Explore Calbiga Samar Philippines Travel Guide, Destinations and Attractions
and Brief History
Legend has it that the origin name of Calbiga was Biga-a,
from the name of a tree that thrived there. The Spanish
missionaries renamed the settlement Calviva after the
live limestones that are abundant along the river.
The other version, as reported in the documents dating
back in 1938, claims that the name came from the phrase
"Can Viga," meaning belonging to the village chieftain
named Viga. Even today many sitiosare named with the
prefix "Can-", such as Canlangkoy, Canticum, Canholan,
etc. Spanish chronicles spelled the town's name as
Calviga, and later Calbiga, as it is officially spelled
today, because there is no letter "V" in the Visayan
dialect. It is said that the original people of Calbiga
settled along the seacoast near the mouth if the Calbiga
River, but later moved upstream to escape the Moro
Calbiga was already a thriving pueblo when the Spanish
conquistador, Miguel de Legaspi, divided the Philippine
islands into encomiendas in 1571. Barely one month after
the cities of Cebu and Manila were constituted into
encomiendas January 1571, the town of Calviga was
similarly constituted on February 14, 1571, with Juan
Gutierrez assigned as its encomendero.
Today, Calbiga is one of a few bastions of
well-preserved relics of the old world of tradition,
boasting antique houses and furnishings. It is endowed
with natural wonders, so that a visit to Calbiga is
always worth the trip.
Calbiga is a fourth-class municipality, about 48
kilometers south of Catbalogan, the provincial capital
town and 59 kilometers northeast of Tacloban City in
Leyte. The poblacion, or town center, lies along the
Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway (Maharlika Highway)
that links Samar and Leyte to the islands of Luzon and
Boundaries and Climate
The municipality has a total land area of 28,378
hectares marked by broad upland areas and low rugged
hills. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities
of San Sebastian and Hinabangan; on the east by Eastern
Samar Province and on the west by Maqueda Bay. Its
climate hs no distince dry and rainy seasons.
The municipality consists of 41 barangays, 6 of which
lie along the coast of Maqueda Bay, 7 in the poblacion
and 28 at forest-edge and lowland areas.
Calbiga's population is about 20,000, predominantly
Catholic, and speaks the Samarnon Binisaya or Waray. The
other Visayan dialects, Cebuano and Ilonggo, although
spoken less frequently, are fairly understood, as are
the Tagalog language and English.
Special Annual Events:
January (third week): Celebration of the Feast of
Sto. Niño. Floating procession of the image ofthe Holy
Child and the people go swimming and picnicking in the
river; children frolic at the water-filled sunken
March 25: The feast day of the town's patron
saint, Our Lady of the Annunciation. Because this date
often falls on the Holy Week, the celebration in her
honor has been moved to May 25.
May 1-31: Flores de Mayo, daily floral offerings
by children to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
May 24: Civic Parade with Pahoy-Pahoy street
May 25: Fiesta Day in honor of Our Lady if the
August 8: Environmental Awareness Day.
Visitors and tourists can stay overnight or a few days
in Calbiga through the Homestay Program.
A traditional fiesta presentation of colorful scarecrows
and street dancing by farmers of Calbiga, Samar,
imitation the scarecrows, to dramatize their common
struggle and victory over the pests and pestilence.
Natural Ecotourism and Man-made Destinations
Calbiga has a number of Natural Attractions that can be
promoted in tourism such as Langun-Gobingob Caves,
Lulugayan Falls and Repids, Kalidongan Lake, Maqueda Bay
and Mangrove Forests, Calbiga River, Kanyawa Caves and
Children's Play Area and Nature Park
How to get there
The town of Calbiga lies along the Maharlika Highway, 59
kilometers north of Tacloban City, the regional capital
of Estern Visayas, or about an hours drive crossing the
San Juanico Bridge. From Calbayog City is 92 kilometers
south passing by Catbalogan, the capital town of the
province of Samar.