Round Up: When in Leyte

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Our three-day visit could be summarized by the quick sight of some of the many gems off the province’s treasure chest, that which ended great.

But great doesn’t even begin to describe it, especially with our initial destination – no less than the serene Kalanggaman Island off the coast of Palompon which was three hours away from Tacloban. Less all the sugarcoatings there is, the place basically boasts about everything in itself: its pristine waters, lengthy sandbars, and the perfect sunset. It’s that beach that hardly shamed all them beaches I've been to before. And it really was nothing less than that.

Contrast to the usual drill of craggy adventures as climbing mountains, our entire Leyte trip was a soothing mix of worthwhile sightseeing, an island quest, a hearty charitable work, generally much on the relaxation side. And just as we sailed smoothly back to Palompon the next day from the Kalanggaman overnight, the group once again dropped some bombs of love to some of them strolling kids nearby the shore.

We also strolled along the stretch of San Juanico Bridge, the infamous structure I have always known through my elementary history books. Finally setting foot and feeling the nearby draft under the warm blue skies makes the whole scene a picture perfect postcard backdrop.

Then we came across another prestigious destination in McArthur Park, which of course effortlessly reminded me again of those classic Sibika at Kultura moments from many moons ago. And despite some damages the park has incurred from the mayhem brought by that notorious typhoon, the fact remains that it still stood strong, a clear edifice of unparalleled vigor, exceptional toughness, and of silver linings.

With high hopes of spending our last day across the City of Pintados to be worthwhile as the previous ones, we decided to welcome that distinct oblation calling and drop by the UP Tacloban campus before finally heading to the port. Like the rest of the wrecked place, the university was also a picture of devastation during that time.

And while some things do happen beyond our control, there are also other things that just remain the same. The same way the place (and the rest of the province) was still an icon of sheer beauty and authentic charm, and its people being the solid example of resiliency. And as we rolled down to the last stretch of our Leyte escapade to wrap up just another good weekend getaway, the sun shone bright like the skies never rained days ago; seemed like no trace of them past shitty storms. None at all.


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