When you are in Tacloban City, visiting the San Juanico Bridge should be on your top 5 must-visit tourist spots list. Not only does the bridge has a historical significance, it’s also mesmerizing aesthetically. As Tacloban City’s traffic starts to congest around 5 p.m., it is best to escape from the buzzing streets and get to the bridge before the clock strikes 5. The sight is something to behold! It is even considered as iconic for being one of the most marvelous feats of engineering in the Philippines.
Other than the added fact that the bridge creates a really great backdrop for portrait photos, here are 5 relevant historical facts that you might want to know or be reminded about:
- Did you know? San Juanico Bridge was formerly called as the Marcos Bridge, it being a project of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during his administration. The construction of the bridge sought to connect the two provinces of Samar and Leyte. Presently, the bridge is the longest bridge in the Philippines which spans over the San Juanico Strait. Since its construction, it has become an access road by many locals of both provinces, making it so easy for them to cross from Samar to Leyte, and vice versa. The bridge does not only improved the lives of the locals, it also boosted the economy as business transactions in the two provinces are now facilitated faster.
- Did you know? The San Juanico Bridge is the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ gift to his wife, the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. In fact, the groundbreaking ceremony of the bridge was celebrated on the very birthday of Imelda. This bridge has also been considered by the late President as his most important gift for his wife.
- Did you know? The shape of San Juanico Bridge was wittingly constructed to carry the two provinces’ initials—L and S, L for Leyte and S for Samar. As you approaches the province of Leyte, the bridge is shaped in a letter L, as when you are approaching the province of Samar when the shape of the bridge which forms letter S becomes apparent.
- Did you know? Even locals until now would tell a tale about how kids’ blood and life were offered during the construction of the bridge. Of course, these are mere hearsays as no one has ever tried proving it. Honestly, this doesn’t sound right too. Exactly why it remained a hearsay, right?
- Did you know? It took only four months to finish constructing the San Juanico Bridge, with a fund amounting to roughly an estimate of 21 billion. Considering that this bridge is the longest in the Philippines, its construction period is surprisingly the shortest and one can say that the materials used were not corrupted because the bridge wasn’t damaged when typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) hit the province of Leyte.
P.S. Don’t miss to walk on San Juanico Bridge if you are in Tacloban City and don’t miss the experience when your legs or knees shake every time a big truck passes by. 😀 From the bridge’s tail coming from Samar, walking towards the opposite end tail will take roughly 45 minutes, or an hour or so (as in our case because we stopped and took photos.)
Here are some of the great portraits I took for my sisters before we head home. The bridge gives any photo viewer the illusion that the photo was taken somewhere abroad. 😀