Baybay Fiesta 2023

Baybay City has seen unprecedented growth and progress in 2023 especially in the area of infrastructure development. Today, we take a look at how VSU’s home city is continuously moving forward to become one of the emerging cities in the whole Visayas region.

It was early this year that the massive City Hall was officially opened to the public. Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari initially transferred some of their core business and licensing units in late 2022 until all departments of the local government have been fully relocated into a more spacious and modern-looking office building that all Baybayanons can be very proud of.

The Baybay City Hall is a 5-storey megastructure that boasts of 42,000 square meters of floor area with a high-ceilinged atrium that allows daylight to pass through the whole central structure making it more energy-efficient and cost-effective in terms of its electrical needs.


It now houses almost all local government departments including the executive and legislative branches that used to be located in two separate buildings in the former government center complex at the city proper.

Just like the Administration Building of VSU, the new Baybay City Hall sits on top of a hill that can be readily seen from certain sections of the City including the famous Lintaon Peak.

While its location in the Diversion Road is still less accessible to public transport as of now, it is expected that more multicabs, pedicabs and other public utility vehicles will soon be rerouted in this area as core provincial government offices have already been relocated along this alternative highway.

Among the government agencies that have been relocated to the Diversion Road include the Commission on Audit (COA), the City Police Station, the City Library, the Sub-Provincial Office of the Leyte Government and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Division Office of the Department of Education (DepEd), among others.

Another key infrastructure that is currently being finished is the Binaybayon Convention Center that has become a favorite local events place even if only one of the three major halls is fully operational as of this time.

The central plenary hall of this edifice can accommodate around 2,500 audience which is double the capacity of the current Baybay City Gymnasium. The other two halls can each accommodate around 500 to 600 people and are specially designed for formal conferences, conventions, and events reception for wedding, birthday, and other similar occasions.


The Binaybayon Convention Center also has a spacious parking space for guests equipped with a dancing fountain that is a sure welcome treat for anyone who will visit the area. 

This same parking space can accommodate large-crowd open air concerts with an estimated capacity of roughly 20,000 standing spectators. For the past months, this exact place has been utilized for free live band concerts sponsored by Congressman Carl Nicolas C. Cari. 

Adjacent to the Binaybayon Convention Center is the ongoing construction of the Baybay City Sports Complex that will surely become the next premium events place for sports and other entertainment activities in the city.


The main stadium of this complex will be built with an olympic-size rubberized track oval and a two-sided grandstand bleachers that mimics the design of the classic Roman Colosseum from its entrance facade.

Another important part of this sports complex is a Swimming Center that boasts of an olympic-size swimming pool with provision of bleachers for local swimming competitions and other similar activities.

With the establishment of a track oval, swimming center and other indoor sports facilities, Baybay City officials hope to build local athletes who will bring the pride of the city to national and international competitions in the future.


For the arts, the City government also inaugurated last year the Baybay School for the Arts that provides informal and free basic training for elementary and high school students in visual and graphic arts, dancing and music. This pioneering school also offers services to adults who would like to hone to artistic skills.

Mayor Cari plans to institutionalize the school in the future to provide formal training for poor but deserving students who would like to hone their talents in various fields of visual and performing arts.

In health and wellness, the former Western Leyte Provincial Hospital (WLPH) was renamed to the Immaculate Concepcion Hospital (ICH) giving tertiary medical care for the sick and infirm constituents of the whole Western Leyte while also providing needed health services to some residents of Southern Leyte. 

This same hospital was recently equipped with an MRI machine and CT-Scan while the local government plans to deploy more local doctors to address growing patients in the ICH. 

Congressman Cari filed a bill to establish a College of Medicine in VSU as part of the future plans of the city to become a local powerhouse in healthcare services. When realized, this will hopefully provide the needed local medical manpower for Baybay City in the future.

Still in healthcare services, the construction of the first ever Baybay City Super Health Center has just been completed this year with its formal blessing and inauguration held on December 8. This new facility will particularly cater to the needs of outpatient services including basic laboratory tests and additional machines for dialysis patients.


To revitalize local businesses, key public spaces were illuminated and improved while also establishing a southern activity park that expanded the Baybay City Boulevard. This new public space is an alternative to the Veteran’s Plaza equipped with a dancing fountain that has now become a favorite play place for children.

The expanded boulevard now also includes the new Baybay City Boardwalk, a new tourist destination for foodies who would like to get a taste of the city’s famous chicken barbeque.

Officially inaugurated in September this year, the Baybay City Boardwalk is a family-friendly destination, with numerous spots for picnics and social gatherings. Kids can safely play in the gazebos while enjoying a meal and the fresh sea breeze.


Previous tourist spots like the Lintaon Peak have been restored with the 16,000 blossoms being illuminated with red and white lights that can be readily seen from the city proper.

More business establishments were also opened this year with the opening of a new town mall and department store called Baybay Central Mall. While not yet fully operational as more shops are soon to be opened next year, this new edifice puts more vibrance to the city with shoppers from the south of the province no longer needing to go up north for their appliances and other home essential needs.

With all important areas of basic government services, tourism and leisure, social events, sports, the arts, and even health services covered in the massive infrastructure development program of the city, truly Baybay is heading in the right direction.


While this story did not feature equally commendable efforts of the local government in terms of agriculture and basic education, it doesn’t mean that no significant progress was achieved in these key areas.

Baybay City officials are determined to push for greater progress that will uplift the lives of Baybayanons by pursuing projects that will promote inclusive and sustainable development in this part of the Philippines.

And the Visayas State University plays an important role in the unhampered growth of our home city. 

With technical expertise and real-life skills of our graduates, #ProudViscans will surely contribute in providing the needed manpower to keep Baybay City growing and thriving in the many years to come.

[Photos are courtesy of Warren Cane Sopa, Junsith C. Sabelino, and the official Facebook pages of Lihok Baybay and Baybay City Updates.]

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