Monday, September 10, 2012

My First Solo Trip: Leyte and Samar Islands (With Itinerary)



Last March of 2012, I was able to avail again another promo from the budget airline Cebu Pacific. I had no specific destination in mind as I checked on their website whether there were nice destinations on promotion during some Philippine long weekend holidays. With luck, I found a two-way promo fare for Tacloban City, Leyte on the dates August 26-28. August 27 is a holiday (National Heroes Day), and the flight on August 28 would be early in the morning which would allow me to still come to the office for work and not be absent. So then I grabbed it!



Came August 2012, I started planning for my trip. Since I would be alone, with nobody to share the expenses on hotel, fare, etc., the trip would be in backpacker style: walking, commuting, cheaper pension houses or hostels, among others. So, off I went researching for Leyte and Samar travel tips on the internet. I also printed a map of Tacloban City and other important sites of Leyte and Samar which I grabbed from Google Map. Since August was not a peak tourist season, I didn’t bother reserving a room because some of them would ask for reservation fees, and I hadn't decided yet on what pension house to choose. Instead I listed all of the possible pension houses with their phone numbers, ranked them and planned on calling them when I would arrive Tacloban. This also saved me some money on long-distance calls.

As I arrived in Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City, I directly went outside the gates of the airport to catch the first jeepney going to the new bus terminal. It helped a lot that I didn’t have any check-in baggage with me. Most of the jeepneys were just plying until Tacloban downtown (minimum fare of 20php), however, the new bus terminal is located outside downtown. Good thing, there was this one jeepney willing to go to the new bus terminal with an asking price of 50php per passenger. I didn’t mind the higher price since I don’t want to get lost in the downtown area looking for another way to the bus terminal.

From the airport, the new bus terminal is around 8-10 kilometers away, I think, and it took us around 30 minutes to get there. But first, the jeepney dropped off some passengers in the downtown area, especially in VanVan terminal and Grand Tours terminal. These are the terminals of vans going to towns/cities outside Tacloban like Ormoc City, Catbalogan City, among others.

For the specific details about my travel to each point of interest, please click the following:


DAY 1 
My Tacloban City Tour on Day 1 
Leyte-Samar Food Trip: Calle Z


DAY 2 
The town of Balangiga and the Balangiga Encounter 
Marabut Extreme Adventure 
Caluwayan Palm Island Resort 
San Juanico Bridge 
My Tacloban City Tour on Day 2 
Leyte Food Trip: Calle Z


Others 
Leyte-Samar Pasalubong and Delicacies 
Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (Tacloban Airport)


Below is the itinerary of my Leyte-Samar trip. Everything went well according to plan, even the time of each travel from one point to the other. There were a few changes on the budget, but it was okay since it was charged to experience.

DAY 1 - Aug. 26 Sunday
Departure
Arrival

Major Expenses & Fare
Manila to Tacloban (NAIA 3)
4:20AM
5:35AM
Taxi
200
Terminal Fee
200
Tacloban Airport to New Tacloban Bus Terminal
5:55AM
6:25AM
Jeepney Fare
50
 Bus Terminal to Agas-Agas Bridge
7:00AM
9:00AM
Van Fare
150
Entrance to Agas-Agas View
5
Cable Car Ride
200
Rest Room Fee
3
Agas-Agas to Palo town
10:30AM
12:00NN
Van Fare
130
Palo to Campetic Crossing
12:30PM
12:40PM
Jeepney Fare
8
McArthur Landing Site to Campetic Crossing
Traysikad Fare
10
Campetic Crossing to Robinsons Mall
Jeepney Fare
8
Robinsons to Tacloban downtown (Juan Luna St.)
Jeepney Fare
8
Check-in at GC Hotel (4:00PM)
2 days Accomodation (450php per night)
900
Deposit for the key (refundable)
200
Capitol to Calle Z
Tricycle Fare
14
Dinner at Calle Z
6:30PM
7:30PM
Food

 
DAY 2 - Aug. 27 Monday
Departure
Arrival

Major Expenses & Fare (in pesos)
Tacloban to Balangiga town
5:30PM
7:10AM
Van Fare
150
Balangiga to Marabut Extreme
8:50AM
9:45AM
Van Fare
100
Highway to Marabut Extreme Adventure
walk for 15 minutes
Entrance to Marabut Extreme
25
Marabut Extreme to Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort
Traysikad Fare
15
Entrance to Caluwayan
20
Lunch
195
Caluwayan to San Juanico Bridge endpoint in Samar
1:00PM
1:30PM
Van Fare
50
One end of San Juanico to another end (Samar to Leyte)
Habal-Habal Fare (20pesos was the asking price, but I gave 50 since the driver was very helpful and accommodating)
50
San Juanico (Leyte) to Tacloban downtown
13
Tricycle to GV Hotel
7
Romualdez Museum to Price Mansion
Jeepney Fare
8
Dinner at 
Food
90
 

DAY 2 - Aug. 28 Tuesday
Departure
Arrival

Major Expenses & Fare (in pesos)
GV Hotel to Tacloban Airport
4:30AM
5:00AM
Jeepney Fare
20
Airport Terminal Fee
30
Tacloban to Manila
6:05AM
7:15AM
Airport Bus to MRT Taft Station
20
MRT Taft to Shaw Station
12



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