Both peaceful and beautiful, Ormoc City rightly earns the moniker of “Beauty by the Bay.” But there’s more to the city than meets the eye. Whether you seek adventure or a place of relaxation, this city has what you need.
The name of the city is derived from “ogmok”— an old Visayan term meaning “lowland.” This first class city is only 104 kilometers from the capital and is a prominent transportation, economic, and cultural hub for Leyte Province. High mountain ranges offer both a dividing line from the eastern side of Leyte, as well as a great view for tourists. The city’s proximity to nature is what helps give it its unique vibe and a generous selection of possible adventures.
The quickest way to get to Ormoc is to fly. A flight to Leyte will typically last less than an hour from Manila. However, most major domestic airlines only offer flights to Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City, instead of Ormoc Airport. From here, you can take a van to Ormoc City for Php 120.
If you’re traveling on a lighter budget and are willing to sit on a bus for many hours, roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ferry trips are also available to Tacloban. Provincial buses that come from Cubao will traverse the Pan-Philippine Highway route all the way down to Matnog, Sorsogon, before crossing the San Bernardino Strait to the town of Allen in Samar Island by RoRo. From Samar, the bus will then cross the San Juanico Bridge to get to Tacloban. As mentioned, you can then take a van to Ormoc City.
As a well-developed first income class city, various jeep and bus routes are available throughout Ormoc City. You can also avail of local transport services such as tricycles for short trips.
If you choose to stay in one of the many rental homes and hotels in Ormoc City, be sure to pay a visit to Lake Danao. With a mere 30-minute drive from the city, you can experience the inland lake’s pure waters. Feel free to enjoy the relaxing cool breeze and the lush mountains with a picnic, a boat ride, or a quick dip.
Alternatively, you can take a tour of the Tongonan Hotsprings National Park—which doubles as the country’s first geothermal power plant. With its clean and warm waters, it’s another amazing way to spend a day in Ormoc. If you’re looking for something more high-end, you can take advantage of the rolling terrain with a game of golf at the Leyte Golf and Country Club. This 18-hole, 72-par golf course even has a nice view of the distant San Juanico Bridge. A game at the golf course can cst up to Php 1,200 (exclusive of other fees) on weekends and holidays, with up to Php 500 per accompanying guests.
If a relaxing tour of nature or a game of golf isn’t your thing, you can opt for a more adventurous vacation. With a height of 1,332 meters above sea level, Alto Peak isn’t just the highest mountain in Eastern Visayas. It can be a unique climb even for moderately experienced outdoorsmen. This is because of a section of the climb that has a slope of nearly 90 degrees—necessitating the careful use of ropes.
Ormoc is also famous for its delicious Queen pineapples. So if you’re in town, don’t forget to grab some of their naturally sweet produce to bring back home. After a day’s worth of adventure, you can lounge by Ormoc Bay and enjoy a spectacular view of the sunset.
While in Ormoc City, you can check out the city’s famous hangout places and watering holes. This includes Bebida’s Café Bar which is a cozy establishment that offers a unique ambiance to go with a classic Filipino menu.
For a heartier meal, you can check out Jo’s Milagrina for some barbecued meat, or Mayong’s Bakeshop & Snackhouse for some delicious burgers. For a truly local touch, you can head to the public market and eat at Doro’s Carinderia. Here, you can get a taste of pacdol, which is a clear broth extracted from the knee meat of a Carabao.
While in Ormoc, you won’t run out of fun places to have some evening fun. For a great clubbing experience, you can try out Club Hyde, which is beneath Hotel Don Felipe. Meanwhile, Chill Disco and Sports Bar offers a more relaxed vibe for a casual night out with friends.
A good selection of Ormoc City Hotels includes the following establishments; Don Felipe Hotel, Oriental Leyte Hotel,
For longer stays, the vintage