Sunday, June 17, 2012

Traversing the iconic San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge is the country's famous 2.16 km bridge that connects the island provinces of Samar and Leyte, over the San Juanico strait. Its "L" and "S" shapes makes it more impressive than the longer yet straight Candaba Viaduct, a land bridge in NLEX where itlog (egg) becomes ebun (bird  in Tagalog), when crossed from Bulacan to Pampanga.

Built from 1969 to 1973, this beautiful bridge was touted to be the late dictator President Marcos' gift to her wife Imelda, who hails from Leyte. These are photos taken from a moving jeepney, on our way from Tacloban to Basey, Samar.

It was a cloudy morning on that third day, but I think there really is a second and bigger mountain behind the first one on the middle of the photo below, and not just a "shadow".

There are islets along the strait. Depending on the tides, whirlpools forms along this part of the sea. Here's a Google map of the bridge as pointed by the red arrow, showing its proximity from Tacloban, and Basey where we visited the Sohoton cave.

Next are some photos taken on our way back from Samar to Leyte.

Farm animals like cows are forbidden to walk along the bridge. Vehicles are not allowed to stop along the bridge, probably for safety reasons, except for emergency repairs.

There are police checkpoints on both ends of the bridge, manned sometimes by female officers carrying M16 rifles. Insurgency had weakened on this part of the country, but this famous bridge could still be a prime target of rebels, just like malls and bus/train stations.

I was planning to cross this bridge by walking from Samar to Leyte, but we ran out of time during our three days of stay in Tacloban. I will surely do it the next time I find myself within the area, including a visit to the historic Balangiga Church. 

At least now I've seen it personally, unlike before that I just see it on postcards or school textbooks. Another place checked on my bucket list of "must-see" places in the country.

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