiles and genuine bliss painted all over where tears and pain should have been. If us Filipinos are known for our tenacity and resiliency then the people of Tacloban definitely embody those redeeming qualities at best.
There is pretty much nothing to see within Tacloban to be honest but what little it can offer can already fill the eyes with so much wonder. Allow me to share with you the top 3 spots you should see during your visit.
THE MACARTHUR LANDING NATIONAL MEMORIAL PARK
There would probably be no other event in our history more familiar to us Filipinos than MacArthur’s heroic return to The Philippines. After initially fleeing out of the country to avoid capture of the Japanese back in World War II, his iconic return to The Philippines fulfilled his promise of coming back and bringing salvation to our forsaken land. Quoting “I shall return” to the galliant Filipino soldiers who were resolved in sacrificing their lives as MacArthur along with the other high ranking officials of our government desparately fled to safety is too cliche but is definitely one of the well-loved chapters in our history books. Nowadays, the historic event of MacArthur’s return is perfectly showcased in the bay area of Tacloban. It’s basically the very landmark akin to the province of Leyte.
STO. NIÑO SHRINE
Few people know that the former First Lady Imelda Marcos hailed from the province of Leyte. Love her, hate her. There is no denying her influence and affluence which most people like to believe came from our nation’s wealth are still well upheld up to these times. The former First Lady was known for her extravagance. Some people say that most of her projects during their more than two decades in power were mainly for prestige. One of the many projects of the former First Lady outside of Manila is the Sto. Niño Shrine in Tacloban City. It houses a great collection of art pieces from different parts of The Philippines. Its main purpose is to showcase the culture of each of the provinces as well as the abundant resources found in each one of them. It also displays the grandeur of the Marcos Family during their reign in Malacañang.
SAN JUANICO BRIDGE
Out of the many projects of the Marcos Regime deemed unnecessary but which turned out to be useful nowadays is the San Juanico Bridge. The bridge connects the provinces of Samar and Leyte. It offers stunning views of the surrounding seascape and islets dotting the Samar Strait. Another thing that made it valuable to the people of both provinces is that it made trade easier and transportation more efficient not just for the two provinces but for the other nearby provinces as well.
TIPS ON HOW TO TOUR THE CITY
- From the airport, you can just hire a tricycle to tour you within Tacloban City. Price is P300-P500/tric good for 3pax.
- Another option coming from the airport which is more favorable for those traveling alone is to ride a jeepney to the city center. From there, you can take public transpo to get to each spot.
There may be other sites you can visit in Tacloban but these three caught my attention the most. Remember, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s always the journey. If you need a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip to Leyte, chck out my 5-Day Leyte-Biliran Adventure post. Until next time folks. See yah!.