Leyte, a Philippine island in the Eastern Visayas region, is made up of two provinces: Northern Leyte and Southern Leyte.
Leyte is known for many superlative descriptions (-est & -iest):
- It was the site of the largest naval battle in modern history called the Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II.
- It was the heaviest hit province by Super Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan in 2013.
- Leyte has the biggest geothermal plant in whole of Asia.
- The Daniel Z. Romualdez airport in Tacloban City is one of the busiest airports in the Philippines and links Leyte to major cities of the country.
But there are a lot of other reasons to visit this island province. After the ravages of typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan, the resilient people of Leyte rebuilt their province and continue with their lives.
Where to travel
Where to travel in Leyte? Here are some of the top travel destination in the island province of of Leyte – the San Juanico Bridge, McArthur Park, Lake Danao National Park, the Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum, Kalanggaman Island and Digyo Island.
If you travel in June, don’t miss to see the colorful Pintados- Kasadyaan Festival.
San Juanico Bridge
The San Juanico Bridge is a lengthy bridge that connects the islands of Leyte and Samar.
The longest bridge in the Philippines provides a great view of the San Juanico Strait especially from its highest point of 41 meters. The engineering marvel is 2 kilometers long and has a unique S-like curving body.
Mac Arthur Park
The Mac Arthur park is a historical place in Leyte which features the statue of General Douglas Mac Arthur.
The commemorative statue together with other statues represent the important personalities who landed on the shores of Leyte during the liberation of the country from Japanese occupation.
The park is located in the village of Palo which is just a few kilometers south of Tacloban City, the capital of Leyte.
Beside the Mac Arthur statue is the Japanese Flame of Peace memorial dedicated by the Japanese government to the Filipinos.
Lake Danao National Park
Lake Danao National Park in Ormoc city is the city’s top tourist attraction. It is a plece where guests can kayak, catch fish and swim. They may also camp or rent the cottages on rafts.
Sto. Nino Shrine & Heritage Museum
The Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum used to be one of the residences of the former strongman of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos.
The residence in Tacloban City is the main tourist destination of the place. The two-storey mansion has a private chapel and multiple rooms with different Filipino motifs.
The museum also features many painting collections, porcelains and other antique items.
The beautiful Kalanggaman Island is a private island crystal clear waters. The magnificent island provides a very relaxing place. It features the longest sand bar with its picture perfect scenery.
Digyo Island is part of the stunning Cuatro Islands which are four lovely islands.
The island has a classic white beach and lots of coconut trees. The small open-air nipa style cottages will provide guests with a relaxing stay and a good view of the beach.
Leyte’s festival of festivals is called the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival.
The festivity is celebrated in Tacloban City and showcases the unique culture and history of the Eastern Visayans.
It is highlighted with a parade featuring the festive dancers called Pintados. The participants are painted from the head to toe with alluring designs which resemble armor or make them look like tattooed warriors. The Pintados also celebrate the ageless art of body painting.
The Pintados-Kasadyaan festival is celebrated yearly in the month of June.
Keep posted on other tourist attractions in Leyte.