San Juanico Bridge: The Longest & Beautifully Designed Bridge in the Philippines

Last Updated: February 10, 2017
Formerly called Marcus Bridge, it is named the longest and beautifully designed bridge in the Philippines.  It measures 2.16 kilometers (1.34mi), connecting the two provinces, Samar and Leyte. It was built to facilitate faster movement between the two provinces. You probably won't believe it, but  this bridge, being the longest in the Philippines, was completed in only 4 years. Faster than the road in our barangay that took a decade before it's completed. Although it's completed in just a short period of time it's quality, however, is incomparable. It remained standing even after it was hit by the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Pictures were taken before the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
Rumor has it that this was built as a proof of love of the former President Ferdinand Marcos to his wife, Imelda Romualdez Marcos.  This is the reason why it's also called the "Bridge of Love".  And like other infrastructures built during his term, this one also has an urban legend that makes it sturdy.  Of course, only them and the engineers know the truth.
San Juanico Bridge taken from the side of Samar
Passing through this bridge offers many picturesque views specially the San Juanico Strait with its islets and whirlpools.  The name of bridge was derived from this strait, the narrowest navigable strait in the world.  Medium size boats can pass beneath the bridge's large main arch.
Now, this is another good thing the Marcos administration has left. Either from building it as the the proof of his love to his wife or for ease in transportation, it helps a lot of people in two provinces. And I think it's only natural that I felt so amazed and proud when I first laid my eyes on it. I wanted to get out of the vehicle right there and then and take photos. 
San Juanico Strait
There are police officers guarding both ends of the bridge so you can only take pictures at the middle of the bridge when they are not looking. You have to be very careful though, because it's a busy bridge and motorists will not stop just because you want to take pictures. However, since you can walk from end to end, that's if you dare to, you can take a lot of pictures.
From the side of Samar, the shape of the bridge is in letter “S" and from the side of Leyte, it's “L”…coincidence or intentional?!  They said that to get the perfect view of the bridge and to see these shapes, you have to see from an aerial view. Given a chance, I will come back here and walk at the bridge from end to end. Enjoy the breeze and sound of the water and feels the shake of the bridge.

1. It takes an approximately 20 minutes from downtown Tacloban City to San Juanico Bridge.  To fully enjoy the viewing of the bridge, you need to hire a car.  The car for rent ranges from Php3, 500.00 to Php4, 000.0, good for a large group. For list of some of the car rentals in Tacloban, please click here.

2. If you want to commute, there are vans and buses that travel from Tacloban to Samar that pass by the bridge.
  • From downtown, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to bring you to Grand Tours, DUP Tours or Van Van Tours.  These are the 3 transport services operating from Tacloban to Samar. DUP Tours is located just walking distance from Hotel Alejandro, opposite is the terminal for Van Van Tours. 
  • At the van terminal, go to the ticketing office and get a ticket going to Guiuan, Samar. The staffs are not very friendly so you have to have a lot of patience.  Tell the driver to drop you off near the San Juanico Bridge. Please note that it’s not allowed to stop at the bridge, so you will probably be dropped off before the bridge or after. 
  • Going back is the real problem because you have to wait for the van coming from Samar which is mostly full when it passes San Juanico Bridge.  That's why it's best to hire a car. It only takes 10 minutes from downtown to San Juanico Bridge.
Make sure to haggle with the car rental services as to where you should be taken.  We paid for Php3,500.00 for 4 persons - destinations: San Juanico Bridge, Rafael Farms & MacArthur Landing Park - from 10:00am to almost 5:00pm.
Photo Credits: Joan Badiango :)


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