DISCLAIMER: Go Tacloban! is about the best places to go, to eat, stay, hangout, partee, must see, must try, must eat, must drink, must buy, in and around the city, province and region...ACCORDING TO ME! It'll be about events, local and maybe national...and am hoping to mix in some juicy gossip as well...Reviews posted on this blog will definitely be biased according to My Taste. I am NOT a connoisseur of any sorts, i am simply a Taclobanon who is highly opinionated, loves to make "lakwatsa", eat, drink, shop, and take photos! (Photo above is of Zamora St., Tacloban City)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I love this City! And i'll tell you why...

According to Wikipedia:

"The City of Tacloban (Filipino: Lungsod ng Tacloban, Waray: Siudad han Tacloban) is a port city approximately 360 miles southeast of Manila. It is the first in Eastern Visayas to be classified as a Highly Urbanized City. It is the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte and is the largest city in terms of population[5] in Eastern Visayas. It is also considered as the regional center of the Region VIII. Tacloban was briefly the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth Government, from October 20, 1944 to February 27, 1945."

15 years ago, Tacloban for me, was a place for either retireables or pimple ridden pubescent teeners. For a twenty something like myself (back then that is...) it felt like a dead-end. First of all there were no available eligible men around (my age that is...), no decent coffee shops around, no spa, decent mall, gym or disco (yes, am lumping men, coffee shops and malls together...). Shopping was limited to the "Taiwanese" stores that started to sprout around the city and the lone mall Gaisano, i'd have better luck in the numerous ukay stores around. Dining was limited to the handful of boutique restaurants. By 8pm at night, the city was dead except for a couple of sing-a-long bars, bbq stands that scatter around the city, and the mini-red district made up the "night life".

I was in my early twenties, and i was starting to earn some money but there was so little to do that all i could think of was to get out of this place! And I did, for a year. But surprisingly, while i was away, all i wanted was to go back to my city.


First, obviously, i didn't have to pay rent since i have a house here, i mean, my parents have a house here and i live with them (that's another blog topic which i shall write about at a later time...). We have helpers so it means, i don't have to cook, clean my room or wash and iron my own clothes, so its a BIG plus (spoiled much? eat your heart's out! :p)...I loved the fact that i know most of my neighbors, in fact, i had a clique whom i grew up with, whom i could just visit, talk to, eat with, specially on weekends...I loved the fact that, i can meet up with my close friends almost everyday and not have to wait till all our schedules clear up, which happens almost never when you're at the metropolis like Manila or Cebu. Am not a morning person, so I finally appreciated the fact that i didn't have to wake up at five in the morning, commute for two hours just to reach my workplace. I loved the fact that if i get stuck in a bit of traffic i can just get down from the cab (ok, pedicab...) and walk to where i need to go around the city. One can survive a day in the city with 50 bucks in your pocket!

I'm a water baby so naturally, i loved the fact that, the beach was just twenty minutes away, crystal blue water beaches are about 45 minutes away...and since the city is "By the Bay" you can breathe fresh air and feel the sea breeze on your face anytime you want and for as long as you want...Am a big stargazer, so it was torture that i wasn't able to see the milky-way for months on end, but being in Tacloban, you see it almost every night and i just love it!

In the last 10 years, there has been a significant growth that's been seen in the city. More and more business opened, such as small restaurants, boutique's, cafe's, internet cafe's, boutique hotel's and pension inn's and i am loving it!

Last year two malls opened, the city based Gaisano Central and the "slightly out of the way but definitely more popular" Robinson's Place. I am happy to say that we now have a decent movie house and a grocery with a "healthy options" section!

Sure, we still don't have restaurants like Bizu, Le Souffle, Bistro Filipino, Antonio's or even Italliani's (their New York Cheescake is to die for!), or popular brands like Mango, Topshop, Zara, H&M, Promod, etc. Or coffeeshops like Starbucks, Seattle's Best, etc. We don't have high-end hotels like The Manila Pen, or Marriott and the like...But its ok because that means we have something to look forward to when we go to the Metropolis like Cebu or Manila!

I am kinda proud that although there is a lot of franchised businesses in the city, there is also a lot of "original" local businesses around, it shows that Taclobanons can be and are being creative and it gives the city a character of its own...

Note: Photo is of Avenida Veteranos St., Tacloban City

1 comment:

by: ypille said...

"Sure, we still don't have restaurants like Bizu, Le Souffle, Bistro Filipino, Antonio's or even Italliani's (their New York Cheescake is to die for!), or popular brands like Mango, Topshop, Zara, H&M, Promod, etc. Or coffeeshops like Starbucks, Seattle's Best, etc."
-- the operative word here is: "still." :-)