Northern Samar

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For other uses, please see Samar (disambiguation).

Northern Samar is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Catarman and is located at the northern portion of the island of Samar. Bordering the province to the south are the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar. To the northwest, across the San Bernardino Strait is Sorsogon; to the east is the Philippine Sea and to the west is Samar Sea. The province of Northern 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.

Province of Northern Samar
[[Image:Ph seal northern samar.png|250px]]
[[Image:Ph locator map northern samar.png|250px]]
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Governor Raul A. Daza
Barangays 569
Physical characteristics
Area 3,498.0 km²
(37th largest)
Total (2000) 500,639
(30th smallest)
Density 143/km²
(25th lowest)


People and culture

Most people speak Waray-Waray, though Cebuano is also widely understood, being spoken in the municipality of San Isidro and the island municipalities of San Antonio and San Vicente. A third language Inabaknon is spoken in the island of Capul.


Major industries of the province include agriculture and fishing.



Northern Samar is subdivided into 24 municipalities.



Northern Samar is bounded on the north by the San Bernardino Stait, on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the west by the Samar Sea, and on the south by Western Samar. Its total land area is 3,498 sq. km.

The province is composed largely of low and extremely rugged hills and small lowland areas. It also has small and discontinuous areas along the coasts and its rivers are usually accompanied by alluvial plains and valleys. The province is endowed with relatively rich and fertile soil that most crops can grow on it.


Northern Samar is one of the three Samar provinces created on June 19, 1965 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4221. The province is relatively young but it has vital religious and historical significance. The small island of Capul was the capital of the province of Samar in 1848-1852. Capul was formerly named Abak after the ancient ruler of Java who brought the first settlers to the enchanting island. In the latter period of the 16th century, it was among the first places to be evangelized by the Spaniards (1596).

The waray-warays of Northern Samar also figured prominently during the Spanish and American occupation of the Philippines. It was part of the route of the galleon trade and the Sumuroy Rebellion started in Palapag (1649-1650) led by the Waray hero Juan Ponce Sumuroy.One of the trusted co conspirators of Sumuroy, David Dula y Goiti,sustained the Filipino quest for motherland in a greater vigor. He was however wounded in a battle, was captured and later was executed in Palapag, Northern Samar by the Spaniards together with his seven key lieutenants. They were accused of masterminding several attacks on Spanish detachments. The place where David came from was named later as Candawid (Kan David) in Isla De Batag, Laoang, Northern Samar.Some of David's descendants changed their surnames to Dulay to avoid Spanish prosecutions. Some maintained their surname Dula, which up to these days is the source of minor internal frictions among some descendants of David Dula y Goiti in Laoang, Northern Samar accusing each side as "sigbinan", a native waray folklore which originated in Isla de Batag, which connotes "a family secretly keeping bear-like creatures", which are being fed with all kinds of meat, sometimes, including flesh of dead Spanish Guardia Civil. Several famous Northern Samarenos are tracing their ancestry among the seven co conspirators executed with David Dula y Goiti in Palapag , Northern Samar. One of those executed is a grear great grandfather of Governor Raul Daza.

During the Philippine-American War, the Siege of Catubig was fought in the town of Catubig.

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