Tacloban - Leyte - Philippines
About 360 miles southeast of the Philippine capital, Manila, is the City of Tacloban. This port city is the capital of Leyte Province in the Eastern Visayas Region. The city was once known as Kankabatok, which was derived from its early inhabitants known as the Kabatok. The name was changed in the early 18th century to Tacloban during the Spanish regime.
The word Tacloban comes from 'taklub' or 'taraklub' in the local vernacular. The name 'Tacloban' means to cover something. In this case, since the place was once a fishing town, people used to catch crabs, fish, and shrimps using a contraption to cover the said marine animals. When the local fishermen were asked where they were going, they simply refer to the place where they catch fish thus would reply 'tarakluban'. The term then turned out as the name of the place over time.
Tacloban was made the capital of the province on February 26, 1830. The town came fell to the Japanese forces on May 25, 1942 during World War II. This occupation by the Japanese lasted only about three years. American and Filipino liberation forces landed in Leyte Province in 1944 thus commencing the province's liberation.
Among the provinces in the Philippines, Leyte was the first one to be liberated from Japanese rule. Tacloban was made a chartered city on June 12, 1952 when the Philippines gained its independence. A key historical figure that was involved in the liberation was General Douglas MacArthur.
Tacloban City Climate
The temperature in Tacloban City varies greatly depending on the time of the year you visit the place. Its warmest months are from May to June with 31.45 degrees Celsius as its warmest. The coolest months here are from December to January of the following year with temperatures going down as low as 21.55 degrees Celsius. The city also gets varying degrees of rainfall in an entire year. April and May still remain as the really dry months while the months of November and December get the most rainfall every year.
Tacloban City's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival
This festival lasts an entire month beginning in the last few days of June. The celebrations used to begin in May but that date was moved to its present date of June 29 beginning in 1999. Highlights of the festival include the ritual dances and parades. Incidental to this festivity is the Pintados Festival, which recollects events from the city's pre-Spanish history.
Tacloban City's Important Landmarks
The city has both historical and cultural sights that are worth visiting. Some of these landmarks are the MacArthur Landing Memorial, Palo Metropolitan Cathedral, Boy Scout Monument, San Juanico Bridge (i.e. Philippines' longest bridge), and the Santo Nino Shrine Museum.
Tacloban City Lodgings
You'll find a lot of cheap accommodations here in Tacloban City. The cheapest rate you might find would be around P300 while the pricier ones will be less than P2,000. Of course, it would still be wise to check out around two or more hotels and lodging inns since amenities will vary from one hotel to another.
Some of the hotels you might want to check out are Hotel D' Angelo along Rizal Avenue, Golden Key Inn, which is just 20 minutes from the airport, Mondejar Beach House, an hour long drive from the airport, and Ron and Fire's Place in Kristina Heights (perfect place for backpackers). Another great place to stay here would have to be Manhattan Inn along Rizal Avenue. It has a cozy feel and spacious rooms with just about the standard amenities.
Eating Out in Tacloban City
Here are a few of the restaurants and cafes that visitors may want to visit. Ayo Cafe is the place to go for the fine delicacies. They serve salads, sandwiches, pasta, and a wide array of dishes from the local cuisine. Vegetarians may make requests on the food they order and the chef will be more than happy to accommodate them. If you're looking for a place to dine with the tropical ocean breeze gently blowing in your face then try San Pedro Bay Seafood Restaurant. They serve dishes from Filipino, Canadian, and American cuisine.
Fine dining choices include Giuseppe's, Ritz Tower De Leyte, Terra Cotta Grills, and Veranda Cafe. Mornings could be spent in Bo's Coffee Club, Jose Karlo Cafe, Cafe Teresa, and Sunzibar Cafe. You'll also find your usual fastfood restaurants here as well.
Tacloban City - Historical Landmark
The beautiful port city of Tacloban has more to offer than its beautiful sunsets and panoramic views with tropical waters as a backdrop. The historical sights, festivals, and the general ambience of the place will leave you with a deep appreciation for the simple things in life.
Tacloban is the regional center of Eastern Visayas or Region VIII of the Philippines. Known to be a land of history, this capital city of Leyte was the seat of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines in 1944 to 1945.
Tacloban has the largest population in Leyte and is the major center for business commerce, education, tourism and government. Tacloban is embraced by the Cancabato Bay which is demographically located at the San Juanico Strait that divides the islands of Samar and Leyte.
Tacloban is rich in history and culture being the major American base of US troops led by General Douglas MacArthur. It is also the first town that was liberated from the Japanese Forces through the efforts of MacArthur. Tacloban historically became temporarily the capital of the Philippines when Manila was under Japanese control.
The longest and the most beautifully designed bridge in the Philippines, a common favorite tourist spot itself, connects Tacloban to the third biggest Philippine island of Samar. Tacloban strived to become an independent city through its local government’s efforts to become one of the fastest growing cities with stable economic growth and development.
Tacloban became an attractive investment location owing to its geothermal power plant known as the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant which is prided to be one of the largest in the world. It is also where the biggest fertilizer factory in whole Asia is located and is famous for its copra trading where the Philippine’s biggest copra processing plant is also located.
The people of Tacloban are also known to be world class handicraft makers. The Tacloban’s Pintados Kasadyaan festival is also well-known in the country. The said festival lasts for a month and visitors from different places come to join the merry-making festivities as part of its religious festival in honor for Señor Santo Niño. In this event, the people of Tacloban are fond of tattooing themselves in the celebration of the festival.
One can find in Tacloban the Price Mansion which was a colonial home for Americans which was built in order to house the official headquarters of General MacArthur. It also housed the liberation forces in 1944. This mansion plays a great part of Tacloban’s historical places.
Another historical landmark found in Tacloban is the Philipppine-Japan Peace Commemorative Monument and Park which is a multi-tiered park built to honor the paramilitary personnel and soldiers who served and died during World War II.
One can also visit the valley of tranquility in Tacloban known as the Madonna Peace of Shrine which is a statue made of a rare miyagi stone created by a famous Japanese sculptor.
A home for artistic collection is the Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum where one can find priceless furniture, porcelain and ivory. The People’s Center and Library is an important structure located in Tacloban that houses several volumes of books from various parts of the world.
Tacloban is a priceless land where part of the Philippine history is located making the City of Tacloban a land of Philippine history.