The San Juanico Lighting Project: For Boosting Tourism and Livelihood Improvement

Philippines is considered an archipelago which means that it is made up various number or groups of islands. With this geographical structure, as a country, it is inevitable for the need to sail through the seas to reach the different parts of the country making it a hassle in economic terms and for the people wanting to reach different areas quickly. Luckily, to fill in the gaps for this transportation problems in our country, bridges and expressways are being made to intermediate different areas and make it more serviceable to the population of each area. One of the famous bridge projects in our country is San Juanico Bridge. It was once known as the longest bridge in Philippine history before the establishment of Cebu-Cordova Expressway. It was a phenomenal project by the late President Ferdinand Marcos, the father of the current President Bongbong Marcos. Up to present, it still functional and has preserved its aesthetic over the years. However, the new administration wants to elevate and improve the established project to boost the economy specifically on the tourism side. With this, San Juanico Bridge is set to have a revamp to make it more attractive yet being functional for the people and business transactions. Before going over the details of this enticing and promising project, let us first revisit why San Juanico Bridge became one of the popularly known bridges in the Philippines.

The Facts about San Juanico Bridge

            A lot of controversies related to this project surfaced during the time of its establishment. Some are factual and others remained a mystery and unproven to the public. However, it cannot be denied that the bridge has a world-class façade similar to the famous bridges around the globe. Nevertheless, here are some of the factual information regarding this bridge.

  1.  San Juanico Bridge was not its original name

Its original name was Marcos Bridge. This bridge was once named after the late President Marcos during the mid-1960s as this was a project done under his administration. With the help of the brilliant Japanese engineers with the study and analysis of the project, the long bridge was completely developed within a short span of time of roughly four years.

  • It was also called as the “Bridge of Love”

The late President Marcos dedicated this project to his wife, Imelda Marcos. In fact, the groundbreaking ceremony of this bridge was done during the birthday celebration of the late President Marcos’ spouse. The late president called it as the most important gift to his wife.

  • It is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway Development

During the late President’s term, a network of roads, bridges, and sea routes are being constructed to establish the connection of the specific islands like Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. Aside from being part of the Philippines’ infrastructure development projects, it is considered an Asian Highway under the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network.

  • It has a unique design which shows and the initials L and S

The primary areas connected by this bridge are Samar and Leyte. Perhaps, this is the reason why in an aerial view, you will see these initials to signify the areas it connects.

  • An action star proved his supremacy through a movie shoot in this bridge

In 1981, Dante Varona filmed a scene in this bridge to show that he is the king of stunts in the Philippines. The movie was directed by Carlo J. Caparas. In fact, it is arguably considered as the most daring stunt in the Philippine movie history.

The Urban Legend of San Juanico Bridge

            For many years, the bridge remains erect and preserved its façade despite the little maintenance had over the years. Surely, it was project which was carefully studied and analyzed that’s why it costed $21.9 million during that time. However, there were urban legends that surfaced to explain why the bridge remained functional and aesthetically pleasing over the years. Here are the two famous version of the legends believed by the people of Samar and Leyte regarding this issue.

The blood of the people reinforced the structure

There is this old belief in the construction industry that if you mixed the blood of humans in the reinforcement of an infrastructure, it will be more strengthened than the usual process. This belief was strengthened because there are a lot of children disappearance during the project.  After the project was completed, the sudden vanishing of children halted.

The story of the river fairy and a woman

Before the construction of the bridge, a woman was appointed as the person in-charge to oversee the establishment of the project. On her appointment, she immediately consulted a fortune teller to have a guide on how she should oversee the project. It was believed that the fortune had a vision that blood of children should be mixed in the foundation of the bridge. It was believed that the woman trusted the vision of the fortune teller. With this, a lot of children were kidnapped and killed to use their bloods in the mixture of the foundation. However, a river fairy is believed to exist in the body of water where the bridge is being erected. The fairy is believed to witness the gruesome practices behind the construction of the bridge thus it cursed the woman to stop these events from happening again.

            Despite the differing versions of the urban legend, one thing is common – the blood of children. But since these are labelled as legends, these are unproven. Perhaps, it may just be a legend to explain the unexplainable disappearance of children during the years of construction of this project. Coincidence or not, San Juanico Bridge is considered one of world-class projects initiated by the Philippine government.

The San Juanico Lighting Project: A Symbol of Hope and Resilience

            In books, the bridge was known as the longest bridge ever built in Philippine history before the completion of Cebu-Cordova Expressway. Aside from it being a long bridge, the sight of the infrastructure especially during the day is something to behold. In the speech of the current President Marcos, he stated that “with the recent completion of the San Juanico Aesthetic Lighting Project, I look forward to seeing the bridge turn into a true sight to behold, not just during the day, but now even in the dark at night.”

This just shows that the administration wants to extend the aesthetic view of the bridge even at night through the launching of this project. It is also a way to support the program of Samar known as “Spark Samar”. Its aim is to boost the tourism of the province. In fact, the president stated that the bridge was specifically made for Samar and it has always been Samar which was the priority of this project. This is because Samar, despite being a neighbor province of Leyte, the opportunities are not equitably distributed between these provinces.

With this lighting project, the national government and the local government of Samar are hoping that tourism on the province of Samar and Leyte will see a huge boost. The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) officer added that the lighting project has a deeper meaning because through the project, it wants to emphasize the hope and resilience of Filipinos. Looking back on the different disasters and tragedies experienced by the province, the bridge stayed still and erected. With this, it wants to give a message to the world and tourists that Filipinos are full of hope and resilience despite the challenges just like the bridge of San Juanico.

Nevertheless, if a boost happens in the tourism industry of these provinces, it will have a domino effect on the livelihood improvement of the area. In fact, the provincial government invested and allocated a huge portion of their budget to answer half of the expenses to be incurred in the maintenance and utility expenses of the lighting project.

Boost in Tourism Opens a New Investment Opportunity

Whether you are a native of any of these areas, if you are a business minded individual who waits for opportunity for business ventures, this may be a good indication to plan your next investment. In an interview with a resident of Samar, the resident believes that the new look will encourage tourism on their province. They are very optimistic that opportunities will open for the locals thus enabling them to open different businesses to cater the needs of the tourists and their locals.

If tourism is big in a city or province, places to stay will be in demand for tourists. With this, if you have a big financial capital, this is a good time to invest on real estate and make it a rental property. You can seize the opportunity of low value house and lots or other real estate properties in these places while tourism is just starting to bloom. In fact, you may seize the opportunity of investing in Bria Homes. Bria is a real estate developer focusing on variety of offers which specifically caters the average income earners for them to have an opportunity of owning a property at a lower cost yet quality not being compromised.

Bria Homes has established a 40-hectare master-planned community in Samar and 12-hectare housing project in Leyte. Both real estate developments are situated nearby the necessary amenities like schools, churches, malls, transport terminals and major highways and expressways. With San Juanico Lighting Project seen to boost the tourism sector of these provinces, real estate value will surely go up and rental demand will increase as tourism improves.  If a tourist gets attracted of the bridge lights of San Juanico, for sure, the person will discover the hidden gems or scenic spots of Samar and Leyte. Additionally, the subdivisions developed are situated strategically to ease access on necessities so whether you use it as your residence or as rental property, your investment will not be wasted.

So, what are you waiting for? If you have the means, invest your money to Bria Homes! With Bria, you real estate investment is secured. In fact, in the recent Asia’s Pinnacle Awards 2022, it was recognized as the most reliable condo developer. This recognition will give you the confidence that quality real estate is being developed to you. For more information, you may visit their website.