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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 1, 2015

Unforgettable Trip To Tacloban City In Leyte And To Boronga City In Easter Samar

BEFORE WE joined the Tacloban fiesta, we first went to Borongan, Easter Summer, which is four hours away by land trip from Borongan. This is upon the invitation of colleague Aster Amoyo who hails from Borongan and is a certified Waray.
The highway leading to Borongan is right beside the seashore so we had a good glimpse of its various beaches. There are also plenty of beautiful rock formations along the way. The roads are generally good and passes through the town of Balangiga, well known for the massacre of its people during the Fil-American War and its church bells that were taken to the U.S.

We had our lunch at the restaurant beside the hotel where we stayed in Borongan, the Don Vicenta Hotel right beside the Uptown Mall. Our lunch was hosted by Mayor Fe Abunda, sister of TV host Boy Abunda who's also born in Borongan. This was with the coordination of radio announcer Earns Diodola who also brought us to the beach in the barangay where Aster grew up.

Our dinner was hosted by Easter Samar Cong. Ben Evardone who was in stitches due to the funny antics of comedian Shalala who hosted the affair. Aster's friend from childhood, Marilou Camposano, also brought some dishes and we all ended up being overfed.
Before leaving for Tacloban the next day, breakfast was hosted by Manang Meriam (sister of Aster) right in Aster's fabulous ancestral home. Upon our arrival in Tacloban, our lunch was hosted by U.S.-based concert producer Al Chu, who prepared a great dance presentation featuring the dancers of Eastern Samar State College. Our dinner was hosted by Aster's good friends, Peter and Helen Yap, whose son Justin is a very good singer. The evening ended with a night cap at the Jose Carlos Cafe which is right across the beautiful Sto. Nino de Tacloban Cathedral.

The next day, we toured the city then had lunch with Mayor Alfred and Kring Kring at their beautiful resort by the sea, Patio Victoria, which was totally destroyed by Yolanda but has since been rebuilt. There was band to entertain, called I Love Tacloban, who had good vocalist, especially Gam and Aila. Kring Kring then sang for us and the mayor.

After that, we went to watch the Parade of Lights at Kring Kring's Cristina's Salon & Spa right on downtown. It was quite a set watching all the participants dancing in the streets garbed in colorful costumes and adorned by twinkling lights. Dinner was served at the Balyuan beside City Hall, where we met Miss Tacloban winner Rina Pineda and her four runners up. All in all, it was a very good and memorable trip. Thanks to all the hospitable people who accommodated us, especially to Mayor Alfred and Kring Kring who welcomed us very warmly and treated us like VIP's.