TACLOBAN CITY – After visiting the island towns of Biri and Capul in Northern Samar and Maripipi in Biliran province, the 73 guests of the excursion cruise ship Coral Adventurer dropped anchor in Babatngon and this city on Friday (Nov. 3).

The foreign guests, composed mostly of Australians, arrived at the Babatngon Port past 8 am where they were welcomed by the local officials led by Mayor Leny Lugnasin and Department of Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes and the warm smile of the town people.

“Even if they didn’t have any activity here in our town, welcoming them to our town will still give them awareness and this will make them curious to know what are the tourist destinations of our town like the Busay Falls that the LGU has improved and the various beach resorts in Barangay Tulaan,” Mayor Lugnasin said.

After they were welcomed in Babatngon the guests proceeded to Tacloban and visited fist the Yolanda mass grave at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brgy. Basper and Yolanda Memorial in Anibong District.

The visit to Tacloban is part of the Eastern Visayas leg of Coral Adventure excursion in the country.

Aside from visiting the Yolanda memorial site, they also visited the Sto Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum where they toured the edifice built in 1979 by former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, mother of Pres. Marcos, Jr.

After visiting the Sto Niño Shrine they also went to the Prince Mansion, the official residence of Gen. Douglas McArthur when he stayed in Leyte during the liberation period in World War II.

After the Price Mansion they also went to the McArthur Park National Shrine in Palo town.
Unlike their visit to the island towns of Biri, Capul, and Maripipi where they had cultural immersion, the visits to Tacloban and Palo were more focused on sightseeing on famous landmarks.

Just like Biri and Maripipi towns, this is the first time that Tacloban and Palo were included in the cruise ship visit itinerary.

Tiopes said that this was designed to make sure that every cruise guest who will visit the region will have a unique and different experience and memories in every locality that they visit during their cruise call in Eastern Visayas.

After visiting Tacloban and Palo, the group then sailed to the Cuatro Islas in Inopacan, and Canigao Island in Mahaplag, both Leyte, before heading to Bohol.

Coral Adventurer will return to the region on Nov. 12 and 13 to visit Padre Burgos and the island town of Limasawa, both in Southern Leyte and Kalanggaman Island in Palompon town. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)