The Heart of The Eastern Visayas
‘Let us be ready for Kankabatok!’ What? Then my cousin repeated it, ‘yup, let us explore Kankabatok! As soon I started my assignment there.’ These were my cousin’s statements before we went to ‘Kankabatok’. Nonetheless, I was asking myself then, ‘where or what is Kankabatok?’ In the last two (2) decades of my life I had not heard that word even once and that was the first time I encountered it. After some research back then, before we went to the place, all the while, I had already encountered ‘it’ numerous times. It was the City of Tacloban that my cousin was referring to.
‘Kankabatok’ was the first known name of Tacloban. It was a citation from the first settlers of the place-the ‘Kabatok’. The place was once a preferred site for fishing and the natives used a certain piece of equipment made of bamboo called ‘Taklub’ to catch fish, shrimps and crabs. Thus the word ‘Tarakluban’ was born, a place where fishermen use ‘taklub’ as their tool. In time, the word ‘Tacloban’ took distinction. ‘Waray’ is the common dialect of this place and it has been officially considered or called as ‘Lineyte-Samarnon’. Some noted landmarks of Tacloban City are San Juanico Bridge, Tacloban City Convention Center, Sto. Niño Church of Tacloban, Palo Cathedral, Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum, ‘Crucified Christ’ and Madonna of Japan. Christian or Catholic religious influences left significant dent throughout the history of Tacloban City obviously through some of these landmarks.
The City Logo
The logo of Tacloban City has been the summary or more so, a footnote of the city’s significant history and distinct heritage. The ship or the galleon signifies the discovery of the island of Limasawa by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. Limasawa had been referred to as the place in the Philippines where the first celebration of the Holy Eucharist happened. The right side or part of the logo connotes the Leyte side, where Tacloban City is situated. The San Juanico Strait and its scenic beauty had been visualized in the middle or center of the logo. The province of Samar, which is the main provider of marine and agricultural products or commodities to the city, is illustrated at the left portion of the logo. For this reason, Samar greatly contributes the stabilization of trade and business.
As soon as we arrived at Tacloban City, I was able to feel a sense of being ‘at home’ for some unknown reasons. All of a sudden, I just said ‘Kamusta Kankabatok?’, (an inflexion of ‘how are you doing Kankabatok?’, then I observed some faces staring at me with a soft grin on their faces. My cousin and I had to laugh it off. I had indeed a time in my life in my short stay in Tacloban City. My short visit to Tacloban City had been indeed very memorable. Well, as for my cousin, his three(3)-month short assignment had already become a three-year stay and counting because he had found his ‘significant’ other during his stay and they had decided to tie the knot for good. Right now, I am really looking forward seeing my ‘mga inaanak’ (godchildren) at Tacloban City.