Monday, February 7, 2011
Next to the decadent Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum, Tacloban's San Juanico Bridge has to be the most maligned and vilified (in media) of the Marcos regime's colossal constructions.
When it was inaugurated, many voices howled in protest against its grandeur and cost vis-a-vis its relevance and usefulness to the people. I will not discuss my personal thoughts here since this is not a blog on disgrace.
Despite the fowl weather when we flew into Tacloban, first in our agenda was to visit the infamous San Juanico Bridge—all 2.16 kilometers of it.
I didn't know what hit me.
It is breathtaking!
So beautifully designed, it stuns. It is impressive, not only because of its graceful curves and length, but because it does not upstage nature, it enhances it. San Juanico Bridge (flckr photo) seamlessly blends sky, land, and water as God created them.
Spanning Leyte and Samar across the narrow and serene San Jaunico Strait, the bridge is not the longest in the Philippines (the Candaba Viaduct of Pampanga Province is longer) but, to me, it is the most beautiful.
The views from the bridge are spectacular—islets, mountains, palm trees, clear water, and a thousand whirlpools.
As we crossed the bridge, the sun peeked a little so it was moderately bright—the view was picturesque all around. Because vehicles were sparse, it was the perfect place to shamelessly and guiltlessly take photos and soak in the spectacle of God's power and grace.
Constructed to the tune of 21.9 million-dollar in 1973, the big question mark on the San Juanico Bridge remains: Is it worth the money spent on it?
I am not an economist so I can't answer that.
But as a tourist, I think it is a place that reminds us of the bounty and beauty of nature, which God generously entrusted to the people of the Philippines.