North Samar

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Northern Samar Province
Official seal of the Northern Samar Province
Basic data
Region : Eastern Visayas
Capital : Catarman
Population : 632.379
August 1, 2015 census
Population density : 171 inhabitants per km²
Area : 3,692.93  km²
PSGC : 084800000
Governor : Paul R. Daza
Official website:
 - Highly urbanized cities
 - provincial cities
 - municipalities 24
 - Barangays 569
 - electoral districts 2
Location of the province in the Philippines

Coordinates: 12 ° 20 ′  N , 124 ° 40 ′  E Northern Samar is a province of the Philippines . It occupies the northern part of the island of Samar and is politically assigned to the Eastern Visayas region (Region VIII).

The seat of the provincial government is in the town of Catarman .


The province extends over the entire northern part of the island of Samar and is bordered in the south by the province of Samar and by Eastern Samar . To the northwest, on the opposite bank of the San Bernardino Strait , is Sorsogon , the southernmost province on the island of Luzon . To the east, the coastline extends to the Philippine Sea , part of the Pacific Ocean , while the Samar Sea extends to the west .

The topography of Northern Samar is determined by extensive areas full of small and rocky hills, as well as dominated by some smaller lowland areas. Along the coast it also has many small-scale areas interrupted by hills. The river basins are mostly accompanied by alluvial areas and plains. The province is endowed with relatively rich and fertile soils on which most of the crops can be grown.

The river plains are usually lower-lying areas, which are often interrupted by hills, while the rest of the provincial area is uneven and mountainous. The inland is heavily criss-crossed with high, fragmented hills and small mountain tops. Some stocky hills can be found between the coastal plains near Palapag , in the Gamay river plain and in the Catubig Valley .

The province includes numerous islands, the largest of which are Capul and Dalupiri . The island community of San Vicente in turn consists of several smaller islands, the island of San Vicente and the Naranjo Islands . The northernmost inhabited island of Northern Samar is Biri Island . The island of San Bernardino, which is important for ship navigation, is in the middle of San Bernardino Street .

The province has a total area of ​​3,692.93 km². About 52% of the land area is covered with forest, while 42% is designated as usable area.

Demographics, language and religion

According to the 2007 census, the province has a total population of 549,759 people. This makes it the 30th most populous province in the country. The average population density is 157 inhabitants per km².

The majority of the residents of Northern Samar use the Norte Samarnon dialect , a variation of the Wáray-Wáray language . In addition, Cebuano is also common, a language that is mostly spoken in the municipality of San Isidro as well as in the island municipalities of San Antonio and San Vicente . A third common form of language is the Inabaknon , which is native to the island of Capul . The dialect Norte Samarnon is generally subdivided into Balicuatro , as well as into Central and Pacific speakers.

The majority of the population is Roman Catholic . Other religious groups in the province are the Iglesia ni Cristo , the Aglipayan , the Seventh-day Adventists , the Jehovah's Witnesses and the community of the revival movement .

Political structure

The Northern Samar Province is divided into 24 independently administered municipalities. These in turn are subdivided into a total of 569 barangays (districts).

The province is further divided into two Congress - districts .



Between 1599 and 1605 Jesuit missionaries built a mission in the village of Palapag in the middle of the area of ​​the Ibabao ethnic group. The missionaries remained present in this area until late in the 17th century before they were expelled from the Philippines and replaced by Franciscans (OFM) .

When the San Bernardino Strait became a main route for Spanish galleons on their way between Acapulco , Mexico , and Manila , a port was set up in Palapag where the heavily laden galleons from Manila could find shelter from the unfavorable winds and the choppy seas .

In the early 16th century shipbuilders from Palapag were finally assigned to the shipyards in Cavite to support the construction of galleons and ships that were supposed to secure the island. At that time, in 1649, there was an uprising among the recruits, which signaled a general revolt against Spain within the Visayas and on Mindanao . The revolt was led by the Waray hero Juan Ponce Sumuroy, which is why it is now known as the Sumuroy Rebellion. The uprising simultaneously expanded northward into Albay Province and southward towards the northern coast of Mindanao, eventually jumping over to Cebu . It was over a year before the Spanish colonial power could suppress the rebellion and regain control of the archipelago.

The small island of Capul was the seat of the Samar government from 1848 to 1852. Capul was once called Abak , after a prehistoric ruler from Java who brought the first settlers to the small island.

In 1898, at the beginning of the Philippine-American War , the Americans landed on the beaches of Catarman. They were opposed here by a revolutionary army led by General Vicente Lukban. The Filipinos fought against the American cannons and firearms with simple striking weapons such as the Bolo and with self-made firearms, the Paltiks . After a defeat was inevitable in view of the technical inferiority, they subsequently waged a guerrilla war against the Americans. One of the most significant fighting during the Filipino-American War within what is now the province was the siege of Catubig .

During the Second World War, the residents of Samar organized a platoon of volunteers to help defend the archipelago against Japanese aggression. The contingent became part of the Philippine National Guard in Manila. The province also helped the government to support the financing of the national congress that organized the independence of the Philippines by purchasing bonds in a not inconsiderable amount.

Long after independence, Congressman Eladio T. Balite from northern Samar and Felipe J. Abrigo from eastern Samar drafted Republic Act 4221, which was approved by Congress in 1963. This law, ratified by a referendum on November 9, 1965 , divided the island of Samar into three independent provinces: Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar .


The province's climate is not determined by a clear dry or rainy season. However, a heavier rainy season prevails in the Northern Samar area between the months of October to January. The heaviest rainfall is expected in November, while May is the driest month.


  • The Samar Natural Park
  • The Spanish fortress of Fuerza de Capul on the island of Capul
  • The Onay Beach in Laoang
  • Bani Island Beaches in Lavezares
  • White Beach in Catarman
  • Bruno the mummy and the spice of life sandy beach (spice of life) referred to in Victoria
  • Divinuvo Island
  • The Pearl Farm & Panganuron Beach Resort in San Vincent
  • The Pinipisacan Falls in Laoang
  • The Biri rock formation in front of Biri Island , accessible from Lavezares
  • The KM 3 cave system in Barangay San Isidro, Las Navas
  • The Maria Teresia waterfalls in Barangay Viena Maria, in the municipality of Catubig
  • The island of San Vicente with its coral reefs and white sandy beaches
  • The Veriato and Kangpongkol waterfalls in San Isidro

Web links

Commons : Northern Samar  - Collection of images, videos and audio files