View of Padre Burgos Castle Resort from the sea

Welcome to Padre Burgos Castle Resort

Leyte Island - Experience the Culture, Explore the History


Naming the Town
The town of Padre Burgos, previously known as Tamolayag, took its name in the early 20th Century in honour of Padre Jose Ma. Burgos. He was the youngest of the 3 priests, collectively known as the GOMBURZA, who headed the secularization movement to alleviate the plight of Filipino priests under the Spanish colonial regime. When mutiny broke out in Cavite, parish of Padre Mariano Gomez, the three were arrested, tried in secret, and executed on 28th February 1872 for inciting revolution.

First Mass at Limasawa Island

Limasawa Island
Four centuries earlier the Treaty of Tordesillos divided the then unexplored world between Spain and Portugal, and Ferdinand Magellan headed a Spanish fleet across the Pacific Ocean. After 109 days he made landfall on the island of Homonhon off the southern tip of Samar, naming the new lands Lazarus. Sailing on through the Gulf of Leyte he landed on Limasawa Island where he held the first mass on Philippine soil on Easter Sunday 1521. Six weeks later Magellan was killed at Mactan, Cebu. The Spanish were not to return to the Philippines for a further 40 years. Limasawa’s place in history is marked by Magellan’s Cross adding historical context to the beautiful beaches and diving the island has to offer.

General MacArthur landing at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte

Battle of Leyte Gulf
Following the Japanese invasion in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur evacuated the Philippines making his famous vow “I shall return”. The Battle of Leyte Gulf marked the turning point of the World War 2 campaign in the Pacific and General MacArthur fulfilled his dream at Red Beach, Palo on 20th October 1944. The landing site bears a memorial comprising 1˝ times bronze statues. There are further reminders of the fierce fighting which ensued at sites such as Barugo, and Break Neck Ridge, where the huge numbers of Japanese casualties are also remembered. Thankfully those days are now consigned to history but, like the General, all visitors to this beautiful and fascinating area of Southern Leyte will promise to return.

Water buffalo ploughing a rice field

Present Times
Today, Padre Burgos is a small fishing and agricultural community at the south-western tip of Leyte. The area possesses outstanding natural beauty and open, friendly people. The coral reefs of Southern Leyte are some of the least disturbed marine habitats in South East Asia. Sogod Bay provides plentiful catches for the local fishermen and the area is rich in tuna, flying fish, herrings, anchovies, shell-fish, and mackerel. It is also a feeding ground for pilot whales, melon-headed whales, dolphins and whale sharks. On land the farms produce hemp, copra, corn, rice, tobacco, bananas, papaya and pineapple. Nipa and mangrove abound in the swamps and rattan and timber adorn the mountainsides which teem with wildlife including the majestic Philippine Eagle, the world’s largest.

Fiesta celebrations

Ceremonies are frequent: nature and ancestral spirits are invoked for good harvests, Christian customs and holidays are upheld and fiestas comprise prayer, food and drink, dance and music. Typical cuisine includes traditional Filipino favourites such as adobo, crispy pata, sisig and kanilaw augmented by local seafood such as shrimps, scallops, lapu-lapu, blue marlin and crabs cooked in a variety of styles. As the Visayans say, the only way to walk is to dance, and the only way to talk is to sing!

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