On the northern tip of Leyte island lies the province of
Biliran named after the native grass known as "Bolobiliran" which covered the
lands verdant plains during in the 1600s. Biliran is one of the youngest
provinces in the Philippines being reconstituted to full-fledged province last May 11,
Biliran is the smallest province in Eastern Visayas both in
terms of land area and population. The narrow Biliran Strait separates the province from
the rest of mainland Leyte. The land transforms from flat fertile plains to rolling hills
to very rough terrain. Its narrow coastal lowlands are where most of the population is
Biliran was known as Isla de Panamao during the early years
of Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the 1600s. The name Panamao is
believed to refer to an ethnic form of fishing net. It was in this land where the first
large-scale Spanish shipyard was constructed in the Philippines. Biliran gained its
present name sometime between 1668-1712.
The province, owing much to its sheltered (and reclusive?)
terrain, is virtually unspoiled by the ravaging changes of "development." Beads
of sparkling clean beaches are strewn along its shoreline encompassing majestic waterfalls
within it almost unexplored rough interior. For many, it is the numerous islets
surrounding the province that hold the most interest.
For more detailed information on Biliran, please visit the links section.
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