Sunday, June 15, 2014

Eastern Visayas Tribute: 6 Tacloban City Sites Worth Seeing During Daytime

Coreene and I woke up early so that we could get a head start in touring Tacloban City. I still had a lot on my list that I wanted to see, so we went shortly after breakfast. And by 7 AM we were already off to see the Boyscout Monument and MacArthur Park (did a commute via tricycle). Coreene's dad fetched us at McDonalds Downtown a few hours later, to drive us to several more tourist spots. 


1) The BOYSCOUNT MONUMENT in Palo was the first ever Boyscout monument that was created in human form. It was put up in 1941. [Read more about it HERE.]


2) If you've ever heard of the famous line, "I shall return", then that was declared by General Douglas MacArthur at the MACARTHUR LANDING SITE (also known as the Leyte Landing Memorial in Red Beach, Palo, Leyte) --- following the fulfillment of their promise to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese Imperial Army. It marks the location where General MacArthur and his allied forces landed, and returned to the Philippines on the 20th of October 1944. 

The historical landing site consists of towering bronze statues of General MacArthur, President Sergio Osmeña, and some members of the government-in-exile.


3) The colonial-style STO. NIÑO SHRINE AND HERITAGE MUSEUM used to be the home of the Marcos Family --- until it was turned into a museum (built from 1979-1981). The shrine displayed and housed most of Imelda Marcos' art collection from all over the globe, before everything was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. [Note: There's an additional fee if you opt to take pictures inside the edifice].


4) We passed by Magsaysay Boulevard again to see the MADONNA OF JAPAN up close (also known as Madonna Maria Kanon or Madonna of Peace). We weren't able to view it the night before since there weren't any lights that would feature the statue. 

The beautiful structure can be seen on top of Kanhuraw Hill, amidst a tiered and landscaped garden. It was built to help symbolize the friendship between the Philippines and Japan.

Madonna of Japan - Photo courtesy of Coreene

5) Coreene and I went back to UPVTC (University of the Philippines Visayas, Tacloban College) just so we could take pictures of the Oblation statue during daytime. Here, I was privileged to have met the 13th Dean of UPVTC, Mrs. Anita Cular --- the sweet and loving mother of my dear friend, Cuks.


UPVTC Oblation - Photo courtesy of Coreene

6) The SAN JUANICO BRIDGE (also known as the Marcos Bridge) connects the islands of Leyte and Samar. The longest bridge in the Philippines, which spans 2.16 KM long, crosses over the San Juanico Strait. I was completely enthralled by it, as I used to just read about the famous S-bridge. So it was surreal to have finally stepped foot on it.


LUNCH AT AYO CAFE

Ayo Cafe is just along Apitong Road. Coreene's family decided to take me here for our last luncheon together before flying back to Manila. Cuks parents were friends with the owner of the restaurant, so they would always frequent the place. 

The food at Ayo (Visayan word for 'good') were delicious and affordable too. We were actually able to sample different pasta dishes and more --- all for under a PHP1,000!


HOPE FLOATS FOR EASTERN VISAYAS

I loved Tacloban and all of the places that I visited in Eastern Visayas. That's why I was devastated when Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed such precious gems. The region and its people may have been ruined in all aspects. But hope floats, continuously. Slowly but surely, these wonderful Philippine destinations will soon bounce back from the tragedy that fell upon them.

For an overall look on our 4D/3N itinerary and expenses, just click my TRAVEL EXPENSE SHEET.

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

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