Ormoc City is a 1st class city in the Leyte province, Philippines. It is the first non-provincial city of the Philippines. It is also the economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of western Leyte. The city is also an independent component city, which is not subject to regulation form the Provincial Government of Leyte. Even though it is an independent city, it is still art of the IV Congressional District of Leyte together with Albuera, Kamanga, Merida and Isabel Leyte.
It is believed that Ormoc was first called as “Ogmok” by the natives of the town before. The place was used during the Spanish occupation and the migration of the neighboring towns to settle in the more fertile plains of Ogmok. Much of the settler in the town were the Malayans. These people had a constant trading with the Chinese, Javans and Indonesians. Their living, however, was always threatened by the attack of the Moro pirates. It is said that the people in Ogmok developed a warning system communication through people manning watch towers to inform and warn the people of the coming of these pirates.
July 16, 1595, Jesuit missionaries arrived in Leyte. On May 1507, a mission in Ormok was established by these missionaries. That year, the locals were converted to Christianity. Their years of peace was shortly felt when in year 1634, a ruler of Sulu by the name of Raja Bungsu captured 300 natives form Ormoc after the invasion of the notorious pirates in the town. The towns of Sogod, Kabalian, Inopacan and Baybay were also invaded and plundered. More locals of Ogmok still fought this Raja and his men but because they were outnumbered, they were massacred up to the last man.
In the year 1950, Ormoc City transformed into modern infrastructures, wide concrete roads and bridges, well-equipped government and hospital facilities, airport facilities, banks, commercial and trade establishments, house projects, factories, industrial plants, thus, the start of progress for this city.
Population/ Language/ Area
Ormoc City is a port city and is the largest city in Leyte by land area and the second largest in Eastern Visayas after Calbayog City in Samar. Fronting Ormoc Bay, the city’s terrain is mostly of gently rolling plains. It is bounded on the northwest by the towns of Matag-ob and Merida, in the north by Kananga, in the northeast by the towns of Jaro, Pastrana and Dagami, and in the south by the town of Albuera. High mountain ranges separate Ormoc from the eastern portion of Leyte. Numerous rivers and streams traverse Ormoc. Among them are the Bao River in the north, Pagsangahan River in the west, the Bagong-bong River in the south, the Panilahan River also in the south and the Anilao and Malbasag Rivers which border the eastern and western flanks of Ormoc City Proper.
The people of Ormoc are called Ormocanons and the native language used is Cebuano (or Kana). The townsfolk relate more to neighboring towns and Cebu than to eastern Leyte. According to 2010 population census, the city is being inhabited by 191,200 people, all living is a total land area of 613.6 km2 (236.9 sq mi).
Products and Services
Ormoc City serves as the center for commerce and industry in Leyte. It has an organized industry in geothermal energy, suga-based alcohol and industrial gases. It’s fertile soil is used as fishing ground, as most of the people are engaging in fishing and farming. Products that the city provides include cut flowers, dry goods, metal crafts, processed foods, crafts, novelty items, decors and furniture. Sugarcane, rice, pineapple, wood crafts, corn, fish, coconut, abaca and coco handicrafts, vegetables, root crops and livestock serves as the city’s major local products.
- Leyte Golf and Country Club – this golf course is surrounded by mountains and rolling hills. This golfing resort covers 80 hectares of terrain situated on a plateu with plams, coconut, fruit-bearing trees and flowering shrubs. This is located just 7 kilometers aways from Ormoc City.
- Pineapple Plantation – the city is famous for its pineapples with a distinct sweetness. This is a 210 hectares, located in the north of Hibunayon and Kananga communities. Visitors usually buy bundles of this famous product as ‘pasalubong’ or gifts to their loved ones and friends.
- Tongonan Hot Springs National Park – the geothermal power plant which supplies electricity to the whole region is located in this valley. Recreational activities are provided for the visitors such as boating, swimming, camping, trekking, biking, picnic and scientific studies.
Festivals and Celebrations
- Buyogan Festival – this is celebrated every August. Main attractions include the colorful costumes worn by the residents of Buyogan, a small town in Ormoc. This festival is named from buyog or bees, which is also the center of this event. Dance competitions are part of this festivals wherein the participants used to imitate the movement of the bees.
- Sunduan ha Carigana – this is celebrated every Holy Week, where the main event is during the Eastern Sunday. The focus of this event is to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Recreational activities are conducted. At least one member of family of the locals are invited to join the recreational activities provided. Tourist are also much welcomed to join.