Brief History

The discovery of the advancing communities of Palo dates back to the early 16th Century A.D. along the banks of Bangon River. However, local historians believe that the settlement of Palo started as early as the 10th to 13th century A.D..

The first known settlement were the kingdom of Takuranga, first name of Palo under King Guban and the Kingdom of Kaluugan, the second name of Palo, under King Pitik. From the 14th to 16th century, some other settlements were formed which also became the succeeding names of Palo until finally in 1550 Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi named the settlements PALO. The other settlements were Kasangitan, Binangalan, Kasuguran, Bunga, Bangon and Guindapunan. The settlers of Bunga played a vital role in the history of Palo as they formed the settlement of Bangon which is now the town center. Palo formally became a town in 1768 with Kapitan Balasabas as the first administration.

Accordingly, the early settlers of Palo were the clans of Panganuron, Kadampog, Manlangit, Kumago, Kawaring, Kabalhin, Kumagong, Maglain, Bilyu and Dilyu.


Palo as Cultural and Political Center

In the span of two centuries, Palo played a vital role in the history and development of Leyte and the Philippines.

Palo stood as the capital of Leyte thrice. First in 1768 when Palo succeeded Carigara as the capital of Leyte. At this time Palo gained municipal independence with Balasabas of Sn. Joaquin as the first gobernadorcillo. Then in 1886, Palo took over from Dagami the capitalship. And again, from February 1898 to March 1901, Col. Ambrosio Mojica, head of the Aguinaldo Revolutionary government in Leyte transferred the provincial capital to Palo.

Despite the presence of the revolutionary government, on Feb. 1, 1900 the Americans arrived in Palo without much resistance. And a year after, the first civil government was established in Palo with Don Egmidio O. Acebedo as the first local chief executive.

During the American Occupation, Palo played a vital role in Philippine history. For instance, in 1902 the First Normal Institute for Teachers which was attended by a thousand of teachers from Leyte and Samar was held here. The first Fair and Exposition in the Phlippines from St. Louis Exposition, Missouri, USA was also held here in 1904. The first concrete public school building in Leyte was constructed in Brgy. San Joaquin and inaugurated in 1910 with the Speaker Sergio Osmena of the Philippine National Assembly as honored guest.

Palo became known again when, on October 20, 1944, the first landing of the Liberation Forces was made at Red Beach, fulfilling the historic promise of General Douglas McArthur.


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