Barely 13 years old when I was introduced to the different high schools in this City. Next thing I knew I was already on my own for interviews and exams til I was accepted in Leyte National High School where population in late 80’s already reached around 4,000. Leyte High was actually a school of convergence – rich, poor, bright, bulakbol, mabango, mabaho; name it, probably my school had it. But I am proud, my Alma Mater produced mathematicians, writers, speakers, scientists par excellence.
While in high school, I stayed in Siren District, known then for notorious tambays and informal settlers and considered to be the Tondo of Tacloban. For four years, I literally rubbed elbows with snatchers, drug addicts, drunkards, basagulero. I didn’t wonder why Calvary Hill is located in the area.
Like Manong Pawikan who has "tahanan na pasan-pasan, wala lang mapaglagyan," I have no permanent address. After Quarry District, I had stayed in many other boarding houses before I settled the longest in Cancabato Ville, San Jose. Peaceful, quiet, suburb. Walking distance to the airport, near the beaches, 24-hour jeepney transportation.
If there’s something I have paid forward for what home I have in my last 25 years in this City, it is that I took part as facilitator in defining the dream for this now Highly Urbanized City (series of planning workshops, 2010). The City now envisions itself to be
“an agri-industrial center and strategic hub for educational excellence in Eastern Visayas with a dynamic economy, competent human capital in a secured, well balanced environment and preserved cultural heritage with God-loving, healthy and empowered citizenry through a transparent, participatory, gender-responsive and inspiring governance.”