they said it’s the most beautiful bridge this country has to offer. a poetry of steel and concrete lasting 2 kilometers long. a rare kind of structural beauty you wouldn’t see in this photo because i kind of suck at photography and this is my measly attempt at capturing the bridge’s essence, from the nearby NMP’s wharf where i used to spend late june afternoons in just watching the san juanico bridge for 2 weeks while on a training.
built during the marcos administration from 1969 to 1973, san juanico bridge brings the islands of samar and leyte closer together across the san juanico strait, where you can see a picturesque scenery along the way if you care enough to look in appreciation the things that you see.
with the gap “bridged” (so to speak), transportation between the two islands just got easier as cars, cabs, vans, buses, jeepneys, and
ignorant curious tourists like us traverse through its roads on a daily, weekly, monthly, or once-in-a-lifetime basis.
of course, when you’re finally standing right there on the very thing you only read about in textbooks during your elementary years (and getting the name of the bridge wrong during the quiz), you can’t blame us if, at the risk of getting hit by fast-moving vehicles, we just had to! do a series of jumpshots right there.
and you know how hard jumpshots are to pull off or get right. it’s never a one-time thing. so there we were — in the middle of the road jumping our kidneys and our livers into anatomical displacement while ram pleaded with the gods to not get us all killed in the process lest he be spending the rest of the weekend trip alone in leyte.
one of the bridge’s features which makes it unique is its “S” and “L” shape, with the latter on the leyte side of the bridge and the former on the samar side. common sense would probably tell you what those two letters stand for.
but the most interesting trivia about the bridge which blows my mind until now?
the fact that san juanico bridge was a testament of how much ferdinand marcos loved imelda, who grew up in tacloban, leyte. a passionate 21.9 million dollar proof of one’s affection and promise of devotion above a thousand whirlpools rippling in the seawater.
imelda marcos certainly raised the bar for me on that day. because she made me realize that i don’t want a diamond ring.
I WANT MY VERY OWN BRIDGE.