The province of Southern Leyte is well known for its landslides and tragedies with the worst burying an entire village five years ago. We used to label our province as the Landslide Capital of the World. But now we have a new reason to smile because people from all over the world will be amazed by the rise of our new landmark – the Bridge of Agas-agas.
Located in Brgy. Kahupian, Sogod, Southern Leyte and standing 292 feet (30 stories high) above the ground the Agas-agas bridge is now considered the tallest in the country. It was constructed from 2007-2009 with the Japanese firm Sumitomo Construction LTD and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) leading the frontlines in constructing the colossal structure. The bridge was opened for public last August 9, 2009 to creat a more stable and safer access connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao through the Maharlika Highway. With a whooping of P1.04 billion this is by far the most ambitious work of engineering the region have ever seen since the creation of the San Juanico Bridge. This is no doubt ex-Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s gift for the province – a marvelous one.
The term Agas-agas was derived from the word ‘agas’ which means flowing water referring to the beautiful mountain waterfalls visible by the roadside. The roads in Agas-agas used to be a dangerous to traverse especially during the rainy season. Regular reports of soil movements and yes, landslides are common in the area (which means headaches for transportation). The concrete roads used to break up as soon as they were repaired making the ride to Tacloban a jumpy ride with additional risk of the vehicles falling off the road 300 feet below. Its way more exciting than Kennon Road!
With its panoramic beauty of the mountain area that offers a good view of the both sunrise and sunset, not to mention the dazzling mountain waterfalls nearby it is going to become the country’s next monumental landmark.
“It has a natural tourist attraction and the way the bridge is constructed is very modern,” Ebdane said of the bridge project constructed by Philippine-Japan Highway Loan – Project Monitoring Office.
The government is not done yet, they are going to make it an extreme sport haven. Facilities for bungee jumping, rope jumping, rappelling, a zip line and para-gliding etc are already being constructed.
“Now you can jump from the bridge and live to tell it. We invite extreme sports enthusiasts to come over and check out the bridge’s sky-scraping height,” said Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, who oversees the operation for the DPWH in the Visayas regions.
I recently had the opportunity to visit with my siblings and our Tatay the bridge for the first time. I found the place beautiful packed with unlimited tourism potential not only for extreme sports enthusiast but also for photographers and nature lovers. There’s the zipline cables already connected and man they look bloody extreme with approximate lengths of more than half a kilometer – downwards. Bungee jumping platforms have been constructed along the bridge only waiting for the rope to come in. We also went below the bridge. One of the bridge’s pillars is so big you could hardly its real; it simply dwarfed to the size of the ant anyone standing at the foot. And the scenery, up and below the bridge, are stunning. I suddenly became a photographer that day.
This summer I want to jump on top of that bridge badly.