Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Lost in Leyte postcards from the North

Jen F. Vega - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The wandering feet don’t run out of options. They dig for best-value destinations…always!

Two weeks ago, an invitation to be part of a citrus-summer-themed destination wedding whisked me away to Northern Samar with a return trip to the Queen City via a seven-hour Catarman-Tacloban-Ormoc road trip. The Samar stay was short but sweet and it did not worry the drifter in me since a Leyte tour awaits on the other side of the longest bride in the country – the San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban that connects the two provinces of Samar and Leyte.

Leyte was the promise of redemption after skipping some interesting landmarks of Northern Samar such as Biri island’s majestic rock formations and the languid Capul island. I embraced Leyte like it was my first time, made use of the time while waiting for our trip back to Cebu. Let me take you there, too!


When in Rome. The Boy Scout Monument will greet visitors upon entering the Leyte Landing Memorial Park from the Leyte Government Center enclave along Brgy. Pawing, Palo. This is the first Boy Scout monument in the globe that was created in human form. The scout is holding a tree seedling on his left hand while his right hand holds a bamboo patrol staff. Perched at the rotunda of Fatima Village, the monument is surrounded by Roman columns, making it post-card perfect!


I Shall Return. The Leyte Landing Memorial Park, 5 kilometers away from Tacloban City, situated at the Red Beach in Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte is a crowd drawer because of its historical significance. This is the spot where the American liberation forces led by General Douglas Mac-Arthur landed in 1944 hence immortalized through larger-than-life (at 10 feet tall) bronze statues of the general and his six companions.


Lunch at Leyte’s Oriental. The Oriental Hotel Leyte is Palo’s newest resort at the beachfront of Brgy. Candahug. It’s a stone’s throw away from the memorial park. Feed your hungry tummy with anything tasty and order the local specialty which is the Hinatukang Manok, their version of ginataang manok, at the poolside restaurant while enjoying the sea breeze.


Longest Bridge. From Northern Samar, we crossed the letters-S-and-L-shaped pavement (that stands for Leyte & Samar) of San Juanico Bridge to reach Tacloban in Northern Leyte, the longest in the country at 2.16 kilometers.



Ormoc. The city is a two-hour drive away from Tacloban proper via Duptours Shuttle Van for P165 each. While in Ormoc waiting for your trip back home, I suggest you swing by Sabin Resort Hotel in Brgy. Bantigue to feast on the famous Ormoc sweet pineapples. Craving for barbecue for dinner? The Ormoc City BBQ Junction is akin to Larsian that offers hot-off-the-grill fares of meat and seafood.



Campus Tour. If you have enough time, why not visit the city of Baybay and the famous premier university in this side of town, the Visayas State University? Feast your eyes on the well-manicured lawns, its diverse flora & fauna and evergreen environment since it is situated in one of the virgin rain forests in the country. Don’t miss taking a photograph before the iconic campus statue - Si Malakas at Si Maganda – their version of UP’s oblation.

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