Province of Eastern Samar
The Province of Eastern Samar lays claim to being the first
land that Ferdinand Magellan discovered and claimed for Spain in the Far East when the
renowned explorer established camp in Homonhon Island on March 16, 1521. In 1596, the
Jesuits established settlements in the eastern part of Samar Island that became known as
"Ibabao," a name distinct from that of the island. This area eventually became
Eastern Samar Province.
During the American occupation of the Philippines, the
province gained prominence (or notoriety depending on who you talk to) when an American
garrison in the southern town of Balangiga was totally annihilated, except for one
survivor, by a rag tag group of Samareņos. This led to the now infamous reprisal of the
American troops in the island who sought to turn Samar into "a howling
wilderness." The incident is now called as either a "massacre" or a
"great victory" depending on the historian. Almost a hundred years after, great
controversy still surrounds the incident and still puts some strain on the relations of
two distant people whose myriad relationships are as complex as life itself.
The province separated from its mother political unit Samar
on June 19, 1965 by the passing of Republic Act 4221. On November 1965, a plebiscite
officially created the province. Today, it has 23 municipalities located mostly along the
coastline facing the Pacific Ocean. The easternmost territory of the Philippines, Eastern
Samar has a rough and hilly terrain covered by lush tropical vegetation. The populated
coastal areas are fertile plains most of which unfortunately remain barren. Good roads
connect the eastern and southern part of the province to the rest of the region.
For more detailed information about the Province of Eastern
Samar please visit the links section.
back to top