| Central Visayas|
1st District of Leyte
26 February 1830
12 June 1953
18 December 2008
Alfred Romualdez (NP)
| Eastern Visayas State University (Tacloban), Leyte Normal University (Tacloban), University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (Tacloban), Divine Word University of Tacloban (Tacloban), Asian Development Foundation College (Tacloban)|
Tacloban (English: tak-LOH-ban; Waray-Waray and Filipino: [t?k?loban southeast from Manila. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 221,174 and is the most populous city.
It is also the regional center of the Eastern Visayas, being the main gateway by air to the region. Tacloban was briefly the capital of the Philippines, from 20 October 1944 to 27 February 1945.
In an extensive survey conducted by the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center and released in July 2010, Tacloban ranks as the fifth most competitive city in the Philippines, and second in the emerging cities category.
On 8 November 2013, the city was largely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, having previously suffered similar destruction and loss of life in 1897 and 1912.
On 17 January 2015, Pope Francis visited Tacloban during his Papal Visit in the Philippines.
Tacloban was first known as Kankabatok, an allusion to the first inhabitants – Kabatok. They established their dwellings in the vicinity of the present day Santo Niño Church. Others who came later were Gumoda, Haraging and Huraw who erected their own settlements in nearby sites. Huraw’s domain is the hill where the city hall now sits. The combined settlements acquired the name Kankabatok, meaning Kabatok’s property.
By the end of the 16th century, Kankabatok was under the political administration of Palo and part of the parish of Basey, Samar. It was discovered in 1770, by the Augustinian Mission, who were superseded by the Franciscans in 1813. During this period, Kankabatok was renamed to Tacloban.
The change of the name came about in this manner: Kankabatok was a favorite haunt of fishermen. They would use a bamboo contraption called "Taklub" to catch crabs, shrimps or fish. When asked where they were going, the fishermen would answer, "(to) Tarakluban", which meant the place where they used the device to catch these marine resources. Eventually, the name Tarakluban or Tacloban took prominence.
It is not known when Tacloban became a municipality because records supporting this fact were destroyed during a typhoon. It is commonly believed that Tacloban was officially proclaimed a municipality in 1770. In 1768, Leyte and Samar were separated into two provinces, each constituting a politico-military province. Due to its strategic location, Tacloban became a vital trading point between the two provinces.
The capital of Leyte was transferred from one town to another with Tacloban as the last on 26 February 1830. The decision to make Tacloban the capital was based on the following reasons: 1) ideal location of the port and 2) well-sheltered and adequate facilities. On 20 June 1952, Tacloban was proclaimed a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 760.
The arrival of Colonel Murray in 1901 made him the first military governor of Leyte. His first official act was the opening of Tacloban port to world commerce. Before World War II, Tacloban was the commercial, education, social and cultural center of the Province of Leyte. Copra and abaca were exported in large quantities. The leading institutions were: Leyte Normal School, Leyte High School, Leyte Trade School, Holy Infant Academy and Tacloban Catholic Institute.
In November 1912, a typhoon swept through the central Philippines and "practically destroyed" Tacloban. In Tacloban and Capiz on the island of Panay, the death toll was 15,000, half the population of those cities at the time.
On 25 May 1942, Japanese forces landed in Tacloban – signalling the beginning of their two-year occupation of Leyte. They fortified the city and improved its airfield. Since San Pedro Bay was ideal for larger vessels, the Japanese Imperial Naval Forces made Tacloban a port of call and entry. This time was considered the darkest in the history of Tacloban and the country due to the incidences of torture among civilians, including the elderly. In response, guerrilla groups operated in Leyte – the most notable of which was the group of Ruperto Kangleon.
Leyte was the first to be liberated by the combined Filipino and American troops. General Douglas MacArthurs assault troops landed in the Tacloban and Palo beaches (White Beach and Red Beach, respectively) and in the neighboring town of Dulag (Blue Beach) on 20 October 1944. These landings signaled the eventual victory of the Filipino and American forces and the fulfillment of MacArthur’s famous promise: "I Shall Return."
Three days later, on 23 October, at a ceremony at the Capitol Building in Tacloban, MacArthur accompanied by President Sergio Osmeña made Tacloban the temporary seat of the Commonwealth Government and temporary capital of the Philippines until the complete liberation of the country. The provincial government of Leyte and the municipal government of Tacloban were re-established.
Paulo Jaro was the Liberation Mayor of Tacloban. The first mayor of this capital upon inauguration of the Philippine Republic was Epifanio Aguirre. On 8 January 1960 MacArthur made his "sentimental" journey to Leyte.
The city was proclaimed as a highly urbanized city by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 4 October 2008 and ratified by the people on 18 December 2008.
Tacloban is located on Cancabato Bay, in the San Juanico Strait, which divides the islands of Leyte and Samar.
Tacloban is the economic center of Eastern Visayas region, with an economy largely focused on commerce, tourism, education, culture, and government in the region. Several regional broadcasters are based in the city, including ABS-CBN.
The city celebrates Tacloban Day annually on 30 June.
Sangyaw is an archaic Waray word which means to herald the news. The Sangyaw Festival was created by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos in the 1980s. The festival was revived in 2008 by her nephew and current city Mayor Alfred Romualdez. The Sangyaw Festival invites contingents of different performing groups of various festivals in the country to compete in this side of the region. Cash prizes and trophies are at stake as the Sangyaw Festival grooms itself to be a big festival to watch out in the succeeding years. Sto. Niño de Leyte Fiesta (30 June; Tacloban City) The week-long celebrations peaks on 30 June, the Grand fiesta of Tacloban celebrated with the traditional turn-over ceremonies of the "Teniente" made by the immediate past Hermano Mayor to the incoming Hermano Mayor. This is accompanied by the ritual of giving the medallion containing the names of all Hermanos Pasados and the Standartes. Fireworks and grand parades mark the occasion. Every house in the city prepares a feast and opens its doors to guests and well wishers.