Today we had to say goodbye to the beautiful island of Maripipi.
Early morning we headed to the port where my uncle’s motorized boat’s parked, the same boat we used to go to Sambawan Island.
Instead of going to Naval, we headed to Kawayan, Biliran. This is the port used by privately-owned boats. The waves were more uncooperative for it kept of moving against our boat. It felt like I was having vertigo.
From Kawayan, we had to take a 20-30 minutes habal habal ride to Naval. It was piercing hot and the sun was directly shining upon our heads. I forgot to wear sun block!
We headed to Naval Port where we took a non-air conditioned GT Express van. I wasn’t really sure why my uncle made us use GT and not the more comfortable vans of Duptours or Vanvans. Travel time to Tacloban using this service was longer at 3.5 hrs because the van stopped everywhere to collect passengers. Fare was also more expensive than it’s more comfortable rivals ( why? still confuses me up to now).
Again I failed to see the bridge connecting Leyte and Biliran because I was sound asleep. We arrived at Tacloban city almost 2:30pm. We took another tricycle from the street near the van’s terminal to our accommodation at Downtown, GV Hotel. We were charged 60Php.
We also spoke to the driver if he could actually bring us around to places that would include San Juanico Bridge, Sto Nino Shrine and Mc Arthur’s Landing Memorial Park. He charged us 400Php for the trip to see all these places. I guess if you have a group of 3 or more 400Php’s quite reasonable because aside from it would save you money, it would also save you a lot of time especially if you only have half a day to walk around the city.
First stop was the nearby Sto. Nino Shrine/ Romualdez Museum. They charged 200Php for the first 3 people and additional 30Php if you’d be using your camera inside. The mansion boasted itself with 21 rooms. All the rooms were decorated based on themes about the Philippines (eg, butterfly, coconut, Ilocos, primitive). My personal favourite was the spacious ballroom with beautiful chandeliers from Pampanga. I felt like renting that space for my wedding reception.lol I also loved the fact that the 2 meeting/dining rooms (one’s 20seater, the other’s 30seater) were soundproof. I thought it’s so cool.
The mansion wasn’t properly maintained. The tour guide rushed through all the rooms. So I wonder where the 200Php entrance fee goes to? Hmm..
Next stop was the Mc Arthur’s Landing Memorial Park. It’s situated at Palo, Leyte. The wind was blowing directly to our faces. The breeze made me feel like I already wanted to take a mat and sleep beside the sea front. The wind blew the waves of the sea as well. It looked like a storm’s coming. We took photos and rushed back to the Tricycle because it was already drizzling.
Last stop was the longest bridge in the Philippines, measuring 2.61Km and connecting Leyte and Samar. We walked for a while towards Samar and returned back to the mouth of the bridge. If I have more time I wouldn’t mind walking until the end of the bridge.
Boat from Maripipi to Kawayan port (45mins-1hr) – 500-800Php per boat
Kawayan to Naval Habal Habal (20-30mins) – 120Php per habal habal
GT express non-AC van from Naval to Tacloban (3.5hrs) – 150Php per person
Tricycle from GT express terminal to Downtown – 60Php for three persons
City Tour around Tacloban ( 3-4 places of interest) – 400-500Php
Tricycle from Downtown to airport – 150Php for three person