Leyte is a province on the Eastern side of the Philippines. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Leyte mostly is the path of the typhoons during monsoon season - like what we experienced. This province boasts a lot of interesting places both the touristy and the non touristy. For our visit we landed on Tacloban Airport then we proceeded to Ormoc to make a semi-roundabout down to Southern Leyte then heads back to Ormoc then to Tacloban again. We visited Tacloban, Canigao Island, Maasin City and Sogod before settling to Ormoc to have a two night staycation in one of the city's five star hotel/resort.
This post serves as an overview. Much of the places will have their own page for your guidance and enjoyment. So for now enjoy the pictures of Leyte.
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It wasn't even 24 hours when our paths have crossed, the idea of meeting a common online friend in Leyte came into existence. Eagerly so, we waited or should I say it came, for a promo fare. Fortunately, there was promo fare when we came home late that night from our Binondo Food Walk. We booked the one way fare ticket cause' we might change plan and do some detour along the way instead of going home immediately. The date was intentionally set for Pintados Festival.
Lunch at Bar-Ko
The clock was ticking and from honest to goodness I did not had any idea what are we going to do in Tacloban after Pintados Festival. I do not like the idea of festivals. Not that I do not like it at all. It is just I am not a fan of it. I prefer a silent and tranquil travels than the crowdie festivals. My traveling note does not rhyme with festivals and fiestas though sometimes it hits. Hehehe...
I did not even researched or read travel guides about Leyte. Every place I know then was from the top of my head such as the famous San Juanico Bridge and the McArthur Landing Site which I fail to visit. I do not know why, but because maybe the thought of having a friend in the area, I slothfully scan every blog post about Leyte. As a result I gain nothing major for the trip.
One of the contingent of the 27th Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival. view from the VIP area.
As most festivals and fiestas in the Philippines, this young girls holding a Senyor Santo Nino dedicating the dance and thanking for the good harvest.
Capitol Center of Leyte Province
Two months prior to the trip I manage (ehem ehem... hehe) to secure a deal with Go Hotels Tacloban. I was surprised they agreed to accommodate us knowing that it was the time of Pintados festival ergo many people will flock the city to witness the parade and spectacle. Go Hotels is a must go place for a budget traveler like me. They offer basic amenities such as free wifi, a/c room, a TV and a hot and cold rain shower.
A week before the trip a group of travel bloggers made an event page in Facebook so that we will be able to meet and join each other’s company while in Tacloban. Then I became excited. Finally, I will be able to meet, talk and travel with whom I consider “superstars” of travel blogging (you won’t understand me if you are not part of Philippine's Pinoy Travel Bloggers). Our trip, because of the presence of these fellow travel bloggers, has become a Pintados PTB meetups .. Some actually came from Mindanao. What made it more exciting was we had three food tasting event! A lunch at Bar Ko, dinner at Oriental Hotel and Resort's Jasmine Restaurant and a lunch at Calle Z!!! I'm beginning to reap the sweat and sleepless nights of blogging.
The most beautiful bridge in the Philippines
Gastronomic Dinner at Jasmine Restaurant of the Oriental Hotels & Resort
Delightful Lunch at Calle'Z Cafe
Our host Madame Ludette wholeheartedly prepared a gastronomic amount of Filipino dishes before us. But my focus was on the lechon. Lechon is the star of every occasion in the Philippines. No wonder the famous chef Anthony Bourdain notes that we have the best lechon in the world.
L-R: Ramil (pinasmuna.com), Eric (byahilo.com), Glenn (escapemanila.com), Me, Ed (pinasmuna.com), Doc Nonoy, Mervs (pinoyadventurista.com), Nathalie (mywanderingsoles.com) and Claire (iamtravelinglight.com)
We also paid visit to Sto. Nino Shrine built by Imelda Marcos. The entrance fee is reasonable but the way the tour guide dealt with us - I can say that its better to do it without the tour guide.
Memory lives on
We were talking of going to Paruparong Bukid Nature Conservation Center when Madame Ludette told us that Ms. Helly - the owner of Papuparong Bukid will come over for a lunch. To make the story short we went there with Ms. Helly hosting us.
Paruparong Bukid is a paradise hiding in the banks of San Juanico Strait. The lush vegetation makes it a perfect place for those who are tired of the metro noise and pollution. It is where you will find peace protected by wild plants and cropped vegetation. A hidden sanctuary nestled by wild butterflies and other unexpected animals.
That concluded our last night in Tacloban City. Next destination is Ormoc City where we will meet Eph and my client.
My good friend Eph hosted us for one night. We headed to Southern Leyte the next morning for Canigao Island and Agas-Agas bridge in Sogod Leyte.
The only souvenir shop on Canigao Island Jump off
Might be a simple wooden wharf for the local but this one is eye catching for the travelers/tourist
Maasin City Leyte
en route: Agas Agas Brigde
I met a client, one of our valued client, base in Ormoc in one of our business trips in Subic days prior to this Leyte trip. When I told him that I am going to Leyte he immediately asked me if I know how to drive. Confused, I said “no sir”... then he continued by saying he could not give me a driver because he has a lot of projects on-going. By then I knew what he was talking about and I said “its ok sir” Then insistently, he said that he will make a way. I was surprised yet very excited with it. Then he told to me to text him whenever I am in Ormoc. Then he asked if I have a companion and I said we were three.
That generous client accommodated us in the city’s most luxurious resort – Sabin Resort and Hotel.
The next morning we headed to Lake Danao. The Lake Danao is like a haven of tired soul. Its very relaxing there. if I could just stay for a day and just do boating and bumming on the lake I would probably do it.
Oh that Lake!
After our visit in lake Danao we headed to the city proper to have a walk and have a bite of it. this visit wouldn't be complete without the walking tour around town.
The shy Sun failed to make a perfect sunset =(
- Tacloban Walking Tour
- Where to Go (Hotels) in Tacloban?
- Calle Z to Paruparong Bukid: The Path that Changed Me
- The Beauty of Canigao Island
- Maasin City Tour
- Sogod's Agas Agas Bridge
- Oh That Lake! An Ode to Lake Danao
- Ormoc Walking Tour