The Urban Legend That Surrounds San Juanico Bridge

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The Urban Legend That Surrounds San Juanico Bridge

The San Juanico Bridge connecting the provinces of Leyte and Samar in the Philippines is one of the monumental projects that was under Former President Ferdinand Marcos’ administration. It is known to be the longest bridge in the country spanning a body of seawater with the length of 2.162 kilometers and width of 10.620 meters that is supported by 42 spans. It was completed on December 1972 and since then it has greatly helped the economy not only of both provinces connected but of the entire country. It has also attracted numerous tourists because of the amazing view that it offers. The view is amazing especially with the effects that the setting sun gave to the place, you can also see whirlpools under the bridge. A visit to Region VIII would never be complete if you won’t get to be on this bridge which looks like a dragon from afar. But even if people have been on it a few times, there are still so many things that most people do not notice or know about this place.

Here are some of the things that you need to know about the San Juanico Bridge.

Photo by: tripzilla.ph

Urband Legend

Imelda Marcos, the wife of the former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, was in-charge in building the bridge. During the construction of the bridge, many children coincidentally disappeared in Leyte and Samar. The vanishing of the children stopped after the bridge was finished. There are many versions of the story but one thing that it has in common is that it involves children.

The foundations of the bridge were made stronger by mixing the blood of babies and street children. The ritual was performed to strenghten the structure of the bridge. Legend has it that the blood and the bodies of the children were added inside the cement mixer by construction workers while preparing the cement to be used for the bridge. The most popular legend said that the woman in-charge to oversee the building of the bridge consulted a fortune teller. It was believed that the bridge will never be complete unless blood of children is mixed in its foundation.

The woman-in charge of the bridge believed the fortune teller, the workers were ordered to kidnap street children and slit their throats, they then splatter their blood on the site of the bridge. The bodies of the children were then thrown away in the river. It was all seen by the river fairy. Feeling troubled and was greatly affected of the fate of the children, the river fairy cursed the woman. The legs of the woman grew scales and emitted a foul fishy smell, this is why she always wears long skirts and gowns to hide her legs and she frequently takes a bath to remove the smell.

 
It was once called Marcos Bridge

The San Juanico Bridge was once called the Marcos Bridge because it was built under his administration. During the mid 1960’s, former President Ferdinand Marcos made the decision to built the San Juanico Bridge over San Juanico Strait from Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City, Leyte. 10 Kilometers away from the city proper to the Municipality of Sta. Rita, Western Samar and 96 Kilometers from Catbalogan City. The said project was awarded to the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines in 1968. It was in that very year that they started to conduct a detailed survey, study and analysis with the help of some Japanese engineers. In August 1969, the actual construction began and the bridge was completed in December 1972.

The Bridge of Love

The former President Ferdinand Marcos dedicated this bridge to his wife, Imelda Marcos who was known as the Rose of Tacloban. It served as her birthday gift and a testimonial of his love for her. The groundbreaking and historic ceremony was done during the then first lady and now Ilocos Norte’s Representative Imelda Marco’s birthday. President Marocs even called it as his most important gift to his wife.

It is a part of the Maharlika Highway

The San Juanico Bridge was constructed as a part of the Pan-Philippine Highway, a network of roads, bridge and sea routes that connect the island of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao in the country. The highway was proposed in 1965, and constructed under the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos to serve as the backbone transportation of the country. The Pan-Philippine Highway was also designated as Asian Highway under the Government Agreement on the Asian Highway Network, an agreement that took effect on July 4,2005 to provide a type of framework for coordinated development of the international highway in Asia.

It crosses the narrowest strait in the Philippines

The San Juanico strait, which connects the island of Samar and Leyte, is the most narrow strait in the country, with only two kilometers wide at its most narrow point. It is also said to be the most narrow strait in the world. The Bosphorus strait, which is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, is less than 800 meters wide at its most narrow point.

It took four years to construct

The 21.9 million dollar worth of bridge was completed within four years of construction and the length of construction of this mega structure is way shorter compared to the still unfinished roads in Samar.

How to get to the San Juanico Bridge

There is a jeepney that is available from the airport that goes directly to the Tacloban City Land Transport Terminal that is located in Barangay Abucay, this is perfect for those who wants to commute. You can then ride a van heading to Basey, Samar and it will take you about 30 minutes to travel from Tacloban City to San Juanico Bridge and it will cost you around 30 pesos. The driver will inform you that you have reached the San Junanico Bridge and you can stop by the side and take pictures.