Viga, Catanduanes

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Viga Catanduanes.jpg
Map of Catanduanes with Viga highlighted
Map of Catanduanes with Viga highlighted
Viga is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°52′N 124°18′E / 13.867°N 124.300°E / 13.867; 124.300Coordinates: 13°52′N 124°18′E / 13.867°N 124.300°E / 13.867; 124.300
Country Philippines
Region Bicol (Region V)
Province Catanduanes
District Lone district
Barangays 31
 • Mayor Gordon Subia Olfindo
 • Total 158.23 km2 (61.09 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 20,669
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip Code 4805
Dialing code 52

Viga is a fourth class municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 20,669 people.[3]

Viga is one of the eleven towns in the province of Catanduanes, located in the northeastern portion of the island. It occupies approximately 8.96% of the total land area of the island and 0.0406% of the entire country. It is nestled in one of the widest inland plains of the island, between three neighboring towns and the Philippine Sea. To the south is the town of Gigmoto, to the west is the town of Caramoran. It is about 52 kilometres (32 mi) north from the capital town of Virac.

Viga is an agricultural municipality, considered as the rice granary of the province. The two types of agricultural products raised are the food and export crops. The food crops being raised are palay, corn, banana and other root crops. The export crops are mainly Abaca and coconut. The area planted with these crops and the production derived there from is the principal source of livelihood by the inhabitants.


The site of the original settlement of Viga was at Caviga-e now called Viga. It was believed that a group of tribesmen led by “Abines” from the mainland were the first settlers. Due to frequent Moro raids, they fled inland and settled in a place where the primitive inhabitants were akin to the province’s pygmies. They called this place “Oco” (now barangay San José), meaning short people or dwarf. When the Moro threat diminished, the settlers move to the lowlands where the soil was more fertile. They selected the area where herbaceous giant gabi-like plants which they called “Marviga” grew abundantly. The settlers were of mixed stock as result of the enter-marriages between the natives and the migrating tribesmen.

In the later part of 16th century, a group of Spaniards believed to be a group of Juan de Salcedo’s expedition reached the place and subdued the natives. In then became a Spanish settlement. An Augustinian friar named Francisco Putiocan became the first Catholic Priest and recognized leader. The Spaniards called the settlement “Viga”, shortened from ”Marviga”. This name was subsequently adopted as the official name of the municipality.

During the Spanish colonization, the inhabitants were converted to the Catholic faith. As time went on they felt however, the strain of Spanish civil rule cruelties, when the Philippine Revolution broke out, many able-bodied natives joined the nationalistic movement and fought the colonizer.

When the Americans came, Viga was virtually liberated from the Spanish rule, civil government was established. When the Second World War broke out, Viga become the center of guerilla movement in the province. A pitch and running battle between the guerillas and escaping Japanese forces were simultaneously fought at Bangguerohan and Cabatangan where the latter was defeated.

In 1951, the barrios of Sicmil and Sioron were transferred to then newly created town of Gigmoto.[4]


Viga is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.[2]


Population census of Viga
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 16,270 —    
1995 18,569 +2.51%
2000 18,105 −0.54%
2007 19,266 +0.86%
2010 20,669 +2.59%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][5]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Catanduanes". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "An act creating the municipality of Gigmoto in the province of Catanduanes". Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  5. ^ "Province of Catanduanes". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 

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