While the earliest settlers of Pilar, a sister town in Camotes Island, came from the neighboring island of Leyte, those of Poro came from far-off Samar. Both groups were attracted to this tiny Cebu island's teeming marine resources and rich soil. The Samar settlers were reinforced by immigrants from mainland Cebu, Bohol and Negros. Over time, Poro became a melting pot, its locals caught inna cultural crossroad. And with the colonization of Poro by Spain during the 18th century, Porohanons imbibed another spectrum of culture and character.
During the Spanish period, Poro was already a thriving community overseen by Jesuit mission posts in Palompon, Leyte. Poro at that time had two scattered settlements: Maktang (now a sitio of Barangay Esperanza of Poro) and Tag-anito (now the municipality of Tudela). The alcalde mayor of Cebu that it was better for the natives to unify and defend themselves from Moro attacks. With the advice of of a man named Panganuron, the two settlements journeyed on foot towards another at the break of day, on December 15, 1780. On that day, the inhabitants of the two settlements came to live together for the first time. As thanksgiving, they built their first chapel and prayed the rosary. On the site of this chapel now was built what is now the parish church. Its establishment brought about the addition of three more parishes in Camotes Islands: Pilar (1859), San Francisco (1863) and Tudela (1898).
The place is called Poro, because the local word for island is poro or pulo. The poblacion sits on a small narrow seacoast plains at the foot of a hill. It is said that it was particularly chosen by its founders as the highlands behind it were excellent look-outs for Moro invaders.
Pedro Estrera founded the town. The Spanish authorities in Manila formally recognized it as a municipality on January 16, 1880. Pedro Estrera was given due recognition and was made first Capitan.
The hills of Ilihan and Katunogan were hiding places of the retreating Japanese forces during WW II. Although well-entrenched, they were annihilated by American Liberation Forces, aided by local resistance fighters. Thousands of Japanese died here, literally littering the hills with their bones.
The Church of Poro celebrated its 150th year in 1997 and will have its tri-centennial anniversary as a town in 2001.