Capoocan is politically subdivided into 21 barangays.
HISTORY OF CAPOOCAN
The name Capoocan comes from the dialect term “mapu-uk” which means obstructed or “obstaculizado” in Spanish. It lies along the shores of Carigara Bay – its people drawing sustenance both from the waters which give an abundant harvest of fish that find their way in the markets of Tacloban and Carigara, as well as in the fertile lands that end at the foot of Mount Minoro.
Expansion efforts have been limited by the presence of Mount Minoro. The mountain obstructs and contains the town in its present site – forbidding further growth but protecting the town from the strong typhoons that have battered neighboring towns.
In 1904, the town earned its independence from its mother municipality, Carigara. Apparently too young for such a difficult undertaking, Capoocan willingly returned to barrio status after a few years of determined but unsuccessful attempts at independence.
On January 1, 1928, when it finally gathered strength and gained experience, Capoocan was granted municipal status again. It was ranked as a fifth class municipality at first but later on ascended to fourth class category.
Its first town executive was Brigido Morelos. In 1931, Jose Pagar was elected President but his term was short since he was appointed municipal judge of Pastrana. It was Perfecto Pilapil who succeeded him to serve the un-expired term.
In 1935, Solos M. Hernandez was elected Mayor. He was re-elected in 1939 but he died at the outbreak of World War II.
From 1867 when Capoocan was a “visita” of Carigara, the town has shown remarkable increase in population. After 38 years on its own as a town, Capoocan has grown into its present site – 17 barrios stretching to as far as 30 kilometers from the town proper and a “poblacion” that shows promise.
Its children are making history for the town. The true Capoocan families are the Misagals, the Pingals, Nicolasuras, Melgars, Petilos, Pamanians, and the Merilos. Their children form the professionals of Capoocan, the lawyers, accountants and engineers who are building the town both in prestige as well as progress.
The municipality felt the shock of the Japanese invasion as early as 1943. A guerilla resistance force was immediately organized to harass the enemy and to offer what little protection could be given to the oppressed. The leaders were Felix Pamanian and Pio Melgar. The Japanese set up their garrison in Pinamopoan, a barrio of Capoocan. Later, due to the frequent guerilla activities, the Japanese abandoned this garrison and returned to Carigara.
When liberation came, the people were set aback by the rapid change of the pace. Recovering immediately from the apathy of the Japanese occupation, the people set themselves to rebuilding the destruction of the last war.
A chapel was raised, new streets constructed, new buildings built in vacant lots and a new municipal building took the place of the old dilapidated town hall. In the midst of all these new structures however, stands a relic from the days when people watched for approaching moro marauders – an old massive stone watchtower.
There are several problems besetting the young town like the absence of a waterworks system, lack of feeder roads and electric power, among others.
The people are realizing the need for self-help in farming. The town cries for industrialization or the exploitation of the natural resources of the region. The growing consciousness for self-help projects may yet provide the answer to these problems.