Last September, I flew back to Singapore after celebrating my 30th birthday in the Philippines. I took a Cebu Pacific flight and on board, every seat’s provided with Smile magazine for passengers’ reading pleasure. That issue featured Biliran Island, and a photo of Sambawan Island (part of Biliran) was used in the article. As soon as I read the article, I knew that I had to go there.
Few weeks after that, Cebu Pacific advertised that they’re having fare promotion to different domestic and international destinations. Fortunately, it included Tacloban. I immediately booked for three people because I planned to make my parents join me. I was excited because it’s their first time to take an aircraft to go somewhere. Yes, first time.
After Christmas, we excitedly packed our stuff and went to the airport. All set to say hi to the Waray speaking provinces of the Philippines (Leyte and Biliran).
I introduced my parents to the basics of checking in, going through all the security checks and waiting at the boarding area. As we all boarded, they held each other’s hands tightly, excited about the departure and take off. Flight went on smoothly hence; it became a pleasant first flight experience for my parents.
We arrived at Tacloban’s Daniel Romualdez airport and walked outside to find a ride to our accommodation, GV Hotel. I pre-booked it because I wouldn’t want to spontaneously look for one with my parents.
Outside the airport there was a jeepney and a tricycle. We chose to take the tricycle, anyway we have to pay the same fare. The Tricycle driver was very helpful, friendly and seemed, trustworthy. He showed us where to eat, the market and the terminal we had to go to the next day before sending us to the hotel of our choice. He said GV hotel’s rooms are small and there are other Pensionne Houses that charge cheaper (700PhP for 3pax) and the rooms are bigger. We got ours for 920PhP for 3.
We arrived at GV hotel, a very basic accommodation, then we headed out for dinner and for some strolling under the moonlight.
We were supposed to eat at “Dahil Sayo” which was famous for their Pakdol (stewed carabao?) but my mum didn’t like the smell of the dish, we just decided to go for something we already know therefore, safer, Andoks.
Tricycle from airport to Downtown (city center) – 50Php per person [Jerry Vacal HP: 09052291457]
Jeepney from airport to Downtown (city center) – 50Php per person ( they increase their price if there’s flight departing and arriving, they know the timing, usual price if there’s no flights’ about 15Php)
GV Hotel – 920Php online, deluxe room twin with extra bed and pillows for a night.
as i dont want to bring my parents along searching for accommodation spontaneously, i tried booking at GV hotel online. Sure and easy. I've researched and found that its the cheapest. we needed rooms for 2 non-consecutive nights, just for few hours each night. Upon check in, You've to produce your own photocopy of the credit card you used for booking. I brought the original but they asked me to look for a photocopy shop outside. They don't have their own.
We got room 334 for the 2 nights. Both nights, they provided 1-3 items with stain (looked like blood or rust, im not sure) towels and a bed sheet. At first, we actually asked them to change it for us, afterwards, we discovered about the other stains, we didn't anymore bother to ask again.
There was only one electrical socket, so, even the television's plugged on it. Since we needed to charge all our gadgets, no watching tv for us (lazy to ask them for an adaptor with more sockets).
Toilet was clean with hot shower but a bit dim.
During our last night ( a weekend) there was an outdoor band?bar? playing music just in the opposite street. They were playing great music but the intensity wouldn't be very ideal for someone who wants to rest and have peaceful night asleep.
Staying at GV was not the best experience but if you're always in search for cheap, basic accommodation, like me, I can say, I was able to sleep soundly despite all these.
Also, its close to Duptour van terminal (and I heard its also close to vanvan's terminal too), if your are planning to travel using these companies to go other places just like what we did.
Stayed December 2012, traveled with family