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Tacloban - Philippines

Tacloban (/tækˈloʊbən/ tak-LOH-ban;Tagalog pronunciation: [tɐkˈloban]), or simply referred to as Tacloban City is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It serves as the regional center of the region of Eastern Visayas. The city is autonomous from the province of Leyte, although it serves as its provincial capital. According to the 2015 census, Tacloban has a population of 242,089, making it the most populous city in the Eastern Visayas. In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 124,777 registered voters. The city is located 360 miles (580 km) southeast from Manila.

Tacloban was briefly the capital of the Philippines under the Commonwealth Government, from 20 October 1944 to 27 February 1945. In an extensive survey conducted by the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center and released in July 2010, Tacloban ranks as the fifth most competitive city in the Philippines, and second in the emerging cities category. On 8 November 2013, the city was largely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, having previously suffered similar destruction and loss of life in 1897 and 1912. On 17 January 2015, Pope Francis visited Tacloban during his Papal Visit in the Philippines and held a mass at Barangay San Jose, and later he led mass of 30,000 people in front of the airport.

The change of the name came about in this manner: Kankabatok was a favorite haunt of fishermen. They would use a bamboo contraption called a "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 device to catch these marine resources. Eventually, the name Tarakluban or Tacloban took prominence.

It is not 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 1770s. In 1768, Leyte and Samar were separated into two provinces, each constituting 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 26 February 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 20 June 1952, Tacloban was proclaimed a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 760.

Tacloban has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen: Af), also known as an equatorial climate, usually (but not always) found along the equator. Tropical rainforest climate is a type of tropical climate in which there is no dry season – all months have mean precipitation values of at least 60 millimetres (2.4 in). Tropical rainforest climates have no pronounced summer or winter; it is typically hot and wet throughout the year and rainfall is both heavy and frequent. One day in an equatorial climate can be very similar to the next, while the change in temperature between day and night may be larger than the average change in temperature between "summer" and "winter".

The average high (daytime) temperature for the year in Tacloban is 29.4 °C (84.9 °F). The warmest month on average is May with an average daytime temperature of 31 °C (87.8 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average (nighttime) temperature of 23 °C (73.4 °F).

The highest recorded temperature was 41.1 °C (106.0 °F), recorded in December. The lowest recorded temperature in Tacloban is 12.8 °C (55.0 °F) which was also recorded in December.

The average rainfall for the year is 2,294 millimetres (90.3 in), with the most rainfall on average in December with 305 millimetres (12.0 in) and the least on average in April with 119 millimetres (4.7 in).

Tacloban is a tourism hub and the primary gateway to Eastern Visayas. The region is world-renowned for its natural ecological beauty and diversity and for its historical significance in the Second World War.

San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge, which is 2.16 kilometres (1.34 mi) long and connects the islands of Leyte and Samar across the San Juanico Strait, is the longest bridge in the Philippines. It was not significantly damaged due to Typhoon Haiyan and therefore was one of the critical gateways for the transportation of relief goods and the evacuation of refugees.

Santo Niño Shrine

Home of the Marcos Family, it displays the fortune and previous properties of the Philippine dictator. The shrine was severely damaged due to Typhoon Haiyan.

Price Mansion

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

Santo Niño Church

The Santo Niño Church is considered the most important religious site in the province. It houses the miraculous image of Sto. Niño which is the patron saint of Tacloban. The church was severely damaged due to Typhoon Haiyan.

Organized by the Department of Tourism and the city government, this activity which only started in 1975 is supposedly a re-enactment of a purported exchange of images between Barrio Buscada of Basey and Sitio Kankabatok, now Tacloban City. A local story which only saw print in the 20th century purports that 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. However because of its highly questionable anthropological and historical basis, the story can be best understood as simply etiological. It gives witness to the cultural, ethnographical and historical relationship between the people of south Samar and the eastern seaboard of Leyte. Likewise, stories of the image missing in Buscada and turning up in Kankabatok aided to this decision of honoring this relationship. 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.