Tacloban City is the largest city and regional center of the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. The City of Tacloban is located in the northeastern part of the island of Leyte with a total land area of 201.7 square kilometers. It is also the capital city of Leyte. It is the center of commerce, tourism, education, culture, and government in the region. Tacloban is located on Cancabato Bay, in the San Juanico Strait which divides the islands of Leyte and Samar. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 178,639 people in 34,758 households. It is composed of 138 barangays.
Tacloban`s location and accessibility have made the city the commercial, educational, government and political hub as well as the tourism service center of the region. Tacloban City is 360 miles southeast of Manila. It is situated approximately halfway the entire length of Maharlika Highway running from Northern Luzon to Southwestern Mindanao making it a perfect place fro road-weary travelers to unwind.
Tacloban City, the regional center for trade, tourism, education, culture and government in Eastern Visayas, became a Highly Urbanized City in 2008. In just three years, the city emerged as a new entrant to the Top 10 HUC Governments in 2011. It ranked 7th among the 34 HUCs in the country based on DILG’s performance index. The city is famous for San Juanico Bridge, the longest and most beautifully designed bridge in the Philippines, linking the islands of Leyte and Samar.
Tacloban City was formerly known as Kankabatok, named after the prominent settler Kabatok, who occupied the area around the present Sto. Niño Church. Other inhabitants who came later were Gumoda, Haraging and Huraw who settled in the nearby areas. The Kanhuraw Hill where the Tacloban City Hall is presently situated was formerly Huraw’s domain. The whole settlement area was called Kankabatok, meaning Kabatok’sproperty.
Kankabatok was then under the political administration of Palo but under the parochial jurisdiction of Basey, Samar. In 1770, the Augustinian Missionaries discovered the place and in 1813 the Franciscans came. During this period, Kankabatokwas changed to Tarakluban which means the place where the inhabitants used the “taklub”, a bamboo contraption, to catch crabs, shrimps and fish. Later, the name of the place evolved from Taraklubanto its present name Tacloban.
Tacloban was officially proclaimed into a municipality in 1770. Since then, Tacloban became a trading point between the provinces of Leyte and Samar. On February 26,
1830, Tacloban became the capital of Leyte because of the ideal location of its port. The Tacloban Port is well sheltered and has adequate facilities.
On December 18, 2008, Tacloban City was converted into a Highly Urbanized City (HUC) by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1637. Tacloban became the first HUC in Eastern Visayas and 34th in the Philippines.