Onward to Tacloban!
We make an occasional trip now and then to Tacloban on the Island of Leyte, and when we do, we take “The List” with us. It is just a list we compile over time comprised of items we need but cannot find here in Calbayog City, including some things we might like to have. Sometimes we will make the trip to the Mitsubishi car dealership for our scheduled maintenance and oil change, other times it might be to look for a special need, like today. Because it is a three and a half hour drive one way (and over seven hours driving if we don’t spend the night), it requires a little planning (pets at home).
Citi Hardware Coming Soon?
Because there are no dermatology clinics in Calbayog City, my wife wanted to go visit one in Tacloban for a small stubborn rash on the palm of her hand that won’t seem to go away. So we grabbed up a young nephew, threw him in the car, and dragged him along for the trip. While down there, I usually always stop in to the Handyman Hardware in the Robinson’s Mall and then we will hit Citi Hardware (which resembles a big box home improvement store in the U.S.) on the way out-of-town. There I can pick up much-needed items that I cannot find in Calbayog City. This day I needed a water gate (stem valve) for the kitchen sink because it developed a slow drip. Here in Calbayog City, they will sell you the entire faucet, and when it begins leaking, they will again sell you an entirely NEW faucet. They have no plumbing repair parts here to speak of, so when I hit the Handyman (Similar to the Ace Hardware in Cebu), I can usually find what I need. I also picked up a bag of nitrogen fertilizer which I can’t find locally.
The M/V Eva Jocelyn Memorial
Since we left Calbayog City early, we stopped in Catbalogan (1.5 hours) for breakfast and coffee at Jollibee’s, and then arrived in Tacloban early, about 8:30. So we took the time to visit the Yolanda “Shipwreck Memorial” on the harbor’s edge right here in Tacloban City. This is the site where a major storm surge devastated the coastal area, pushing large ships aground here, killing many residents of barangay Anibong. On November 8th, 2013, the M/V Eva Jocelyn which was anchored in the city harbor, was washed ashore with a 7 meter storm surge caused by winds in excess of 370k/ph, brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The shipwreck stands as a remembrance to the thousands of people who perished throughout the city of Tacloban on that day. The memorial was unveiled on the 2nd anniversary year of that disaster, commemorated on 07 November, 2015.
It is a long one-day trip (driving Filipino style), and when we got back to Calbayog City, we stopped in at a local restaurant for a beer and some Pancit Bihon, and then we headed home. I did pick-up some interesting information about Citi Hardware building a store in Calbayog City. Some time ago, a store manager in Tacloban told me that they were searching for a site in the Calbayog area and that the store was on the drawing board. This time I received word that fees and construction permits have already been paid for and that construction should begin late this year or early next year. Keep in mind, this word is coming from store employees at the Citi Hardware in Tacloban. I suppose a good follow-up would be to track down the permitting efforts locally to see if it is all true. If it is true, there would be so many happy foreigners and locals, me included. I also know a few hardware stores in Calbayog City that might get just a little nervous!