Category Archives: Samar

Snapshots: Remembering Tacloban City, Palo & Basey

9 days after Yolanda ravaged several provinces in the Philippines, I still find  myself crying while watching the news. It’s been 10 days of heartbreak.

The whole world knows how Philippine provinces, particularly Samar and Leyte, have been left with extreme devastation. There have been a lot of local and foreign aid now and slowly, the victims of Yolanda are starting to pick themselves up and dust themselves off to rebuild their lives.

Tacloban City and Palo in Leyte and Basey in Samar are among the places that have been severely affected. These are places we went to last year and it’s hard to imagine that they are now in shambles.

It was a quick weekend trip, a particularly memorable one because I felt sick after and thought I was only tired from the trip but later learned it was due to anemia.

We explored Tacloban City by foot and only rode the jeepney when we were headed to the coliseum, airport and the neighboring towns of Palo and Basey. I met an old man working at the park where the MacArthur’s Memorial Landing stands and I was able to have a chat with him. We met a couple of kids in Basey who accompanied us while we were stranded at the church. They sang and danced to entertain us while we were waiting for the rain to stop.

Tacloban City

San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge

Sto. Nino Shrine

the chapel inside the Sto. Nino Shrine in Tacloban City

Sto Nino Shrine

inside the Romualdez Museum

Sto Nino Shrine

Sto. Nino Shrine or the Romualdez Museum

Tacloban City

the port at the downtown area behind McDonald’s

Downtown Tacloban

downtown area

Gaisano in downtown Tacloban

Gaisano in downtown Tacloban

University of the Philippines Tacloban

UP Tacloban

UP Tacloban

UP Tacloban Oblation

Tacloban City

Magsaysay Blvd.

Tacloban City Family Park

The Family Park along Magsaysay Blvd

Tacloban City

Family Park in Tacloban City

Sto Nino Church

the Sto. Nino Church

Sto. Nino Church

the altar of Sto. Nino Church

Capitol Building in Tacloban City

Capitol Building

Tacloban City

Tacloban City Hall

Tacloban City

Freedom statue at the park across the capitol building

Tacloban City

Madonna of Japan

Tacloban had a lot of trees. The UP Tacloban campus was a bird sanctuary and had a butterfly garden. It’s sad that all those trees are gone. Gone within 5 hours.

Palo, Leyte

MacArthur's Memorial Landing

MacArthur’s Memorial Landing in Palo, Leyte

MacArthur Park in Palo, Leyte

the old man I interviewed at the park

MacArthur Park

lots of families go on a picnic at the park.. some police people were having their training too

MacArthur Park

kids playing at the park

Basey, Samar

Basey Church

Basey Church in Samar

Basey, Samar

the kids who stayed with us at the church while we were stranded

Basey, Samar Basey, Samar Basey, SamarBasey, Samar

I wonder how the Basey Church look like now. I hope the kids and the old man survived.

These places are in shambles now but I want to remember them as how they were before Yolanda…and how they will be in the future… maybe and I hope, better than how they were.

San Juanico Bridge | Tacloban, Leyte

I learned about San Juanico Bridge as the longest bridge in the Philippines when I was in elementary school . Who wouldn’t be glad to have seen and touched this bridge that I only used to read about in my elementary school books? I am as well proud that I have walked its length. When I learned that the bridge is only 2.16 kilometers in length, there was no doubt I and my husband were walking it. Linking the two provinces of Samar and Leyte, the bridge appears very long in photos but can actually be walked in 45 minutes.

It took us around 10 minutes to reach this start of the bridge from the new bus terminal. San Juanico Bridge is also known as Marcos Bridge as this is said to have been built as a testimony of love of Ferdinand Marcos for his wife Imelda.

We walked the bridge for 55 minutes, pausing many times to take photos, take in the view, marvel at the numerous whirlpools dancing under the bridge and watch the fishermen skillfully navigate the waters. There are a number of islets that can be seen in the San Juanico Strait and we even saw a religious image in one of the islets. Bigger boats also ply this waterway aside from the small bancas the fishermen use.

L for Leyte & S for Samar

Shakes can be felt when huge vehicles pass the bridge but walking is quite safe since the sidewalk is wide enough for two people.


How we got here:

Outside the gate of the airport, we took a jeepney with a Downtown Derecho sign to go to the downtown area. We got off at McDonald’s in the port area and took a multicab behind McDo going to the new bus terminal. At the bus terminal, there are jeepneys going to Basey, Samar. They are parked behind a building on the right side. Just ask the guards where the jeepneys to Basey are.

Jeepney Fare from the airport : ₱15 each
MultiCab to the Bus Terminal : ₱8 each
Jeepney to San Juanico Bridge : ₱15 each

The jeepney we took looked really old but it was the most comfortable jeepney ride ever! The front seat was higher than usual and had a lot of leg space. It was like sitting on a high chair while traveling hehehe. :D The first town on the Samar side is Sta. Rita where buses and jeepneys can be taken going back to Tacloban.

Don’t forget your umbrellas if you plan to walk the bridge. I think it is nicer to walk late in the afternoon and wait for the sunset. ;)

Happy Travels! :D

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