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Eastern Samar - Gateway To Philippine Discovery

The coast of this part of Samar island faces the Pacific Ocean. As such, it has been called as the “eastern gateway to the Philippines”. History recounts how the meek island of Homonhon in Eastern Samar served as the gateway to the ‘discovery’ of the Philippines, which signaled the beginning of a new era in Philippine history.

Now, local and foreign tourists are discovering the natural and historical wonders of this province. Among its gems include the Balangiga Encounter Monument, Church of the Immaculate Conception, and Kantican Island.

Demographics

1. Population – 405, 114 (as of 2007 Census)
2. Land Area – 4, 640.7 sq. km
3. Capital – Borongan
4. Language/Dialect – Waray-waray, English, and Filipino
5. Divisions

Cities (0)

Municipalities (23)

  • Arteche
  • Balangiga
  • Balangkayan
  • Borongan
  • Can-avid
  • Dolores
  • General MacArthur
  • Giporlos
  • Guiuan
  • Hernani
  • Jipapad
  • Lawaan
  • Llorente
  • Maslog
  • Maydolong
  • Mercedes
  • Oras
  • Quinapondan
  • Salcedo
  • San Julian
  • San Policarpo
  • Sulat
  • Taft

Homonhon Island
This is where Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan and his men first set foot on Philippine soil on March 16, 1521.

Navy 3149 Base
It served as the base of the American soldiers during World War II.

Kantican Island
This pearl culture farm is a haven of rich marine life such as lobsters, shells, fishes, abalones, and corals.

Balangiga Incident
On September 28, 1901, the villagers, led by Valeriano Abanador, the town's police chief and Captain Eugenio Daza, killed over 30 members of the Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment in a surprise guerilla attack. The retaliation of the American troops resulted to the death of 2,000 – 3,000 Filipinos, mostly civilians and children ages ten and above.

Cultural

Church of the Immaculate Conception
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Construction began in the 1630’s and was rebuilt in stone in the early 18th century. Aside from the main altar, two side altars stand along the nave. One bears mixed parentage, a retablo from Franciscan times and a rococo frontal with the Augustinian emblem. It was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum

Historical

Homonhon Island
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
This is where Ferdinand Magellen first landed in Philippine soil. According to the accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s Italian chronicle, a mass was celebrated here on March 19, 1521. Easter Sunday, making it the first in the Philippines.

Magellan's Cross
Location: Homonhon Island, Brgy. Pagbabangan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Beside the cross is a painting depicting the landing of Ferdinand Magellan and his crew in the island.

Tubabao Island
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
The island was used by the International Refugee Organization as a temporary home for some 5,000 refugees, survivors of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War of 1922.

Church of the Immaculate Concepcion Belfry and Watchtower
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Built by Franciscan friars in 1854, this belfry served as a watchtower against attacks of intruding Moros.

Captain Valeriano Abnador Statue
Location: Balangiga, Eastern Samar
The statue of Captain Valeriano Abnador commemorates his bravery and contribution during the Philippine-American war era.

Balangiga Encounter Monument and Memorial Library
Location: Municipal Plaza, Balangiga, Eastern Samar
Designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, it recounts the scene where Filipino guerillas, armed with bolos, attacked the soldiers of Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

US Navy 3149 Air Base
Location: Brgy Ngolos, Guiuan, Eastern Samar
Former US President John F. Kennedy, a PT boat commander during World War II was stationed at the base. It is said that the famed Enola Gay, the B-52 Bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on August 7, 1945 in Hiroshima, Japan, once landed on its airstrip.

Man-made

Divinubo Lighthouse
Location: Brgy. Lalawigan, Borongan, Eastern Samar
The lighthouse was constructed by the American engineers in 1906. It was originally a gas-operated facility but now it is electrically lighted and is enclosed in thick glass. It serves to locate and guide the position of international and inter-island ships passing the Pacific Ocean.

Natural

Kantikan Island (Pearl Island)
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
It features clear blue waters and immaculately white coral beach. It is a perfect site for scuba diving, fishing, and swimming.

Divinubo Island
Location: Brgy. Lalawigan, Borongan, Eastern Samar
The 3 sq. km. white sand beach island has crystal-clear waters with multi-colored fished and corals beneath, making it highly ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Lawa-an Islet
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
This 200 sq. meter islet has calm waters despite the fact that it is facing the Pacific Ocean. It also has beautiful beaches excellent for swimming.

Sulangan Beach
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
It is the habitat of the famous golden cowrie shell. It is also an ideal site for deep fishing, scuba diving because of the multi-colored school of fishes present in the area.

Canhugas Beach
Location: Hernani, Eastern Samar
The main attraction of the beach is the 200 meter (660 ft) foot bridge, extending from the reef to the sea. Legends states that a giant was responsible for building the land bridge. Another attraction are its unusual rock formation that looks like man-made steps.

Guintacigan Beach
Location: Brgy. Sta. Maria, Borongan, Eastern Samar
Pure white sands stretch over a mile across (2 km) the coastline. The waters are perfect for swimming and surfing.

Sapao Beach
Location: Guiuan, Eastern Samar
It offers a commanding view of the Pacific Ocean. Its white sand beach is filled with shells of various colors.

Hamorawon Spring
Location: Borongan, Eastern Samar
The spring is enveloped in a legend that if someone will take a bath in this cool spring, especially those who come from other places, will go home with a Borongan wife. Surrounding the area are stone edifice said to be constructed during the Spanish ear.

Religious

Our Lady of Borongan Cathedral
Location: Borongan, Samar
It was first constructed inn 1710 and rebuilt in 1781. It has been extensively remodeled. The only original portion is the circular bell tower. The catherdral housed the image of Borongan’s patron saint, Nuestra Señora de Borongan.

Homonhon Landing
Place: Homonhon Island, Guiua, Eastern Samar
Date: March 16
The event celebrates the landing of Ferdinand Magellan in the island. Highlight of the event is the re-enactment of the landing.

Balangiga Encounter Day
Place: Balangiga, Eastern Samar
Date: September 28
The event commemorates the Balangiga Massacre with wreath laying and cultural activities.

Padul-ong Festival
Place: September 7
Date: Borongan, Eastern Samar
Celebrated in honor of Nuestra Señora de Borongan, it recounts the arrival of the image of the Virgin Mary from Portugal to the province. is highlighted by street dancing, procession, and other cultural activities.



Web Phil Info.com

How To Get There?

By land:
Several bus companies travel to Eastern Samar via the Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway), passing through Samar.

By Air-Land:
From Manila, take a flight to Tacloban City. In the city, there are vans, buses, and jeepneys that travel toward the different municipalities of Eastern Samar.

By Air:
There are domestic flights from Manila to Eastern Samar, landing at Punta Maria Airport in Borongan, Samar.

By Sea-Land:
Travel from Manila or Cebu to Leyte via ferry. From there, take a bus bound for Tacloban City and another one to Borongan.

Related Links:
Wow Philippines
Eastern Samar Official Website


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