TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

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TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

We are all familiar with the man who uttered “I shall return.”  With his role in the Philippine history making the Province of Leyte in the forefront, specifically the municipality of Palo, surely, its neighboring city of Tacloban provides a fair share of the historical era that was.

There are structures in Tacloban City that withstood and spanned centuries for existence while others were newly built to mark recent happenings.

LEYTE PROVINCIAL CAPITOL
Location: Corner Sen. Enage Street and Magsaysay Boulevard

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

This neoclassical building built in 1907 is the seat of the provincial government of Leyte and was also the seat of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines when President Sergio Osmena Sr. came in 1944 with the World War II Liberation Forces.

My recent visit was the first time I was able to take photos of myself with the edifice and its unique architectural features including murals depicting The First Christian Mass and other historical moments in Philippine history like the Leyte Landing.

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

Setting aside biases, this is by far one of the beautifully-constructed Provincial Capitols’ in the Philippines.

The white painted structure looks grand even from a distance.  At times, it becomes the venue of social gatherings, public events and even just a rendezvous for friends.   

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

STO. NINO SHRINE AND HERITAGE MUSEUM
Location:  Real Street (beside People’s Center)

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

Former First Lady Imelda Marcos built the Shrine as the First Family’s Residence in Tacloban City.  The main highlights of the shrine, also known as the Romualdez Museum are the wooden bas-relief of the legend of the First Filipino man-woman (Si Malakas at si Maganda), spacious ballroom, original paintings by Fernando Amorsolo and the countless collector’s items. 

PEOPLE’S CENTER AND LIBRARY
Location:  Real Street

Another neoclassical structure in the city is the People’s Center and Library.  The ground floor is a huge social hall place while the second floor is the library.  I remember that the ground floor has been a venue of varied social gatherings, concerts and important events when I was in high school and for a time was made a shopping center.

I have never been to the second floor, which as they say has a vast collection of historical documents, a collection of dioramas of the 82 ethnic tribes of the Philippines, a compilation of books on the humanities and award-winning novels and writings housed with antique tables and chairs along the hallways.

Today, as it is nearly abandoned, the same is being subject of a rehabilitation and I heard a group of booklovers from Tacloban City has started a clean-up campaign for the restoration of its nearly dilapidated and worn-out library.

The library is believed to contain more than 55,000 hardbound books from renowned authors like William Shakespeare, James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twaine, Stephen Hawking and even the original Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal.

REDONA RESIDENCE
Location: T. Claudio Street

This is one of the remaining houses built in the turn of the 19th century.  The Redona Residence is the official residence of President Sergio Osmena Sr. in 1944 when Leyte was the seat of the Philippine government during the liberation from the Japanese campaign until Philippine Commonwealth was re-established in Manila.

The historic mansion is in need of serious restoration.

PRICE MANSION
Location:  Real Street

As we passed by the structure, it is no longer functioning and is completely abandoned after Typhoon Yolanda hit the province.  The mansion used to be the official residence and headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur during the liberation period in 1944.  It is also an example of an American colonial home built in 1900s.

It was known as the CAP Building to local residents.

But today, it becomes a nuisance along the main thoroughfare of Tacloban City, Leyte.

MADONNA OF JAPAN
Location: Magsaysay Boulevard

Though the vicinity from where the statue of Madonna of Japan stands has a bad image actually for some local residents and I must say that includes me; through time, the site has been cleaned-up and maintained by the local government.  It has gradually changed my perception of what to expect at Madonna of Japan.   

Madonna Maria Kannon, also known as Madonna of Japan, is a symbol of friendship between the Japanese and the Filipinos.  It is located at the Kanhuraw Hill near City Hall facing Kankabato Bay.  It is said that during the World War II, the place became a campground for the Japanese soldiers.

YOLANDA MEMORIAL
Location: Anibong

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

On November 8, 2013 at 7 in the morning, M/V Eva Jocelyn which was anchored in the city harbor, ran aground and killed residents of Barangay Anibong.  It was pushed by a 7-meter high storm surge caused by winds in excess of 370km/h brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The shipwreck stands as a remembrance of the countless lives that perished throughout the City of Tacloban on that day.  It marks the genesis of our advocacy for resiliency and adaptation to a new life that continue for generations to come.

The memorial was unveiled on the eve of the second year commemoration last November 7, 2015.

Here are the actual photos of the boats that ran aground Anibong on my last visit to the said area.

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

TACLOBAN CITY’S SURVIVING PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST

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These are just but some of the historical places of interest that I am aware of, that my hometown, Tacloban City can offer to visitors for viewing purposes.

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