Showing posts with label leyte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leyte. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crossing the San Juanico Bridge (Leyte - Samar)

A beautiful sight to behold and an experience in itself. That’s how I could sum up the San Juanico Bridge when I got the chance to actually feel its power, charm, and travel along its almost 4 decades of significance in Philippine history.

the Leyte side of the bridge
islets below the bridge
trusses over the arch of the bridge (pic 1)
trusses (pic 2)

Construction started in August 1969
and was completed in December 1972

To actually see the longest bridge in the Philippines that connects Leyte (Tacloban City) and Samar (Sta. Rita) over a 2.162 km. span is this lone traveler's dream come true. I was feeling the whole experience. In addition to that, it must be that I have become more than curious over the story behind the bridge. Word has it that the San Juanico Bridge was Ferdinand Marcos’ gift for her wife Imelda Marcos, a native of Leyte, as a testimony of his love. Well, that's what love can do.

When I finally arrived in San Juanico, from a 10-peso jeepney ride from Tacloban downtown, I asked a military officer if I could actually take a walk over the bridge. He eagerly said anyone has all the time in the world to do so. It rang as kind of cool to me.

San Juanico Strait, the narrowest in the world (pic 1)
I thought walking over it would be easy, but it occurred to me as a rather daunting experience, especially that I was pacing against strong winds the San Juanico Strait brought that day and had to hold on to the beams due to vibrations and movements I could feel every time buses, jeepneys, and vans passed by. When I reached the middle of the bridge, I let out a sigh of relief, I have to say less panicky there were lesser winds at those altitudes. There I met Mr. Base, one of only two bridge sweepers who are employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Well, thanks to him, for allowing me to bother him for just a minute or two of chitchat. He’s been working there for almost 2 years now.

I should have crossed the bridge to the Samar side. But as I said, it was daunting taking a walk over the bridge against strong winds, besides being all alone. But I’m telling you this, I realize I missed getting a better perspective of the bridge that you could only get when you’re standing on Samar side (how could I forget the arch!). Well, that’s regret right there, but I'm already thinking of redoing the experience. Hmm.

Walking down from the middle of the bridge to its Leyte end would take you about 10 minutes.

grazing sheep beside the bridge
San Juanico Strait (pic 2)
San Juanico Strait (pic 3)
San Juanico Strait (pic 4)
San Juanico Strait (pic 5)
San Juanico Strait (pic 6)
forming an "L" which stands for Leyte
a picturesque view
that's an "S" which stands for Samar
Mr. Base, thanks!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I just don’t know what love really is. It is for me inexplicable and having a hard time in place (right here). Unsettling that is. I have been through a lot -- heartbreaks, tear jerking moments, seriously rough circumstances, even pitiful situations, name it, I’ve been there.

When I loved someone, I would subconsciously levitate myself reaching cloud 9 and become a freak trying to make special out of something ordinary. But all the while, I realized, things were falling apart I warped myself to sick atmosphere, and the reasons were either valid or just plain complicated that needed no logic. I think I’m just tired that I can love nobody right now. I’m growing sick weary, fatigued that I need to go to places that accommodate whatever is left of my content side. They say it’s not healthy when you’re uninspired. Probably they’re right, but I say in defense, they only know just one way and no other way.

My main thrust towards living now is family. That is where I draw happiness from. When things go in place through God’s help, that will be the time to fix my personal happiness, which has been pushed back since priorities became clearer.

Image: MacArthur Park, Palo, Leyte, Philippines

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bridges of Leyte

Leyte is home of not only that famed bridge called San Juanico Bridge, but of bridges whose number can be so easily noticed, recurring every 5 minutes of your time on a road trip. These bridges over rivers link cities and towns of this very mountainous province.

The last time, which was last year, I traveled by bus in Leyte. I made it a point to capture its bridges along the way. I have seen and often forgotten they exist for the many times I've visited the province maybe because land trips could be so tiring, and I mind too much gathering energy for the next stop. But it changed last year. I did capture about 20 bridges or anything close to that, I couldn't be too sure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Canigao Island: A Revisit

I have to post my 2009 summer experience in Canigao Island now before these photos become totally stale (I know, the long overdue is never forgivable!) . I already have 2 posts about the island, but I take the liberty to blog about it again, so you may know about it or to just keep you refreshed.

My early posts:
Canigao Island (Matalom, Leyte)

Lechon (roasted pig) should be enough for the day.

At the terminal. Where's Joemill? :)


Approaching. Views from afar.

Feeling the island!

So you wouldn't get lost, here's the map, but don't wander to the protected area. The lighthouse.

Everything that breathes the island life.

Way back home. Arrived safely. Soaking in the sun all day long was surely fun.

The sun set perfectly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Up to the Boondocks

The playfulness of the world is an adult's jealous longing to journey back to the old times. As he kisses goodbye to the carefree joys of untapped and uncorrupted world, he is met with nothing but the absolute reality of the world -- complicated and never pure and simple anymore.

As we trekked to the mountains, packed with a purpose, a growing realization of the world came to being. To ascend, to rise against the sad reality, it is but fitting to look around to see what's so often go unnoticed. We're thinking macro, disregarding the other way around. Besides, living in the fastlane often interferes with comprehension of the world.

Everything has an important role to play and deserves recognition. The rocky road we traversed, the muddy brown clay sticking to the soles of my sneakers, the simplicity of the farmer folks' livelihood, the greenness of it all, and everything that breathes life compounded my appreciation of the world. Nothing can be so trivial after all. The naivety brought me back to the timeline untapped, uncorrupted, and so pure and simple.

"It is hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world," says Lester Burnham from the movie American Beauty. There is so much hope out there. We just have to learn to find it.

Images: Matalom, Leyte, Philippines

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hollywood-themed Inn

Lao Tzu was right, that a good traveler has no fixed plans. I should have been embarrassing myself too much had I been lost during my trip to Ormoc City. Mr. Google proved handy as usual! Exercised my searching prowess and printed every possible map. But with nowhere to stay overnight? That's a different story. It was just one of those days when you're all dressed up but with no direction.

Upon leaving the port, I approached one of the guards and asked where to stay best and emphasized the nearest to downtown Ormoc and budget-friendly. He gave me two options, Don Felipe Hotel and TRN Travelers Inn. The latter rang perfectly in my ears, and so we headed to 32 Rizal St.

Everything turned out very well -- nice amenities, and did I have fun taking pictures of its Hollywood Wall Frames. And just because they noticed me doing it, I got a free invite to the MJM Grand Mini Bar and Music Lounge! What more could I ask for. Thanks!

I don't qualify myself as a traveler yet, I just got started.

TRN Travelers Inn is celebrating its first year anniversary this month of June. Happy first anniversary!


Hollywood Wall Frames

MJM Grand Mini Bar and Music Lounge

Cozy Coffee Shop

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ormoc City After 18 Years

"Good morning, Ormoc!" were the words I caught myself saying the moment I realized that we had truly arrived. It's nice to be back, at last, after eighteen long years.

It was raining a bit on a Saturday, the 23rd of May, which happened to be my brother's 16th birthday. Walking distance from the port is the TRN Travelers Inn, where we stayed. Rested the whole morning and got back to business in the afternoon to see the new Ormoc. Adventure time!

My family lived in the city when I was only two years old until after more than five years. How Ormoc has changed so much! Though I have only a few recollections of the old city, I could tell obvious differences. From the emergence of a number of colleges, malls, banks, popular fast food chains to the Superdome, its progress is something Ormocanons should be proud of.

It was only a two-day visit, but I will be back -- perhaps, nature tripping by that time.

Flashback: The flash flood tragedy in 1991 which killed thousands of people was one of the worst natural disasters that struck the country. It became an international news story and served a lesson that abuse of Mother Nature will have to take its toll. She can castigate and she will. Ormoc's flood mitigation project is an excellent structure addressing the threat of flooding. I can only guess that the city is virtually free of illegal logging activities. Ormoc cannot let the same thing to happen again.

The places I had visited:

Ormoc City Superdome
Ormoc City Hall
Ormoc Catholic Church: Sts. Peter and Paul Parish
Eastern Visayas State University
St. Paul's School of Ormoc Foundation Inc.
St. Peter's College
Fiesta sa Ormoc
Centennial Park
Veterans Park
The Project for Flood Mitigation in Ormoc City
Don Felipe Hotel
Ormoc Bay
Ormoc Executive Building
Gaisano Ormoc

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Canigao Island

Though a paradise per se, Canigao Island places itself as relatively unknown. It is not short of innumerable surprises and has all the right reasons to boast about. From its pearly white sand, pristine waters, thriving species, to its friendly location, anything is possible. You can go from snorkeling, kayaking, overnight camping, to walking around this uninhabited, pint-sized island. It's simply your kind of virgin island adventure.

The island is under the control of the municipality of Matalom, a small town in the province of Leyte, Philippines. It is said to be developed by interested investors. But for the record, Matalom government shrugs off any parties' interest, as it fears its townspeople might be shut out to the island, because of a pricey price they would have to pay should things materialize, considering Matalom as a 4th class municipality. I am not too keen about their reason, which for me is unfair and downright childish. I suppose their decision is still on a swing, and that they might reconsider, as further developments will surely impact huge benefits to its people and their livelihood.

I am thrilled about the possibility, and a native is here talking.