Tacloban City – A Place of Memories

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I first came to Tacloban even before it was lavished by the Typhoon Yolanda  long ago. So, for me, Tacloban might be not as the same if I’m going to be visiting now. I was young then, on my Third year of High School, and simply one of the persons taken to work on the Scriptwriting and Shadow Puppetry Tagisan ng Talino competition because I can do script writing.

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Atinfuyang. Script Title. A shadow puppetry tale about twins being a cause of misfortune.

Although to be fair, my script did go through revisions and had been mainly worked on hand in hand with a partner and with our professor herself. Aside from that, it had been my first time riding an airplane. (There are things I wish I would have tried but since we’ve ridden the plane during the times where I’d rather feel like sleeping since we rode it at night or at dawn.)

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First time riding a plane. Entering and Leaving.

Nonetheless, it was a pleasant memory although I don’t quite remember most of it already. Still, there are notable landmarks there that I’m able to visit. Also, it is my first time going to Visayas so I never experienced a heat that you can actually experience too quickly.

Tacloban doesn’t have an SM mall, instead it has a Robinsons one. While inside Robinsons, the place is as cool as Baguio is cool. However, if you go out, you always turn hot almost immediately.

Also, it is easy to go around there given how you just need to circle an intersection and we’re already able to return to where we’re currently staying. We’re staying at a school by the way, the same thing as when athletes coming from other parts of CAR comes to our school and treats one place there as a lodge. From there, I noticed that most of the food served if not always didn’t bear much vegetables on them. Most are meat, a stark difference in nature. It is also my first time there seeing someone dance while holding on something lighted with fire.

Au Revoir Program. 

Unlucky me, since I brought a camera without its charger and the only thing I have is my cellphone which doesn’t exactly take that much decent photos. I don’t even remember where I placed those images. But I have a friend, one of the people with me who took most pictures and these are the ones that I will be using given how we’re always in the same place either way. Aside from that, most of the images she took are stolen shots of me so yeah.

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Auto smile detector settings on my friend’s camera.

Aside from the recent firsts, it is also my first time to ever win First Place. This is given how we if messed up in the middle of our performance, with one member mistakenly hitting her toe by the table and me panicking. Yet we pulled through. I’m not expecting anything. I can’t expect anything given how we’re in the Nationals and we’re up against every other people. Not to mention the fact that we performed first and our Teacher specifically mentioned other presentations that are much better than ours.

Yet when the winner is announced, we are surprised and it’s my first time to actually scream for something like this. (No one screams without a warranted reason, unless it is absolutely necessary to scream to free yourself from stress.)

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First Time Champions. Tagisan ng Talino, Script Writing and Shadow Puppetry

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Theatre Instructor, cradling trophy like a baby

Once the event is finished, we’re still staying for two days before we leave this is since our tickets got switched with the other ones and we’re bound to leave later. From there, we are able to explore Tacloban more, although not all. I’m able to visit Imelda’s home, Mac Arthur’s statue along with some several soldiers walking ahead. A revered resort and even the San Juanico Bridge.

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Riding a side cab

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San Juanico Bridge, connecting Samar and Leyte

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Jollibee, Tacloban City

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MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park

 

I might not remember Tacloban as vivid as I should but it was always being a pleasant memory to me, given how I’d been there before a disaster hit such an unsuspecting place. Not to mention how I just recently made a friend who came from Tacloban in an anonymous group chat before hearing about the typhoon.

I was distraught when that happened. I just don’t know what to do, knowing that I’ve met good people there and I’ve made some memories there that are worth it, it made me sad that those are just taken away as simple as someone blowing a candle out on a birthday cake. So, either way, driving out of the personal thoughts on the matter, I hope you try visiting Tacloban. It might be small and hot (not your temperature if you’re a person who’s more attached in Baguio) but it’s worth it.

The people are nice and friendly and there are some sights that might (hopefully) survived from the typhoon. Nonetheless, Tacloban City is back on its feet and I hope I get to visit someday.