After the devastating Typhoon Haiyan last November 2013, Tacloban is on its road in getting up slowly after three years of rising process from the dim past. Tacloban is the capital of Leyte province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines. Locals are very hospitable and generous. They might introduce you their local delicacies popularly the Binagol (grated taro/gabi roots mixed with coconut milk and sugar) or Moron (rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and usually with chocolate flavour and peanuts) which are indeed very delicious. If you’re heading to Tacloban soon, here are some of the interesting places to visit to up heave your journey.
Santo Niño Church
Santo Niño Church is the most important religious site not just in Tacloban itself but for the whole province of Leyte. It houses the said to be miraculous statue of Child Jesus visibly enclosed in a fragile casket on the background wall behind the altar. The church was also severely ravaged by Haiyan but now has recovered to what it appears today.
For more captivating scenery of the San Juanico straight, just head to the sea port where colourful bangkas (motorboats) are on parade. The best time to visit the port is at morning time, go near the public market and you’ll witness the busy merchants transferring their goods from their boats along Quezon Boulevard.
The City Hall
Of course, it is where the seat of the government of Tacloban is prettily situated. Aside from the city hall itself, one of the best attractions in the premise is the overview of the sea and the airport. Another option is to head to the shore side just across the front street for more refreshing environment.
It is the busiest street in Tacloban. Mouth-watering restaurants, old and new shopping malls, fancy boutiques, banks, comfortable stays, whatever you’re looking for… just head here. For your convenience, the street also connects the Sea port, the City hall and the Santo Niño Church in just one way.
San Juanico Bridge
The main attraction of what Tacloban has to offer. The 2.16 kilometre San Jaunico Bridge is the trademark of the place, although the location of the bridge is quite far from the downtown, visitors intentionally head here to see the bridge’s magnificent look. If you’re fit enough, you can walk on over the bridge from end to the other end which is the province of Samar.
*To get to the Bridge from downtown, take a jeepney (Tacloban – San Juanico route written on both side of the jeepney) in Rizal corner Burgos street. Current jeepney fare is 13 pesos.
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There are direct flights to Tacloban from Manila every day. Airfares may range from 2,000 pesos and sometimes lower in promotional fares. Several bus companies also offer rides either from Manila (1,000+ pesos – maximum 20 hours), Cebu (400+ pesos – half day) or Davao (1,000+ pesos – maximum 20 hours).