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Where the sun rises early, the Philippine Eagle fly in its verdant forests, and golden cowrie shells shine in its pristine seas.

Most Filipinos having some Hispanic blood in their veins, it might occur to them to visit the island of Homonhon, now part of the province of Eastern Samar.

In this account, Pigafetta (the chronicler aboard Magellan's ship) describes the island of Humunu (Homonhon): " ... we found two fountains of very clear water... we called it the "Waters of Good Signs", having found the first sign of gold in the said island.  There also can be found much white coral and tall trees that bear fruits smaller than an almond and look like pines.  There were also many palm trees, some of the good kind, some of the bad.  There abouts are many neighboring islands.  Hence, we called them the St. Lazarus Archipelago because we stayed there on the day and feast of St. Lazarus.

Since that account, historians have described this part of Samar Island as the "eastern gateway to the Philippines", the coast of this small province faces the Pacific Ocean and much of the land is rugged with the vast parts forested.

 




BRIEF HISTORY

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 municipalities with Borongan as the capital.  The first set of officials were elected in 1967.

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 Philippine territory three days before Gen. Douglas McArthur 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 in what is now Eastern Samar 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".
 



Click here to view the various tourist attractions of this province!


F A S T   F A C T S

 

CAPITAL
Borongan
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LOCATION
N - Northern Samar
E - Philippine Sea
W - Western Samar
S - Leyte Gulf

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LAND AREA
4,470.75 sq. kms.
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NO. OF TOWNS
23 (twenty-three)
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POPULATION
58,285
     (as of 1995 census)

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CLIMATE
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.
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TOPOGRAPHY
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 the interior.

Narrow plains hug most of the coastal areas and in some instances the banks of its principal rivers and their tributaries.

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DIALECTS
Waray-waray
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TOURIST ASSISTANCE OFFICE
Provincial Tourism Office
Province of Eastern Samar
Provincial Capitol
Borongan, Eastern Samar
Tel. No.:   (055) 330-1139
Fax No.    (055) 330-1297

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