Municipality of Palo, Leyte

Philippines

 

Palo is strategically located in the northern part of the Province of Leyte, 8 miles from the capital city of Tacloban. It is composed of 33 barrios (barangays) with a total population of 40,000. The main source of income for most of the citizenry is buying and selling farm products and the local wine "tuba" manufacturing and fermentation.

Palo is a town that takes pride not in its material wealth for it rates poorly in the economic growth, but rather, in the fame and glory for being a rare TOWN OF FIRSTS - culturally, historically and spiritually.

The landmark that has brought Palo to the annals of world history is the Red Beach, Candahug, where Gen. Douglas McArthur first landed to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese occupation on October 20, 1944. Palo was also once the capital fo Leyte and the Purissima Bridge was the first steel bridge built in the Province.

Culturally speaking, no other town or barrio in our country has been more blessed to have a great number of natural born artists, particularly in the field of music. Palo was the first to implement an official town hymn and a municipal seal. The town is able to sing original Paloano songs with arrangements and full orchestrations catered by the most number of local band members and conductors. In 1990, the first regional Model Filipino Award for Music was conferred to the late Prof. Agustin El O'Mora who had composed and arranged more than 4,000 songs, including the town hymn. His operetas like the "Karahibot", "Star of Liberation" and "Limasawa" have been preserved by the Divine Word University Museum and Library, while the "Golden Book of Palo" which he wrote for 15 years, awaits publication. Very recently, the famous all-male chorale, The Rah Rah Rousers, launched their maiden volume of Visayan Songs on cassette tape. Moreover, the Palo Development Council has gained a nationwide attention through accreditation by the Department of Tourism to make annual tourist attractions two of our traditional activities: "The Pamalandong", which is a reenactment of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus during the Lenten season and the colorful "Palo Christmas Festival", a joint project with the multi-awardee tenor concert singer, Enrico Saboren.

On the spiritual side, Palo is believed to be a sacred place by clerical observers. It is the seat of the ecclesiastical province, the Archdiocese, where the Roman Catholic Archbishop resides in Bukid Tabor. One can find the Metropolitan Cathedral in Palo and also, the seedbed of vocations to the priesthood is found at the Sacred Heart Seminary and the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology. Two Paloano nuns were Superior Generals in their respective congregations. To date, there are 79 ordained priests and 106 nuns from the town alone.

Indeed, Palo has established a distinctive and unique extraordinary identity as a conservative and religious town with a highly cultural characteristic that has made Paloanos extremely proud of their birthplace.


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