Maasin City is the capital of Southern Leyte. A 4th class city bounded by the Canigao Channel on the south, the town of Matalom, Leyte on the north, Macrohon on the southeast and the municipalities of Malitbog and Tomas Oppus on the east. It may not be a usual tourist destination, but it’s laid-back charm and bucolic beauty make it an ideal place to relax and escape the typical city life.
After our overnight camping trip in Canigao Island, we took an ordinary bus bound for Maasin City. We alighted at the bus terminal, asked around and walked towards the town proper. Without any itinerary, we will just be exploring the city by foot and see what's in store for us.
Some old structures greeted us as we go near the town proper. This includes St. Joseph College which was established in 1928.
One should not miss the 18th century Maasin Cathedral, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Precious Blood of Jesus.
Canonically erected on August 14, 1968, the Diocese of Maasin comprises the entire province of Southern Leyte, and some towns of Leyte: Matalom, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Baybay. It is the seat of the diocese located at the Monte Cueva, Basak, Rizal, Maasin City.
On the right side of the cathedral, is the Archbishop's Palace. The official residence of the Bishop of the Diocese of Maasin.
Just across the street is the Maasin Public Plaza, where a 1930 monument of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal proudly stands.
It was just a short stopover in Maasin City before we head back to Tacloban. But there are still a lot of things to see here. Given more time we would love to visit other tourist spots such as the impressive 253-step Our Lady of the Assumption Shrine, Guisohotan Falls and cave, Cacao Mountain Resort, the Mountaintop Man-made Forest Park and Monte Cueva with its larger than life, Stations of the Cross, Panas Island Resort and Pugaling Beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are vans (Duptours and Van-Van's) that ply the Tacloban - Maasin City Route. Travel time is around 3 to 3.5 hours, fare is 220 pesos.
This is a part of my Leyte and Southern Leyte Adventure Getaway last October 1-2, 2011. Southern Leyte is the 40th province on my list. Indeed, this trip made me realize that there's more to Southern Leyte other than the typhoons and landslides. It also made me experience its innate provincial beauty that is undoubtedly worth traveling for. Join me as I experience Southern Leyte!
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