L is for Leyte

Resilient Leyte. That province which was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and was put into the limelight and gained the sympathy and the hearts of people all over the world, is slowly picking up itself and painfully rising from the horrors of it all. Leyte, the anchor province of Eastern Visayas, is rebuilding itself.

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Leyte Provincial Capitol

Even before the tragedy that was Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda), Leyte has been on-track for progress and development. The province’s major cities – Tacloban and Ormoc had seen the rise of economic activities with businesses opening up, malls, hospitals, hotels and restaurants.

Just before Typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban was elevated to an HUA (highly urbanized area) status which made it an independent from the provincial government. Tacloban hosted several regional offices for decades until they were transferred to the adjacent town of Palo. Tacloban serves as the transportation and tourism hub.

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The beautiful San Juanico Bridge

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Sto. Nino Shrine and Museum

Leyte as a province shares the island of the same name with that of Southern Leyte. The province has several historical sites and places of interest such as the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte; the Leyte Provincial Capitol, the beautiful San Juanico Bridge, Sandbars of Calanggaman Island, Sto. NiƱo Shrine and Heritage Museum, among others.

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San Juanico Bridge (Samar Side)

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MacArthur Landing Memorial Park

As a transportation hub, Tacloban City serves as a jump-off point to various wonderful places in Eastern Visayas. Here is a list or possible activities to do in Leyte:

1. Visit The Leyte Landing Memorial or the MacArthur Landing Memorial Park. Hail a multicab to take you to Palo. Get off at BIR/Philippine Science High School and take a trike and head off to Red Beach.

2. Calanggaman Island – this fast-becoming popular tourist attraction off the coast of Palompon is not to be missed.

3. Town of Matalom and Canigao Island – head off to the southern town of Matalom and witness their live Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) and to celebrate Easter at Canigao Island.

4. Skimboarding – try it out in Tanauan, Leyte, 15km south of Tacloban. The town is said to be the birthplace of skimboarding in the Philippines.

5. Try out their delicacies – the Binagol and the Moron.

6. Walk (or run) the entire length of San Juanico Bridge in the morning.

7. The Leyte Provincial Capitol – this building is historic in itself. Check out the Bas reliefs and sculptures in front and at the back of the neoclassical building.

8. Visit Lake Danao. Several adventure/ outdoor activities being offered at Lake Danao and nearby lakes. Just hop on a van and go to Ormoc.

9. Climb mountains. The popular ones are Alto Peak in Ormoc and Mt. Pangasugan in Baybay City.

10. More islands. Off the coast of Inopacan and Hindang are the Cuatro Islas (Apid, Digyo, Mahaba and Himokilan)

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Come and visit Leyte. L is for Leyte. L is for Lakwatsa. L is for Loving what Leyte can offer.

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