Overview of Samar Province

The third largest island in the archipelago, Samar is located in the central Philippine region known as the Visayas, and more specifically, the Eastern Visayas. Samar itself consists of three provinces. Samar province (42% of the island’s total area), is bounded by Northern Samar on the north, Eastern Samar on the east, the Samar Sea on the west, and and Leyte on the south. Most of the towns are located at the few narrow strips of coastal lowlands. Its terrain is mostly rolling, rugged hills and rich fertile valleys with a much lower highland system than the other provinces in the region. A broad plateau forms the central upland core with heights ranging from 200-300 m. high. Numerous streams and rivers cut sharp valleys on the plateaus surface. A large part of the coastline facing Maqueda Bay is one of the regions richest fishing grounds. About 63% of the land is classified as timberland, the largest in the region. The major rivers are the Basey, Calbiga, Gandara and Gibatan Rivers. There are a number of offshore islands, 15 of which vary from 1,000 to 10,000 hectares. To add to its picturesque appeal, a tropical rainforest adorns the province and is just one of it's many natural highlights.

Climate

Samar province falls under the 2nd and the 4th type of climate. The 2nd type is characterized by having no dry season with a very pronounced maximum rain period which usually occur in December to January. Areas characterized by this climate are generally along or very near the eastern coast, thus are open to the northeast monsoon. Municipalities in the southeastern part of the province also experience this type of climate.

For the 4th type of climate, rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. This is an intermediate between the 1st and 2nd types, although it resembles the 2nd type more closely since it has no dry season. Those areas located in the northwestern part of the province has this type of climate. February, March and April are considered the driest months with April generally recording the least amount of rainfall.

Natural Attractions

Today, Samar affords many adventures for the extreme thrill seeker. There are still scores of uncharted caves, subterranean rivers, rock formations, waterfalls and great dive sites. Samar has numerous things to reveal to daring travelers who want something more than just the usual.

Cities and Towns

Most of the towns are located at the few narrow strips of coastal lowlands. Five (Almagro, Daram, Santo Nino, Tagapul-an and Zumarraga) are island towns, five (Gandara, Hinabangan, Matuginao, San Jorge and San Jose de Buan) are inland towns and the rest are coastal towns. The three largest cities in Samar are Catbalogan (capital) and Calbayog City, both in Samar province, and Catarman in Northern Samar province.