I've always had this fantasy of being able to fly anywhere I want on a whim and Cebu Pacific's countless seat sales had made it happen, well partially at least.
Three months earlier, I was among the lucky hundreds who managed to book a round trip ticket to one of their local destinations and we chose Tacloban, just because the tickets were cheap. It only cost me and two other friends from work 56.02 Pesos each, ALL IN. Since we were pretty much clueless about Tacloban and the booking was squeezed amid several other trips, we decided to go for a day tour.
You'd think that since I booked 3 months ahead that I'd be well-prepared for the trip. Ah, the lazy packer in me has prevailed once more and I found myself tensed and in a rush to get to the airport wearing whatever comfortable outfit I managed to find - light brown capri, a happy orange shirt and a pair of slippers. On my shoulders, hanged a stuffed sling bag that contained an EZ map,some disorganized information I printed from the web and some personal effects.
We landed in Tacloban safely and roamed the streets like playful puppies. The only agonizing thing was that it had rained a few hours earlier which meant the streets were scattered with dark puddles of rain water and mud. Ah the agony of walking through those with light colored pants! I don't really mind getting dirty as long as I'm prepared for it. I did certainly did not expect rain because it was hot in Manila!
After breakfast at a TAPSILOG stand and taking photos at a public park, we decided to check out San Juanico bridge - which during my grade school days was the longest bridge in the Philippines. :P
From the Tacloban public market, we rode a jeep that only took us to the foot of the bridge. At a nearby eatery, we asked some friendly people where we can get a ride to the next province which is Samar. They informed us that public transportation do not make a stopover from where we were and that we can just walk the entire length of the bridge. Based from what I’ve read, the bridge is just 2.16 KM long and shouldn’t take more than an hour to cross.
The sun was hiding behind a sea of dark clouds as we began our walk. Mild rain began to fall from the sky and I had to restrain myself from frowning. I was in such a hurry to get to the airport that morning and I wasn’t able to bring an extra shirt.
A few minutes, later, clouds dispersed from the sky and the sun emerged, welcoming us with such intense rays. It was so HOT! Great thing was, we get to enjoy the view with blue skies as backdrop. :P
An hour and hundreds of pictures later, our trio made it safely to Samar where we made a stopover at Pirates Cove, a simple beach resort near the foot of the bridge to take a little dip. Since me and another friend did not bring any extra clothes and skinny dipping was not an option as the bridge was above us where tons of cars and buses pass by, we had to content ourselves in wading our feet in the water while throwing insults and laughing at each other.
Lunch was at a nearby eatery and from there, we flagged a van back to Tacloban where we had a relaxing time over coffee a few hours before our flight home. We were about to go back to the airport when we chanced on a barbeque stand and off we went into another feeding frenzy. We had pu-so (rice in banana leaves), chicken and hotdogs. We devoured the afternoon away and made it just in time for our flight.
Whew, all in one day. That's how we working backpackers roll. :P
April 2015 Update :
For a helpful guide on Tacloban, check out Travel Book's, 24 Hours in Tacloban
Where to eat? Try Chew Love! Visit Travel Up's site