Clockwise: San Juanico Bridge, Tacloban City Convention Center, San Juanico Bridge, Agas Agas Bridge, Mac Arthur Landing Site
I’ve always wanted to travel solo, but never had the courage to do it thinking what could possibly go wrong. Then there came a point in my life when I can no longer contain the burst of emotions and felt I needed to go somewhere, alone, to forget the pains of the past, to move on, and to heal wounds.
I decided to go on a solo trip to Eastern Visayas where I know no one except for a local guide, a total stranger who I just met on Facebook, armed with a little research on what to see in the area, and a lot of courage.
My first day was more of a me-time exploring Tacloban City on my own, visiting Sto. Nino Church, various monuments like the Madonna of Japan and the Crucifixion Monument,. Food plays a big role in knowing a place. Socsargen Grill, Ocho Grill and Dahil Sa’yo made me experience Tacloban’s local food. Without booking a place where I could stay, I searched the area and found GV Hotel, probably the cheapest decent place where I could sleep. I then just observed the people and just waited for the sun to set in the capitol grounds.
Clockwise: Balyu-an Amphitheatre, Sto. Nino Museum, Madonna of Japan
My second day started very early since my customized itinerary is very ambitious. Kuya Darwin of Darwin Travel and Tours, my guide for the day, picked me up in the hotel. This was also his first time to do this route. With his motorcycle ready and our helmets on, our Eastern Visayas tour begun. First stop, the region’s most famous landmark, the San Juanico Bridge which is the country’s longest bridge. After taking sunrise photos in the area, we continued our journey as our next stop is about two to three hours from Tacloban. After a quick breakfast, we finally reached our next stop, the 50 meter-wide Lulugayan Falls, known to tourists as the mini Niagara Falls found in Calbiga, Samar. I was really amazed how the local government of Calbiga have been exerting efforts in promoting the tourist destinations in their town with the construction of pathways to the falls and the river and places where visitors can stay overnight. The barangay is even solar-powered. The road to falls is very rocky and muddy during the rainy season, others may find it inconvenient, but that made me appreciate the place more. I just think that the environmental fee is too much.