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Municipality of Limasawa
Location of Limasawa in the Southern Leyte Province
Basic data
Region : Eastern Visayas
Province : Southern Leyte
Barangays : 6th
District: 1. District of Southern Leyte
PSGC : 086419000
Income class : 6th income bracket
Households : 1108
May 1, 2000 census
Population : 6,061
August 1, 2015 census
Population density : 947 inhabitants per km²
Area : 6.4  km²
Coordinates : 9 ° 54 '  N , 125 ° 31'  E Coordinates: 9 ° 54 '  N , 125 ° 31'  E
Postal code : 6618
Mayor : Melchor P. Petracorta
Geographical location in the Philippines
Limasawa (Philippines)

Limasawa is a 6th income tier island community in the Philippines . Politically, it belongs to the province of Southern Leyte . It has 6,061 inhabitants (August 1, 2015 census).


Limasawa is a small island south of Leyte that has historically played a prominent role in Filipino history. It is located about 6 km from the southern tip of Leyte Island, just outside Sogod Bay in the Mindanao Sea .

The island protrudes a maximum of 200 m above sea level and it has a north-south extension of 10 km.


Limasawa is politically divided into a total of 6 Barangays (districts).

  • Cabulihan
  • Lugsongan
  • Magallanes
  • San Agustin
  • San Bernardo
  • Triana


The first foreign visitors to the island were Chinese and probably Arab merchants . In 1225 , the Chinese trader Chau Ju Kuo described the population as friendly and accessible to trade .

On March 16, 1521 , the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippine island of Homonhon on his journey to the Spice Islands with three ships . Here he met shortly afterwards with the ruler of Limasawa, Rajah Calambus, whose spies had observed the arrival of the Europeans. On March 26, 1521 Magellan accompanied the Rajah to his home island. Five days later, on March 31, the first Holy Mass in the Philippines is said to have been held on this island . This event is considered to be the beginning of the Christianization of the Philippine archipelago. The two leaders then developed very friendly relations with each other and became Casicasi or blood brothers , before the Europeans finally left Limasawa for Cebu .

In 1957, various barrios from the southern part of the village of Malitbog, including the island of Limasawa, were merged into the independent municipality of Padre Burgos with Executive Order No. 265 .

On June 11, 1978 , Limasawa was to become an independent parish by the entry into force of the President's Decree No. 1549, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos , at a request of its residents. However, the decision was overridden and ended up in the archives. When President Corazon Aquino took over the government, she ordered a referendum that was held in Padre Burgos in 1989. The result of this vote was a majority support for the implementation of the resolution drawn up by Marcos. On August 27, 1989 , Limasawa finally officially received the status of an independently administered municipality.

In 1994, by Law No. 7822 , President Fidel Ramos named Limasawa a tourist area.


  1. Bergreen, Laurence. Over the Edge of the World . New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2003. page 144.

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