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Explore Calbiga Samar Philippines Travel Guide, Destinations and Attractions

Calbiga Samar Travel and DestinationOrigin 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 raids.

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 Mindanao.

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.

The People

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 municipal auditorium.
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 dances.
May 25: Fiesta Day in honor of Our Lady if the Annunciation.
August 8: Environmental Awareness Day.


Visitors and tourists can stay overnight or a few days in Calbiga through the Homestay Program.

Pahoy-Pahoy Festival

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.


Philippine Tourist Destination

  >> Bacolod   >> Baguio   >> Bataan   >> Bicol
  >> Bohol   >> Boracay   >> Cebu   >> Davao
  >> Bulacan   >> Ilocos   >> Manila   >> Palawan
  >> Tagaytay   >> Camiguin    

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