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Last Updated:
11/10/98 08:17:24 AM

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Province of Eastern Samar
An overview

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.

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