When we arrived in Tacloban City, there was a feeling of mixed emotions. The excitement to explore the beautiful islands and at the same time, the sadness of what Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has brought to the city. It’s amazing though how fast they have recovered, that everything around seems to be established. It was my first time to visit Leyte and I fell in love with it.. 🙂
Yellow Doors Hostel is located in Tacloban City. I love its rustic, vintage, and artsy theme. The staffs are very friendly and accommodating . We got 2 Single Rooms and 5 bunk beds in the Dormitory rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and has Wifi access. Basic breakfast is also included (toast, coffee, and tea). Location is very convenient, beside a sari-sari store, and near many must-try restos.
Single Room (for 2 pax) – Php 1,250
6-Bed Dorm Room – Php 650/head
10-Bed Dorm Room – Php 550/head
Contact Numbers: 0927-45000984 | 0921-60001625
Agta Beach Resort is located in Almeria, Biliran. We stayed there on our 2nd night so we can head to Sambawan Island early morning the following day. I didn’t like our room that much and the breakfast was served late even if we pre-ordered it.
Since we were a big group (9 pax) and have a tight schedule, we opted to rent a private van with Latagaw Tours & Travel, Inc.. They were recommended by Yellow Doors Hostel. We had it for 3 days at Php 8,000 (all-in), includes airport pick-up, city tour, trip to Palompon (for Kalanggaman), trip to Biliran (for Sambawan), and back to Tacloban. I highly recommend them as it is very affordable compared to other van rentals. You may contact Kuya Richard at 0905-3504200.
Day 1 – City Tour
Airport – Check-in at the hostel – Lunch – City Tour
We had our Lunch at Highside. They serve good affordable food and has a unique & cool sports bar theme, more of for bikers. 🙂
M/V Eva Jocelyn Memorial Park
San Juanico Bridge
Longest Bridge in the Philippines!
Mass Grave at Holy Cross Cemetery
(Sorry, passing on posting a picture on this.)
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park
We had our dinner at Pop Up Kitchen Burger Bar, 4 blocks away from the hostel. The burger was good except for the french fries. You can taste the oil and it looks like it has been fried twice.
Day 2 – Kalanggaman Island
We left the hostel at 4:30 am. Travel time from Tacloban to Palompon is 3 hours, Palompon to Kalanggaman Island is 1 hour. Make sure to call the Eco-Tourism Office to reserve for a boat as they are limiting the number of guests in the island.
Contact Nos.: 0926-8164007 & 0975-1384218
There is a Public Market beside the Eco-Tourism office. A store sells drinks on the island (I think softdrinks and water only but for a higher price) so make sure you have everything you need before going there. You may buy ready to eat foods or cook on the island. They have free grilling stations but you have to bring your own charcoal.
We left the island at around 2:30 and headed to Biliran which is around 3 hours away from Palompon. If you’re going to commute, there are no vans heading straight to Biliran. You will need to go to Ormoc first then ride another van to take you there. Good thing, we rented a van! 😉
Day 3 – Sambawan Island
After our breakfast, we checked out and went to Kawayan Port at around 8:30am. We got a boat going to Sambawan for Php 2,000 (thanks to Kuya Richard for arranging this). The small boat is good for 10 pax. It was a perfect gloomy morning, what not we hoped for. But just how it goes, the show must go on.. lol! As long as it’s still safe to cross the sea.. I usually trust the boatmen on this.. haha!
We left Sambawan at around 12:30pm and went back to Tacloban City, 3 to 4 hours away. Then checked-in again at Yellow Doors Hostel.
We had dinner at Ocho Seafood Grill which is also known there. A must try is their Adobong Sarad (shellfish meat) & Porbidang Kangkong (stewed in a spicy broth of coconut milk)!
Similar to the food park craze in Manila, Tacloban also has one.. the HQ Food Park. Grabbed a few drinks and went to our hostels’ roof deck for a few drinks again, not me, just my friends.. haha!
Day 4 – Tulaan Beach, Pasalubong, Flight back to Manila
To make the most out of our trip, we squeezed in one more destination and headed to Tulaan Beach (a Pebble beach 🙂 ). It is 30 to 40 minutes away from Tacloban. Due to the gloomy and a bit rainy weather, we were not able to swim.
We headed back to the city to buy our pasalubongs.
Moron – Chocolate Suman (1 bundle is about 12 pieces for Php 100.00)
Binagol – Mix of Gabi, Coconut Milk, and Sugar placed in a coconut shell (Php 50.00 each)
Suprisingly, there is so much more to see in Leyte and Biliran. I’ll surely be back to explore more on this side of the Philippines. Next on my list: Quatros Islas, Biri Rock Formation, Higatangan Island, more restos in Tacloban! 🙂
Travel Date: February 2017 (4D,3N)
All-in Expense: Php 6,069.00