Thursday, October 25, 2007

Leyte: Transit in Tacloban, Leyte

This trip was in the works since I bought my P1 ticket on Cebu Pacific last February. But the funny thing was I had not planned at all for this trip! I simply rode the plane to Tacloban, Leyte and played everything by ear.

I had informed my brods that I was coming over. But I didn't want to hassle them. I was already seated in the waiting jeepney when I texted my brods informing them that I had arrived. What surprised me though was a reply from one of them for me to wait at the airport since he would pick me up. So I got off the jeep and happily waited. It really touched me since we had never met before.

He took me to the MacArthur Landing Site in the neighboring town of Palo. Just a few days before, on October 20, they had celebrated the anniversary of Mac Arthur's landing. We then had breakfast at the nearby MacArthur Park and Beach Resort, one of those classy resorts built during the Marcos days to house the Miss Universe candidates in 1973. It's supposedly a class "A" resort but service was crummy. When we arrived, they were cleaning up the restaurant from a wedding reception which obviously happened the night before (a real hotel cleans up right after the event) so the place was quite messy. What do you expect from a government agency like the PTA?

We then proceeded to the Duptours terminal to check out the schedule of vans to Borongan. I got a seat on the 11:30 a.m. trip and spent PHP180 for it. Since I still had time, I visited the DOT regional office a few meters away to get brochures since there were none at the airport. At least I could read up while I was in Borongan and decide where to go next.

Then I dropped by the Price Mansion further down the street which served as Gen. MacArthur's headquarters while he was in Leyte. It's now owned by CAP and there is a small museum inside with memorabilia of MacArthur's stay in the house. The even preserved the hole created by a Japanese bomb which luckily did not explode. Before leaving for Borongan, I had lunch in the house of a brod who lived in front of Duptours.

It was a four-hour trip and I got to pass by the San Juanico Bridge as well as Samar Province for the first time. I slept for most of the trip since I did not have sleep the night before (I took the 5:10 a.m. flight). Check out my photos in Multiply.
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