Allen, Northern Samar

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Skyline of Allen
Map of Northern Samar showing the location of Allen
Map of Northern Samar showing the location of Allen
Allen is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 12°30′N 124°17′E / 12.500°N 124.283°E / 12.500; 124.283Coordinates: 12°30′N 124°17′E / 12.500°N 124.283°E / 12.500; 124.283
Country  Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Northern Samar
Founded December 8, 1863
Barangays 20
 • Mayor Laureana Suan
 • Vice-Mayor Arturo Jr. Dubongco
 • Total 47.60 km2 (18.38 sq mi)
Population (2015)[3]
 • Total 25,469
Demonym(s) Allenian
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6405
Dialing code 55
Income class 4th

Allen is a fourth class municipality located in the north western tip of the province of Northern Samar, the northern province among the three provinces comprising Samar Island. The island of Samar is located in the central eastern portion of the Philippines, in the group of central islands known as the Visayas.

According to the 2015 census, Allen has a population of 25,469.[3] The town borders the municipality of Victoria to the south, the municipality of Lavezares to the east, and the strategic San Bernardino Strait both to the north and west.

Allen is known for being an important port for inter-island transport, specifically between the island of Samar and big island of Luzon.


Before the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines, the original Malayan name of the town was Minapa-a. During the Spanish colonisation period, the name of the town was changed to La Granja. The name Allen was given by the Americans in honor of the American General Robert Allen,[4] the military governor of the Visayas after the victory of the Americans over the Spaniards in the Spanish–American War.


Allen is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.[2]

  • Alejandro Village (Santiago)
  • Bonifacio
  • Cabacungan
  • Calarayan
  • Guin-arawayan
  • Jubasan
  • Kinabranan Zone I (Pob.)
  • Kinaguitman
  • Lagundi
  • Lipata
  • Londres*Santa*Frederic
  • Imelda
  • Lo-oc
  • Kinabranan Zone II (Pob.)
  • Sabang Zone II (Pob.)
  • Victoria
  • Tas Villa
  • Sabang Zone I
  • Sta. Rita
  • Kinabranan II
  • Pili


The area of present-day Allen was originally populated by natives of Malay stock from the western and central portions of the island of Samar, particularly Catbalogan and Calbayog. Successive migrations to Allen from other islands that are near Allen were characterised by several waves. Malays from the neighbouring Bicol Peninsula in what is now Sorsogon crossed what is now the San Bernardino Strait using small sailing barges, trading with the locals before settling in, and inter-marrying with the local Malays many years after. Simultaneously, Malays of southern stock from Bohol through the islands of Capul and San Antonio crossed the strait and settled in the area.

The heavy waves of migration from Bicol to Allen in Samar in the course of the centuries is attested by the fact that almost 70% of the peoples of Allen trace their ancestries to the families in Bicol, from the province of Sorsogon.

The first recorded persons to have their names officially entered into a Spanish census in Allen were that of Cosmenia Cajandab and Mariano Cabacang; both surnames originated from the island of Capul.[5]


Population census of Allen
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 15,404 —    
1995 17,972 +2.93%
2000 20,066 +2.39%
2007 22,334 +1.49%
2010 23,738 +2.24%
2015 25,469 +1.35%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][6]


Roll-on/roll-off ferry boats at Allen

Allen serves as an important transit point, connecting Samar and other islands with Luzon. It is opposite the Luzon transit point in the municipality of Matnog, Sorsogon. The primary modes of transport are the inter-island bus route via the Maharlika Highway, and the ferry crossing the San Bernardino Strait. Its location as a transit point makes it a future 'transitropolitan' area in the country.

Ferry Service[edit]

Ferries cross the strategically important Strait of San Bernardino, transporting passengers and vehicles to and from Allen in Samar and Matnog in Luzon. Travel time ranges between one hour to 2 hours depending on the speed of the ferry.


Buses from the various provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao bound for various destinations in Luzon pass through Allen, riding the ferry services of Allen to Matnog, and vice versa.

The bus terminals servicing the numerous passengers crossing the San Bernardino Strait are located at the piers and ports that are operational in Allen. Booking offices for buses that ply the route are also located at these terminals.


A number of relatively low-priced hotels and inns within the town serve most of the transit passengers for overnight stay, specially during bad weather when some stranded passengers take refuge in the small hotels and inns. During bad weather conditions, ferries cannot cross the San Bernardino Strait due to high waves.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Northern Samar". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Province of Northern Samar". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 

External links[edit]