One thing I learned about Leyte is the fact that it is merely not all about San Juanico Bridge and McArthur Park. There are a lot of beautiful sceneries in this province. Maybe not as gigantic as the above mentioned, but I could fairly say, they are equally beautiful as the famous landmarks.
We went to the Busay Falls Resort in Babatngon. It is a local tourist spot located at Brgy Distict III within the Poblacion of Babatngon, Leyte .. It is about an hour drive from Tacloban City proper.
I love looking at waterfalls. The sight and sound of splashing and cascading water is just so serene, so relaxing. It's a nice place to have a cool refreshing shower with friends or simply a place where I could reflect about many things in life ..
As expected, while enjoying the scenic rice fields and farm animals of Babatngon during a 20 minute drive from the proper, we proceed to this site, where a small waterfall is tucked away in one of the barrios. We paid 10php for the entrance and they charged 100php for the cottage near the falls ..
By Rutch from Manila, Philippines
This time, I decided to hook up with friends from high school and walk around the city. I was surprised to see a lot of developments especially in Tacloban City. There is a new mall, some good restos springing all over offering good food, new watering holes by the bay, even more traffic lights! Hahaha! This is indeed new!
My good friend Firie who has been home for a while is a constant companion everytime she is in Manila, is a sucker for good food like me.
Coolness at the beach ..
We share the same passion for a good meal and the beach. Since it was raining as it usually does in the province, we stuck to the first one. Of course, there is no other way to catch up on each other's life but over good food.
She brought me to "Sombrero". It was a quaint little hole along Paterno Street in Tacloban offering a wide variety of grilled local and some "influenced" dishes. I particularly enjoyed the sinfully calorie-laden mango shake with whipped cream on top. Yummy! The well done steak was juicy just right, really amazing to have in my far away province.
For dinner, we tried "Cafe Urbana", a Spanish/ Cuban-inspired resto along Gomez Street. I loved the fusion of Spanish and African tones in its interiors. The food was just perfect with the spiced linguini and vongole pasta, the tangy dressing of the Caesar Salad, and more.
I still remember my teenage years in Leyte when we were just contented to have some good "lomi" (a pasty soup with fat noodles flavored by chopped pork) after school, or a dose of our daily burger at Jollibee or McDo.
Leyte is surrounded by water. Our province has a rich history of water-realted activities. During World War II, Gen. Douglaas MacArthur landed in the Leyte Gulf to start the end of the war.
Later on, his famous words, "I have returned..." would go down in history as words of a man who ended the war in the Pacific. Today, the famous Leyte Landing is marked with a monument and a park aptly called, MacArthur Park and Resort. The monument is beside a beach resort where you can enjoy the waves and Leyte breeze from the Cancabato Bay.
I wanted to check out the beach so I packed the family into the van and bought some ripe mangoes along the way. The sweltering heat is bearable in the province but just the same, the best way to fight off the summer heat is to hit the beach and laze around the sand.
I wanted to try a beach which we haven't been to yet, so off we went to Tadjao Beach in Tolosa. It is 45 minutes from Tacloban City and around 40 kms from the main city.
Manninng the bridge at Tajao Bridge Resort ..
Tadjao Beach Resort is a new place to enjoy the beach and is owned by an American. It is set in an hectare of huts and abundant coconut trees and so many tadjaos all over the place. A visitor is charged with an entrance fee of Php 50.
You can avail of a tent for Php 700.00 for a maximum of eight persons inclusive of entrance fee. If you have a bigger group, the best way to accommodate everybody is to avail of the nipa hut for Php 1,500 for a maximum of 15 persons.
With the Tadjaos and a lovely Gumamela ..
I liked the efficient crew who immediately set up our tent in no time complete with tables and chairs. In 5 minutes after doing away with the payment and all, we were ready to relax and enjoy the day by the beach.
Firie said that there are caves and waterfalls in nearby Samar Island. She did say that the top of Limasawa Island in Samar, where the first mass in the Philippines was held during the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores is just amazing.
I plan to organize an expedition with my fellow city dwellers next time. In fact, my recent trip home has made me realize that there are a lot of things that can be done in Leyte.
I hope this would be maintained not only because the city is hosting a national sports competition but by habit of cleaning.
I hope the people will be act their share, too in helping clean the environment. After all, it is them who are directly affected by the cleanliness.
This is the street I often walked while buying groceries in Leyte Asia Trading, going out for dinner or just whiling away the time in Gaisano.
The food in Tacloban cost more than some other places I've been to. Still, I have my favorite dining places. In addition to Jollibee, Mc Donald's and Chowking, I often order lunch and dinner from Kitchenitos, Ritz Tower, Farenheit and Cindys.
When I feel a little extravagant, I would go to Fiesta Grill along Justice Romualdez St. and order baked scallops, fried kangkong and tinola na isda (fish soup). Or I would go to this little resto on Burgos St called Sunzibar. I especially liked to order the House Salad, Jerk Bangus and Redberry Iced Tea.
For lunch meetings, our office would treat our guests to Ocho Seafood. It is a very well known restaurant located along Senator Enage St. It is a favorite among visitors not only for its delicous food but also for its fast service.
For desserts, you can buy yummy cakes and pastries from Elena's Bakeshop. The city also has other bakeshops like Goldilocks, Mr. Donuts, Julies Bakeshop and Dunkin Donuts.
One can find numerous accommodations in Tacloban City. Ranging from pension houses like GV Hotel and Royal Suites to hotels like the Asian Stars Hotel, Dynasty Hotel, the quaint Hotel Alejandro, the Spanish style Leyte Park Hotel and the state-owned Mc Arthur Park Beach Resort.
While having our Family Day in Mc Arthur Park Beach Resort, I had a grand time listening to the sea, feeling the breeze and walking along the beach.
For me riding tricycles are the best way to go around town. The fare is only P6.00 and the vehicle can wave fast through traffic in downtown area.
Plaza Rizal hosts many night entertainments in the city that are shown in the AAC 24 in Leyte Cablenet. Just last night, there were live bands playing and I could hear it all from my room.
Tacloban has a taxi equivalent called Spider. It is a multi-transport hybrid of a multicab. It is fast & economical, sleek & comfortable and with 24 hours service. I have yet to ride one.
Driver Noli, was kind enough to offer a mock ride for picture taking but I declined. If you need a ride around the city, you can contact him at 053-3410129 or 0929-2692462.
At the Mc Arthur Shrine in Candahug, Palo you can feel the sea breeze. The park on which the shrine is built is well maintained. Families, lovers and friends are often seen there in the afternoons.
Here's an aerial shot of the longest bridge in the country, the San Juanico Bridge - 2.16 kilometers long. Its unique shape is amazing. On the part near Leyte, it is shaped as an L. While curving to an S when nearing the Samar province.
Tacloban City, has been my surrogate home for more than a year now. This place is a work in progress. In 2009, a few call centers are opening up as well as the Robinsons Mall. The city is now classified as highly urbanized after the December 18, 2008 plebiscite.
By Joseph from Raleigh, US
The City by the Sea
The city is noisy with lots of traffic and many friendly people, all saying hello to Joe, I wondered still how so many people knew my name, then I found out that all Americans were called Joe. I asked for the location of a good hotel and then paid the normal 6 or 7 pesos fee to get my ride there.
My first day I headed back to Mickey D's for breakfast, Seeing rice served with a Big Breakfast was new to me, but not as surprising as seeing the arm guards at McDonalds and all the business places, complete with shot guns and machine guns. "Welcome to McDonalds" is the greeting the armed guard would say as they opened the door for their many customers.
Now its time for some sightseeing!
Well most of the locals travel by ‘tricycle' a commination of motorcycle with a carrier on the side for 1 to 4 people, and sometimes they will even carry two passengers behind the driver, the cost was about 6 pesos per trip.
In Tacloban they don't have red lights or stop signs, it just a matter or nerves about who yields, and if your crossing the street on foot, well it walkers ........ be careful for your life.
I visited the famous place where General Douglas MacArthur landed in Palo, Leyte, just a short ride from the city. It was great feeling being there as an American.
While at the park this guy was following me around with some sort of shopping card with a large box wrapped in aluminum foil. I was not sure if he was following me and he said nothing but finally after about 10 minutes I turned and faced him and asked him what he wanted and why he was following me. He opened up the ‘box' and asked me if I would like to buy some ice cream.......I smile I guess he was like a local "Good Humor Ice Cream Man" I smile and said how much, and walked away with a ice cream sandwich and he had a few of my pesos.
Also I travel to areas of the city by Jeepnay, the local bus but because I am over 6 feet tall and no longer skinny I had to sit either in the front next to the driver or at the end with my legs hanging out the back. If you visit you must experience the ride, I think again it was about 6 pesos, but as I like to say, it was almost free
Tacloban is a place where World War II history comes alive. It has some good restaurant selections at remarkably low prices. But watch out for the air quality--tricycles, multicabs and jeepneys are emitting lots of pollution, to the point where you may need a breathing mask while walking around on the downtown streets. Still, Tacloban has affordable hotels, and you get the signature Philippine commitment to personal service wherever you go, so it is overall a trip worth taking.
Nostalgia, Affordability and Smoke
By a Contributor from Arizona, USA
Tacloban is a small charming city in Leyte. It is the center of commerce, trade, culture, and government in the Eastern Visayas.
The city has hidden charms for unknowing visitors. A bridge walk in the beautiful San Juanico Bridge is a must. Enjoy the night at Magsaysay Boulevard over cold San Miguel Beer and a clean sea breeze . For book lovers theres the bookstore/reading room/cafe along Burgos street, called Libro.
Cafes are all over the city. There is Sanzibar for its good pasta, Kyles Folkhouse for cheap beer and good ambiance, Calle Zaragossa is an open air garden cafe, and Guiseppes for finedining .
San Miguel Beer price starts at P25 up to P35.
Taclobanons love to eat which accounts for the numbers of resto/bar and eateries which cater to every budget and craving.
Do not forget to sample the city's delicacy: Binagol, Its sweet, sticky, and rich:
Toast to the best tuba the Bahalina. Tuba is a native wine from coconut . Aged tuba is bahalina. You can buy a bottled bahalina at Kokoys Grocerette.
There are daily flights from Manila to Tacloban City. From Cebu, the best way to get to Tacloban would be to ride on a fast boat, such as the Supercat fast craft, to Ormoc City and then take a 2 hour van for hire from Ormoc to Tacloban. It is very easy to cross to Cebu as well from Tacloban as there are van trips to Ormoc every one hour, and the fast ferry from Ormoc to Cebu has three trips each day.
From Tacloban , it is easy to cross down to Butuan and Surigao via bus and a scenic ferry crossing from Lilo-an to Butuan. If you are lucky, you might even spot dolphins swimming along with the ferry.
When in Tacloban City, Leyte ...
By Ray A from Philadelphia Pa
Can't wait to go home
By unknown Contributor
What i like is the beach w/ a floating cottage...Nightlife is ok especially if you love karaoke...my tips for the new comer...just be with the right person to tour you around so you won't miss a fun...Can't wait to go home!!!
I highly recommend spending a weekend in Nuts Huts in the town of Loboc, 20 mins away. It's a great eco-lodge and there is a great river you can swim in and hang out in waterfalls.
Also check out Cabilou Island (just take a local boat) and stay at the Estrella Resort. It's super cheap and the snorkling/scuba is out of this world. Have fun there and enjoy the trip!
By a Contributor from knox indiana
i love Tacloban Philippines the people are nice they love to help people they are sweet loving caring godly its a great vacation place for the family and friends.
By Athena from Leyte
Tacloban is one of historical place in the Philippines. Palo Leyte was the place General Douglas Mac Arthur landed and the famous words he said was I SHALL RETUN. It was also a place where one of the most beautiful and gracious woman came from. Our First Lady Mrs Imelda Marcos the very famous wife of our former presdient Marcos. During the Marcos time the place was so beautiful and well visited because of its beauty.
Wonderful Place and Friendly People
By Elena L from Ontario, Canada
I love the beaches with each fine sand and lovely view. At night you can have stargazing with fresh air and clear sky because less pollution!
The people are friendly and the city, easy to go around.
No Place like Home..
By a Contributor from Michigan
After 20+ something years I've been away from Tacloban, I went home in April and spent 6 weeks of one of the best times in my life.I had a blast.I enjoyed every minute of my stay with my extended family.They took me to so many places that seemed familiar to me,incomparable food elsewhere,ate my favorite delicacies that I missed for 20 years & family beach gatherings trying to take advantage of the warm water (we have only lakes where I am now).
Ergo: I am coming home to Tacloban to retire and spend my senior years around fun loving families.
Tacloban, I love you most
By unkown Contributor
Tacloban is my home town.And i've been living here for 10 years already...This place is a little bit crowded but its ok....
The progress of this place is fast...The city festivity is the Pintados Festival in honor for the city saint....Sto. Ninio.
Home Sweet Home
By macky from Milan, Italy
Best Kept Secret in the Philippines
I lived near Tacloban for 18 months. I really enjoyed living there for several reasons. One thing that I liked the most was that everyone was very helpful and I felt safe the entire time I was there. There was not many fast food places, but many nice local restaurants with incredible food. Be careful about not drinking the water or ice deserts with unboiled water. Also check to make sure the food is cooked all the way. The cost of living is cheap compared to Manila, Cebu or many other "touristy" places. I loved Tacloban and Region 8. I highly recommend it.
Wile it is a little dirty and outdated i will return and soon i loved it they need help[a paint job] but are the nicest people in the world i allways felt safe and the value is incredible i will move here!if you are looking for a tourist destination stay home if you want a great local experiance and simpler life in paradise go and enjoy
ps bring toilet paper and a toilet seat they seem to have misplaced all theirs lol
Tacloban is a very pleasant seaport on the edge of the island of Leyte. It is becoming quite crowded and growing faster every day. There is a very nice restaurant overlooking the bay on the 2nd story of a store. We see many large and small boats coming and going. Mostly what they call the banca. A canoe with two outriggers. It could use some new electric wiring throughout the city as I recall. But the people are very pleasant to an Americano. We lived for a few weeks with the wife's aunt prior to returning to our little bario called Borseth, near alang-alang. Transportation was by what is called Jeepney and scooters with sidecars. We were fortunate to view a celebration that took place at the time. The parade was excellent.
Tacloban is very nice.
The people there are very friendly.
You will feel the people's hospitality.
Tacloban is a great place.
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