Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FUN IN TACLOBAN - The City's Hidden Wealth - Part 2

Day 2 - Discovering Tacloban City's Hidden Wealth

We have gone to the countryside on our first day so we opted to spend the next day walking around the city. Again, with our Waray friends' help, we were able to visit the following historical places.

Leyte Provincial Capitol

Constructed in 1907, it became the temporary seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government when Pres. Osmeña landed at Palo with the American troops. Within the halls of this massive building, important strategies and decisions were formed leading to the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation. 


The Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum

The house (OR PALACE) was built by Imelda Marcos as a Romualdez ancestral house but as in most things historical in this country, it has since fallen into a sad state of decay. The museum charges P250 for five persons and P30 for every person in excess of five. There is additional charge for the use of camera and video camera. Considering the vast collection of treasures given to the Marcos family during their 20-year in power, what a waste to see the government neglecting this part of history merely on the basis of its being a part of the Marcos memory.

Some of the wood furniture, including bed posts, religious images and the 32-seater dining table had been eaten by termites. The museum survives on the entrance fees, which are barely enough for the salary of the museum staff and payment of electricity bill. As it is, the museum is poorly lighted and maintenance of the whole place is clearly wanting.

Despite this, we were held in awe at the opulence this place once was and marveled at the value of every piece of foreign gift given to Imelda by such people as Mao Zedong.

MacArthur Landing Memorial Park in Palo, Leyte

Leyte abounds by historical sites where battles once took place along beach fronts and hilltops. Among these places is the McArthur Landing Memorial Park with larger than life bronze statues of the landing of the Allied Forces. Inside the park is the Stone Garden of Peace where world leaders have inscribed pledges of peace.

Other natural points of interests include The Philippine-Japan Commemorative Monument and Park and the Maria Kannon Madonna of Peace Shrine. The scenic San Pedro Bay is also worth visiting.

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