It was December 2010 when I visited the Province of Southern Leyte to cover a wedding of one of my friends (Bangas) from Sta. Cruz who now permanently resides there in Macrohon town. It was actually the first major trip I made just month after my own wedding. My last-minute decision to pursue with the trip was worth it, as I witnessed some promising sites of the Eastern Visayas and eventually collected yet another memorable experience.
|Traveling by land is exhausting but at the same time rewarding|
Together with my in-laws, we took the Davao-Southern Leyte trip through the famous Bachelor Express Bus via the Tagum-Butuan-Surigao City route. The ferry boat travel from Surigao’s Lipata port to Lilo-an port took us four hours to reach the gateway of Eastern Visayas region from the island of Mindanao. Our base town where we stayed for three days was the municipality of Macrohon, approximately 2 hours travel from Liloan. It is a 3rd class municipality in Southern Leyte with varied geographic characteristics. It sits beside a huge coastal area facing the Mindanao sea and is just 13 kilometers from Maasim City, the province’s capital city.
|Ferry boat from Lipata Port to Liloan Port, connecting Easterm Visayas from Mindanao|
On our way to Lilo-an, we spotted the historic Limasawa Island where the sunset rays emanate, beaming directly towards us in a fine afternoon. How could we forget Limasawa Island? This place has been consigned as the sight of the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines way back 1521.
My friend’s wedding was scheduled 3:00 PM the next day, so we still had enough time to room around the entire town of Macrohon. Early in the morning, we visited an adjacent place in Padre Burgos and experienced the beautiful Tangka-an Beach Resort. There we saw the replica of Padre Burgos who were erected in memory of the priest Padre Jose Burgos (one of the 3 priests of GOMBURZA), who were executed to death by Spanish colonial authorities on charges of rebellion in Cavite on year 1872.
|Pader Burgos Replica, Tangka-an Beach Resort|
Some 5 kilometers south from where we stayed was Kuting Beach Resort, one of the few commercial resorts in Macrohon. It boosts of its infinity pool which according to them seamlessly blends with the sea. The verdant green landscape of the resort is remarkable and has added to its already-comfortable amenities.
|Kuting Beach Resort|
The town of Macrohon also takes pride of its fine white-sand beaches. Resorts in the Barangays of Buscayan, Aguinaldo and Asuncion are destinations favored by local and foreign tourists alike. Aside from the white sands, mangrove forests also abound as part of the local government’s initiative to conserve its marine environment. I took a personal tour to all these sites particularly the scenic Buscayan Beach and Manaya Resort where I tasted the delicious wiri-wiri – a native delicacy similar to that of Mindanao’s budbud.
|Buscayan White Sand Beach|
|Manaya Beach Resort|
|Mangrove Reserves of Barangay Aguinaldo|
|Wiri-Wiri, a native Southern Leyte Delicacy|
Over at Barangay Molopolo, we headed to their Fish Sanctuary Project. It is a community-based project featuring a 25-hectare marine park and fish sanctuary shared by two Barangays – Sta. Cruz and Molopolo. Assorted fishes and sea birds both inhabit in this part of Macrohon which formed part of Southern Leyte’s Reef Conservation Project.
|Molopolo Fish Sanctuary|
Our trip back to Davao was scheduled in an early dawn and as we got back to Liloan port, I saw the beautiful sunrise while waiting for the boat to take its jaunt to the sea. The peso-divers in Liloan also caught my attention, which marveled my mind about how those kids survive by just merely picking the coins being intentionally thrown to the deep sea by well-off persons. Life, indeed is a survival of the fittest.
|Sunrise at Liloan Port|
|Liloan Peso Divers|
I never regretted visiting Southern Leyte last 2010 although that was just one month after my wedding. The warmth of the people there was addicting. The lovely places I have stepped into and photographed were all extraordinary. And maybe it would take another unexpected scene before I can go back to Southern Leyte. It is therefore my pleasure to retrieve all my photo files and share to my readers all the great things happening in this beautiful part of the Philippines.