A Statue of Christ in Kanhuraw Hill


Dancers of the Sangyaw Festival


Provincial Capitol of Leyte


Rafael's Farm


Rafael's Farm and Restaurant


San Juanico Bridge


San Juanico Strait


Sto Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum


Subiran Regatta


Tacloban port area, Mt. Danglay on the background


The San Juanico Bridge


About Tacloban City

Tacloban was known as Kankabatok, a name alluded to the first inhabitants of the place – Kabatok. They established their dwelling in the vicinity of the present day Sto. Niño church. Others who came later were Gumoda, Haraging and Huraw who erected their own settlements in nearby sites. Huraw’s domain is the hill where the city hall now sits. As a whole the combined settlements acquired the name Kankabatok, meaning Kabatok’s property.

By the end of the 16th century, Kankabatok was under the political administration of Palo and part of the parish of Basey, Samar. In 1770, the Augustinian Mission discovered the place, they were superseded by the Franciscans in 1813. During this period, Kankabatok was changed to Tacloban. The change of the name came about in this manner: Kankabatok was a favorite haunt of fishermen. They would use a bamboo contraption called "Taklub" to catch crabs, shrimps or fish. When asked where they were going, the fishermen would answer, "(to) Tarakluban," which meant the place where they used the devise to catch these marine resources. Eventually, the name Tarakluban or Tacloban took prominence.

It is not definitely known when Tacloban became a municipality because records supporting this fact were destroyed during a typhoon.

It is commonly believed that Tacloban was officially proclaimed a municipality in 1770. In 1768, Leyte and Samar were separated into two provinces, each constituting as a politico-military province. Due to its strategic location, Tacloban became a vital trading point between the two provinces.

The capital of Leyte was transferred from one town to another with Tacloban as the last on February 26, 1830. The decision to make Tacloban the capital was based on the following reasons: 1) Ideal location of the port and 2) Well-sheltered and adequate facilities. On June 12, 1952, Tacloban was proclaimed a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 760.

Tacloban is a Waray speaking city. The language is also officially called Lineyte-Samarnon ("Leyte-Samarnon"). A decade before the end of the Spanish sovereignty, the place was dominantly a typical colonial community. Most of its residents were either pure Iberian families or the new generations of Spanish-Filipino blood. Today’s population consists of a healthy mix of Spanish and Chinese mestizos, foreign expatriates and the native Leyteños.

The arrival of Colonel Murray in 1901 made him the first military governor of Leyte. His first official act was the opening of Tacloban port to world commerce. Before World War II, Tacloban was the commercial, education, social and cultural center of the Province of Leyte. Copra and abaca were exported in large quantities. The leading institutions were: The Leyte Normal School, Leyte High School, Leyte Trade School, Holy Infant Academy and the Tacloban Catholic Institute.

On May 25, 1942, The Japanese Forces landed in Tacloban, they fortified the city, improved its airfield, a since San Pedro Bay was ideal for larger vessels, the Japanese Imperial Naval Forces made Tacloban a port of call and entry. The Japanese started the three years occupation of Leyte. That event was considered the darkest in the history of Tacloban and the entire nation, because men and women and even the ages were tortured. During this time, many guerilla groups sprouted in Leyte the most notable was the group of Colonel Ruperto Kangleon.

Leyte was the first to be liberated by the Americans. 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 American Forces and the fulfillment of MacArthur’s famous promise on "I Shall Return."

Tacloban City Attractions

Places 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.

Calvary Hill
The Calvary Hill can be reached through Torres St, in Serin district Tacloban City. From there a concrete alley will take you to the concrete steps leading up to hill. Life sized statues of Jesus Christ and other Biblical personages who witnessed his passion and death, are arranged according to the order of the Fourteen Station of the Cross. Catholic devotes flock to the Calvary Hill during the Lenten Season

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.

Price Mansion
The Price mansion is an example of American colonial homes built in the 1900s. It was the official residence and headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur during the Liberation period in 1944.

Redona Residence
The Redona Residence in T. Claudio Street, is one of the remaining house built in the turn of the 19th century. It is a showcase of Filipino craftsmanship, and architecture. This historic mansion is in need of serious restoration for the legacy of historical architecture. It was the official residence of President Sergio Osmeña, 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.

People’s Center and Library
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. Former First Lady Imelda Marcos built the Shrine as the First Family’s Residence in Tacloban City.

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.

Buddhist Temple
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.

Rafael’s Farm
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 a 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 the former First Lady Imelda Marcos in the 80's. 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.

Things to do:

Wall Climbing
Bukid Outdoor Shop in Burgos Street, Tacloban City has climbing walls for those who like to scale walls and practice bouldering. For P60.00 one can “climb till you drop”. Bukid means mountain, and true to its meaning Bukid Outdoor Shop caters to the mountain climbing crowd and other outdoor aficionados. They sell outdoor gears from backpacks, to camping equipment; they also rent out a kayak.

Cancabato Bay is an ideal spot for kayaking. Enjoy the glorious sunset and the view. Watch the beautiful structure of San Juanico Bridge. Bukid Shop can provide a kayak for rent and a guide.

Bukid Outdoor Shop
Burgos St. Tacloban City

Badminton Republic along Avenida Veteranos is the place to go. Players can rent the court on a per hour basis. Taclobanons have strong followers to this game when it became a craze in the late 90’s. Badminton Republic has good facility with air-conditioning to boot.

Badminton Republic
Avenida Veteranos Ave. Tacloban City
Tel (053) 523 7070

Enjoy golf with amazing view of the San Juanico Bridge and Tacloban City.

San Juanico Park and Golfway Countryclub
Brgy. Cabalawan Tacloban City
Tel No : (053) 327 0666 and ( 053) 321 9932
0916 520 1138

Leyte’s jet black sandy beaches are great for skimboarding. The seaside towns of Tanuan, Tolosa, and Dulag are popular spots for skimboarding. Beach resorts dot the entire stretch of this shoreline facing the Pacific. The Tadyaw Beach Resorts in Tolosa is not only a well kept resort but they also rent out skimboards.

Beaches in and nearby Tacloban City abounds for everybody of different persuasion and budget. From San Jose near the airport, numerous budget type resorts dot the seaside such as Sandy Beach, and Balauarte Beach.

Waterfalls in the City
A majestic 30 ft waterfalls is hidden in the mountains of Tigbao and Salvacion just 4 Km. outside Tacloban. A day trip for picnic and swimming is most ideal.

Where to eat?

Fine Dining:
Guiseppes’s Restaurant
Avenida Veteranos Street
Tacloban City

Baybay San Jose Tacloban City

Ocho’s Seafood and Grill
Sen Enage St. Tacloban City

Agus Restaurant
Sagkahan, Tacloban City

Pasta and Pizza:
Canto Fresco
Astrodome, Sagkahan, Tacloban City

Zamora Street, Tacloban City

Alexis Pizzeria
Zamora St.,Tacloban City

Zamora St., Tacloban City

Specialty Restaurants:
Ayo Cafe
Apitong , Tacloban City
( Gourmet )

Sunzibar Cafe
Burgos St., Tacloban City
( Mexican)

M.H. del Pilar, Street Tacloban City
(Middle Eastern Cuisine)

Cafe Urbana
Sto Nino Street, Tacloban City
( French crepes, cakes, chocolates)

Tempura Haus
Avenida Veteranos, Tacloban City
( Japanese cuisine )

Andok’s Dine In
J. Romualdez St., Tacloban City
( Grilled and Roasted chicken, bangus and pork)

(Main Branch) Zamora St, and ( Extension )Burgos St. , Taclobna City

Zamora St., Tacloban City

Fahrenheit Food Center, M.H. Del PIlar St., Tacloban City

(Main)Rizal Ave., and ( Extension) Zamora St., Tacloban City

(Main) Rizal Ave., and Gomez St., Tacloban City

JCO Foodspot
J.Romualdez St.,Tacloban City

Dunkin Donuts
Zamora St., Tacloban City
(open 24 hours)

Pinoy Food, Grill, and Beer and a smoking haven too!
Calle Zaragoza
Independencia St., Tacloban City

Brod Pits
Burgos St., Tacloban City

Dahil Sa Yo
Real and Burgos Sts., Tacloban City
(serves local specialty called pakdol )

Innsbruck Pub
Burgos St., Tacloban City

Socsargen Grill
Burgos St.,Tacloban City

Cafe’s ( Wifi available)
Bo’s Coffee Shop
Avenida Veteranos, Tacloban City

Gloria Jean’s
Avenida Veteranos, Tacloban City

Jose Karlos
Juan Luna St.,Tacloban City


Asia Stars Hotel
Tel.No.: (053) 325-5889 / 321-4952 / 327 - 9561
Address: P. Zamora St., Tacloban City
Executive Suite : P 1,600.00
Junior Suite : P 1350.00
Twin De Luxe : P 1000.00 – P1300.00
Standard – P900.00
No website
Accepts Major Credit Cards

Hotel D' Angelo
Tel. No.: (053) 321-2341
Address: P. Burgos St., Tacloban City
Single Occupancy Room : P 750.00
Double Occupancy Room : P 1,125.00
Jr. Executive Room (D) : P 1,375.00
Sr. Executive Room (D) : P 1,625.00
Sr. Executive Room (T) : P 1,895.00
No website
Accepts Major Credit Cards

Primrose Hotel
Tel.No.: (053) 321-2248 / 321-2339
Address: P. Zamora St., Tacloban City
Executive Room : P 1,000.00
Deluxe Room : P 800.00
Standard Room : P 750.00
Matrimonial Room : P 700.00/P600.00
All Rooms have airconditioning, with Cold/hot shower and TV. Executive room comes with a personal refrigerator.
No website

Tacloban Plaza Hotel
Tel.No.: (053) 325-5851 / 325-5852
Address: J. Romualdez St., Tacloban City
V.I.P. Room Double : P 1,064.00
Standard Deluxe Room : P 720.00
Standard Room Double : P 699.00
All rooms have airconditioning, hot/cold shower, cable TV.
Major credit cards accepted
No website

Hotel Alejandro
Tel.No.: (053) 321-7033
Address: P. Paterno St., Tacloban City
Bridal Room / Executive Room : P 1,765.00
Deluxe Room : P 1,595.00
Superior Double : P 1,427.00
Standard Double : P , 098.00
Major credit cards accepted
Extra bed – P345.00

La Rica Hotel
Tel.No.: (053) 325-3337 / 325-3340
Address: P. Zamora St., Tacloban City
Executive Room : P 1,350.00
Twin Room : P 850.00
Single Room : P 750.00
All rooms have airconditioning, hot/cold shower, cable TV
Cash transactions only
No website

Leyte Park Hotel
Tel.No.: (053) 325-7859 / 325-5585
Fax No.: (053) 325-5587 / 325-7117
Address: Magsaysay Blvd., Tacloban City
Standard Renovated : P 1,880.00
Standard Non-Renovated : P 1,480.00
Cottage Villa Renovated : P 2,8080.00
Cottage Villa Non-Renovated : P 1,680.00
Supreme Cottage : P 3,200.00
Budget Room (4pax/room) : P 2,000.00
Budget Room (5pax/room) : P 2,300.00
Poor Villa : P 10,000.00
(per month) : P 25,000.00
(15 days) : P 15,000.00
(weekly) : P 7,500.00
(daily) : P 1,200.00

Manhattan Inn
Tel.No.: (053) 321-4165 / 321-4170
Address: Rizal Avenue, Tacloban City
Single Room : P 625.00
Double Room : P 875.00
Executive Room : P 1,063.00
Accepts major credit cards
No website

Pensionne Houses

Casa Anson
106 Lopez Jaena Street Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines
Tel : (053) 321 - 4138
Room Rates:
Single De Luxe - P 580.00
Single Ordinary - P 480.00
Double De Luxe - P 680.00
Double Ordinary - P580.00
Matrimonial De Luxe Rate: PhP 680.00
Matrimonial Ordinary Rate: PhP 680.00
Family Room
Rate: PhP 1,050.003 Single Beds

Group Lodging - PhP 250.00 / pax
Extra person - PhP 100.00 / pax
Extra Bed: Php 200.00 / pax

All Rooms are airconditioned with hot/cold Shower. Request for Cable TV in the room is P30.00

Casa de Tacloban
2nd Floor PNB Extension Office
Tel: (053) 325 - 7070
Rizal Avenue, Tacloban City
Airconditioned Room – P437.50
Fan Room – P312.50

All rooms have 2 single beds, and private bathroom. Airconditioned rooms have Cable TV, and Cold/hot Shower.

GV Pensione House
Address: Avenida Vet. St., Tacloban City
V.I.P. Room : P 1,500.00
Deluxe Room : P 650.00
Standard Room : P 550.00
No website

Golden Key Inn
Salazar Street, Tacloban City
Tel : ( 053) 321 - 5312
Room Rates:
Double Rooms – P400.00
Choice of 1 matrimonial bed or 2 single beds, Air-conditioning,Cable T.V.
Cash transactions only.
No website

Rosevenil Pensionne
Tel.No.: (053) 321-2677
Address: P. Burgos St., Tacloban City
Single Bed Room (Deluxe) : P 600.00
Double Bed Room (Deluxe) : P 875.00
Matrimonial Bed Room (Standard) : P 520.00
Accepts major credit cards.
All rooms have airconditioning. De Luxe rooms have hot/cold shower
No website

Papillon Pension House
Tel Number. (053) 321-2947
Address, 251 Sagkahan Road. City, Tacloban
Room A ( good for 2 pax) – 500.00
Room B ( good for 3 -4 pax) – 600.00
All rooms have airconditioning, and cable TV

Casa Real
Real St., Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 321 – 2523

Loremar Pension
Ninoy Aquino Ave., Youngfield, Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 325 – 2367

Welcome Home Pensione
Sto.Nino St., Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 321 – 2739

San Juanico Lodge
J. Romualdez St., Tacloban City
Tel: 321 – 3221

Quarterhouse Pensione
J. Romualdez St., Tacloban City
Tel. : (053) 325 – 6287 / 325 - 5362

Manabo Lodge
P. Zamora St., Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 321- 3727

Matthews Lodging House
M.H. del Pilar St. Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 321 - 1820

Grand Royal Suites
P. Paterno St., Tacloban City
Tel: (053) 523 - 2222


Ron and Fire’s Place
Backpackers Guesthouse
Tel. Number 321 6033 / 0918 511 0770 / 0917 499 0035
Block 23 Lot 47 Kristina Heights Tacloban City
Japanese room - P 600.00 ( good for 2 pax)
Dormitory beds – P300.00
Guests can use kitchen and laundry area.
Free Wifi, coffee, and tea . Internet access available for guests.


McArthur Beach Resort
Tel.No.: (053) 323-3016
Address: Candahug Road, Palo Leyte
Suite Room : P 3,300.00
Deluxe Room : P 1,800.00
Standard Room : P 1,500.00
No website

Vicmar Beach Resort
Tel.No.: (053) 323-2399
Address: Baybay, San Jose, Tacloban City
Standard Room : P 1,000.00
No website


LNU Haus
Tel.No.: (053) 321-2170
Address: Paterno St., Tacloban City
Single Room : P 600.00
Twin Room : P 700.00
Suite Room : P 1,300.00