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Crazy beautiful detour—pretty much the perfect description I can come up to describe my wanders to Sogod, Leyte. While my Zambales trip was put off due to aircraft situation but my leave application already approved; I decided to create my own adventure. I braved travelling alone to someplace I’ve never been to yet–a first. It was a long time I’ve felt butterflies in my stomach; the thrill and fears of how a trip would turn out. But, I braved it.
To Sogod, Leyte I went.
When my dear friend Cleo called me up and invited me over to their town’s fiesta, I took it as a sign to quench my thirst for adventure. I immediately proceeded to Roble ticketing office that day. After all, I badly needed a break from a very rough work week. From Cebu City, I booked a ticket from Roble Shipping Inc. They offer day and night trips to Hilongos, Leyte (the port where your boat will dock to reach Sogod, Leyte), daily (12 nn and 9 pm). Unusual for me, this shipping line does not only offer economy, tourist, and cabin accommodations but also sitting accommodations. Travel time to Hilongos is six (6) hours. I took the economy accommodation and paid P290.00 one-way. You also need to get a boat service ticket (the bus that will take you to Sogod proper). You can buy this at the information counter just beside the boat’s restaurant. Make sure to proceed there directly right after you get onboard so that you’re assured a bus seat when you dock Hilongos port. For the boat service going Sogod, I paid P70.00.
I took the night trip. Time of departure was 9 pm, I was already on my bunk by 7 pm. Excited?
I reached Hilongos Port quarter to 4 am. The bus that’ll take you to Sogod waits right at the pier. On your bus ticket, your bus seat number corresponds to that number written at the top left in the ticket. I was number 4.
Foggy road and blind curves? Check! I got worried but decided to drown my worries with music. Hilongos to Sogod proper didn’t take an hour. I was fetched by the boyfie at Sogod terminal around 5 am. Yes, the boyf is from Leyte. *blushing
I decided to stay in a hotel despite no prior reservation. We went straight to GV Hotel conveniently located at Osmena St. just a corner ahead from Sogod terminal. Unfortunately, I arrived too early that if I checked in that time (which was almost 6 am already), I have to check out by 12 nn of the same day and need to pay up for another day. Regular check in time is 8 am and check out is at 12 nn the next day. I decided to wait until 8 am. We headed to my boyf’s house instead and woke up the sleepy heads; had coffee and donuts with his parents and went back to the hotel around 8 am. GV Hotel rate: P650.00/day. Includes: clean bathroom, shower (no hot), cable TV, air-conditioned, and Wi-Fi. Nothing was fancy; just the basic. There were not even enough outlets to charge phones. But, I wasn’t there to sleep or charge my phone, right? I was there to enjoy.
First itinerary: Agas-Agas Bridge
Located in Brgy. Kahupian, Sogod, Southern Leyte, this 292 feet high and 350 meters in length above the ground linear bridge is to date, the tallest bridge in the Philippines. Built by the DPWH as part of local government’s risk reduction and management program against landslides, this project was built with the aid of the Japanese government. This is also where you can experience extreme zip lining.
From Sogod, you may take a bus ride bound for Tacloban at Sogod terminal, fare is less than a hundred. Drop off at Mahaplag crossing (better tell the ticketer).
Second itinerary: Zip Southern Leyte
One-way zip will cost you P350.00 and if you decide to give it another try, you’ll pay P250.00. What differs this from other zip lines? It’s level of extreme! See photo below:
When you brave the zip southern leyte (880 meters, 20 meters above the bridge at a speed of 110 kph), you’ll definitely be left with a dry throat (from screaming) and a hungry stomach! There’s a food kiosk below the zip line area or just right beside Mahaplag crossing. Don’t miss out Sogod’s fried piyaya!
Third itinerary: San Roque fiesta
From the extreme adventure in Agas-Agas bridge, we drove towards Brgy. San Roque to take part in the festivities. We were hosted by Atty. and Teacher Paranas, the owners of Royal Waldorf Integrated Academy. Dinner was served. By far the largest grilled fish I’ve ever had for a dinner!
As we got our fill, the tune of the band in the basketball court pumping to the sound of Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You and Lorde’s Royal, down to the a rather rapport-building and beat of cha-cha and boogie threatened a total showdown. The traditional barrio disco (locally known as diskoral) begun and man were they great performers! We watched the barrio folks had great fun while we capped off the night with Chivas and Fortunella. *wink
Fourth itinerary: Hindag-an falls
Located at St. Bernard, Hindag-an falls is one beauty you cannot miss when in Leyte. An hour or so drive from Sogod, it’s definitely worth it! If you are commuting, you can take a bus from Sogod terminal bound to Silago, fare is P100.00. Drop off the right side of the road where you see Hindag-an falls sign just right after Lepanto town. Entrance fee is P20.00. This is another tourist spot regulated by the local government unit. Clean, fresh, and cool water—just what I truly needed after an hour drive!
On your way to Hindag-an falls, you’ll also be able to see the Limasawa Island from afar, and blooming flowers almost everywhere.
Fifth itinerary: Boating in Consolacion
The good thing about boyf’s place in Consolacion is its location—right beside the beach! Local fishermen will no doubt take you to a boating ride that’ll put you in so much awe of how wonderful it is to bask in such wonderful creations surrounding you—calm waters, perennial mountains, and healthy flora.
Sixth itinerary: Café Emmanuel
I was craving for pizza after a great day filled with wonders and wanders and Café Emmanuel is the place to go when in Sogod. From Gaisano Mall, drive straight ahead. It won’t take you 10 minutes to get there. They sure got me by its perfect ambiance. I smell romance that night. Open house with lacey pastel drapes, garden, natural air—it was a perfect night. Although I got put off by the slow service for a while, but when pizza was laid on the table, man was it soooooo delicious and filled! It was huge! Cost P400.00. I paired mine with San Mig Light apple flavor. We also ordered their special paratha sandwich at P120.00. It was equally mouth-watering and came in four (4) sliced great servings.
I arrived at my hotel totally satisfied and in so much gratitude. I booked my ticket back to Cebu at Tejano. I took a tourist accommodation knowing for sure I would be sleeping away the six (6) hours travel back to Cebu.
Two (2) nights and two (2) days at Sogod Leyte breakdown:
Cebu – Hilongos + boat service—————–P 360.00 (economy accommodation)
Hilongos – Cebu + boat service——————–400.00
Zip Southern Leyte——————————–350.00
Hindag-an falls entrance—————————20.00
Local fare spent———————————-200.00
GV Hotel accommodation (2 nights)—————1,300.00