Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tacloban City is the largest city and regional capital of the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the center of commerce, tourism, education, culture, and government in the region, and home to approximately 200,000 people (2004 estimate). Tacloban is located on Cancabato Bay , in the San Juanico Strait which divides the islands of Leyte and Samar.
The city developed from a small fishing village, a barrio of Basey, Samar. The word Tacloban evolved from "Taklub" a basket-like contraption for catching fish. It became a major trading town since the late 18th century. The city is well-known for its role in World War II, being a major base for the US forces and the first town liberated by Douglas MacArthur's forces from the Japanese Imperial Forces. For a time, it served as the capital of the Philippines while Manila was under Japanese control. The city is also known for being the hometown of the flamboyant former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, whose Romualdez family still commands a large political following in the area.
Economically, Tacloban is one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines. It is the site of the region's biggest airport, and has a sheltered natural harbor. Its major export product is copra. The government has established an economic zone, the Eastern Visayas Regional Growth Center (EVRGC) to take advantage of its large pool of skilled and educated workers. Investors in the EVRGC are given a package of tax exemptions and incentives, as well as other privileges, by the national and local governments.
A major selling point for investors is that the city draws power primarily from the large Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant, which produces plenty of power that is relatively unaffected by global oil prices. Water resources are also abundant. Tacloban is also the gateway to the Leyte Industrial Development Estate in Isabel, home of the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Plant, the biggest fertilizer factory in Asia, and the Philippine Associated Smelter and Refining Company, the country's biggest copper procesing plant.
The City is the site of large state run educational institutions like the University of the Philippines Tacloban, the Leyte Normal University, and the Eastern Visayas State University (formerly known as the Leyte Institute of Technology). The National Maritime Polytechnic, renowned as the most technologically advanced maritime school in Asia is also based in Tacloban. Private schools include the UP School of Health Sciences (actually located in Palo, a municipality which is almost like a Tacloban suburb), RTR Foundation (the largest medical school in the region), the Asian Development College, Holy Infant College, Leyte Colleges, St. Paul's Business Schools (also in Palo, one of the biggest, in terms of student population, business schools outside Manila), AMA Computer School, STI, and the St. Scholastica's College.
The longest bridge in the Philippines connects the city to the third biggest island of the Philippines, Samar. The 2.1 kilometer bridge is one of the major tourist spots in the city. Other attractions include Imelda Marcos's Versailles-inspired palatial mansion, the MacArthur National Park, World War II sites and memorials, and several black sand beaches around the city and nearby localities.
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