EASTERN VISAYAS REGION HISTORY
In the mid to the late 70's, Divine Word University of Tacloban, the largest academic institution in Eastern
Visayas Region was experiencing the resurgence of student activism but also saw the deterioration and near
collapse of Greek letter societies, social clubs and civic organizations in the academe due to frequent brawls,
demoralization and discords. This incidence was not only confined at the university but to other academic
institutions in the city and the entire region.
A college freshman, Bro. Wendell Cam, a product from Adamson University in Manila rose to the occasion,
tasked to lay the foundation by drawing-up the Articles of the Constitution and maintaining the Tenets and
Codes of Conduct set by the Triskelion honor society. Bro. Vedasto 'Jun' Elardo also from Manila, assisted in
the set up of the fraternity in order to restore the formation of Greek letter societies in the university.
On June 29, 1979, eve of the city fiesta of Tacloban, enlisted seven young men and talented college students
namely, Gerardo Demillo, Virgilio Malooy, Juan Monge, Joselito Quibin, Juanito Renomeron, Danilo Timola,
and Richard Villarosa to pioneer the establishment of Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity at the Divine Word University
of Tacloban, Tacloban City, Leyte.
Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity not only restored the formation of Greek letter society in the academe but also led
in instituting reforms and changes of how a Greek letter society was governed including the active
participation in the school programs and activities and community civic mission and services.
On September 11 of the same year, Bro. Wendell Cam set up the sorority component at the same academic
institution enlisting six women college students namely, Elenita Pesado-Doctolero, Divina Duellosa-Dueñas,
Marjorie Maraya, Virginia Paa-Mora, Cynthia Santos, and Narcisa Magalona-Velasco to pioneer the Tau
Gamma Sigma Sorority.
Despite minor setbacks, Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity and Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority encountered during the
initial stages of its establishment, the organization steadfastly stood ground its goals and objectives,
maintaining good governance among its members, foster relations with other Greek letter societies, clubs and
civic organizations and move forward in its quest to be the leader organization and role model in the
academe, community and the entire region.
As Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity and Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority gained prominence, recognition and foothold in
the academe, pioneering Triskelion members set-out to establish the organization in other colleges and
universities throughout the city namely, Leyte Institute of Technology (LIT), Leyte Normal College (now Leyte
Normal University), U.P. College of Tacloban, Leyte Colleges and Holy Infant College and eventually the entire
region of Leyte and Samar.
The Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity and Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority, having earned the respect, admiration and
acceptance of not only the academic institutions but by the local government units and agencies, private
companies and the religious sector gained a well-founded foothold in various academic institutions throughout
Eastern Visayas Region encompassing the provinces of Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar (Western),
Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.
The Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity and Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority was able to transform the image of the
organization into an outstanding Greek letter society, envied by clubs and civic organizations in the region
due to its relentless effort to render services in the communities, participated and assisted in school programs
and activities, promotion of the local government programs and projects, and stayed away from brawls and
discords from other competing groups.
tinago falls of biliran
BILIRAN TOURIST DESTINATIONS
Biliran Province boasts of coral reef gardens, scenic waterways, white sand beaches, natural hot and cold water springs:
Agta Beach Resort
This is located in Almeria.
This beach is situated in Naval.
Is located in Kawayan and is ideal for edible shellfish hunt.
Sculptured rock formations can be found here.
This is also located in Kawayan, ideal for water skiing and deep sea diving.
The Island is known for its moving white sand bar.
This is located in Naval.
The Island has scenic marine seascape.
Masagonsong Swimming Pool
This is located in Kawayan and provides amenities like kiosks, conference halls, dressing rooms and rest houses.
The Island is rich with marine life and corals.
This place boasts of bat caves and edible shellfishes.
The Falls is considered to be one of the best falls in the world.
LAND AREA: 6,268.3 sq. km.
TEL. AREA CODE: 053
NO. OF MUNICIPALITIES: 43
ZIP CODE: 6500
Leyte has a colorful history. Leyteños, like the Samareños when it comes to their province, like to point out of that their forebear
were among the first to welcome the Spaniards but they were also among the first to resist the invaders. Leyte was one of the
provinces where the early seeds of nationalism were planted.
In 1521, Magellan sailed from the island of Homonhon, Samar to the island of Limasawa, Leyte, entered into a blood compact with
Rajah Kolambu. On Eastern Sunday, March 31, of that year, was celebrated the First Mass in the Philippines. Some historical
researchers, however, are now disputing this.
The next century witnessed a religious uprising lead by Bancao, the Limasawa chief, and his high priest, Pagail. The revolt began in
Carigara and spread to neighboring towns before it was quelled. 27 years after the 1622 uprising, another revolt hit Leyte - an
offshoot of the Sumoroy rebellion then simmering in Samar. And in the center of the disturbances, the village of Bacor, rebels
burned the church and its convent.
By 1768, Leyte, now separated from Samar, became a politico-military province. The set up continued until the end of Spanish rule,
when Gen. Vicente Lukban took over Leyte and Samar in the name of the Revolutionary Government.
It was WWII, however, which placed Leyte on the world map. On October 20, 1944, Gen. Mac Arthur, at the head of the largest US
fleet of transport and warships, and accompanied by Commonwealth President Sergio Osmeña and Gen Carlos P. Romulo, landed
on Palo, Leyte to reclaim the Philippines from the Japanese.
On May 22, 1959, the province was divided into Leyte and southern Leyte.
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"Waray" is generally spoken by the people of Leyte except those who live in the western side who generally speak Cebuano.
The plains and valleys are fertile, producing hemp, copra, corn, rice, tobacco, bananas, papayas and pineapple. The swamps teem
with nipa and mangrove, and the mountains yield rattan and timber. There are thousands of hectares of virgin forests with wealth
just waiting to be tapped.
Leyte Provincial Capitol
Located on Sen. Eñage Street fronting Plaza Libertad and the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban. Built in 1907, it is the
seat of the provincial government of Leyte. Historic viewing of mural depicting the First Mass in Limasawa in the Orient and Gen
Douglas Mac Arthur´s landing; became the seat of the commonwealth Government of the Philippines when President Sergio
Osmeña, Sr. came in 1944 with the Liberation Forces of General Mac Arthur.
Located on Justice Romualdez St., Tacloban City. An example of the American colonial home built in 1990. Sturdy mansion where
Gen. Mac Arthur put up his official headquarters and residence when he came with the Liberation forces in October 20, 1944.
Located on T. Claudio St., Tacloban City. Official residence of President Osmeña, Sr. when he came with the Liberation Forces in
October 1944 until the Philippine commonwealth was re-established in Manila.
Mac Arthur Leyte Landing Memorial
Located on Red Beach, Palo Leyte can be reached by public transport or any private vehicle. Monument marking the spot where
Gen. Mac Arthur landed with the Liberation Forces; lagoon where the statues of the life-size stand; beautiful beach; panoramic view
of Leyte Gulf and Samar Island.
Located in Palo 12 km., plus a little trekking 522 feet up. Commonly called Guinhangdan Hill, this was the entrance to the first
liberated town (Palo) in 1944 after having been heavily bombarded to destroy the garrisons built by the Japanese; foxholes marker
built by Mie Prefecture.
Mac Arthur Beach Resort - It has 45 first-class rooms, a cafe, beach kiosk, picnic tables, nipa house, a children's playground and
Located in Dulag. Hill where the first American flag was raised by the Liberation Forces of the U.S. Army on October 20, 1944 after
the fall of Bataan; Panoramic view of Leyte Gulf and surrounding coastal towns.
Battle of Baluarte Marker
Located at Baluarte, Bgy. Minuhang Barugo. Site of the historic battle between Filipino guerrillas and Japanese Imperial Forces at
dawn of August 24, 1944. Significant because there was no Filipino casualty while all the Japanese except one were killed in the
encounter; beautiful and symbolic monument made up of three stairs: at the topmost stand 3 rifles each crowned by a helmet:
measuring 3.5 x 3.5 meters. This concrete structure is fenced by big silver-colored chains; on one side area 3 flagpoles which look
Hilongos Bell Tower
Located in Hilongos, it is the highest existing bell built during the Spanish era; historic viewing.
Japanese War Memorial Cemetery
Located at Bgy. San Diego (Buraueun) Site of one of the fiercest battles fought in Leyte for the liberation; Japanese cemetery
frequently visited by memorial tour groups.
Located in Villaba - Mountain stronghold of General Suzuki where thousands of Japanese soldiers died defending the area and
hundreds of American lives were sacrificed in the assault to capture this hill during World War II; frequently by big Japanese
memorial tour groups and bone hunting expedition and object of pilgrimage by domestic and foreign tourists.
Philippine-Japan Peace Memorial
Located on Carlota Hills, Ormoc City. An impressive memorial marker put up by relatives of Japanese WW II veterans from Nagoya
and Gifu Prefectures; one of the city's picturesque hills overlooking Ormoc Bay.
Boy Scout Monument
Located on Rotonda at Fatima Village, Tacloban City. The first Boy Scout monument in the world in human form; erected in 1941.
Monument of the Filipino soldier - Located at Bgy. Pawing (entrance) Leyte Government Center Palo. A tribute to the Pilipino World
War II soldiers and veterans who offered their supreme sacrifice for the sake of freedom.
Palo Metropolitan Cathedral
Located in Palo, 12 km. westwards along national highway. Converted into an evacuation hospital of the Allied Forces of Liberation
and refuge of civilians during World War II in 1944; founded in 1596 by Augustinian friars; viewing of the famous Hill 522 overlooking
Palo. Breakneck Ridge - Located at Bgy, Limon, Capoocan. Site of one of the bloodiest battles in Liberation of the battle areas,
nearby hills and valleys.
Dio Mainland Resort
Located at Bgy. San Jose, Tacloban City, 7 km. from city proper. Commonly called Baluarte San Jose where remnants of World
War II - 2 Japanese pill boxes and a cannon still exist and preserved for viewing; panoramic view of Leyte Gulf and Samar Island.
Tacloban City Hall
Atop Kanhuraw Hill in front of Sto. Niño Church, Tacloban City. Seat of the city government of Tacloban City. Offers a panoramic
view of Cancabato Bay, San Pedro Bay, San Juanico Strait, Cataisan Point and Samar Island.
Divine Word University
Located on Avenida Veteranos, Tacloban City. Repository of relics and artifacts from Samar and Leyte; burial jars that date back to
1582; porcelain relics that show early trade with China and even relics of the Stone Age; diggings from Sohoton Caves.
People's Center and Library for Samar and Leyte
Equipped with a social hall, gymnasium and a reading room. Historical documents of the rich cultural heritage of the people of
Samar and Leyte; a collection of dioramas of the 82 ethnic tribes of the Philippines, a collection of books on the humanities.
Sto. Niño Shrine & Heritage Museum
Located adjacent to People's Center, Tacloban City. Paintings of the 14 Stations of the Cross done by Filipino artist, wooden basrelief of the legend of the First Filipino man-woman (si malakas at si maganda); tastefully decorated guestrooms of varied Filipino
motifs; spacious ballroom; priceless collectors items.
SOS Children Village Milagrosa & Youth Village
Located at Bgy. Diit, Tacloban City. Well maintained villages; a beautiful school building and cottages housing orphans donated by
an Austrian Philanthropist, the late Dr. Herman Gmeiner.
National Maritime Polytechnic
Located at Bgy. Babalawan, Tacloban City 10 km, (right at the foot of San Juanico Bridge). A multi- million training complex which
stands in a 15-hectare campus along picturesque San Juanico Strait. With technical and financial assistance from the Japanese
Government, this graduate academic institution was set up to upgrade the skills and knowledge of Filipino merchant seamen. Enjoy
a tour and briefing on the latest ship navigation technology.
Visayas State College of Agriculture (VISCA)
Located in Baybay. Standing on an 80-hectare campus on the foothills of Baybay mountains, VISCA has emerged as premier
agricultural college in the South. With a total area of 1,000 hectares, the college has established a reputation in root crop farming:
beautiful landscape; long stretched beaches for swimming and boat riding; panoramic view of Camotes Sea; breathtakingly beautiful
sunset on summer evenings; museum for specimen on wildlife.
Mahagnao National Park
Located in Burauen. Established notional park since 1937; offers inspiring craters, hot spring, multi-colored mud and rocks, lakes,
virgin forest with giant ferns and orchids, lagoon with colorful carps, and temperate climate.
Kaupnit Balinsasayaw Park
Located on Mahaplag - Baybay road, favorite campsite, view of the highest peak in Leyte; aesthetic, panoramic and invigorating
climate. Tongonan Hotsprings National Park - Located at Ormoc City. A valley of geothermal power source that can supply power to
the whole region when fully developed; cool and relaxing climate; first geothermal power giant to operate in the Philippines.
San Juanico Bridge
Located at crossing over San Juanico Strait, Bgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City; 10 km. from the city proper, accessible by passenger
jeeps, buses, motorcabs, and private vehicles. Longest and most beautifully designed bridge in the Philippines; picturesque of San
Juanico Strait with a thousand whirlpools.
Farmer's Training Center
For Rural Development Sab-a Basin. Located at Sab-a Basin (situated with the towns of Tacloban, Palo, Sta. Barugo, Jaro, San
Miguel, Alang-alang and Babatngon). Virgin forest; lovely hills.
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Located at Ormoc City, 125 km. from Tacloban City; 2,100 feet above sea level and 3 km. long undetermined dept; wild animals
roaming its surrounding forest; hunter's paradise; lake said to be the habitat for giant eel.
Located in Hindang, largest island of the Cuatro Islas where the big delicious coconut-cracking crabs called "tatus" are found.
Located at Bgy. San Jose, Tacloban City. Ideal site for fishing, swimming, boating, skiing, and picnicking. Beautiful fine sand that
sparkle gives you a good feeling by just walking on it; makes excellent body rub.
San Juanico Strait
Located at Bgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City between the islands of Leyte and Samar - the South entrance at Tacloban and the
entrance at Babatngon. Beautiful islets and infinite whirlpools; rushing waters, scenic viewing; water skiing, fishing, guano caves.
Located at Bgy. Baras & Candahug, Palo. Landing site of the allied forces headed by Gen Douglas Mc. Arthur during the Liberation
of the Philippines in 1944; panoramic view of Leyte Gulf and Samar Island; ideal place for promenading, picnicking, swimming and
Located 10 km. north of Tacloban; can be reached by hired vehicles and private cars. Developed area with beautiful tropical trees,
flowers and shrubs; two swimming pools and dressing rooms; nursery for vegetables and trees.
Located in Jaro, region of scenic grandeur with virgin forests, very cool climate, almost 4,000 ft. above sea level; hunter's paradise.
Daguitan Rapids and Danao Lake
Located in Burauen. Hiking or horseback riding to the lake; swimming and picnicking on Danao Lake; riding the Daguitan Rapids in
makeshift rafts of banana trunks or the steadier, softer rubber tires fashioned into rafts; 2-hour exciting ride; beautiful scenery, lovely
Leyte Mountain Trail
An outstanding trekking area which starts from the Mahagnao National Park, Burauen, to Danao Lake and Tongonan National Park
in Ormoc, a distance of approximately 40 km. Rainforest tour, beautiful lakes - Mahagnao, Malagsum, Casudsuran and Danao; the
spectacular Guinaniban Falls, breathtaking view of mountains, forest, plains and the small islands of Samar and Leyte from the crest
of the central Amandiwing Mountain Range; the profusion of tropical flora and fauna including colorful insects, butterflies,
dragonflies, and bugs and giant millipedes, deer, wild boar, monkeys, birds, orchids and giant ferns.
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Bislig Bay Fishing Village.
Located in Tanauan. Rich fishing grounds, sandy beach, colorful fishing boats are among the attractions the village can offer.
Madonna of Peace
Located at Foot of Kanhuraw Hill near the City Hall, Tacloban City. Landscaped garden with statue of the goddess of Peace called
Maria Kannon by Japanese people who donated it; ornamental plants, view of Magsaysay Boulevard and Kankabato Bay.
Santo Niño Church
Located in front of Rizal Park, corner Real and Zamora Streets, Tacloban City; Image of Santo Niño, patron of Leyte; also known as
the Church of Liberation.
Stations of the Cross
Located on top of the hill above Serin District overlooking Tacloban City. The 14 stations of the Cross in more than life-size concrete
forms leading the 18- foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Located at Anibong Dist., Tacloban City at the foot of the hill, 100 meters away from Leyte Progressive High School. A beautiful 2storey pagoda where monks and Buddhists make their worship, prayers and offerings; overlooking the city and Samar Island.
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Tacloban Festival (Last week of June)
The Tacloban Festival kicks off with the Subiran Regatta, an annual sailboat race held at the eastern entrance of the San Juanico
The Balyu- an / Pintados Festival
A pageant re-enacting the historical exchange of images between Barrio Buscada of Basey, Samar, and Tacloban City, which
highlights the annual fiesta of the Sto. Niño in Leyte. Also there is the Pintados Festival, which revives the tradition of painting the
body and dancing to the rhythm of bamboo sticks. On the last day is the Tacloban City Festival-celebrating the homecoming of its
Sto. Niño image marked by much merrymaking in the usual grand fiesta tradition.
Subiran Regatta (June)
An annual contest held along the eastern portion of Leyte Gulf. The regatta is participated in by different fishermen living along the
fishermen's villages of Leyte and Samar. "Suviran" is a native sailboat with outriggers used in small scale fishing. The race is done
without using a paddle but only skill and technique to maneuver the sail. The race is held within the Cancabato Bay Area.
Torugpo (Black Saturday)
An exciting traditional jousts of native carabaos (pasungay) and horses (paaway) at Bgy. Camansi, Carigara. It was held 300 years
ago in defiance to the rigid regulations of the Spanish friars. The yearly carnival offers a complimentary treat to foreign tourists.
Sunduan Ha Carigara ( Easter Sunday)
An annual homecoming of Holy Cross Academy alumni of Carigara, Leyte. The celebration consists of cultural, social and religious
activities-float parade & contest depicting the rich history of Carigara; cockfighting, songs, dances and drama contests; barrio fiesta;
and observance of Lent.
Pamalandong (Holy Week in Palo Pilgrimage) - Good Friday
A re-enactment of the Lord's Passion celebrated in Palo, a municipality 11 km. away from Tacloban City. It consists of the religious
rituals which starts 12:00 at noon at the grounds of the Palo Cathedral. The Good Friday rites include "The seven Last Words"
during which the crucified image of Christ (a wooden antique image probably hundred of years old and ingeniously provided with a
mechanism by its unknown artist) reacts to each word, until the final death and removal from the cross.
A quaint Good Friday local custom is the gathering of the leaves from the mock-forest where the three crosses stand by the people
believing they bring luck, cure illness and other attributes.
This is followed by the procession that includes all the biblical characters of the Passion Play and this caps the rituals for the Good
Balyuan (June 29)
A pageant re-enacting the historical exchange of images between Barrio Buscada of Basey, Samar and Sitio Kankabatok now
Tacloban City. It is held in the afternoon and highlights the annual fiesta of Santo Niño de Leyte.
Pintados De Leyte Festival (June)
The custom of tattooing earned for the Leyteños the name of Pintados. From ancient history, Roman conquests also made mention
of tattooed people in Britons, Saitas, Oriental Tartar, Macasar and other parts of the world. The origin of the practice is different to
determine but the strongest contention is that an ancient priestess instigated it and through the members of her cult, began the
The tattoos, however, became distinctive marks of courage and generally made the origin, orientation and livelihood of the bearer
identifiable. The most basic design of tattoos began from ankle to groin and consisted of two bonds a finger or almost two in width.
The tattoo in the chest were made like breastplates. When the tattooers did their work more artistically, they left between the bond
(which were colored blue) and white designs.
When the missionaries from Spain arrived in Leyte, they found the Pintados gruesome but later learned to appreciate the happy
contentment and beauty of the people. With the coming of the Spaniards, the people learned new ways of life and blended this with
neo-pagan ways of the Pintados.
Even today, the happy blend exists in the customs and practices of Leyte. The Leyteños have retained their cultural roots while
assimilating the changes that progress brings.
Leyte Landing Anniversary (October20)
A commemorative program which marks the anniversary of the October 20, 1944 landing on Leyte of the Allied Forces of Liberation.
Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur and his men waded ashore at "Red Beach" in the town of Palo where statues of the liberations now stand.
The historic event is usually attended by high ranking government officials and the ambassadors of the United States, Japan and
Australia. World War II veterans come on sentimental journey.
Grand Santa Cruzan (May)
A parade and contest of "parol" (lantern) with beautiful "sagalas" participated in by the different barangays of Tacloban. It starts at
the historic Leyte Provincial Capitol terrace and ends at Plaza Rizal (one and a half-hour procession) where the winners are
proclaimed. Criteria include greatest number of sagalas and participants, most artistic lantern, best lighting and most disciplined
group. The Search for Reyna Elena is the culmination of the Grand Santa Cruzan. The selection's criteria includes beauty, poise,
social graces, talent and intelligence. After the proclamation of the winners, the coronation and the giving of awards and prizes
Pahoy-Pahoy (May) - Barugo Leyte. Scarecrow festival.
Fourth Provincial Inter-High School Tourism Quiz (August) - Region-wide
A tourism quiz covering regional, national and international topic.
Pasaka Festival (August) - Tanauan, Leyte
A dance parade and cultural presentation (comparza) "Pasaka" connotes warm welcome, progress, and religious homage.
Third Regional Tourism Quiz (September) - Tacloban City
A tourism quiz covering regional, national, and international topic.
Lubi - Lubi Festival (August 15) - Calubian, Leyte. A festival showing various uses of the coconut tree and its by-products thru
dances and street revelry.
Kaadlawan Han Samar (November) - Catbalogan, Samar
Foundation Day celebrated with socio-cultural activities.
Calbayog Grand Karakol (October) - Calbayog City
Joyous street pageantry of dancing devotees.
Christmas Festival in Palo (December) - Palo, Leyte
A week-long celebration of Christmas which includes Simbang Gabi, Drum and Bugle Corps Competition. Christmas Cultural Show
and a contest for Best Lighted Barangay, Best Belen, and Lantern Contest.
Leyte is an island province in the eastern section of the Visayas region. It is rich in history, culture, natural resources, and scenic
spots. Leyte is among the feature-rich provinces in the country with diverse traits and attractions to stir the interest of any
traveler—like a cut diamond of countless sparkling facets.
Sitting amidst neighboring Visayan provinces Leyte is steeped in qualities derived from their strong influences. In fact, its
constituents are of two types classified by two influential dialects: Cebuanos and Warays. Cebuano speakers of Leyte are mostly
found in the southwest and Waray speakers in the northeast. Leyte people are tugged sideways by a range of influences, but
mainly from Cebu and Samar.
Leyte’s other neighboring provinces are Masbate on the north side, Bacolod on the far west, Bohol on the southwest, and Surigao
directly to its south. Bodies of water surrounding the province lend accessibility to it, like the Bohol Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the
Visayan Sea. These features contribute to Leyte’s being a jewel in the Visayan region and a strategic location this side of the
International explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, being so mesmerized at the first sight of the island, called it “Las Islas Felipinas”
in 1543. In another circumstance, American forces in 1945 deemed Leyte as a crucialposition in the region and in the entire
archipelago to launch a major offense against the Japanese forces. The 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf is a memorable event in the
history of Leyte, as well as the world famous landing of General Douglas MacArthur at Palo, Leyte.
Today, Leyte residents are preoccupied with rice farming on the plain, particularly in its capital city, Tacloban, and coconut
farming on its more hilly and mountainous regions. People on the coasts of Leyte still enjoy fishing, and perfect dive sites are
also available in 5 places: two in Padre Burgos, Donsol, Macrohon, and Hilongos. Leyte has 3 main cities (Tacloban, Ormoc, and
Baybay) and 40 municipalities. Ormoc is an independent city.
For a quick look at Leyte’s picturesque and memorable tourist attractions we have Buga-Buga Hills in Villaba, Leyte, and Hill 120
or “Catmon Hill” in Dulag, Leyte. Both are war memorials. There’s the famous Santo Nino Shrine and its Heritage Museum in
Tacloban, and, of course, Southeast Asia’s longest bridge, San Juanico,connecting Leyte and Samar.
Leyte conjures many images of the past as well as potential in the future. It also brings together people of various origins and
cultural backgrounds for a rich adventure any traveler will enjoy experiencing.
PROVINCE OF EASTERN SAMAR
The province of Eastern Samar was created by Republic Act no. 4221 which was approved by Congress on June 19,
1965 dividing the whole island of Samar into three independent provinces namely; Northern Samar, Western Samar
(subsequently renamed Samar) and Eastern Samar. As embodied in this Act, the eastern province is composed of 23
municipalites with Borongan as the capital.
In the 1967 general elections, the newly independent province elected its first set of officials. The provincial board
has its inaugural session on January 2, 1968 at the Borongan Town Hall. But it was not until September 7 of the
same year when the new province was inaugurated in a simple but impressive ceremony at Borongan town plaza.
Before it existence as an independent province, places which now form part of Eastern Samar played important roles
in the history of our country.
On March 16, 1521, Magellan first set foot on Philippine soil on the island of Homonhon on his way to rediscover
the Philippines for the western world.
An American garrison of occupation troops was annihilated by the townspeople of Balangiga on September 28,
1901. Now known in history as the "Balangiga Massacre", this incident triggered a wave of reprisal against the
people of the whole island of Samar.
On October 17, 1944, rangers of the U.S. Army landed on the tiny island of Suluan, Guiuan and had their first
encounter on territory three days before Gen. Douglas Macarthur landed on the beaches of Leyte.
Earliest known chronicles reveal that further contact with Western civilization aside from the Magellan landing
occurred as early as 1596 when Jesuit missionaries worked their way from the western coast of the island of Samar
and established mission centers and established mission centers in what is now as Eastern Sam territory. It is most
probable that the populated existing settlement were created pueblos shortly after this time. The eastern part of the
island was known as Ibabao and distinct from Samar which was the name of the western part. Magellan called the
place where he landed at Homonhon Island "The Watering Place of Good Signs".
Eastern Samar is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, which forms part of a greater body of water, the Pacific
Ocean. To the north lies Northern Samar; to the west, the province of Samar; and to the south, the Leyte Gulf.
Eastern Samar has 23 municipalities. Borongan, the provincial capital, lies some 550-air kilometers southeast of
Manila and roughly 65-air kilometers northwest of Tacloban City, the capital of Eastern Visayas. AREA Eastern
Samar has a total land area of 4,339.60 square kilometers. It measures approximately 150 kms. From northern
boundaries of Jipapad where it abuts Northern Samar to the tip of Sungi point in Guiuan, the southernmost point of
it lands body. It is approximately 40 kms. at its widest point. Borongan, the capital, is the largest municipality in
terms of area. The largest island is Homonhon in Guiuan with approximate land area of 105 sq. kms.
Table 1. Status of Land Classification Land Classification 1985 1986-1994 Alienable and Disposable Land a/
447,075 447,075 Total Forest Land 201,375 201,375 Unclassified Forest Land 245,700 245,700 Classified Forest
land 239,166 Forest Reserves 6,534 245,700 Timberland b/ 5,788 5,788 National Parks 238,401 Military
Reservation Civil Reservation 746 746 Fishpond Development 765 - a/ includes certified and proposed alienable and
disposable lands - b/ includes certified and proposed timber lands Note: 1. The Land Evaluation Party (LEP) made
no reclassification since 1986. Hence, data from this year up to present did not change. 2. Data may not equal to the
regional and provincial figures produced by the Philippine-German Resources Inventory Project in 1987 since their
data were estimates only based on LANSAT images/interpretation while the data reflected in this table were based
on cadastral survey of LEP. Source: Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region VIII
Table 2. Land Area by Municipality Municipality A & D Forestland Total Arteche 8,912.0 6,014.0 14,926.0
Balangiga 6,407.9 11,343.7 17,751.6 Balangkayan 2,458.0 6,752.0 9,210.0 Borongan 12,989.9 45,802.0 58,791.9
Can-avid 8,755.0 15,253.0 24,028.0 Dolores 11,504.0 12,648.0 24,152.0 Gen. MacArthur 4,012.0 4,226.0 8,238.0
Giporlos 5,277.7 2,651.3 7,929.0 Guiuan 4,340.0 13,005.0 17,345.0 Hernani 2,604.0 2,207.0 4,811.0 Jipapad
6,297.0 14,033.0 20,330.0 Lawaan 5,928.0 8,057.3 13,985.3 Llorente 5,474.0 40,072.0 45,546.0 Maslog - 31,885.0
31,885.0 Maydolong 3,950.0 18,608.0 22,558.0 Mercedes 2,082.0 250.0 2,332.0 Oras 5,712.0 15,723.0 21,435.0
Quinapondan 4,886.0 2,523.0 7,409.5 Salcedo 10,546.0 1,114.0 11,660 San Julian 3,157.8 8,255.0 11,413.0 San
Policarpo 6,405.0 650.0 7,055.0 Sulat 5,223.2 10,178.8 15,402.0 Taft 5,716.0 13,524.0 19,240.0 Total 136,657.50
284,775.8 417,433.3 % Total 31.78% 62.22% 100.00
The interior part of the province is rough and hilly and covered with dense tropical vegetation but drained by
numerous rivers and creeks. Mountain ranges and peaks abound in an interior. The highest among them located at
the northwestern part of the province is at 783 meters above sea level. Narrow plains hug most of the coastal areas
and in some instances the banks of its principal rivers and their tributaries. Most of the coastal towns are located on
narrow deltaic plains. The widest contiguous plain on relatively level ground lies west of the poblacion of Dolores
near the southern banks of the Dolores River. Another smaller plain is located at the municipality of Quinapondan.
Table 3. Slope Classification SLOPE AREA PERCENT SHARE < 8% 1,041.7 23.3 8 - 18% 697.4 15.6 18 - 30%
1,381.5 30.9 30 - 50% 1,314.4 29.4 > 50% 35.8 0.8 TOTAL 4,470.8 100 CLIMATE The climate of the province
falls under type "E" category with all months having 61 mm. (2.4") rainfall or more. Although the climate is
characterized by rain and marked seasonal period of heavy precipitation at all months of the year, it shows distinct
seasons: rainy from November to January with northeast monsoon as the prevailing wind and dry from July to
September with its westerly winds locally called "habagat" as the prevailing wind.
Table 4. Climatic Indicators INDICATORS ANNUAL Average Output of Rainfall 3,146.6 Number of Rainy Days
192.0 Mean Temperature 26.8 C Minimum Temperature 22.9 C Maximum Temperature 30.8 C Relative
Temperature 85.0 Prevailing Temperature NE/2
Eastern Samar has a population of 58,285 and a population density of 129.14 per square kilometer.
Table 5. Total Population and Number of Household MUNICIPALITY TOTAL POPULATION NO. OF
HOUSEHOLD Arteche 12,538 2,370 Balangiga 11,100 2,053 Balangkayan 8,849 1,679 Borongan 48,638 9,553
Can-avid 15,759 2,792 Dolores 34,272 6,073 Gen. MacArthur 10,041 1,807 Giporlos 10,050 1,889 Guiuan 35,447
7,058 Hernani 8,055 1,339 Jipapad 6,222 1,059 Lawaan 9,725 1,657 Llorente 16,071 3,320 Maslog 3,634 689
Maydolong 12,201 2,112 Mercedes 5,473 888 Oras 31,533 5,692 Quinapondan 12,644 2,023 Salcedo 16,026 3,254
San Julian 11,858 2,398 San Policarpo 11,565 2218 Sulat 14,010 2,710 Taft 16,613 2,946 Total 362,324 67,579
The 23 municipalities composing the province are Jipapad, Arteche, San Policarpo, Oras, Maslog, Dolores, Canavid, Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Llorente, Hernani, Maydolong, Balangkayan,
Giporlos, Lawa-an, Balangiga, Mercedes, and Guiuan. Jipapad and Maslog are interior municipalities with all the
rest are located along the coastal areas. The province has a total of 595 barangays. Borongan has the biggest number
of barangays with 61 and closely followed by Guiuan with 60 and Dolores as third with 46. Conversely, those with
the least number are Maslog with 12 and Balangiga, Hernani and Jipapad with 13 each.
Table 6. Dates of Creation of Municipalities and no. of Barangays
MUNICIPALITY DATE/"PUEBLOS"/MUNICIPALITY AUTHORITY NO. OF BRGY. PERCENT SHARE
Arteche April 27, 1951 R.A. No. 607 20 3.4 Balangiga April 3, 1854 Royal Orde2r 13 2.2 Balangkayan May 2,1959
R.A. No. 2181 15 2.5 Borongan 61 10.2 Can-avid July 04, 1948 R.A. no. 264 28 4.7 Dolores April 5, 1864 Royal
Order 46 7.7 Gen. MacArthur June 22, 1949 R.A. No. 225 30 5 Giporlos August 9, 1949 E.O. No. 225 18 3 Guiuan
60 10.1 Hernani January 4, 1864 Royal Order 13 2.2 Jipapad June 16, 1965 E.O. No. 157 13 22 Lawaan May 7,
1959 R.A. No. 2185 2.2 27 Llorente May 14, 1851 Royal Order 2.7 5.5 Maslog June 19, 1965 R. A. No. 4221 2.0 20
Maydolong May 1, 1955 R.A. No. 609 2.0 3.4 Mercedes June 10, 1864 Royal Order 3.4 27 Nov. 1848 Royal Order
2.7 61 Oras 1850 Royal Order 6.9 42 Quinapondan 1854 Royal Order 4.2 4.2 Salcedo Dec. 5, 1864 Royal Order 4.2
7 San Julian July 4, 1863 Royal Order 27 2.7 San Policarpo June 14, 1948 R.A. no 281 2.8 2.8 Sulat 18 3.0 2.8 Taft
24 4 4
PROVINCE OF SAMAR
Samar Province is 802 kilometers from Manila. It lies southeast of Luzon and occupies the westernmost section of
the Samar Island. To the north, it is bounded by the province of Northern Samar; on the east by the province of
Eastern Samar; to the west by the Samar Sea and to the south by the Leyte Gulf.
Samar Island has an overall area of 1,342,863 hectares. The province of Samar has the largest area comprising about
559,100 hectares of 42% of the island's total land area.
Table 1. Status of land Classification Land Classification 1985 1986-1994 Total Land Area Alienable and
Disposable Land _a/ 559100 559100 Total Forest Land 210311 210311 Unclassified Forest Land 177771 Classified Forest Land 32540 210311 Forest Reserves 11580 12744 Timberland b/ - 172250 National Parks 840 840
Military Reservation - 63 Civil Reservation 20120 20120 Fishpond Development - 4294 Table 2. Land Area by
Municipality Municipality Land Area (Sq. Km) Almagro 372.2 Basey 67.7 Calbayog City 143.6 Calbiga 189.0
Catbalogan 174.4 Daram 103.4 Gandara 573.5 Hinabangan 372.2 Jiabong 67.7 Marabut 143.6 Matuguinao 189.0
Motiong 174.4 Pagsanghan 30.0 Pinabacdao 82.4 San Jorge 241.2 San Jose de Buan 366.9 San Sebastian 27.3 Sta.
Margarita 144.4 Sta. Rita 222.5 Sto. Nino 29.5 Tagapul-an 28.7 Talalora 28.0 Tarangnan 132.5 Villareal 98.5
Wright 457.4 Zumarraga 38.6 Table 3. Status of Irrigation System Total Arable Area Potential Irrigable area
Existing Service Area 167,606 15,782 has. 2,134 Has.
The Physical environment of Samar includes almost every kind of topography: mountains, forests, rivers, lakes,
plains, coasts and islands. It has a much lower highland system compared to other provinces. The central upland
core is formed from a broad plateau with local relief sight ranging from 700 to 1,000 feet. Numerous streams in the
island have cut sharp valleys on the surface of this plateau and the overall landscape is hilly and rugged.
The province of Samar has 25 municipalities and a chartered city, the City of Calbayog with 949 barangays. Most of
these municipalities are along the coast. The capital town of Samar province is Catbalogan which is also an
important seaport facing the Maqueda Bay.
The province of Samar has no distinct dry and wet season. Rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the
Relative to its location, Samar province serves as a reference point for tropical cyclones occurrences as it is within
the typhoon path/belt. However, it doesn't mean that the province is frequently hit by tropical cyclone (Tropical
Depression, Storm and Typhoon).
A 45-year data on Tropical Cyclones Incidence in the Philippine Area of Responsibility shows that out of the total
315 tropical cyclones, 22% of 70 cyclones actually hit the province or an average of 1.5 tropical cyclone per year
compared to Luzon area which is about 5.4 tropical cyclone per year which comprises about 78% (245) of the total
cyclone incidence within the specified period.
Prior to the approval of Republic Act No. 4221 on June 19, 1965, Samar province comprised the whole island of
Samar. Under this act, the western portion was created as a separate province named Western Samar. A subsequent
legislation (Republic Act No. 5650) however, changed the name of the province of Samar on June 21, 1969. Samar
is connected with the province of Leyte thru Marcos Bridge on the southwest across the San Juanico strait.
Table 4. List of Municipalities and Barangays Municipality Number of Barangays Almagro 23 Basey 51 Calbayog
City 157 Calbiga 41 Catbalogan 57 Daram 58 Gandara 69 Hinabangan 21 Jiabong 34 Marabut 24 Matuguinao 20
Motiong 30 Pagsanghan 13 Pinabacdao 24 San Jorge 41 San Jose de Buan 14 San Sebastian 14 Sta. Margarita 36
Sta. Rita 38 Sto. Niño 13 Tagapul-an 14 Talalora 11 Tarangnan 41 Villareal 38 Wright 44 Zumarraga 25 Table 5.
PROVINCIAL SITUATIONER (CY JULY' 97-JUNE 1998) COMMODITY SUPPLY (MT) DEMAND (MT)
SURPLUS/DEFICIT RICE 19,155 70,928 (51,773) WHITE CORN 3,831 3,750 82 VEGETABLES 339 24,294
(23,955) ROOTCROPS 11,491 13,113 (1,622) PORK 1,390.58 3,918 (2,527) BEEF 124 548 (424) CARABEEF
415 997 (582) CHICKEN MEAT 618 2,516 (1,899) CHICKEN EGGS 20.46 1,651 (1,630)
The 1990 Census on Population registered a total of 533,733 inhabitants for the province of Samar in 102,038
households. Males outnumbered females to a ratio of 101 males for every 100 females.
Table 6. Total Population and Number of Household Municipality Total Population No. of Household Almagro
10,270 2,047 Basey 40,114 8,428 Calbayog City 129,216 25,713 Calbiga 18,070 3,664 Catbalogan 76,324 14,654
Daram 33,745 6,294 Gandara 27,263 5,454 Hinabangan 12,151 2,174 Jiabong 15,484 2,853 Marabut 10,355 2,040
Matuguinao 5,205 951 Motiong 13,177 2,499 Pinabacdao 11,590 2,256 San Jose De Buan 5,471 1,158 San
Sebastian 6,381 1,250 Sta. Margarita 19,146 3,889 Sta. Rita 28,930 5,690 Sto. Niño 12,761 2,601 Talalora 6,565
1,250 Tarangnan 18,791 3,694 Villareal 22,390 4,232 Paranas (Wright) 24,235 4,689 Zumarraga 14,505 2,715
Tagapul-an 7,949 1,598 San Jorge 11,935 2,360 Pagsanghan 7,350 1,340
ROADS AND BRIDGES
The Maharlika Highway links Samar to Luzon and Mindanao with barges available in Allen, Northern Samar
crossing San Bernardino Strait to Bicol in going north. On the other hand, passage to Mindanao is through Tacloban
City with a ferryboat ride in Liloan, Southern Leyte in crossing to Surigao.
The road network in the province is 903.137 kilometers long. Bridges connecting the national and provincial roads
have a total length of 3,633 lineal meters made of steel, 1,425 lineal meters of concrete, 64 lineal meters of bailey
and 97 lineal meters made of timber.
The province has two existing airports namely, the Calbayog Airport and the Catbalogan Airport. The Calbayog
Airport, which is considered a secondary airport, ha a concrete surface. It has a total runway length of 1,475 meters
and a width of 30 meters. This airport can accommodate aircraft for general aviation (weighing 12,000 pounds and
below). At present, this airport serves commercial flights of the Philippine Airlines. Flights from and to Manila are
available five times a week using a fokker-50 aircraft.
On the other hand, there are no commercial flights available at the Catbalogan Airport. Classified as a feeder airport,
its runway has a length of 1,200 meters and width of 30 meters. It can only accommodate aircraft's for general
aviation. At present, construction of the airport is being undertaken.
Almost all of the coastal municipalities of the province has its own port. However, only the ports in Catbalogan and
Calbayog City are classified as national ports. These ports serve inter-island vessels plying Manila, Cebu and other
The power needs of the province is supplied by the National Power Corporation (NPC) Tongonan geothermal Plant
through the Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Calbayog City is serviced by SAMELCO I. It operates the Capoocan Diesel Power which has a capacity of 250
kilowatts aside from the Ton-ok Mini-Hydro Plant with a capacity of 500 kW per day. Another potential for hydrogenerated electricity with an estimated capacity four times more powerful than that generated by Ton-ok falls is the
Bugtong Falls in Tinambacan in the same City.
SAMELCO II servicing the District of Samar has attained a total energization of its 15 municipalities including
Marabut and the Island municipalities of Daram and Zumarraga. It has the most reliable power in Samar and Leyte
since it is the only electric cooperative within the region and of the whole Philippines that has a standby generating
unit with a total capacity of 2.5 MW. Aside from this, it is charging a rate lower than the authorized rates approved
by the Energy Regulatory Board.
In terms of power stability, SAMELCO II ha two 5 MVA sub-stations located in Paranas and Catbalogan fully
equipped with the different electric line materials and accessories needed in servicing a lot more of consumers
especially the industrial and commercial ones.
The source of water in the province comes primarily from artesian wells, jetmatic pumps, springs and communal
faucets. The urban center, however, area served by formal water supply systems with potable water through the
Local Water District.
Public and Private companies service the telecommunication needs of Samar. The province has five (5) radio
stations, eight (8) cable TV firms, one TV station and one local newspaper, three telephone exchanges-one operated
by the government and 2 by the private, 29 public telegraph stations, 2 private telegraph companies, 3 fax stations
and 5 forwarders.
The Telecommunications Office (TELOF), a government-owned communication has uplifted its telephone system
by installing direct-distance dialing lines with a capacity of 500 domestic and international calls. The government
program to install a public calling office in all municpalities is an on-going project under RA 6849. The Eastern
Visayas Telephone Company (EVTELCO) operates one of its six- (6) telephone exchanges in Catbalogan equipped
with direct dial facilities for local and international long distance calls.
The Jesuit missionaries founded Samar in 1596. They introduced the Roman Catholic faith to the people of Samar.
When the Jesuits left Samar in 1768, the Spanish Franciscans took over the administration.
The former names given to Samar were Zamal, Ibabao, Achan and Tandaya. Legend stated that when the Spaniards
first set foot in Homonhon, they met a wounded native from whom they asked the name of the place. The wounded
man did not understand Spanish. He thought they were asking what happened to him and he replied "samad"
meaning wound in the local dialect. So, the navigators adopted the name for the island with a slight alteration of the
last letter, from Samad to Samar.
During the early days of Spanish occupation in the Philippines, Samar was under the jurisdiction of Cebu. Later, it
was declared a separate province, but in 1735, Samar and Leyte were united into one province with Carigara, in
Leyte, as the capital. The union, however, did not prove satisfactory. So, in 1968, Samar has emerged as an
independent political unit with Catbalogan as its capital.
On January 1900, the Americans captured the town of Catbalogan. Civil governments were established on June 17,
1902 and Julio Llorente was appointed as the first governor of Samar.
During the administration of Governor Baltazar Avelino, Samar was converted into a first class "A" province.
Calbayog City became a chartered city on July 16 by virtue of Republic Act no. 328.