Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) has always been one of my favorite regions. I've been here several times and it doesn't fail to amaze me every time. Last March 27, 2014 I was fortunate to be invited as one of the vounteer-tourists for "The Do Good Project". It an initiative spearheaded by Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours in partnership with the Department of Tourism Region 8, Bangon Tours and some kind-hearted sponsors. The project aims to bring people together to help the survivors of typhoon Yolanda in any way possible.
I took a 7:00 AM flight to Tacloban City via AirAsia Philippines. Since it was an early morning flight, I made sure that I arrive at the airport 2 hours before the estimated time of departure. We started to board at around 6:30 am. When I reached my designated seat, I settled my things and waited for the take-off.
March 27, 2014 - NAIA Terminal 4
Since it was an early flight, I haven't had anything solid in my stomach. I just had coffee before I left our home. I want to have breakfast sana on the plane but I was really very sleepy, so I just decided to sleep several minutes after take off.
But if you want to have breakfast, check out the inflight meals offered by AirAsia.
It was a safe and smooth flight that I didn't realize that we were already near Tacloban City. I woke up when the plane is about to land. Thank you AirAsia!
Upon arrival, we were fetched by our host, Ms. Ludette of Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours. We then went to Alejandro Hotel to have our breakfast. Then we proceeded to BarraxZ at Calle Z, our home for 4 days here in Tacloban City.
March 27, 2014 - Tacloban City
After having our lunch at Calle Z Cafe, we went around Tacloban City to see the extent of damage by Typhoon Yolanda in the city. This is a part (Phase 1) of The Do Good Project.
A restaurant inside Leyte Park
On the 2nd day of The Do Good Project, we went around Tacloban City in the morning to see the effects of the typhoon in Brgy. Anibong and Brgy. Rawis. This is were the ships that ravaged the houses in the area during the height of the typhoon can be found.
March 28, 2014 - Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte
Star Hilongos at the shore of Brgy. Rawis, Tacloban City which they plan to convert into a restaurant
Before lunch time, we drop by at the Department of Tourism Region 8's office for a courtesy call.
In the afternoon, we went went to San Joaquin in Palo, Leyte to distribute some school bags, school supplies, clothes, toys and insect repellants to some residents. These items were donated by Waray Bayaay and AY Foundation.
Going around the affected areas also gave us the opportunity to talk to some survivors. Hearing their stories of survival is truly heartbreaking. On the other hand, you can see their strength and their willingness to move on from the calamity that happened.
This day is the volunteer-tourists' debriefing day. We chose to explore Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, Balangiga Church in Eastern Samar and Kandongos Falls in Marabut Samar.
March 29, 2014 - Basey and Marabut (Samar) and Balangiga, Eastern Samar
Road trip to Eastern Samar
The historic Balangiga Church after Yolanda
Before going back to Tacloban City, we stop by the lovely San Juanico Bridge to take a few photos. It's still marvelous as it was before. We arrived back in Tacloban just in time for dinner at Calle Z Cafe.
Stopping by the famed San Juanico Bridge before coming back to Tacloban City
Since my AirAsia flight back to Manila is at 1:30 PM, we didn't plan anything for our last day in the city. We just went to the market at the downtown area to buy some pasalubong to bring back home. My family loved the moron and binagol! Yummy!!!
March 30, 2014 - Tacloban City
It was a fruitful and meaningful 4-day trip in Eastern Visayas. I am so happy to be part of The Do Good Project to share my time for the residents affected by the typhoon. You too can be a Volunteer-Tourist! Join "The Do Good Project!"
Thank you AirAsia Philippines for flying me to Tacloban City! AirAsia flies daily to Tacloban City, the gateway to Eastern Visayas! Book now at www.airasia.com, follow them on twitter at @airasiaPH or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines for the latest news on seat sale and promos.
Some photos used in this post were from Sir Gerry and Ms. Ludette Ruiz of Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours.
Read full disclosure here.
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