San Juan, Southern Leyte

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San Juan
Iglesia de Cabalian.jpg
Map of Southern Leyte with San Juan highlighted
Map of Southern Leyte with San Juan highlighted
San Juan is located in Philippines
San Juan
San Juan
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°16′N 125°11′E / 10.267°N 125.183°E / 10.267; 125.183Coordinates: 10°16′N 125°11′E / 10.267°N 125.183°E / 10.267; 125.183
Country Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Southern Leyte
Congr. district Lone district of S. Leyte
Barangays 18
 • Mayor Federico Ramos Flores
 • Vice mayor Lolito A. Casera Jr.
 • Total 35.12 km2 (13.56 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 14,073
 • Density 400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6611
Dialing code 53

San Juan is a fifth class municipality in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines. It was formerly known as Cabali-an. According to the 2010 National census, it has a total population of 14,073 people.[3]


There seems to be no consensus on the exact origin of the name Cabali-an. While there are several versions, the most popular one involves Magellan who happened to pass by Cabalian. This account tells of Magellan and his crew attempting to land this settlement after being battered by a heavy storm known locally as “subasco”. One of his ships had a broken main mast that required immediate repair. The curious natives led by their chieftain, Datu Malitik, gathered on the shore as they closely watched the approaching ships. The natives who were armed noticed the broken mast and shouted “gikabali-an”. Roughly translated, the word means “to experience a breakage or broken materials”. Magellan and his men interpreted the hostile-surrounding shouts as the name of the place. Not wishing to engage the natives in combat after the battering of the storm, the explorers lifted anchors and sailed away.

On June 17, 1961, Republic Act 3088, which changed the name Cabali-an to San Juan, was signed into law by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. However, up to this day, the town is still known as Cabali-an. The name simply refuses to disappear on maps, telecommunication directories and in most people’s minds.

On September 15, 2010, San Juan celebrated its 150th Founding Anniversary.


San Juan (Cabali-an) is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.[2]

Barangay Population
(As of August 1, 2007)[4]
(As of May 1, 2010)[3]
Bobon A
Bobon B
San Jose (Poblacion)
San Roque
San Vicente
Santa Cruz (Poblacion)
Santa Filomena
Santo Niño (Poblacion)


Population census of San Juan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 10,438 —    
1995 11,392 +1.65%
2000 13,510 +3.72%
2007 14,442 +0.92%
2010 14,073 −0.94%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]

Local government[edit]

Municipal elected officials:

  • Municipal Mayor: Federico Ramos Flores
  • Municipal Vice Mayor: Lolito A. Casera, Jr.
  • Council Members:


Elementary School[edit]

San Juan District School has about 8 Elementary schools leading to San Juan Central School.

  • San Juan Central Elementary School - Town Proper
  • Pong-oy Elementary School, Barangay Pong-oy
  • Sua Elementary School, Barangay Sua
  • Timba Elementary School, Barangay Timba
  • Garsavic Elementary School, Barangay San Vicente and Barangay Garrido
  • Basak Elementary School, Barangay Basak, San Juan
  • Somoje Elementary School, Barangay Somoje, San Juan
  • Bobon Elementary School, Barangay Bobon, San Juan
  • Saint Joseph College, San Juan Campus, Poblacion San Juan

High School[edit]

  • San Juan National High school

The school was founded in 1946 as Southeastern Leyte Provincial High School. Being the only public high school among the six towns of Pacific area it enrolled more than 1,000 students in its second year of operation.

It was changed to Cabalian Municipal High School in 1952. Due to financial difficulties as a result of the destruction caused by a strong typhoon in that year the management of the school was transferred to the Province of Leyte and it was converted to Cabalian Provincial High School a year later. In 1964 the school changed name and curriculum to Cabalian National Vocational High School. In response to public demand to expand widen its curriculum, R.A. 4295 changed this school to San Juan Comprehensive High School. Enrollment rose to more than 1,200. On June 24, 1983 Batas Pambansa Blg. 569 converted the high school into San Juan Polytechnic College with a tertiary curriculum focused on Science and Technology.

Then in 1999, a special provision of General Appropriation Act No. 8745 mandated the integration of the college into Southern Leyte State College of Science and Technology and, in effect, transferred the governance of the school to the Board of Trustees of the host SUC. The high school department – with a population 1,200 – was also transferred to the nearest public secondary school.


Congress Bill Converted the Southern Leyte State College of Science and Technology which includes the San Juan Campus into University on March 7, 2004 and this date marked as Founding Anniversary of the Institution



Cable television:

  • Fiesta Cable Inc. is the first cable TV entirely Pacific Area in Province. Fiesta Cable's main office is located in Rizal Street, Barangay Sto. Nino, San Juan, Southern Leyte.[citation needed]


The town celebrates its rich Catholic heritage every 24th day of June, the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Precursor to the Divine Word, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The "novemdiales" or novena in honor of the patron saint commences every 15th day of June, and is referred to as jornadas. Jornadas in Spanish means "sojourns" or "journeys", which specifically refer to the translation of the patron saints of all barangays to kiosks or minuscule chapels outside the baroque parish church. In addition to the eighteen patron saints of the 18 barangays of Cabalian, more come from the hill villages of Hinunangan. They remain in those chapels until the 24th day of June, called the kahuyugan, whence they are processed around the town in andas and carrozas.

The fiesta spans for three (3) days: (1) disperas (Sp. vísperas) which falls on the 23rd day of June, coinciding with the Vespers for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in the Divine Office; (2) kahuyugan (lit. the day on which the fiesta falls) on the 24th of June, coinciding with the main celebrations; and (3) liwas (lit. post-fiesta) on the 25th day of June, when the remaining victuals are served to fiesta-goers who want to avoid the fiesta traffic and hullabaloo.

The novena is said in the parish church. Preserving the incorruptible tradition of Visayan Catholic identity, the long Gozos in honor of St. John is sung. The tradition of the gozos goes back to the august cathedrals of Spain and Portugal. The structure of the gozos follows the usual format of the Spanish gozos: an estribillo (couplet) repeated after every estrofa (verse).

Although, the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was traditionally not celebrated with water dousing, sometime in 2000, the LGU launched the Sinabligay Festival, which translates as Water Dousing Festival. The LGU has passed ordinances prohibiting the use of dirty water during this Festival.

Amongst the activities included in the Town and Patronal Fiesta are the following

  1. SLSU Alumni Homecoming, organized by the Southern Leyte State University
  2. Jag-aw (Singing Competition)organized by Local Government Unit
  3. Central Alumni Day, (San Juan Central Elementary School) organized by Department of Education headed by School Principal.
  4. Parish Pastoral Night
  5. The Search for Ms. TEEN Cabalian, organized by the Municipal Federation of Sangguniang Kabataan, in partnership with KUYOGG Inc. (Kabalian United Youth Organization for Good Governance.
  6. The "Sinabligay Festival"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Southern Leyte". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]