Traveling to Tacloban Soon? Here’s a Quick Primer on the City

With the many fare promotions here and there this summer, you probably think you’ve been to almost all the cities in the country. But, have you been to Tacloban City, though? Did you even know it is the regional center of Eastern Visayas? Well, it also has much to offer when it comes to beaches, nature, and food, so you may want to add it to your list. Read on to know more about Tacloban and the many reasons you need to go pack, leave your house now, and see it for yourself!

A little bit of history

Based on the 2015 census, there are 242,089 people living in Tacloban City and making it the most populous city in Eastern Visayas. Historically, it was the capital of the country for a brief period from October 1944 to February 1945. The destruction made to the city by Typhoon Yolanda not so long ago was all over the news, do you remember? 

Good thing, Tacloban has recovered thanks to the naturally strong Filipino spirit and donations from compassionate brothers and sisters all over the world. It’s now back to being one of the most beautiful cities in the Visayas and the whole country.

What you’ll see

Let’s start with some of the historical places the city offers. When in Tacloban, it is mandatory to cross the San Juanico Bridge and enjoy the scenery. Why not go live on Facebook and Instagram while crossing in this long bridge that connects Samar and Leyte? You can also cross with your bike or even more intense, run. There’s a lane for it – another item to add to your list of things to try, indeed.

What to remember

Now, let’s go to that place where General Douglas MacArthur promised “I shall return” and did fulfill it. The original statues built at the park was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda, yet immediately restored. Amazing to stand where it all exactly happened, right? When you’re in Tacloban specifically at The MacArthur Landing Memorial Park, stand in front of MacArthur’s team and imagine they’re walking towards you. If it doesn’t make you nostalgic, I don’t know what else can.

Other tourist spots you may also enjoy include the San Juanico Park Golf and Country Club for the 18-hole course found in the north and Balyu-an Amphitheater that feature the best shows. As for Calvary Hill, it features really large statues of Jesus Christ and other religious personalities. You may stroll there or see the Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum.

Festivals to watch

Celebrations represent the city. If you want to witness a festival when you visit the city, go and see the Sangyaw Festival – a religious and socio-cultural event in the country. Recently, it was revived in 2008 by the city government of Tacloban, Philippines. Wonder what Sangyaw means? It is “to herald news” in Waray language. 

Here comes the beach

For most people and tourists, no trip is ever complete without going to the beach. Especially because the beaches in the country is far more outstanding than the rest in the world. The foreigners make sure that they’ve swum to as many Philippine beaches as possible. Among your options include San Pablo Beach, Tangkaan Beach, and Bituon Beach if you’re planning to indulge in some vitamin sea soon. 

You may also want to go to the small paradise of Canigao Island in Matalom, Leyte. Once knows as the fishermen’s sanctuary in Matalom, it became a tourist destination in 2005. Are you Team 1: beach bum in the powdery white sand, or Team 2: down to snorkel to see the underwater world. Why not both?

Various festival participants from different parts of the country participate in this tribal procession. The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a merry-making event lasting a whole month, highlights of which include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals. Also the 17th Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation, as well as the “Pagrayhak” Grand Parade.

So how do you get to Tacloban? From Manila, you can book a flight to Tacloban aka “The Gateway to Eastern Visayas” through the major airlines. Another way is to travel by ferry for approximately 36 hours. You may want to bring a friend with you to keep you sane if choose the latter, though. Enjoy Tacloban City!

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