Padre Morga wrote that Polillo originated from the Chinese word "Pulilu", which means beautiful island with plenty of food. When Juan de Salcedo, a Spanish conqueror came to Polillo in 1567, he saw a central government fully organized through the Balangay, with a datu who had a direct supervision and control over all the natives. The inhabitants lived in nipa huts.
In 1571 the Spaniards took hold of the islands of Pu Li Lu. Through the leadership of Padre Domingo, a Spanish friar, a chapel was built, where the old Spanish church was later constructed. After one and a half years, the people, through forced labor built a concrete wall to protect the "pueblo" of Pu Li Lu from moro pirate invaders. Watchtowers called "castillos" were erected in the four corners of the pueblo.
The church was constructed in 1577 . Boulders, gravel and sand were mixed with lime produced out of seashells and coral stones. Padre Domingo instigated the planting of sugar cane in San Isidro, San Antonio and San Francisco. Production of molasses was put into full swing.
Spanish conquistadores were assigned to the "pueblo" of Pu Li Lu to promote church construction. The church tower was constructed with priority, so that in 1587, in the early summer of May, two huge bronze bells rang atop. Due to language problems, Padre Domingo changed Pu Li Lu to Polillo.
In 1942, the occupied by the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Polillo.
In 1945, the liberation by the Philippine Commonwealth troops landed in Polillo we fought the battles against the Japanese forces in the Battle of Polillo Island during World War II.
Polillo is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Quezon, Philippines. It is located on Polillo Island in the Philippine Sea and separated by Polillo Strait from the main island of Luzon. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 27,912 people.
Polillo is located about 18 miles off the Eastern Coast of Luzon bounded by municipality of Panukulan in the north, and the municipality of Burdeos in the east. Lamon Bay bounds it at the south, east and west. It is 15 miles west of the municipality of Infanta and 17 miles northern west of the municipality of Real, Quezon.
Polillo is politically subdivided into 20 barangays.
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