In and Around Tacloban City + Leyte

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated parts of the Philippines, one of those that suffered the most was Tacloban City. Less than four years after the merciless disaster, Tacloban City is true to its name as the rising phoenix of the East and doing its best to bounce back from the massive loss that it experienced. Business was brisk, the locals seemed happy with their lives, and construction of public and private infrastructure was evident.

The business as usual attitude does not mean that the people of Tacloban have forgotten those who perished in the calamity. Like the Leyte Landing nearby, Tacloban City erected a memorial, the shipwreck of M/V Eva Jocelyn, to remember the loved ones who were lost during Typhoon Yolanda.

The Leyte Landing and the M/V Eva Jocelyn are just two of the places that make Tacloban City and Leyte interesting destinations, also let us help the local economy by visiting Eastern Visayas.

MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park

The MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park or the Leyte Landing Memorial Park in Palo, Leyte. General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines on 20 October 1944 and personally led the swift drive against the Japanese forces in the Philippines. President Sergio Osmeña (President Manuel L. Quezon passed away in New York on 1 August 1944) and some members of the government-in-exile with General MacArthur and proceeded to reorganize, restore, and administer the goverment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

The Leyte Landing Memorial Park was established on 12 July 1977 under the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos. It was declared a national historical landmark in 2004.

Leyte Landing marker in English

Leyte Landing marker in Filipino

General Douglas MacArthur’s proclamation to the people of the Philippines upon his return to Philippine shore.

Former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ message upon the establishment of the Leyte Landing Memorial Park

Juan in Leyte Landing Memorial Park 

 

M/V Eva Jocelyn Memorial

The shipwreck of M/V Eva Jocelyn. On 8 November 2013, M/V Eva Jocelyn, which was anchored in the city harbor, ran aground and killed residents of Barangay Anibong. It was pushed by a seven-meter high storm surge caused by winds in excess of 370 km/hr brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The M/V Eva Jocelyn memorial gives a nice view of that part of Tacloban City. It is open 24 hours a day, with members of the police and army guarding the area.

Part of the marker says that “the M/V Eva Jocelyn shipwreck stands as a remembrance of the thousands of lives that perished throughout the city of Tacloban on that day. It marks the genesis of the advocacy for resiliency and adaptation to a new normal that will continue for generations to come”.

 

San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge marker. This is a few meters from the tent that houses members of the military. People crossing the bridge are required to write their names, addresses, and contact numbers for security purposes. Photo by Juan 

San Juanico Bridge is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway that connects the provinces of Samar and Leyte which are separated by San Juanico Strait. San Juanico Bridge measures 2.16 kilometers, making it the second longest bridge in the Philippines. It goes without saying that San Juanico Bridge was built during the Marcos administration. Photo by Juan

Juan and I (I was still wet from our Sohoton adventure) in San Juanico Bridge. He really pushed for this to happen, and he suggested to walk from one end of the bridge to the other. I just rolled my eyes. I am afraid of heights, bridges, and strairs!!!

 

Sto. Niño Parish

Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City 

The altar of Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City

Confessional

 

San Juanico Pension Restaurant (also known as the place where I lost a game of chess to Juan!!!)

Post-its of messages and love notes found in San Juanico Pension Restaurant. More on this on the succeeding post.

 

Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum 

The façade of Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritae Museum, which is also known as the Romualdez Museum.

For related entries, please read Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum (Tacloban City), Part I and Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum (Tacloban City), Part II.

 

Beth and Andy’s Airbnb Place

The residence of Beth and Andy, our temporary abode in Tacloban City. It is located in the second floor of the house. It has a spacious and comfortable balcony, which was perfect for reading a book or eating meals. Juan and I had our breakfast in the round table.

The view from the balcony. Not in photo is the view of a luscious hill that surround the area.

The bed and its four pillows. Those pillows are so fluffy. ☺ Coffee, tea, candies, and water were provided.

The closet (left side) and the vanity desk (right). The closet was heaven sent because it has several hangers for my clothes! Not in photo are the mini-refrigerator and TV set.

The toilet and shower with hot and cold water.

Our complimentary basket of goodies – Juan and I made sandwiches for breakfast using the sliced bread, cheese spread and Vanilla-flavored margarine. I despised margarine when I was a child (maybe one of the reasons why I did not have a growth spurt as the commercials claim that margarine helps produce tall kids. Hahaha), but the brand Beth gave us was so yummy. Juan and I finished off the entire container. Yum! Thank you, Beth and Andy.

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