San Juanico Bridge

san-juanico-bridge-008.jpgSan Juanico Bridge

The San Juanico bridge links the islands of Samar and Leyte together.

Construction began in 1969 and was completed 4 years later.

There are claims of it being the longest, biggest, most beautiful and blah bla bla…but it is a pretty nice bridge and the view from the top is very inspiring.

San Juanico Bridge between Leyte and SamarSan Juanico Bridge

bridge between leyte and samar

It is high enough to let the ships pass beneath it while the vehicles pass over head.

san-juanico-bridge-004.jpgThere checkpoints on both sides of the bridge for vehicle inspection etc but I’ve not yet been stopped. The weigh station on the Samar side checks all the heavy trucks coming down from Manila.

san-juanico-bridge-009.jpgThe traffic over this bridge is light as most of the vehicles leaving from Tacloban are headed southbound to Ormoc City.

san-juanico-bridge-001.jpgThese motorcycles are unique to the southern Samar – northern Leyte area. Notice the roofs over these bikes. It rains a lot there and the roof protects passengers from the sun as well.

My guess is around 10 to 15 percent of all the bikes in this area have these improvised roofs. All the tricycles do.

5 to 6 people are often seen on one bike. On a tricycle there is no limit and you can occasionally see upwards of 15 people on one of those contraptions.

beautiful San Juanico Bridge

If you are on a motorcycle headed into Tacloban be sure to have a helmet and a license plate on the bike because there are many traffic police in the area and it will be a problem if you forget to bring one. In the province it is rare to see helmets being used. In the bigger cities like Cebu, Tacloban, and Ormoc they are required.


san-juanico-samar-005.jpgThere is a walkway on both sides of the bridge if you are up to walking across.

There are “No Stopping” signs posted but it seems common for jeepneys and private cars to stop and let passengers off at the top and coming back later to pick them up.

The traffic on the bridge is light so if you time your crossing just right there will be no cars in sight.

I think the posted speed is 30 kph max but traffic rarely moves that slowly.

san-juanico-cafe-005.jpgThere are cafes on both sides of the bridge but I usually take a break on the Samar side.

Those cafes seem nicer to me and they have the all important karaoke.

san-juanico-cafe-002.jpgI usually take my motorbike and wait out the rainstorms here. Most of the bad weather rolls in from the east and a quick glance to the sky can indicate that a storm is on the way.

san-juanico-cafe-007.jpgOne of the friendly waitresses belting out a tune.

san-juanico-cafe-001.jpgI have been stopping in at this cafe once a week lately. I enjoy traveling the south road to Guiuan.

Basey and Marabut are a short run from Tacloban and worth a visit.

san-juanico-cafe-003.jpgWe waited out one severe rainstorm here a few days ago.

The drawback to riding a bike is that you always have to prepare for the rain.

update Sept 2008 – San Juanico Bridge

philippines-atb-027.jpgWalking across the San Juanico Bridge between Leyte and Samar

We parked our bike at the military checkpoint on the Samar side and started walking

philippines-atb-026.jpgProbably the best time to walk is around 4pm because the sun is starting to go down but there is still nice lighting for pictures.

philippines-atb-037.jpgIt gets dark around 6pm and the intense heat of the day gives way to the evening.

philippines-atb-040.jpgThis is one beautiful bridge.

philippines-atb-038.jpgWalking south towards Leyte from Samar.

philippines-atb-035.jpgIt’s a long way to the water. The bridge sways when large vehicles pass, adding to the excitement.

philippines-atb-041.jpgThe actual structure of the bridge is fascinating.

philippines-atb-031.jpgThere seems to be very little corrosion on this bridge. On other bridges I often noted a lot of peeling paint and heavy rust, but not here.

philippines-atb-033.jpgLooking north towards Samar, where we live. Vehicles are not permitted to stop on the bridge but you often see it done.

There are areas to park on either end of the bridge and it’s good exercise to walk!

Crossing the Bridge

samar-bridge-001Helmets are required as you get closer to Tacloban but I think you can cross the bridge without one. I don’t think these cheap helmets, that you get free when you buy your bike, would really provide very much protection in a crash.

San Juanico Bridge

Jul 17, 2008

8 responses to “San Juanico Bridge”

  1. wow how nice sa tacloban……………

  2. hi! dp,

    Yes! San Juanico bridge is AWESOME! just like the other bridges connecting to other islands in So.Leyte
    and, thanks a lot for posting pictures; makes us feel we have to go home to our home towns soonest.

  3. thanks for the informations you shared with us, our tropa is planning to go there inTacloban this coming August, we will not miss that bridge….

  4. It is my wish and dream to visit this remarkable place someday soon. It will be an insult to me if I can’t visit this place, It’s because I came from samar. I am a true blooded Waray or Samareno.


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