|View of Agas-Agas Bridge and a cable car ride from the viewing area|
Height of Bridge: 75 meters
Length of Bridge: 350 meters
From DZR Tacloban Airport, I arrived in the new bus terminal around 6:25AM. I was told that the first bus going to Sugod town wouldn’t be until 9:00AM. I was saddened since it was my aim to get the cheapest fares for this trip. I had no choice, and I have a timed itinerary to follow, so I opted to take the van going to Sugod. This would pass by Agas-Agas Bridge, the tallest bridge in the country as of this writing. I was the first passenger and it took 30 minutes before the van was fully occupied with most of the passengers coming from the airport like me. We left the terminal around 7:00AM.
The trip from Tacloban City to Agas-Agas Bridge took almost two hours. I noticed that compared to the other vans on the road that morning, we were a bit slower but I didn’t mind. Being in a new place alone, I preferred being on the safe side. Also, unlike other vans, ours didn’t have an AC. Again it was okay since I was seated by the window and I really enjoyed the early morning fresh air and the scenery. Along the way, one could see the vast ocean on the left, and fields and mountains on the right. I remembered my home province, Bohol. The trip was smooth as the road all the way to Agas-Agas was paved. There were a few areas with warning signs of landslides but I was lucky there was no news of any rains or typhoons hitting east of the country at that time. (A typhoon was on Batanes area at that time, about to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility.)
|Drop Off Point / View from the viewing area with the DPWH Field Office on the end|
After almost two hours, I saw Agas-Agas Bridge across the other side of the mountain. It was the mountainous area of Leyte and the road was almost in semi-circle on top of the mountain range with Agas-Agas bridge on the other end. When I saw it, I felt the chill. Excuse my innocence but I haven’t seen any other bridge as tall as what I was about to see. It was white and standing proudly like a king of the mountains. I was dropped off on the other side of the bridge where a viewing area on top of a hill is located, about a few meters higher than the bridge.
The entrance fee to the viewing area is 5php, and then one has to climb a few steps up. Sorry, I forgot to count how many steps there were. On top, a large hall can be found where a big party could be held. On the side, the cable car ride (200php) and zipline (280php) are installed. There were only about 20 visitors when I came so it wasn’t that crowded and there was no queue to either of the rides. Since I was alone, I didn’t risk taking the zipline and go for the cable car ride instead. On the ride with me was a father-daughter tandem whom I met just then. They both liked to talk a lot, and so I’ve forgotten my fear of heights during the ride and just enjoyed the scenery and the conversation. It was a long ride and my longest cable car ride so far, back and forth.
|taken while riding the cable car|
|taken while riding the cable car|
During the ride, I asked one crew, who was with us, where the old road was located before the bridge was built. He pointed to area on the side of the mountain, but I couldn’t see any road. Instead, I saw a huge slab of land which seemed to have fallen from the top. He said a landslide occurred there in 2006 covering the road, and thus the bridge was built. I took a picture of the landslide area where the soil is already green with grasses and other plants. It’s hard to picture this beautiful area of Agas-Agas as a killer during rainy season.
After the ride and some picture-taking, I started my way down and went to check out some small stores selling ‘pasalubong’ and souvenirs. Mostly were selling t-shirts and bags, I wasn’t able to find a ref magnet which is the only souvenir I was planning to buy for this trip. I headed on to another small store slash carenderia, and had my late breakfast. The lady-owner was nice and shared stories about Sugod town, Agas-Agas and the landslides that happened before. It was from her too that I’ve learned that Tacloban City to Agas-Agas Bridge by bus is 80php (70php cheaper than what I paid on the van), and up to Sugod town proper is 130php. The downside is that buses seldom ply the area especially during that day, a Sunday. I was ready to leave Agas-Agas by 10:00AM, and manang told me to hail a van or a bus coming from Sugod. But one man said that since it was a Sunday, the next bus would be at 12:00NN. Luckily, a van passed by and could only accommodate one passenger more, which was ME!
I would definitely come back to Agas-Agas and hopefully explore more of Southern Leyte.
Coming from Agas-Agas Bridge going to Tacloban, since buses and vans are minimal, one could request and negotiate to the habal-habal drivers who came from Mahaplag Crossing and bringing tourist to Agas-Agas. Mostly, these drivers just wait for their passengers, so while waiting, you can ask them to bring you to Mahaplag Crossing. However, this is good if you are in groups of 3 or 4 or if you have extra money to spare since you have to hire the motorcycle from 200php-300php (depending on your haggling skills).
Once in Mahaplag Crossing, vans are waiting there going to Tacloban City. There is a higher probability of getting a ride there since vans and buses from Sugod town, BayBay town, Maasin City, etc pass by Mahaplag Crossing.
Van from Tacloban to Agas-Agas Bridge 150php
Entrance to Agas-Agas viewing area 5php
Cable Car Ride 200php (note: zipline is worth 280php)
Breakfast (carenderia, 2 viands) 45php
Van from Agas-Agas to Palo town 100php
Next Stop: The Town of Palo