When you ask a Waray to show you around the place to get to know Leyte, one of the places they’ll most likely take you to is The MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park or the Leyte Landing Memorial Park and MacArthur Park. Here, you will see double life-sized statues of soldiers, including General MacArthur walking on water. This memorial was made to recapture the Philippine liberation from the Japanese back in 1944. The statues are located where MacArthur made his nation-famous promise, “I shall return.”
You can find this monument in the municipality of Palo, Leyte; declared as a national park by President Ferdinand Marcos on July 12th, 1977. Designed by Anastacio Caedo, a well-known sculptor, the seven bronze statues are in reference to a photograph taken by Gaetano Faillace.
Right in front of the statues, you’ll see historical markers that talk about the depicted scene and its historical significance. These are written both in English and Filipino. Adjacent to the statues is a museum that contains artifacts from General MacArthur. These include photographs, memorabilia, and a copy of the speech he made upon his landing. You can also find a bronze cast of his footprints in the museum.
This is definitely the place to go if you’re a history buff who wants to explore different historical sights in the country. It’s one thing to see these sites in our elementary history books and a completely different experience to go and witness them for ourselves.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact location: Barangay Candahug, Palo, Leyte
BY BUS: From the airport, you can take a jeepney with a “Downtown” signboard going to Tacloban and ask the driver to drop you off at the Coca Cola plant. From there, ride a jeepney going to Palo. You can ride one whose signboard contains either “Palo”, “Tanauan”, or “Tolosa”. Drop at the intersection near downtown Palo. From here, you may take a tricycle going to MacArthur Park.
BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park.”