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|City of Borongan
Siyudad han Borongan
Lungsod ng Borongan
Map of Eastern Samar showing the location of Borongan
|Region||Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)|
|Congr. district||Lone district of E. Samar|
|Established||September 8, 1619 (town)|
|Incorporated||June 21, 2007 (city)|
|• City Mayor||Ma. Fe R. Abunda|
|• City Vice-Mayor||Fidel V. Anacta Jr.|
|• Total||475.00 km2 (183.40 sq mi)|
|• Density||140/km2 (350/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|Income class||5th class city|
Borongan, officially the City of Borongan (Waray: Siyudad han Borongan; Filipino: Lungsod ng Borongan), is a component city and the provincial capital of the province of Eastern Samar, Philippines. Its cityhood was settled by the Supreme Court of the Philippines when it decided with finality on April 12, 2011 the constitutionality of its city charter, Republic Act 9394, which conferred upon and elevated the status of the municipality of Borongan into a component city of the province of Eastern Samar.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Tourism
- 6 Local government
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Education
- 9 Notable Boronganons
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The City of Borongan is located along the middle coastal part of the province of Eastern Samar. The city center itself is situated along the northern banks of the Lo-om River and is set back a little distance away from the shoreline of Borongan Bay. The province itself comprises a part of the Eastern Visayas region (Region VIII) of the Republic of the Philippines.
The city is bounded on the north by the municipality of San Julian, in the south by the municipality of Maydolong, in the west by the Samar municipalities of Hinabangan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao and Basey, and in the east by the Pacific Ocean.
The city's territory includes the islands of Ando, Monbon, and Divinubo in Borongan Bay.
The city is subdivided into 61 Barangays:
- Purok A (Poblacion)
- Purok B (Pob.)
- Purok C (Pob.)
- Purok D1 (Pob.)
- Purok D2 (Pob.)
- Purok E (Pob.)
- Purok F (Pob.)
- Purok G (Pob.)
- Purok H (Pob.)
- Punta Maria
- Sabang North
- Sabang South
- San Andres
- San Gabriel
- San Gregorio
- San Jose
- San Mateo
- San Pablo
- San Saturnino
- Santa Fe
Its development into a town, and eventually into a city, is traced back to the early 1600 out of the scattered hamlets located on the banks of the adjacent Guiborongani (Borongan or Sabang) River and Lo-om River. Guiborongani was the larger settlement and was later on called Borongan because of the heavy fog that usually covered the place. The name Borongan was taken from the local word "borong", which in the local or Waray-Waray language means 'fog'. The people inhabiting the eastern coast of Samar were originally called "Ibabao" during the pre-Spanish period. As early as 1595, or 74 years after Ferdinand Magellan's landing in Homonhon (now an island barangay of Guiuan, Eastern Samar) Spanish Jesuit missionary priests from mission centers in Leyte began to evangelize the southern portion of the island of Samar. The first evangelical mission was established in Tinago, Western Samar and gradually expanded to Catubig. In 1614 Palapag was selected as the mission center of the Ibabao region or the northeastern coast of the island; from this mission center in turn was the eastern coast of Samar subsequently evangelized. The missionaries proselytized to the inhabitants in the faith, raised stone churches, and protected the people from the Muslim predatory/piratical raids from the south. This is probably the reason why the town itself was established some distance away from the shoreline and built on a hill overlooking the northern banks of the Lo-om River. In fact, the old Catholic church convent has its own self-contained water supply: a deep dugout well lined with big blocks of ancient hewn stones located underneath the convent building itself. The major settlements then were Borongan, Bacod/Jubasan/Paric (now Dolores), Tubig (Taft), Sulat, Libas/Nonoc (now San Julian), Butag (now Guiuan) and Balangiga.
The development of Borongan was greatly influenced by the religious missions of the Jesuits during the period 1604–1768, and the Franciscans from 1768 to 1868. Borongan was established as a pueblo on September 8, 1619. On this date, the Commandancia and the Very Reverend Father Superior of the Jesuits from Palapag, a town of Northern Samar, went to Ibabao to install the first priest of Borongan, Fr. Manuel Martinez, who served up to 1627.
At the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1898, Borongan was the site of an uprising led by the Pulahanes. The first public municipal officials were Sr. Magno Abenis, President, and Sr. Andres Hipe, Vice-President, who held office from 1899 to 1903. After the Japanese occupation in 1941-1945, the town was henceforth led by a mayor and a vice-mayor. Hilarion Basada and Ignacio Brozas were the first mayor and vice-mayor, respectively, from 1945 to 1947.
Borongan was legally constituted as a capital town when Eastern Samar was created as a separate province under Republic Act No. 4221 which was enacted on June 19, 1965. Its first municipal mayor as the capital town of Eastern Samar was Luis Capito.
On June 21, 2007, Borongan became the first city in Eastern Samar. However, it subsequently lost its cityhood, along with 15 other cities, after the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted a petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared the cityhood law (RA 9394) which granted the town its city status, unconstitutional. The said 16 cities, the court ruled, did not meet the requirements for cityhood.
On December 10, 2008, Borongan and the other 15 cities affected by the Supreme Court declaration filed a motion for reconsideration of its decision. More than a year later, on December 22, 2009, acting on said appeal, the Court reversed its earlier ruling as it ruled that "at the end of the day, the passage of the amendatory law (regarding the criteria for cityhood as set by Congress) is no different from the enactment of a law, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting law/s, effectively decreased the already codified indicators." As a consequence, the cityhood status of Borongan was effectively restored.
In a subsequent development, however, the Supreme Court in its en banc decision dated February 15, 2011, reverted to its December 22, 2009 ruling, declaring the aforesaid Cityhood Laws as constitutional and restoring thereby the cityhood status of Borongan resolving that "To justify a court in pronouncing a legislative act unconstitutional, or a provision of a state constitution to be in contravention of the Constitution x x x, the case must be so clear to be free from doubt, and the conflict of the statute with the constitution must be irreconcilable, because it is but a decent respect to the wisdom, the integrity, and the patriotism of the legislative body by which any law is passed to presume in favor of its validity until the contrary is shown beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, in no doubtful case will the judiciary pronounce a legislative act to be contrary to the constitution. To doubt the constitutionality of a law is to resolve the doubt in favor of its validity."
In the latest iteration of the so-called Cityhood Cases with which it had become popularly known and of which Borongan City was one of the principal respondents, the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its en banc ruling dated April 12, 2011 promulgated during one of its summer sessions in Baguio City resolved that: “We should not ever lose sight of the fact that the 16 cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but have also complied with the requirements of the LGC prescribed prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9009. Congress undeniably gave these cities all the considerations that justice and fair play demanded. Hence, this Court should do no less by stamping its imprimatur to the clear and unmistakable legislative intent and by duly recognizing the certain collective wisdom of Congress. WHEREFORE, the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011) is denied with finality. SO ORDERED.” affirming with finality the cityhood status of Borongan.
|Population census of Borongan|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
The common language is Waray-Waray, and a huge majority are also literate in both English and Filipino. Boronganons are predominantly Roman Catholic, but it also has other small Christian as well as minority religious sects.
Borongan's main product is copra. It has lively commercial activity throughout the year not only catering to the needs of the local city populace but serving as well as the central business hub of the entire province of Eastern Samar. Many families rely on coastal and deep-sea fishing as well as lowland and upland farming as means of livelihood. Others have spouses, children, parents or other relatives working in Manila or in other places within the Philippines or abroad either as professionals, contract workers or domestic helpers who regularly remit part of their earnings to their families back home. The single biggest employer of its local populace is the government.
Borongan City has a wet market located a little upstream and beside the northern bank of the Lo-om River in the Puray district of Brgy. H (Tarusan) selling the usual foodstuffs like rice & corn grains, dried & fresh fish (either caught locally or brought in frozen from Catbalogan City or Guiuan as well as other nearby towns), pork, beef, chicken, carabeef, preserved meats, vegetables, fruits, condiments & spices, rootcrops, native cakes and the like. The place also sells locally-made and beautiful native basketware. It also has the largest and the only shopping mall in Eastern Samar. It opened in 2005 for business operations and is located along the national highway in Brgy. Songco at the northern fringe of the city. Appliance stores, mini-groceries and 'sari-sari' stores also abound throughout the length and breadth of the city selling items ranging from basic necessities to supplies for recreational and entertainment activities. Several hardware stores also operate catering to the needs of the city's construction industry. The city has numerous restaurants and eateries offering local cuisine randomly located throughout the city limits while nightspots can be found mostly along the length of Baybay Blvd. at the eastern edge of the city immediately abutting the shoreline of Borongan Bay. Major and new oil companies have their own oil refueling stations within the city limits selling engine lubricants, kerosene as well as regular, unleaded and premium gasoline and diesel fuels.
Borongan City has many of the Philippines' natural attractions: from resorts to white- as well as black-sand beaches. Its pristine and undisturbed forests contain spectacular streams, river rapids, waterfalls and caves so very sought after by nature lovers, trekkers and spelunkers - locals and foreign visitors alike. Many more of its scenic spots can be found by those who have the time and the energy to search for them within the vast territorial expanse of the city.
There is said to be a famed hidden cave in one of the offshore islands of Borongan Bay containing the long-boned remains and antique artifacts (i.e. necklaces, porcelainware, etc.) of apparently ancient people whose true history have been obscured by the mists of time and only snippets of which have survived to this day in tales and legends among the local folk who continue to zealously preserve as well as guard and protect them from the curious and from the occasional vandal/looter, believing that allowing such remains and artifacts to be disturbed or taken away will bring bad luck or misfortune to the nearby local inhabitants.
Beaches and surfing spots
Borongan City has many beaches, the most notable of which can be found in Divinubo Island and in Ando Island, both of which boast of white sand beaches, vibrant coral formations alive with teeming marine life in sparkling clear blue waters, incidentally ideal also for diving and snorkeling. Cabong gray-sand beach is a favorite destination of the locals, with excursionists, bathers and picnic-goers spilling over from one end of the beach to the other especially during special occasions, weekends and holidays. The strip of white-sand beach in Guintagican or Punta Maria is also a good bet, although it takes some effort to get there as it is several kilometers away from the town proper and accessible only through a feeder road, the final stretch of which can be reach on foot only because of the narrow width of the footpath. Surfers' haven is the surf at Baybay Boulevard, in Brgy. Bato, and in Brgy. Locso-on, respectively.
Islands and island beaches
- Ando Island white sand beach
- Butay island (located at the middle of Lo-om River between the upstream concrete bridge connecting the city proper to and from Brgy. Taboc and the downstream steel-and-concrete bridge connecting the city proper to and from Brgy. Alang-alang)
- Divinubo Island white sand beach
- Monbon Island white sand beach (the sparse island vegetation is supposedly infested with small blood-sucking red ticks - locally called "tungaw" - which however are easily killed off by immersion in seawater)
- Pamuloton Island beach (Tabunan)
- Balacdas River
- Borongan or Sabang (formerly called Guiborongani) River
- Can-obing River
- Lo-om River
- Maypangdan River
- Naghahagong underground river located past sitio Cati-an (its "snore" or "hagong" - hence the name - can be heard by the locals when there is heavy rains as the onrushing torrent of water gushes and rumbles underground), ideal for spelunkers although it has remained unexplored up to this day and thus relatively unknown to outsiders
- Palanas River
- Salog River in Brgy. Cancaligdas
- Suribao River (serves as common city/municipal boundary with the adjacent town of Maydolong)
The Hamorawon park is located at the center of the city proper itself and can easily be located by the presence of the giant acacia tree beside it. It contains the stylized rendition of a concrete giant clamshell the upper half of which being held up by two mermaids while at its base are two crocodiles with their mouths agape. This giant clamshell served as the then town's cultural stage where social presentations were held while the fenced grounds fronting it served as the venue for social gatherings. This was the brainchild of the late Mayor Pablo "Buaya" Rosales. On its left side but still within the park grounds is the city tourism building.
From underneath this giant clamshell bubbles and flows the Hamorawon natural spring, the only one place in the entire province of Eastern Samar which has a naturally-occurring fresh-water spring, flowing from the very center of the city itself towards the Lo-om River a short distance downstream. The waters of this spring has been said to be miraculous the site itself having allegedly been the place where appearances of a lady in white (supposed to be the patroness saint of the city) have reportedly been seen. Unfortunately, access to this natural water source has of late been impeded and virtually blocked, its previous access road having been long fenced off leaving the spring almost unnoticeable already to busy passersby.
The city government of Borongan has its own executive, legislative and judicial branches:
- The seat of the executive branch of the local government of Borongan is at the city hall located at the city proper itself with the city mayor acting as the local chief executive.
- The legislative department is represented by the local Sangguniang Panglungsod composed of ten (10) elected members headed by the city vice-mayor as the presiding officer thereof.
- Regional Trial Court, Branches I & II - both located at the Hall of Justice Bldg., Provincial Capitol Complex in Brgy. Alang-alang.
- Municipal Trial Court - also located at the Hall of Justice Bldg., Provincial Capitol Complex in Brgy. Alang-alang.
- Commission on Audit
- Commission on Elections
- Civil Service Commission
Peace and order
The local inhabitants are generally peace-loving and law-abiding citizens who follow all the laws, ordinances, rules and regulations promulgated by the duly-constituted authorities, be they national or local. Except for the lingering insurgency problem, which however is restricted to the hinterland barangays and does not affect the normal course of political and business activities of the city, the place has no major peace and order nor internal security problems.
The City of Borongan can be reached from Manila or Tacloban City principally by means of land or sea transport. The Borongan Airport is already minimally serviceable. As of late 2014 it has been announced that a weekly flight shall be run from the airport. Operating once every Wednesday this will be the first commercial service at the airport for a number of years.
The Port of Borongan is classified as a national port and can accommodate medium-draft sea vessels, linking the town with the other coastal and riverine towns of the province as well as major coastal cities of Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Bicol regions. Access to and from the outlying inhabited offshore islands of Borongan Bay is either through motorized as well as sail- or oar-driven outrigger bancas.
Bus transport, airconditioned and ordinary, is the dominant means of public land conveyance to Borongan City from Manila (and vice-versa) passing overland through the Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway) through southern Luzon, a short roll on, roll off 1-hour boat ride across the San Bernardino Strait from Matnog, Sorsogon to Allen, Northern Samar, then southwards to Catbalogan City, Western Samar, east across the mountainous and forested geographical spine of the island, then southwards again from the town of Taft until finally entry into the city on the eastern coast of Samar. There are also ordinary mini-buses and air-conditioned shuttle vans from Tacloban City going to Borongan City (and vice-versa). Another route from Tacloban City is through the Pan-Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway on a west-to-east-to-north course that traverses the southern coastal fringe of the island of Samar crossing the San Juanico Bridge from Tacloban City turning right at the junction southwards to Basey and then Marabut, Samar then eastward across the provincial boundary to Lawa-an in Eastern Samar passing by the famous municipality of Balangiga, turning left at the junction past Quinapondan town northward to the municipality of Gen. MacArthur and onwards to Borongan City itself. The main forms of public mass transport in and around the city are motorized tricycles, motorcycles, passenger jeepneys, multicabs and bicycles. There is no taxicab service available within the city.
Landline telephone, cellular phone as well as internet (both landline and wireless) connections are available within the city limits and up to a certain limited distance from the city proper. Cable television is also available to city subscribers as well as to inhabitants up to a certain limited distance from the city proper. The city has a government-run FM radio station although it operates only on limited broadcast time at certain hours of the day.
Main electric power supply to the city is through an interconnection with the Leyte electric power grid that comes from the electricity generated by the Tongonan geothermal power plant located in the adjacent island of Leyte. The distribution of the power supply within the city and the entire province of Eastern Samar is operated and managed by the local electric cooperative.
Borongan City has many elementary schools, high schools, colleges and a lone university. It has the highest literacy rate among the municipalities in the whole province of Eastern Samar.
- Ando Elementary School
- Bato Elementary School
- Balacdas Elementary School
- Banuyo Elementary School
- Baras Elementary School
- Benowangan Elementary School
- Bugas Elementary School
- Cabalagnan Elementary School
- Cabong Elementary School
- Cagbonga Elementary School
- Calingatngan Elementary School
- Calico-an Elementary School
- Camada Elementary School
- Campesao Elementary School
- Canlaray Elementary School
- Can-abong Elementary School
- Canjaway Elementary School
- Divinubo Elementary School
- Eastern Visayas International Montessori School
- Eugenio S. Daza Pilot Elementary School
- Hebacong Elementary School
- Hindang Elementary School
- Ladders for Tomorrow Academy
- Lalawigan Central Elementary School
- Libuton Elementary School
- Locso-on Elementary School
- Maypangdan Elementary School
- MSH Sisters Academy
- Pepelitan Elementary School
- Pinanag-an Elementary School
- Punta Maria Elementary School
- Sabang Central Elementary School
- San Gabriel Elementary School
- San Gregorio Elementary School
- San Jose Elementary School
- San Mateo Elementary School
- San Pablo Elementary School
- San Saturnino Elementary School
- Siha Elementary School
- Sohutan Elementary School
- Songco Elementary School
- Sta. Fe Elementary School
- Suribao Elementary School
- Surok Elementary School
- Taboc Elementary School
- Tabunan Elementary School
- Tamoso Elementary School
- Benowangan National High School
- Calingatngan National High School
- Eastern Visayas International Montessori School
- Eastern Samar National Comprehensive High School
- Lalawigan National High School
- Maypangdan National High School
- Saint Mary's College (formerly Saint Joseph's College), High School Department
- Seminario de Jesus Nazareno (exclusive high school for boys)
- MSH Sisters High School
- Sta. Fe National High School
- Supt. Fidel E. Anacta Sr. Memorial High School
- Nativity of Our Lady College Seminary
- Saint Mary's College (formerly Saint Joseph's College)
- Our Lady of Mercy College
Arts, Entertainment & Culture
- Boy Abunda - television host, publicist, talent manager and celebrity endorser. He is dubbed as the "King of Talk" in local show business. He is originally from Brgy. Campesao.
- Aaron Ebio - portrait and fashion photographer. Hailed as one of the top 15 wedding photographers in the Philippines. Shoots for various media and modeling agencies.
- Ino Amoyo - professional hair stylist. Represented the Philippines and was among the top finalists of the 2014 Worldwide Hair Tour competition in London.
- Kristine Montes - model. A regular in many of the top fashion shows in the country.
- Roderick "Manoy" Bazar - surfer and skimboarder. Winner of the masters' category in the 2014 Zap Amateur World Championships of Skimboarding in Delaware, USA.
- "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Province: Eastern Samar". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- * 
- "R.A. No. 4221, An Act Creating the Provinces of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar". LawPH.com. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
- Supreme Court of the Philippines
- SC reverses self, upholds creation of 16 cities
- SC Reinstates 2008 Decision Voiding 16 Cityhood Laws
- G.R. No. 176951
- "Province of Eastern Samar". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- National Statistics Office
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Borongan City.|
- Borongan Official Website
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2007 Philippine Census Information
- Local Governance Performance Management System
- Borongan Community Website
||Hinabangan, Samar||San Julian|