Samar Province

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Samar Province
Official seal of the Samar Province
Basic data
Region : Eastern Visayas
Capital : Catbalogan City
Population : 780.481
August 1, 2015 census
Population density : 129 inhabitants per km²
Area : 6,048.03  km²
PSGC : 086000000
Governor : Sharee Ann T. Tan
Official website:
 - Highly urbanized cities
 - provincial cities 2
 - municipalities 24
 - Barangays 951
 - electoral districts 2
Location of the province in the Philippines

Coordinates: 11 ° 50 '  N , 125 ° 0'  E Samar , long known as Western Samar , is a province of the Philippines in the Eastern Visayas region (Region VIII). The provincial capital is Catbalogan City .


The provincial area covers the western part of the island of Samar . It includes various islands that are north of Leyte Island in the Samar Sea . The province is bordered by Northern Samar Province to the north and Eastern Samar to the east . The Gulf of Leyte extends to the south , while the San Juanico Strait , which separates Samar from the neighboring island of Leyte, runs along the southern section of its west coast and merges into the Samar Sea. The San Juanico Bridge spans the San Juanico Strait at its narrowest point and creates an important transport link between the two islands.

The capital Catbalogan City (103,879 inhabitants) is centrally located, while Calbayog City (183,851 inhabitants) is in the north of the province.

The topography of the province is hilly in parts, and it has a few hills from 200 to 800 m. In addition, there are lowland plains, which extend along the coastal areas, the alluvial land and the river deltas formed by many large rivers. The largest lowland areas are found on the northern coasts and extend to the river plains of the Catubig and Catarman Rivers. Smaller lowland areas are in the area of ​​Calbayog, embedded in the river deltas and valleys of the Gandara and Ulot rivers. The slopes are usually soaked through with moisture and hardly overgrown with trees due to the deforestation. After heavy rains, the water runs off the hills and leads to flooding in the lowlands and erosion in the mountains, which continually expand and expand the plains on the coasts of the province.

Samar has a total area of ​​5,591 km². 1,511 km² or 27.3% of it is designated as agricultural land and a further 1,673 km² is covered with forests.

The province includes the islands of Karikiki , Camandang , Almagro , Santo Niño Island , Libucan Daco and Tagapul-an .

Population and culture


The province has a total population of 695,149 people according to the 2007 census. It ranks 38th among the most populous provinces in the country.

Nearly 95% of the native population of the province of Samar are Filipinos. The remaining residents are of Chinese , US, or other foreign nationality.


The inhabitants of the province belong to the ethnic group of the Samar-Leyte or Waray group, the sixth largest cultural language group in the country.

The vast majority of the locals (90.2%) use the Samarnon- Wáray-Wáray dialect , also known under the names Waraynon, Samarnon or Samar-Leyte Visayan. In the municipalities of Almagro and Santo Niño , on the other hand, the Cebuano language dominates , connecting 9.8% of all speakers in the province. The dialects Tagalog (0.5%) and Boholano (0.07%) as well as other, less common languages ​​such as English and Chinese are also represented.


The Roman Catholic faith unites with 95% of the Samareños the majority of the religious followers of this province. Other religious communities include the United Church of Christ , the Aglipayan , the Iglesia ni Cristo , the Mormons , the Baptists, the Revival Fellowship, and the Seventh-day Adventists .


Samar is the center of the Kut-kut art. This is a technique that combines the art of the ancient Orient with that of Europe. It is an art form that is extremely well known and worth collecting because it was believed to be lost. Only a few known examples of this technique, which was practiced between the 16th and 18th centuries, exist today.

Kut-kut is an exotic Filipino art form that is based on ancient techniques and combines sgraffito and encaustic with multiple layers applied on top of one another. The mixture of the different styles creates a unique work of art that is characterized by exquisite swirling, interwoven lines, multilayered textures and an illusion of three-dimensional spaces.


Ninety percent of the population of Samar is dependent on rice, the main staple food . In addition, the coconut is the most important crop, the cultivation of which is mostly concentrated in the coastal areas. Furthermore, manioc , corn , sweet potatoes , taro and yams , as well as bananas are planted and sold in many places in the province .

Another branch of the economy is livestock and poultry farming. According to records from 2004, chickens are the most consumed meat in the province since the price of other meats rose significantly.

Samar is also rich in natural resources. The province's area mainly supplies hematite and magnetic chromates , nickel and manganese . In addition, copper , zinc and lead are mined as sulfides and in connection with pyrite in the mines in this area.

The province has a relatively extensive coastline on its western side, extending over 300 km from Calbayog City to the southeastern municipality of Marabut. Here fishing is the main source of income for the provincial residents. The water areas contain fishing grounds with a total area of ​​298 km².

Political structure

The province of Samar is divided into 24 independently administered municipalities and 2 cities. These in turn are subdivided into a total of 952 barangays (districts).

The province is further divided into two Congress - districts .




There is a widespread legend about the origin of the name. When the Spanish set foot on the island, they asked a wounded local for the name of the place where they were. The local, who didn't speak a word of Spanish, thought they would be asked about his condition. So he replied: Samad , which means hurt . Although there were some other names for this island in the past, such as Zamal , Ibabao , Achan and Tandaya , the Spaniards later adopted the name Samar for the island, which is believed to have developed from the word Samad .

Jesuit missionaries founded a Roman Catholic settlement on Samar around 1596 and instructed the locals in Christian doctrine. The main seat of the administration was in Cebu at this time , until in 1735 Samar and Leyte were politically united with Carigara to form a province and the town of Leyte was assigned the seat of government of this administrative area. In 1768 Samar and Leyte were separated from each other and independent provinces were formed from them. In 1769 the Jesuits were replaced by Spanish Franciscans who subsequently took over the administration of the area.

American soldiers occupied Catbalogan in January 1900. In 1901, during the Filipino-American War , American troops suffered major defeat in a surprise attack on their garrison. The attack known as the Balangiga Massacre was followed by severe American retaliation. A battalion of the US Marines was tasked with turning the island into a howling wilderness and treating all locals over 10 years old as enemies.

A civil government was established on June 17, 1902 , and Julio Llorente was appointed the first governor of Samar.

On July 16, 1948 , Calbayog was named a notarized city under Republic Act No. 328.

Before Republic Act No. 4221 came into force on June 19, 1965 , the province of Samar comprised the entire island of Samar . This law has now divided it into three independent provinces: Northern Samar with the capital Catarman , Eastern Samar with the seat of the provincial government in Borongan , and Western Samar with the capital Catbalogan . In 1969 the province was renamed Samar.

Efforts to transform Catbalogan into a city began as early as the 1960s. However, the official appointment did not take place until March 15, 2007 , after Republic Act No. 9391 was ratified.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated Samar Province on November 8, 2013 .


Samar Province falls under the second and fourth climate categories. The second category is characterized by the fact that it does not include a dry period, but is at times characterized by an extremely heavy rainy period, which usually occurs in December and January. In general, the areas that belong to this climate type are located on or near the east coast of the island, which are open to the weather influence of the northeastern monsoons. But the municipalities in the south-eastern part of the province also belong to this climate category.

The fourth type of climate is characterized by more or less heavy rainfall, which can occur all year round. This category can be classified between the first and second climate class, but is closer to the second type, as it does not have a dry period. Mainly the areas in the north-western part of the province can be assigned to this climate. The heaviest amounts of rain are to be expected in the months of October and December. The highest measured amounts of precipitation in 2004 were 359 mm and in December of the same year 350 mm per cm². The month of April had the lowest rainfall this year with 99.3 mm.


  • Samar nature park
  • Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park
  • The Calbiga Caves
  • The Basey Church
  • The Mapaso hot springs in Rizal, Calbayog City
  • The Guinogo-an Natural Cave in Longsob, Calbayog City
  • The Bangon Bugtong Falls in San Joaquin, Calbayog City
  • The Tabokno Falls
  • Binaliw Isle
  • The Blanca Aurora Falls from San Jorge
  • The Lologayan Falls
  • The Bagacay Beach
  • The Marabut Marine Park
  • Kantikan Island (Pearl Island)
  • The San Juanico Bridge

Web links

Commons : Samar (province)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files