Friends and I used to wait for local flight promos, and we picked Tacloban so we could go to Samar for caving. Tacloban, an autonomous urbanized city, is the provincial capital of Leyte. I’ll save our caving in Samar for another post. For now, I’ll share highlights of our weekend-long vacation in Leyte.
I don’t remember the specifics of our vacation, such as flight fares, hotel booking (we stayed in Hotel Alejandro for three days and two nights), etc. Even if I do, it does not apply anymore. The trip was nine years ago, after all. But all the places I highlighted below still stand or are still open. ?
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park
The MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park commemorates the landing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Leyte Gulf. It was established on 12 July 1977 in Palo, Leyte. I think one of these statues was knocked down by a typhoon years ago. I wish we saw the monument in its shiny state, though.
San Juanico Bridge
Despite my intention of separating my Leyte and Samar posts, there is no sense in having separate posts just for either end of the bridge. Also, I can’t quickly tell which of the photos are from Samar or Leyte, haha.
The San Juanico Bridge connects the islands of Leyte and Samar. Not only is it a tourist attraction that helps tourism for both islands, but it also helps with their economies. I think it’s also fitting to know its construction history, particularly the source of funding scandal and the family behind it, considering next year’s elections. The Wikipedia post provides some information. (If Wikipedia is not a good source for you, you can check the linked reference.)
Here are more photos with a serene view of the San Juanico Strait from the bridge. ♥ I also have a photo of a jellyfish. There were more, but my camera couldn’t pick them up.
Sunzibar Resto+Cafe Inside Sunzibar
A quick Google search showed this Mexican-inspired restaurant has improved. I can’t tell if the restaurant relocated, but it looks like they can accommodate more guests now than before. I remember it being another hole-in-a-wall restaurant. They have steak, which was why we went there. In our two nights in Tacloban, we had our dinners there. The food is quite good and affordable!
Jose Karlo’s Coffee
I’m glad Jose Karlo’s Coffee is still open. In case I go to Leyte again, it’ll be one of those I’ll revisit but only after Sunzibar. ?
The coffee shop has a mix of modern and antique furnishings. On one of its floors, it has a fancy-looking dining area with a wine bar. I also remember a church near the coffee shop, making the coffee shop’s location ideal as a business. Churchgoers could cross the street after mass or after a prayer or two if they wanted to hang out with family or friends.
Even if the vacation was short, I was happy we made that trip. Being in a new environment is always refreshing. I would be motivated once again to go through my mundane city life. But only until the next vacation, that is. ?