Businesses flourish in ‘Yolanda’ aftermath

By Sarwell Meniano

November 10, 2017, 4:19 pm

TACLOBAN CITY -- Boosted by the high demand for goods and services, new businesses continue to flourish four years after super typhoon Yolanda pummeled this city.

Mayor Cristina Romualdez said hotel business has grown significantly after the super typhoon. From 43 hotels during the pre-"Yolanda" months, the number has now climbed to 75.

The growth is driven by influx of humanitarian workers and tourists to the city after the disaster, according to the official. “Our economy is back and it’s more vibrant now than before Yolanda, which means more jobs for everybody.”

The city government reported that from January to October 2017, there are already 1,000 new businesses in the city

Marine Labide, 26, manager of convenient store Metro Mart on Real St. said that seeing people in the city awake until wee hours has encouraged them last year to set up the store that operates 24 hours.

“Gone are the days when most people in Tacloban go to bed early. They want to stay awake and buy something at night,” said Labide. The store owner used to run a restaurant business before the monster typhoon inside the Leyte Park Hotel complex.

Cocaine Go, 38, converted their family’s car wash shop on Gomez St. into a 40-seater restaurant named Chew Love, a European inspired cuisine.

Customers are attracted to the Chew Love’s ambiance, shows happiness and looks like a restaurant in Paris perfect for dates and relaxation.

The young entrepreneur, who belongs to a family that runs a chain of businesses in the city, managed a pharmacy that was ruined by storm surges. Go and husband, Colai abandoned the drugstore and opened up a restaurant in 2014.

“So far business is doing well. People come regularly, especially students, couples and families.”

She opened up a business because according to her, after Yolanda everybody loves to eat. “We may not spend time in fashion, people tend to spend much on food,” she observed.

Jenny Lind Chu, 42, manager of Ambassador’s Hotel said the demand for more accommodation facilities in the city prompted her mother-in-law to convert the house into a hotel.

“So far, our earning from this business is very encouraging even if many humanitarian workers left the city. Our rooms are meant for families and big groups unlike other hotels that targets executives and conference participants,” Chu told PNA.

The 23-room hotel, which opened late 2015, is located along the city’s major thoroughfare.

The big house was used as an evacuation center for more than a year by 30 families from badly-hit coastal communities of Magallanes district. (With reports from Ali Krause Gamana & Mikaela Angelica Ramirez, OJT/PNA)