Monday, April 26, 2010

Photoblog: Robinsons Tacloban

Robinsons Tacloban opened last June 11, 2009. And I have heard of the people's overflowing support. Last sembreak, I went back to Tacloban and visited the shopping center. Just like every mall, the place is cozy and customer-friendly. You will feel the magnetic aura which entices you not to go out and keep on looking at the items on sale. A lot of stalls await their customers. Unlike any other mall, it's really funny that I get to talk and shop with my fellow Taclobanons. It was my first time, inside a mall, uttering the Waray language.  And that was cool!!! It was really good to be back, after all the academic loads and mind-boggling exams.  I just can't wait for another touchdown soon!! :)

Here are my personal shots of the mall's 70% completion:

Finally, Sir Gerry Ruiz allowed me to post his photos here! The photos shown below are my favorite Gerry Ruiz shots! Featuring: Robinson's Place Tacloban at 99% completion.

Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

 Photo Courtesy: gerryruiz photoblog

To view  more of his photos and articles, click gerryruiz photoblog. His site is the ultimate source of pictures of Tacloban and Region 8. Sir Gerry Ruiz is one of the region's premier photographers. Aside from that, he's my personal favorite.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tacloban City: A Business Attraction

There will be an influx of business establishments to Tacloban now that it has been declared with public support as a Highly Urbanized City.

This could be the primary reason why the city government plans to convert the Kanhuraw Convention Center into a one-stop-shop business center. Alongside it, Mayor Alfred Romualdez calls for a “fast-track business transactions to the city hall” by proposing the computerization of its operations.

He also added that some city government offices such as the City Assessor’s Office and the City Treasurer’s Office will have to be transferred to the business center. This means that all transactions related to the renewal of and the application for business permits will be done there.

According to the city mayor, the one-stop-shop will pave way for faster transactions and lesser hassle on part of the investors in applying for business permits. In this way, he concluded, Tacloban will have a business-friendly image.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Welcome Home Pensione

Tacloban Plaza Hotel

Vic-Mar Beach Resort

Village Town House

Rosvenile Pensione

Quarter House Pensionne

Primrose Hotel

Manhattan Inn

MacArthur Beach Resort

Luxury Suite Hotel

LNU House

Leyte Park Resort Hotel

La Rica Hotel

Hotel D'Angelo

Hotel Alejandro

Grand Royale Suites

Golden Key Inn

Casa Real

Casa de Tacloban

Casa Anson

Baluarte Beach Resort

Asia Stars Hotel

City Hotels: Directory and Rates

Here are the comparative lodging rates offered by  hotels, inns and resorts as of July 2008. Payments are expressed in Philippine Pesos (Php). Prospect tourists and travelers may apply for reservations by dialing the landline numbers of their hotel choice. The rates may be subject to change without prior notice. Just click on the links to further direct you to the page containing the rates and other pertinent information.


Why Invest in Tacloban City

Tacloban City is an investor's choice. This is the place where one's money multiplies. Listed below are the top 10 reasons why one should invest in Tacloban City.

1. Abundance in Natural Resources
Eastern Visayas has sufficient mine deposits (chromite, nickel, clay, coal, limestone, gravel, pyrite and sand)

2. Effective Governance and Urban Planning
Full government support envelopes the city, causing high satisfaction rates and low circumstances of protests. The city government enacted the Revised Investment Incentives Code for Tacloban City, which includes the Provision of Fiscal Incentives for Investors (e.g. Tax Exemption packages)

3. Strategic Location and Accessibility
The city is built and positioned along the Maharlika Highway, the national road of the Philippines. Seaports, airports and bus terminals bring travelers safely from Tacloban to the different parts of the country.

4. Low Crime Incidence and High Police Monitoring
The upgrade of its police station into the Tacloban City Police Office has opened opportunities for higher residential coverage and patrol, leading to low incidences of crime in the city and relatively high media exposure. This provides security among residents and businessmen. Moreover, there is an intense campaign against illegal drugs.

Ave. monthly crime rate: 8.95%
Crime Solution Efficiency: 98.25%

5. Humble Filipino Hospitality
Filipino hospitality once again proves to the world that it is vital in attracting investments and improving tourism status. Taclobanons are gregarious and trustworthy.

6. Outrageous Establishment of the Banking Sector and Financial Institutions
The financial sector, with almost 30 banks and other financial institutions established, continuously thrives in the city despite rumors saying that the global recession has not yet come to an end, and might cause rebound effects on local economies.

7. Availability of Facilities and Equipments
The readiness of State of the Art telecommunications, the increment in the number of garbage trucks circulating the city, the abundant supply of water, and the constant generation of 700.9 MW of electricity by the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant provide grounds for economic stability, investment attraction and industrial support.

Its proximity to the Eastern Visayas Regional Growth Center, 237 hectares of land duly recognized by PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority), makes it more suitable for various industries ranging from textiles to food and beverages.

8. Skilled Labor Force and Competitive Educational System
A lot of government-funded pubic schools and highly maintained private schools have produced a gigantic mass of skilled workforce.

9. Public Interference and Transparency
The people's active involvement in the doings of the city government leads to secured allocation of funds and transparency.

10. Wide and Assertive Consumer Market
The Gokongwei's move to put up Robinsons Tacloban is proof that consumers are willing to pay for what they want to have - goods and services. The company also plans on building a hotel beside the shopping complex. The mall's location is an advantage since it is surrounded by residential areas.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Local Economy

Known for its good harbor with large wharves and an extensive export trade, Tacloban City is the regional center of commerce, culture, education, government and tourism in the Eastern Visayas region. Recently, brand new malls, call centers, financial institutions, home depots, entertainment centers, coffee bars and business establishments have set foot on various areas bring up new competitors like Robinsons Land, Mister Donut, KFC, and other small establishments.

During the mid-90’s, the city outlined a 237-hectare Economic Zone which was later approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1210 on the 28th day of April 1998. Eventually, the Eastern Visayas Agri-Industrial Growth Center (EVRGC) became officially registered as an economic zone. The City Government of Tacloban is its developer/ operator. 

Tacloban’s economic growth has aided it in becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines. It possesses one of the lowest poverty incidence rates at roughly 9%. It is also the richest local government unit in Region VIII. The Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport is the region’s largest domestic airport. There are plans for structural development and facilities upgrade to pass international standards.

Currently, at least 30 banks and financial institutions operate in the city namely:
• Allied Bank
• Bank of the Philippine Islands- 3 Branches
• Banco de Oro- 3 Branches
• Chinabank
• Development Bank of the Philippines
• Green Bank of Caraga
• Philippine National Bank- 2 Branches
• Philippine Savings Bank
• Metrobank- 3 Branches
• Kauswagan Bank
• Land Bank of the Philippines- 3 Branches
• East West Bank
• Robinsons Bank
• First Consolidated Bank
• Rural Bank of Dulag
• Union Bank
• City Savings Bank
• Philippine Veterans Bank
• Philippine Farmers Bank
• Banco Filipino
• Postal Bank
• Security Bank
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cooperative
• Quedancor

Shopping centers have already started flocking in the city, due to a wide base of aggressive consumers from different ages. Not long ago, Robinsons Land put up its first mall in the city, Robinsons Place Tacloban, which is now the region’s largest shopping complex. This record defeated Borongan’s (Eastern Samar) Wilsam Uptown Mall. The Gaisano Group also opened its second mall, the Gaisano Central Mall, somewhat larger than its first, the Gaisano Capital Mall. The Gaisano Central Mall houses the city’s first KFC restaurant. Another franchise opened in Robinsons Place Tacloban.

Here is a list of the shopping areas to visit:
• Robinsons Place Tacloban
• Gaisano Central Mall Tacloban
• Gaisano Capital Tacloban-Main
• Highway Supermart
• Marketsavers and Wholesale Club
• Dynasty Square
• Dynasty Center
• Kevin's
• Leyte Asia Trading
• Leyte Supermarket
• Tacloban Shopping Center (dry market)
• Tacloban Supermarket (wet market)
• Nena's Trading
• Reyna's Department Store
• RR Arcade
• 7R (fashion store)
• SM City Tacloban (Under Feasibility study)

People and Religion

Tacloban’s official language is Lineyte-Samarnon. It is dominated by Waray speakers, who make up the city’s cultural and linguistic diversity. During the Spanish colonization, the place was made up of typical colonial communities, most of which either Iberian or a new generation of Spanish Filipino mix. Today’s totally different as a healthy variety of Spanish, American and Chinese mestizos, and the native Leyteños coexists in harmony. The city’s population as of 2007 is 217, 199.

Almost all of the people are Christians, 97% of which are Roman Catholic. The latter include Iglesia ni Kristo, Mormons and Protestant. 0.3% of the population or 600 people are Muslims. 90% of them are Maranao, The remainder consists of Waray-waray and the Tausug.

Here is a list of the Roman Catholic churches in Tacloban:
• Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
• Our Lady of Fatima Parish
• Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
• Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church
• Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish
• Sacred Heart Parish
• San Jose Parish
• Santo Nino Church
• St. Jose Ma. Escriva Church
• St. Jude Parish
• St. Rafael the Archangel Parish

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tacloban History: Shattering the Barrier to Development

Before, Kankabatok was original name of Tacloban to indirectly refer to the property of its first dwellers, the Kabatok. They resided on the vicinities of what is now known as Sto. Niño Church. Eventually, other wanderers like the Gumoda, Haraging and Huraw settled in areas nearby.

By 16th century's end, Kankabatok was mostly under Palo's political administration, the other handler of it being Basey's (Samar) parish. In 1770, it was discovered by the Augustinians, taken over by Franciscans (1813) and renamed Tacloban. So, how did Kankabatok evolve into Tacloban? Tacloban derived its name from Taklubs which were carried aback by the former people. A taklub was a manual device made of bamboo which was used by fishermen to harvest crabs, fish and other crustaceans. These men would respond "(to) Tarakluban" when being asked where they would go. Tarakluban was the very place where the fishermen would use the Taklub. In time, they became more familiar with the name, and so Tarakluban took prominence, which then became Tacloban.

The question still remains unsolved as to whether Tacloban underwent the stage of being a municipality since age-old records have been destroyed during one typhoon's devastation. However, rumors say that it officially became a municipality in 1770. Two years before, Leyte and Samar parted into two provinces, each with a political-military constituent Tacloban's strategic location made it a vital trading spot between the two great islands. The city's seaport may be one of the reasons for its success in trade.

Leyte's assignation of capital was stubborn in a way that Tacloban was not the first, but the last city to be proclaimed as chartered city by virtue of R.A. No. 760 on June 20, 1952. Grounds for such proclamation include: a) ideal port situation and b) sufficient and highly-maintained equipment and facilities.

Colonel Murray's visit in 1901 earned him the title as Leyte's first military governor. His first official move was the opening of the Tacloban seaport to international trade and commerce. During the Pre-WWII era, Tacloban became the commercial, education, and sociocultural center of Leyte. Highly exported products were copra and abaca. The premier local institutions at that time were the following: Leyte Normal School, Leyte High School, Leyte Trade School, Holy Infant Academy and the Tacloban Catholic Institue

On the 25th of May 1932, Japanese forces occupied Tacloban for three years. They built up the city, developed it and improved its airfield. San Pedro's sufficient size (fit for big vessels) convinced the Japanese Imperial Naval Forces to set Tacloban as a port of call and entry. Many people at this time considered this period as the darkest, horrifying part of Tacloban history, and with the whole country under the Japanese invasion, a lot of incidences of human abuse were committed. To counter this, local guerilla groups were formed and operated in Leyte, the most recognized of which was Col. Ruperto Kangleon's group.

Leyte was the first to be liberated by the combined Filipino and American troops. General Douglas MacArthur’s assault troops landed in the Tacloban and Palo beaches (White Beach and Red Beach, respectively) and in the neighboring town of Dulag (Blue Beach) on October 20, 1944. These landings signaled the eventual victory of the Filipino and American forces and the fulfillment of MacArthur’s famous promise: "I Shall Return." Leyte was the first province to be freed by a combined army of Filipinos and Americans. On October 20, 1944, General Douglas MacArthur's troops reached the shores of Tacloban, Palo and Dulag. These happenings meant successful triumph over Japanese control and started the "I Shall Return" fever.

On the 23rd of the same month, at a ceremony in Tacloban's Capitol Building, General MacArthur, accompanied by President Sergio Osmeña, declared Tacloban the temporary seat of the Commonwealth Government and subsequently, the Philippines' temporary capital as Manila inflicted so much damage from the Japanes-American War while the whole country is still being fought for in different regions. The provincial government of Leyte and the municipal government of Tacloban were then re-established.

Atty. Paulo Jaro was Tacloban's Liberation Mayor, and the first mayor of this capital upon inauguration of the Philippine Republic was Hon. Epifanio Aguirre. On January 8, 1960, General MacArthur began his very own "sentimental" adventure in Leyte.

The city's development continued through the 20th and 21st century, aided by local and international investments, and relatively good governance. However, surveys unveiled that a lot of families still had its human development status below the poverty line.

Last October 4, 2008, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proclaimed Tacloban as a Highly-Urbanized City, ratified by more than half Taclobanons in a tight race to declaration on December 18, 2008.

Launch Message: Maupay na Adlaw!

Home to one of the most hospitable people, cleanest surroundings, sought-after food delicacies, highly preserved culture, greatly celebrated festivities, and abruptly improving business environment, Tacloban City enters as Eastern Visayas' first Highly Urbanized City (HUC) and regional center, and a 220,000-population strong, capital of Leyte.

 Photo Courtesy:

Tacloban City Express takes you to every "hottah" spot and brings you all you need to know before visiting this place! Define "hottah"? Something that wows you! So, ride with us and be our guest!

 Photo Courtesy:


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