At a young age, I felt a terrible sensation of being disturbed when poor locals of Ormoc had been ravaged by series of landslides and flashfloods way back 1991. I could still recall the horrific views in every newsflash that time and it really made me sick in a way or two. Nonetheless, as a gesture of respect and hope, my parents and I offered prayers every night for the healing process of the province and as well of our country.
Years after the tragedy, I was still stunned by the memory of those fateful days. When I entered college, I met one of the survivors of the said tragedy. At that time, whenever she shared her life threatening ordeal, see could not help but shed tears. All I could do that time was to tap her and assured her that things would be better. As if I had a genie in a bottle, things went well for the next few years on her end. During the last days of our college years, she initiated that we should plan a vacation and she would be the gracious host. I was surprised to her that and I agree to join the trip (not without some inhibitions). Few days after getting our hard-earned diplomas, we were set to her place at Ormoc and we were all surprised.
Ormoc City: the Leyte’s humble Economic Center
Yes, as soon as we set our foot to Ormoc, we were immediately captivated by its charm. It was like that my reservations had been overcome and I knew for a fact that this was most likely, a major factor for my friend’s recovery. Ormoc had definitely bounced back big time from its terrible past. As per economic progress, it was now considered as a first (1st) class city.
We stayed at our friend’s home for the rest of our vacation. As a gracious host, she provided everything we needed. She said that it was her way of thanking us for understanding her situation and for the friendship we had for the past four (4) years of our college lives. For the next days, she led us through various noted landmarks of her native land. Located at the heart of the city, we had some good bonding time with the Ormocanons (locals of Ormoc) as we strolled along the Centennial Park. Since my one of my favorite fruits was pineapple (for some unknown reasons) we went to Brgy. Hibunawon to visit the pineapple plantation and to taste one of Ormoc’s pride the Queen Pineapple. It was best pineapple I ever tasted! We also had a chance passing by the Leyte Golf and Country Club where we met one of our friend’s relative who was a golf enthusiast. We were able to visit as well the Tongonan Hotsprings National Park. It was the first (1st) geothermal plant to run in the Philippines. This power plant also served as the main source of electricity or power of the whole district. Our tour was capped at the Lake Danao and tried to be with ‘Mother Nature’ as we boarded on floating cottages to be relaxed and rejuvenated.
Ormoc City after their worst ordeal as a municipality had been a symbol of hope and possibility to rise up and start all over again. Being a first class city in terms of financial or economic stability proved that this city had been gifted with determined people who knew how to handle their own fate and success.