Places and Events of Interest in Tacloban City
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Tacloban City , Places and Events of Interest
The San Juanico Bridge
The 2.16 kilometer bridge is the most beautiful bridge in the country. It crosses over picturesque San Juanico Strait connecting the islands of Samar and Leyte. The bridge is a vital link between northern and southern Philippines through the Pan-Philippine Highway. This engineering marvel was built by Japanese engineers in 1969 and finished in 1973. Locals love to walk the length of the bridge especially in the afternoon to watch the marvellous sunset over emerald green waters of San Juanico Strait.
Tacloban City Hall
The Tacloban City Hall sits on Cancabato Hill overlooking the panoramic Cancabato Bay, San Pedro Bay, San Juanico Strait, Cataisan Point and Samar Island. The City Hall is the seat of the City Government of Tacloban since June 12, 1952.
Tacloban City Convention Center
The TCCC is popularly known as the Astrodome which can accomodate up to five thousand spectators. The astrodome is often the venue of cultural affairs, conventions and basketball tourneys. It also houses several restaurants and bars. The Astrodome comes alive at sundown when government employees, students, and other locals come to dine, or just enjoy a bottle of cold beer, while taking in the fresh sea breeze from the bay.
Leyte Provincial Capitol
The Leyte Provincial Capitol is a neoclassical building built in 1907. Located at the corner of Sen. Enage Street and Magsaysay Boulevard the “Capitolio”, is the seat of the provincial government of Leyte. It was also the seat of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines when President Sergio Osmeña, Sr. came in 1944 with the WW II Liberation Forces. The building features murals depicting the First Christian Mass and other significant historical moments in the Philippine history.
An imposing neoclassical structure along Real Street, Tacloban City, People’s Center is a huge social hall space on the ground floor and a library in the second floor. It has a huge collection of historical documents recording the rich cultural heritage of the people of Samar and Leyte; a collection of dioramas of the 82 ethnic tribes of the Philippines; a collection of books on the humanities, and reading rooms. Serious bibliophiles, and curators will be dismayed by the conditions of the books. Numerous antique tables and chairs along the hallways for ordinary library use.
Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum
The Sto Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum sits beside the People’s Center in Real Street, Tacloban City. The Shrine houses paintings of the 14 stations of the Cross done by Filipino artists, wooden bas-relief of the legend of the First Filipino man-woman (Si Malakas at si Maganda); tastefully decorated guestrooms of varied Filipino motifs; image of the Holy Child; a collection of original paintings by Fernando Amorsolo; spacious ballroom; and priceless collector’s items. Imelda Marcos built the Shrine as the First Family’s Residence in Tacloban City - so depending on your political persuasion this place might provoke a bad taste in the mounth. This mansion needs massive restoration and maintenance clean up - rutting eaves, and broken tiles and other fixtures - still its contents does not fail to capture interest especially the ivory carvings form China.
Madonna of Japan
The Maria Kannon Statue also known as the Goddess of Peace was donated by the people of Japan as a symbol of peace and friendship. This statue stands amidst a landscaped garden in Kanhuraw Hills overlooking the Kankabato Bay with a scenic view of Samar Island.
A beautiful 2-storey pagoda in Anibong District, Tacloban City sits of the foot of a hill overlooking Tacloban City and Samar Island. Monks and nuns live and run the pagoda. The Buddhist temple is open for worship, prayers, and offerings.
A tastefully landscaped garden, with a very good restaurant. Rafael’s is a full 45 minutes drive from Tacloban City to Babatngon. A family run enterprise, this place is favourite destination by families, lovers, and friends. Rafael’s is a perfect example of creating beauty in harmony with the terrain and topography.
Subiran Regatta (June 28; Tacloban City)
Subiran Regatta is race of one-man native sailboats with outriggers locally called “subiran” along scenic and historic Leyte Gulf. The race is done without using a paddle but only skills and techniques to manoeuvre the sail. The Subiran Regatta is now on its 32nd year and counting. This contest is done annually on that weeklong celebration of the Tacloban City Fiesta. The race aims to preserve the art of sailing with the wind alone, and to showcase the mastery of this art by local boatmen.
Balyuan (June 29; Balyuan Tower, Tacloban City)
This is a re-enactment of the historical exchange of images between Barrio Buscada of Basey Samar and Sitio Kankabatok , now Tacloban City. In the old days, Sitio Kankabatok was a small barrio under the jurisdiction of Basey town in Samar. During the Feast of Sto. Niño, the residents of Sitio Kankabatok would borrow the bigger image of the saint from the chapel of Barrio Buscada in Basey. Sto. Niño is the revered patron saint of both Kankabatok and Barrio Buscada. The image is returned promptly after the festivities. When Kankabatok grew into a barrio of its own, the local Catholic authorities decided that the bigger Sto. Niño image be retained in prospering village. Stories of the image missing in Buscada and turning up in Kankabatok aided to this decision. The Basey Flotilla bearing the church and government leaders goes on a fluvial procession along San Pedro Bay. A budyong (shell) call announces the sight of the flotilla off Kankabatok Bay.
Sangyaw Festival ( June 29, Tacloban City )
Sangyaw is an archaic Waray word which means to herald the news. The Sangyaw Festival was created by then First Lady Imelda Marcos in the 80s. The Festival has been revived in 2008 by her nephew and current city Mayor Alfred Romualdez. The Sangyaw Festival invites contingents of different performing groups of various festivals in the country to compete in this side of the region. Huge cash prizes and trophies are at stake as the Sangyaw Festival grooms itself to be a big festival to watch out in the succeeding years.
Sto. Niño de Leyte Fiesta (June 30; Tacloban City)
The weeklong celebrations peaks on the 30th of June, the Grand fiesta of Tacloban celebrated with the traditional turn-over ceremonies of the “Teniente” made by the immediate past Hermano Mayor to the incoming Hermano Mayor. This is accompanied by the ritual of giving the medallion containing the names of all Hermanos Pasados and the Standartes. Fireworks and grand parades mark the occasion. Every house in the city prepares a feast and opens its doors to guests and well wishers.