History and Culture

10 Reasons to Choose Tacloban: The Gateway of Eastern Visayas (Its Beauty After the Storm + More)

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Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Mar 16, 2015

Tacloban was once a capital of the Philippines from October 20, 1944 to February 27, 1945. It was also visited by Pope Francis to celebrate mass and give comfort to the survivors last January 17, 2015.

During Pope Francis' visit in the Philippines; photo by Rolan Garcia

VIEW: 11 Memorable Photos During Pope Francis' Leyte Visit

There are a lot of reasons why you should visit and keep coming back in Tacloban and the rest of Leyte. You might have your own "10 reasons why you choose Tacloban" too. 

 

Historical and Must-Visit Places

 

1. Cross the San Juanico Bridge and enjoy its beautiful scenery.

The San Juanico Bridge; photo by Dustin Mijares

It's the longest bridge in the Philippines that connects Leyte and Samar. Try crossing the bridge with your bike or run the whole 2.16-kilometer stretch, there's a lane for it!

VIEW: The Charie Chronicles: Tacloban Day 1 

 

2. Step on the ground where General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return.

VIEW: "I Shall Return!" The Leyte Landing Anniversary 2014

One of the statues at The MacArthur Landing Memorial Park has fallen but was restored as soon as typhoon Yolanda was gone.

VIEW: Famous Memorial Landing was not spared by Typhoon Yolanda

You'll find giant-size statues of General Douglas MacArthur, Brigadier General Carlos P. Romulo, President Sergio Osmena and its men on the spot where they landed and walk ashore on October 1944.

VIEW: It's Not Just About MacArthur: Stories Behind the Leyte Landings 

 

3. Appreciate art with Leyte's unique map found at Kanhuraw Hill.

photo by Dustin Mijares

The 40-45 feet high sculpture of the Crucified Christ and the Map of Leyte Pilgrim Monument is made of concrete, fiberglass and steel.  You can also find in the area a fountain with wishing pond adorned with floating candles.

VIEW: A Unique Map of Leyte

 

4. Stopped by Tacloban’s downtown to buy some native pasalubong.

Tacloban's tikog crafts are perfect for pasalubong. It is durable and very affordable.

VIEW: The Charie Chronicles: Tacloban's Tikog Crafts

 

Enjoy and Savor its Gustatory Dishes

 

6. Make celebrations extra special with Tacloban's wine!

photo from Vino de Coco FB page

Vino de Coco is known for its distinctive taste. It is proudly made and produced in Tacloban City, Leyte.

VIEW: Proudly Filipino: Great Tasting Coconut Wine for the Holidays

 

7. Learn to cook Leyte's chocolatey moron.

Chocolate Moron; photo from allfavoriterecipe.com

Moron is a smoother variety of suman. Chocolate moron is a sweet tasty treat made of glutinous rice or rice flour mix, chocolate, sugar and coconut milk. It is rolled and wrapped in banana leaves then boiled or steamed.

VIEW: The Chocolatey Moron

 

8. Enjoy meal time with family and friends!

Treat yourselves to amazing food in Tacloban City and its surrounding towns.

VIEW:  7 Must-Eat Restos in Leyte for a Happy Tummy

 

Immerse with the Locals through their Festival

 

9. Sangyaw Festival

photo from metrotacloban.com

Sangyaw Festival is a popular native festival in Tacloban City. It showcases the religious and rich cultural heritage of the natives of Tacloban. 

VIEW: Triple Treat of Leyte

 

10. Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival

Kasadyaan dancer; photo by Gerry Ruiz

It is a religious festival that showcases the ancient Visayan practice of body painting and tattooing. It also depicts how their ancestors came to accept Christianity.

VIEW: Leyte's Festival of Festivals: Pintados Kasadyaan

The festival is part of the feast of the Sto. Niño de Tacloban, the province's patron saint.

VIEW: Leyte Celebrates 1st Post-Supertyphoon Festival

 

How to Get There

From Manila, you can easily fly to "The Gateway to Eastern Visayas," Tacloban, as all major airlines service the city. (Estimated cost: Php 2,700++, round trip, 1 hour and 15 minutes).

By ferry, it will take approximately 36 hours. And it will take almost a day if by bus.

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