Tacloban developed from a small fishing village, a barrio of Basey, Samar. The word Tacloban evolved from “Taklub”, a basket-like contraption for catching fish. It became a major trading town in the late 18th century. The city is well-known for its role in World War II, being a major base for the US forces and the first town liberated by Douglas MacArthur’s forces from the Japanese Imperial Forces. For a time, it served as the capital of the Philippines while Manila was under Japanese control.

The city is also known for being the hometown of the flamboyant former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, whose Romualdez family still commands a large political following in the area.

For several decades, Tacloban was a barrio of Basey, Samar. At the time, the place was known as Kankabatok – meaning belonging to Kabatok, because its most prominent inhabitant was named Kabatok. The change of name came about in this manner: Kankabatok was a favorite haunt for fishermen. They would use a bamboo tray called “taklub” to catch crabs or shrimps. When asked where they were going the fishermen would answer, “to tarakluban”, which meant the place where they used “taklub” to catch crabs. Later, the name was shortened to Tacloban.

It is not definitely 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. Others however maintain that it was in 1669 during which time there was a rain of ashes. It was the Augustinian mission followed by the Franciscans who sparked the people’s interest in religious activities. Within a year’s time the first church was built with two lofty belfries under the untiring effort of Fray Aniceto Corral.

Carigara was the capital of Leyte at the time. With Don Hipolito Gonzales’ incumbency as alcalde mayor of the province, a popular clamor for the transfer of the seat of the province came up. Thus, on October 5, 1774 after the construction of the Casa Real and the prison, the transfer of the seat of the provincial government was officially approved. In the year 1824 however, Don Pedro Antonio became alcalde mayor and restored Carigara as the p rovincial capital on march 31, 1824. This enhanced bitter disputes. It was finally Don Ceferino Fernandez, alcalde mayor in 1827 who succeeded in pacifying the controversy.

The final approval for making Tacloban the capital of the province of Leyte cam on February 16, 1830. The decisive reasons for choosing it as capital were: 
– 1) it had the ideal location of the port area,
– 2) the place was well-sheltered and adequate.

During the Philippine-American war on January 17, 1899, General Vicente Lukban (for whom a street is named in the San Fernando district) came to Tacloban to talk about the problems of the people. The provincial government was evacuated to Palo while General Mojica and his men prepared to fight the Americans. On January 31, 1900 General Kohe arrived with an American team to negotiate a cease-fire and surrender of the province. He was firmly refused. On the following day armies stormed the trenches and by 2:00 PM, the province was in American hands. General Mojica and his men fled to the interior towns and it took a long time for the Americans to cajole every town until every revolucianario had surrendered. Mojica and Lukban eventually yielded to American sovereignty. Captain Leon Rojas, Sr. surrendered last. He led his men in a colorful pageant of surrender by riding on a white horse to the spot where the Americans formally received them. When peace finally, Rojas was designated chief of Police of Tacloban. A company of American soldiers was placed under his command.

In February 1901, the first American military governor of Leyte, Col. Murray, assumed office. He had only one aim in mind: gain the friendship of the people by getting their confidence. In a gesture of sincerity, he opened Tacloban to world trade. Civic-spirited citizens cooperated and organized a committee for peace. Don Gabriel Galza, the founder, became its first president. Their first undertaking was to petition Governor Murray for the release of prisoners who were in Tanauan. The governor received the petition favorably and thus peace and order in the whole province was completely restored.

With American military rule over, Taclobanons who were trained in the art of self-government took over the reins of the administration. Catalino Tarcela became the first provincial governor. There were others who were responsible for the progress and development of Tacloban. Among them were Lodovico Salazar, known to all as Capitan Lodo, the first public teacher of the town (a street is named after him). Lodovico Basilio, known as Capitan Bigong, and Capitan Martin Hidalgo. Of the womenfolk, Doña Eulalia Rubillos, wife of Governor Vicente Diaz is remembered for having served the first Filipino flag that fluttered in the Leyte sky when the revolutionary government was established.

On May 24, 1942, Tacloban awakened to see Japanese imperial forces in its midst. The town offered no active resistance to their oppressive occupation. For little more than two years, it suffered from hunger, terror and brutalities of the invaders. Despite the ugliness of war, the people never forgot to pay homage to their Patron saint, Sr. Santo Niño, by celebrating the town fiesta. One such big commemoration was on the fiesta of 1843, on June 30 where an industrial and agricultural fair was held in the old Leyte park. Here, hate and sorrows of war were forgotten so that it became one of the most remembered carnivals the town ever held. The mayor at that time was Vicente Quintero.

Leyte was the first in the itinerary of MacArthur’s return route to the Philippines. Thus, on October 20, 1944, while the waters of Leyte Gulf were calm and clear, six battleships hit the beaches at Cataisan Point and nearby areas. Before twilight, the Tacloban airstrip which was the objective of the day was recaptured by the first division. The entire Cataisan Peninsula was soon under the command of Major General Verne D. Mudge at 3:00 PM of October 21. This day, Tacloban was liberated from the enemy. In a rousing welcome, Filipino civilians line the streets greeting the liberators. Chewing gun, cigarettes, chocolates and wide American smiles flowed freely – all symbolic of friendship and freedom.

On October 22, 1944, Tacloban City was safely back in American hands. On October 23, 1944, General MacArthur announced the establishment of the Philippine Civil Government on the steps of the provincial capitol. He installed Sergio Osmeña Sr. as the president in the presence of Lt. General Walter Krueger, Lt. Gen. Richard Sutherland and Col. Ruperto Kangleon with a guard of honor consisting of First Lt. John Gregory and 30 dirty and tired but
efficient-looking soldiers. After the liberation, Tacloban’s first appointed mayor was Paulo Jaor. The inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines saw Epifanio Aguirre as mayor of Tacloban.

On June 20, 1952 by virtue of Republic Act no 760, Tacloban City was born. Dr. Ildefonso Cinco, last mayor of the Municipality of Tacloban became the first city mayor.

Tacloban City has grown from a small fishing barrio of Basey to a bustling, growing center of commerce and industry, into probably the first most important city in Eastern Visayas.



Best Crew

Philippine All Stars

The Philippine All-Stars is a Philippine hip-hop dance group. They won the 2006 and 2008 World Hip Hop Dance Championships. They were formed on 2005 by twelve individuals that were working in the Manila underground Hip-hop scene. They also joined the “Artists Revolution: 365 days to change” campaign which asks the Filipino voters to be more critical in choosing their political leaders in the coming2010 elections.

The Philippine Allstars was started in 2005 by four friends who wanted to collectively represent their country in the World Hip-Hop Championships held in the US. That year after taking first in the Maximum Groovity II, National Hip-Hop Open, they proudly placed sixth in the World. In 2006, Allstars put the Philippines on the map of Hip-hop dance in becoming the first Asian country to win back-to-back World Gold titles in the International Hip-hop Open d’Ítalia in Turin, Italy and in the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships in Los Angeles, California. The next year, the group took Bronze in the same competition and also won Team of the Year from V.Ent’s First Annual Dance Awards. Now in 2008, they came back strong again and took Gold in the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The group hopes to elevate the status of dancers in the Philippines, because for too long have dancers been considered second-rate performers. Through their efforts and many talented others, they want to show that dancing is a great art form and should be more respected and rewarded than what is currently being offered by the entertainment industry. They share in a movement that strives to unite and inspire this generation through Faith, Hip-hop, and One Love. Lastly, a goal of the group is to teach and help under-privileged kids through dancing and inspiring them to strive for something more than what they have been told they can achieve. The Allstars advocates for Gawad Kalinga, has taught in US Embassy Outreach Programs, has spoken and performed for the QC Detention Cell, and participated in programs such as Pathways Workshop and Walk for Education. The Allstars are featured in many events, concerts, tours, TV guestings, commercials, music videos, films, and print ads.

In February 2010, they opened their first dance school, the Allstars Dance School, located in San Juan city Philippines. The dance school is the realization of the Allstars’ ultimate goal, and is their greatest achievement to date.

Each member contributes to its authentic Hip-Hop flavor that combines the different styles of Break-dancing, Krumping and Freestyle.

Currently, the Philippine Allstars consists of the following members: Lema Diaz, Sheena Vera Cruz, Patrick Caballa, Kyxz Mendiola, Michelle Salazar, Jeremiah Carandang, Chelo Aestrid, Deo Bantillo, Patrick Romero, and Joshua Barlis (and Juniors Naomi Tamayo, Heidi Riego, Ac Lalata, Krista Roma, Rycher Alfonso, Boh Valdez, Vince Mendoza, Matthew Padilla & Orwayne de Leon). Each member contributes to its authentic Hip-Hop flava that combines the different styles of Popping, Locking, Break-dancing, Krumping, Freestyling, House and other Old and New Skool genres. Other talents the members possess are Painting, Singing, Music Production, Commercial Styling, Hosting, Acting, Film Production, Graphic Design, and Writing.

How to Learn Dance Choreography

“Dancing with the Stars,” “America’s Best Dance Crew” and similar shows have become popular on TV as viewers have been mesmerized by the shows’ choreographed dances. Viewers watching contestants performing this choreography may wonder if they could ever do that. Chances are you can, as learning dance choreography is easier than you may think.


  • 1


Determine what type of dance you want to learn. There are many different styles of dancing, and knowing what you want to do will help you find the right class or instructor.

  • 2


Assemble necessary equipment. To learn dance choreography, you want proper dance clothes that don’t restrict your movements and allow you to move freely. It’s also important you have a stereo to play your music as well as a full-length mirror that allows you to watch your dance moves and make corrections to inaccurate steps.

  • 3

Find a community dance class. Colleges and universities, community centers and private dance schools offer dance classes for people that want to learn a specific style such as salsa, ballroom or hip-hop dancing. Check with local dance organizations and schools to see what classes are being offered in your city and how much they cost.

  • 4

Take private lessons. Although classes are popular formats for learning dance choreography, there are other options. You can hire a private dance instructor or tutor to teach you choreographed moves. Even though this generally costs more than taking a class, it’s an ideal option if classes are only offered at times that don’t fit your schedule.

  • 5

Learn how to count steps. Dances are usually choreographed using an eight count, which gives you a rhythm and step count to match. This is done before you put the dance to music, and it helps everyone complete the same moves at the same time.

  • 6

Watch your instructor and mimic the steps. When learning dance choreography, it’s important that, at the beginning, you pay attention to the instructor’s movements. Having even the smallest variation in steps or moves can ruin your performance if you will be performing as part of a group.

  • 7

Practice. Although you may only attend a dance class or lesson for one hour every week, it’s important you spend twice as much time outside of the class practicing what you learned. The only way you can get better at remembering all the steps of choreographed dances and make them look clean is to practice the dance.

Hip Hop Dance Shoes

Dance shoes can basically be any pair of shoes, as long as you feel comfortable dancing in them.
you should have in mind that once dancing you are not using only the sole of the shoe, as you would normally do when walking, but you need to be able to flex, point, turn and jump around. 
The dance shoes will eventually determine your performance. They’ll take you wherever you want to go, that is why it’s important that they are made of good quality, dependable, comfortable and unique.

hip hop dance shoes - sneakers

Because Hip-hop grew up within the street, there are dance shoes designed for the freestyle hip hop and the “street” hip-hop such as break-dance . For these kind of dances, sneakers shoes would do the job.
It’s comfortable to dance in them; they’re light, strong and durable. Of course they’ve got to be “hip” as well.
Up ahead you’ll find hip hop dance shoes that are more appropriate for the learning process of hip-hop. You will also find the more established and professional Hip-Hop dance shoes – the split sole shoes / jazz shoes.

Dance Wars

Dance Wars is meant to forward dancing as a competitive activity for young and talented dance groups as well as to empower the youth in Region VIII. It supports the outreach programs and advocacies of the UP Runggiyan.