On the slope of Kanhuraw Hill is a small park with the statue of the Crucified Christ at its center. The same image can be found in the provincial map of Leyte.
Presently, construction is on-going to improve the park. A man-made waterfall that will cascade from the slope to street level will be an additional attraction.
The 2-km. San Juanico Bridge is considered the longest bridge in the entire Philippine archipelago. Constructed in the 1970's, it connects the twin islands of Leyte and Samar, crossing over San Juanico Strait, to facilitate faster movement between the two provinces. The bridge derived its name from the Strait, reputed to be the narrowest navigable strait in the world.
A side story: I was a young kid when this bridge was built and I remember the "alarming" rumor that circulated then. According to older people, there were headhunters prowling the city (i.e. Manila) to look for children to be beheaded. The blood will be poured into the bridge's pillars to make them stronger. Nobody can tell how this rumor started. It could have been a story invented by someone with a fertile imagination to force the children to have their siesta or to remain indoor. Or it could have been true. Who knows?
The Leyte Provincial Capitol was constructed in 1907 and has been the seat of the provincial government. In 1944, it also became the temporary seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government when Pres. Osmeña landed at Palo with the American troops. Within the halls of this massive building, important strategies and decisions were formed leading to the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation.
Price Mansion is an American-style mansion built in 1910 by Walter Price. It was used as the headquarters and official residence of Gen. MacArthur in 1944. During his stay, a Japanese bomb was hurled at the mansion and penetrated the roof of his room. Fortunately for him, the bomb did not explode so he was unharmed.
Today, the mansion was converted into a commercial building occupied by CAP and is popularly known as CAP Building.
Atop a hill overlooking Tacloban City and San Juanico Strait is the 18-foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the highest point in Calvary Hill where bigger than-life-size statues of the 14 stations of the cross can be found along the way.
The road leading to the statue is steep although there are concrete steps and metal railings to aid the people and make the hike up more bearable.
In my case, I opted to take the road to the right which is a shorter route . I followed a grassy foot path on the side of a water reservoir which led me to a small community. From there, there are concrete steps immediately leading to the image of Jesus.
The Sto. Niño Shrine is most often confused with the Sto. Niño Church - they are 2 different sites. While the latter is a church, the former is a heritage museum. And contrary to misconception, the Sto. Niño Shrine was not the house of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
The sprawling 2-story building was built in honor of Tacloban's patron saint and as a venue to showcase local artistry. It also became a repository of the Marcos' collections - chandeliers from Czech Republic, mirrors from Austria, tiles from Italy, jars from China, floor carpets from Argentina, among others. Thus it is now called the Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum.
A chapel dominates the ground floor with the image of Sto. Niño as focal point. Elevated by 2-3 steps on the peripheral are 13 guest rooms, each with varied motiffs representing the different regions of the country. On the second floor is a very spacious ballroom as well as the bed chambers of the former First Family.
The shrine-museum is open daily from 8-11am and from 1-4pm. An entrance fee of P200 for a group of 5 is charged inclusive of a tour guide. Picture-taking is allowed but an additional P30/camera is charged. And to maintain the cleanliness of the place, guests are asked to remove their footwear and leave them near the entrance door. There are "in-house" slippers available to be worn during the tour.
According to travel guides, the People's Center is where one can find 82 dioramas of Philippine cultural minorities plus a collection of historical documents and artifacts on Leyte and Samar.
Unfortunately, it is close to the public on Sundays thus we were not able to visit. But what surprised us is the fact that a big portion of the center was converted into a bazaar area. According to locals, the center's multi-purpose hall is used as an entertainment venue and is sometimes rented out to bazaar organizers.
The image of the Madonna of Japan, also known as Maria Kannon, was a gift from the Japanese people to the Philippines as a symbol of peace and friendship between the two countries. Understandably, it is also referred to as the statue of the Goddess of Peace.
The image stands on a rock amidst a landscaped garden. Tall trees and flowering plants can be seen within the park along with concrete benches where one can sit, pray and reflect.
However, I noticed that young locals have turned this sacred place into a lover's lane. On the day of our visit, there were at least 2 "dating" couples hiding behind the tall trees. I hope the people will respect the place and utilize it for its real purpose.
Tacloban City Hall was strategically built atop Kanhuraw Hill in 1952. It gives an overview of the entire city as well as the surrounding bodies of water such as Cancabato Bay, San Pedro Bay and San Juanico Strait.
The compound has a landscaped garden and trees along the side that provide shade to concrete tables and benches. During weekend, it serves as a promenade for young locals.
The Sto. Niño Church is considered the most important religious site in the province. It houses the miraculous image of Sto. Niño which is the patron saint of Tacloban. Its orange-painted bellfry is immediately visible from the plane as it approaches the airport.
Masses are held daily both in Waray (local dialect) and English. As we went on a Sunday, we were able to catch the 11am mass said in English.
Redona Residence earned its place in history as the official residence of Pres. Sergio Osmeña during his stay in Leyte in 1944.
222 MH Del Pilar St. Tacloban City, Leyte Province, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
We have a horrible experience with the owner at the front desk while we checking inn. She start...more
Rizal Avenue, Tacloban, Philippines
Good for: Couples