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San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge

The San Juanico Bridge in the Philippines is a marvel of resilience and ingenuity, symbolizing the Filipino spirit. Don't miss experiencing the country's second-longest bridge.

The Philippines is a country made up of over 7,000 islands, each with its own unique charm and attractions. While Boracay Island and Batanes Islands are well-known destinations, there's one particular spot that stands out for its man-made engineering marvel - the San Juanico Bridge.

Spanning 2.16 kilometers across the San Juanico Strait, the bridge is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the engineers and workers who constructed it in the 1970s. Its elegant design and great length make it the country's second-longest bridge and one of the most iconic landmarks in the region.

But the San Juanico Bridge is more than just a beautiful structure. It's also a symbol of the connection and resilience of the people of Samar and Leyte, who share a rich history and culture. The bridge represents their strength and determination, particularly after the impact of natural disasters like Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

It is truly a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Eastern Visayas Region and Tacloban City.

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History of San Juanico Bridge

#DMTravelSeries Iconic! 😍👌🏼 Location: San Juanico Bridge, Samar - Leyte 📷: @johansenaguilar

Posted by Discover MNL on Saturday, June 9, 2018

The San Juanico Bridge, a remarkable engineering achievement in the Philippines, was designed by engineers Arvin Valderama and Christian Meynard Barnal. Construction of the bridge began in 1969 over the San Juanico Strait, connecting Cabalawan in Tacloban City, Leyte, to the municipality of Santa Rita in Samar. The bridge was officially inaugurated on July 2,1973.

Crossing one of the narrowest straits in the Philippines, the San Juanico Bridge is the second longest in the country. Completed during the politically turbulent Marcos regime, it became a symbol of progress and national pride amidst economic instability.

Today, the famous bridge continues to play a vital role in the region's socio-economic growth, connecting the islands of Samar and Leyte and facilitating transportation between them. Its iconic design and historical significance, and unity and resilience have made it a popular tourist attraction and a lasting symbol of Filipino pride.

What to Expect When Visiting San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge during the night. Photo: DOT-Eastern Visayas

A visit to San Juanico Bridge is a must-do for any tourist traveling to Tacloban City. Aside from being impressed by its size and stunning views, you can also expect to witness a spectacular aesthetic lighting display. 

The San Juanico Bridge Lighting Project, costing PHP 80 million, was approved by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority in January 2018, and the groundbreaking took place on 26 July 2019. The bridge was successfully lit up for the first time on 20 October 2022, led by President Bongbong Marcos.

The lighting project adds another layer of beauty to the bridge, with colorful lights illuminating the arches and cables, creating a mesmerizing visual display that changes colors every few minutes. The lighting display is a true spectacle, making San Juanico Bridge an even more captivating destination.

Apart from the lighting display, visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the pedestrian walkway and soak in the breathtaking views of the strait, the islands, and the surrounding mountains. San Juanico Bridge is also a popular spot for prenuptial and wedding photo shoots and for tourists seeking to capture the bridge's beauty. 

TIP: The best spot for taking pictures is in the middle of the bridge, where you can get a stunning view of the water and the islands.

Exploring San Juanico Bridge and its surroundings

San Juanico Bridge during daytime. Photo: Azriel R./Google Maps

While San Juanico Bridge is the main attraction in the area, there are also other things to see and do in the surrounding areas. One of these is the Leyte Landing Memorial Park which commemorates the historic landing of General Douglas MacArthur and his troops on the shores of Leyte during World War II.

The park has several monuments and statues, including the MacArthur Landing Memorial, which depicts the general and his troops wading ashore.

If you're interested in nature and adventure, head to the nearby island of Samar and visit the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park. The park is known for its limestone cliffs, caves, and underground river, and it's a popular spot for kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling. You can also visit the nearby town of Basey, famous for its mat-weaving industry.

Another exciting attraction is the Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum in Tacloban City. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to the Sto. Niño, the patron saint of the city. The shrine and museum also offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Eastern Visayas region.

If you're interested in experiencing the local culture and traditions, attend the annual Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and Sangyaw Festival in Tacloban City. These festivals are held every June and feature colorful street dances, music performances, and other cultural events.

Tips for visiting San Juanico Bridge

If you're planning to visit San Juanico Bridge, here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. The bridge can get hot during the day, so wearing lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes is best.
  2. Bring a camera. You'll want to capture the stunning views of the bridge and its surroundings, as well as the beautiful lighting display at night.
  3. Be mindful of your safety. While San Juanico Bridge is a popular tourist destination, being mindful of your safety is important. Avoid standing too close to the edge of the bridge, and watch for incoming traffic.
  4. Plan your itinerary ahead of time. If you plan to visit other attractions in the area, it's best to plan your itinerary to make the most of your trip.
  5. Bring cash. There are no ATMs or banks near the bridge, so bring enough money with you.

Recommended itinerary and budget

For those who intend to explore the San Juanico Bridge and nearby attractions, here's a sample itinerary and budget:

Day 1:

  • Visit San Juanico Bridge in the afternoon to see the stunning lighting display
  • Take a leisurely stroll on the pedestrian walkway and take pictures
  • Have dinner in Tacloban City

Day 2:

  • Explore the Leyte Landing Memorial Park
  • Visit the Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum
  • Take a day trip to the nearby island of Samar and visit the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park and the town of Basey.


  • Transportation: PHP 3,000 (roundtrip airfare to Tacloban City)
  • Accommodation: PHP 2,000 (2-night stay in a budget hotel or guesthouse)
  • Food: PHP 3,000 (3 meals per day for 2 days)
  • Activities: PHP 2,500 (entrance fees and transportation to attractions)
  • Miscellaneous: PHP 1,000 (souvenirs, snacks, etc.)
  • Total budget: PHP 11,500 (approximately USD 225)


The San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban City has long been a popular attraction, and with the recent addition of the San Juanico Bridge Lighting Project, its allure has only grown stronger. This mesmerizing light show enhances the bridge's already striking appearance, making it an even more compelling destination for those seeking something fresh and interesting.

The San Juanico Bridge accurately represents Filipino innovation and artistry, boasting a remarkable size, graceful arches, awe-inspiring views, and a dazzling light display. So if you plan to visit Tacloban City in the Philippines, include this captivating bridge on your list of must-see attractions. You won't regret it! —iTacloban/AJ Yes/Kaye Valdez

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