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Component City
City of Catbalogan
Syudad han Catbalogan
Lungsod ng Catbalogan
Skyline of Catbalogan
Official seal of Catbalogan
Map of Samar showing the location of Catbalogan
Map of Samar showing the location of Catbalogan
Catbalogan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°47′N 124°53′E / 11.783°N 124.883°E / 11.783; 124.883Coordinates: 11°47′N 124°53′E / 11.783°N 124.883°E / 11.783; 124.883
Country Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Samar
Congr. district 2nd District of Samar
Cityhood 2007
Barangays 57
 • Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan
 • Total 274.22 km2 (105.88 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 94,317
 • Density 340/km2 (890/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Catbaloganons
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6700
Dialing code 55

Catbalogan, officially the City of Catbalogan or Catbalogan City, is the capital of Samar province, Philippines, with a population of 94,317 (2010 Census).[3] It is Samar's main commercial, trading, educational, political and financial center. It is also an important and major seaport serving inter-island vessels. Catbalogan City's central geographical location in Eastern Visayas makes it ideal as the gateway to the region's three Samar provinces. The city is often referred to as "The Gateway to Samar Region."

Each region of the country has its own patron saint, and their feast days are celebrated with gusto. Catbalogan City's Patron Saint is St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, and celebrates its city fiesta on August 24. Known in the Scriptures as Nathaniel, St. Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles of Christ and a martyr of the Christian faith. He also witnessed the Ascension of Jesus. Together with St. Jude, he introduced Christianity to Armenia during the first century. He preached in India, Mesopotamia, Iran and Egypt and was able to convert thousands to Christianity.

The Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division (Stormtroopers) is based at Camp General Vicente Lukban, Barangay Maulong, Catbalogan City. The camp is named in honor of Gen. Vicente Lukbán, a Filipino officer in Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's staff during the Philippine Revolution and the politico-military chief of Samar and Leyte during the Philippine-American War. Eastern Visayas' (Region VIII) Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters is also based inside the camp.


Catbalogan City was founded or settled sometime in October 1596 by the priests of the Jesuit Order (Society of Jesus) and became the cabecera (capital) of the whole island of Samar. Friar Francisco de Otazo, S.J., who arrived in the Philippines in 1596, founded the Catbalogan Mission and was thus the first missionary to bring the Catholic faith to the people of Catbalogan. In 1627, Catbalogan was raised to the status of residencia (residence or central house) and among its dependencies were Paranas where in 1629 Father Pedro Estrada actively evangelized the area and Calbiga where he took whiterocks or grey limestone to use as building blocks for its church. On October 17, 1768, Catbalogan was ceded to the Franciscans who took over from the Jesuits. The first Franciscan parish priest was Fray Jose Fayo, OFM.

During the early days of Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the 16th century, Samar was under the jurisdiction of Cebu but later was declared a separate province. In 1735, Samar and Leyte were united into one province with Carigara, in Leyte, as the capital. The union, however, did not prove satisfactory. In 1768, Catbalogan City became the provincial capital when Samar separated from Leyte and became an independent province.

On January 27, 1900, the Americans captured Catbalogan City during the Philippine-American War (1899–1902). On June 17, 1902, a provincial civil government was established on Samar Island by an act of the Philippine Commission with Julio Llorente of Cebu as the first governor of Samar.

On May 24, 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces landed in Barrio Pangdan and occupied the capital. On December 18, 1945, American and Filipino forces liberated Catbalogan City from the Japanese.

In 1948, the barrios of Jiabong, Jiaan, Malino, San Fernando, Casapa, Camoroboan, Lologayan, Magcabitas, Paglayogan, Dogongan, Bayog, and Malobago were separated to form the municipality of Jiabong.[4]

On June 19, 1965, the Philippine Congress, along with the province's three congressmen, Eladio T. Balite (1st District), Fernando R. Veloso (2nd District) and Felipe J. Abrigo (3rd District), approved Republic Act No. 4221 dividing Samar into three provinces, namely Western Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, respectively. Catbalogan City thus ceased to be the capital of the whole island-province after enjoying the prestige of being the premier town of Samar for 197 years since 1768. On June 21, 1969, under Republic Act No. 5650, Western Samar was renamed Samar with Catbalogan City remaining as the capital.

The greatest calamities to occur in Catbalogan City were big fires. The April 1, 1957 conflagration, considered as the most destructive one, caused damage to properties in the amount of thirty million pesos. The next was on May 19, 1969, where damage was estimated at twenty million pesos and the more than century-old Saint Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church was razed to the ground. Paradoxically, like the proverbial Phoenix, each time Catbalogan City suffered under the throes of these calamities, better buildings and infrastructures emerged from the ashes.

As early as 1960, Catbalogan already agitated to become a city. In 1969, Rep. Fernando P. Veloso sponsored House Bill No. 1867 creating Catbalogan into a city. The bill was being deliberated in the Philippine Senate, but the blaze of 1969 unfortunately caused it to be shelved. Subsequent efforts were made by Catbalogan's political leaders, such as Mayor Jesus B. Redaja, Vice Mayor Gerardo C. Teves, Councilor Art Sherwin Gabon, Mayor Coefredo "Tekwa" Uy and Vice-Mayor Manuel Van A. Torrevillas and Representatives Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura and Catalino V. Figueroa, respectively, to make Catbalogan's cityhood dream a reality despite strong and rabid opposition by the League of Cities of the Philippines, particularly Catbalogan City's neighboring Calbayog under the administration of Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento.

On March 15, 2007, Catbalogan finally attained its cityhood. Under the sponsorship of Senator Alfredo S. Lim and by virtue of Republic Act No. 9391, Catbalogan was converted into a component city known as the CITY of CATBALOGAN following a unanimous vote by the Philippine Senate. Senator Manuel Villar, Jr. (President of the Senate), Congressman Jose De Venecia, Jr. (Speaker of the House of Representatives), Oscar G. Yabes (Secretary of the Senate), Roberto P. Nazareno (Secretary General, House of Representatives) and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President of the Philippines) were among its signatories. The residents of Catbalogan overwhelmingly ratified this change through a Comelec plebiscite on June 16, 2007 with over 92% "Yes" votes for cityhood.

However, Catbalogan temporarily lost its cityhood, along with 15 other cities, after the Supreme Court of the Philippines in a very close 6-5 vote granted a petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared the cityhood law (RA 9391) which allowed the town to acquire its city status, unconstitutional.[5]

On December 10, 2008, Catbalogan and the other 15 cities affected filed a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court. 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."[6] As such, the cityhood status of Catbalogan was effectively restored.


Catbalogan City is blessed with its strategic geographical location on the central western coast of the province of Samar, in the Eastern Visayas region (Region VIII). It is bounded to the north by the municipalities of Tarangnan and San Jorge, to the east by the municipality of Jiabong, and to the west by the marine-rich Maqueda Bay with its beautiful and idyllic sunsets. The Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway) traverses Catbalogan City from Barangay San Vicente in the north through the poblacion to Barangay Lagundi in the south. Catbalogan City is about 800 kilometres (500 mi) southeast of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

The total land area of Catbalogan City is 274.22 square kilometres (105.88 sq mi). Its urban land area is 30.71 square kilometres (11.86 sq mi) and its rural land area is 244.25 square kilometres (94.31 sq mi). Its poblacion covers an area of 1.30 square kilometres (0.50 sq mi).


The topography of Catbalogan City is rough and its mountains are relatively high. Approximately 2% of the land area are plain and mostly found along the seacoast while 43% are rolling hills and 55% are mountainous.

The coastline of Catbalogan City is irregular with bays bordering the poblacion and other barangays. Its coastline has a total length of about ten miles.


The Antiao River traverses Catbalogan City and exits to the Maqueda Bay through its coastal section. It has a length of 2,140 meters with an average width of 37.55 meters and depth of 1.25 meters. This river serves as the primary outlet or artery for freshwater, transport network for some lowland and upland barangays of the city and mooring area for small and medium-sized sea craft during inclement weather.


Catbalogan City has a tropical climate and it is classified as mild where rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.

In Catbalogan City there is hardly a month without rainfall. Generally, there is no distinct dry season but the months of February, March, April and May comprise the short dry season. Rainfall is uniform throughout the year and heaviest during the months of November and December.

PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) maintains a Surface Synoptic Station (SYNOP) in Catbalogan City.[7]

Soil Types[edit]

The soils of Catbalogan City are of two types, namely, the Catbalogan clay loam and faraon clay. The clay loam, the predominant one, is developed from shales and sandstones. It is particularly suited for agriculture especially root crops. The faraon clay, on the other hand, is a residual from coralline limestone and is fair with organic matter contents. Limestone rocks are sometimes found on the surface.

Barangays (Villages)[edit]

Catbalogan City is politically subdivided into 57 barangays,[2] twenty-one of which are situated in the poblacion. Another twenty-one barangays are located in the coastal areas or island barangays and fifteen are in the interior or upland areas.

  • Albalate
  • Bagongon
  • Bangon
  • Basiao
  • Buluan
  • Bunuanan
  • Cabugawan
  • Cagudalo
  • Cagusipan
  • Cagutian
  • Cagutsan
  • Canhawan Guti
  • Canlapwas (Poblacion)
  • Cawayan
  • Cinco
  • Darahuway Daco
  • Darahuway Guti
  • Estaka
  • Guindaponan
  • Guinsorongan
  • Ibol
  • Iguid
  • Lagundi
  • Libas
  • Lobo
  • Manguehay
  • Maulong
  • Mercedes
  • Mombon
  • New Mahayag
  • Old Mahayag
  • Palanyogon
  • Pangdan
  • Payao
  • Poblacion 1 (Barangay 1)
  • Poblacion 2 (Barangay 2)
  • Poblacion 3 (Barangay 3)
  • Poblacion 4 (Barangay 4)
  • Poblacion 5 (Barangay 5)
  • Poblacion 6 (Barangay 6)
  • Poblacion 7 (Barangay 7)
  • Poblacion 8 (Barangay 8)
  • Poblacion 9 (Barangay 9)
  • Poblacion 10 (Barangay 10)
  • Poblacion 11 (Barangay 11)
  • Poblacion 12 (Barangay 12)
  • Poblacion 13 (Barangay 13)
  • Muñoz (Poblacion 14)
  • Pupua
  • Rama
  • San Andres
  • San Pablo
  • San Roque
  • San Vicente
  • Silanga
  • Socorro
  • Totoringon



Population census of Catbalogan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 70,470 —    
1995 76,324 +1.51%
2000 84,180 +2.12%
2007 92,454 +1.30%
2010 94,317 +0.73%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][9]


Catbalogan City can be reached from Manila or Tacloban City by land, air or sea.


Currently, no commercial flights to Catbalogan City are available. However, the Catbalogan City Airport on Buri Island is accessible to private and charter jets from Manila, Cebu and other destinations. Catbalogan City Airport is a feeder airport with a 1,200-meter (3,937 ft) long and 30-meter wide runway that can accommodate aircraft for general aviation.


The Port of Catbalogan City (Piers I and II) is classified as a national port and managed by the Catbalogan Port Authority. It is a major seaport that can handle passengers and cargoes to and from Manila, Cebu and other major cities. Roble Shipping has twice a week overnight ferry trips from Catbalogan City to Cebu City and vice versa.


Bus transit is the dominant public land transport to Catbalogan City from Manila or Tacloban City passing through the Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway). The public mode of transportation within Catbalogan City is by tricycles or pedicabs and passenger jeeps.

VSGRANDTours - Catbalogan City-based company providing transportation services to and from major cities and towns in Samar and Leyte provinces. With fixed routes: Catbalogan to Tacloban, Tacloban to Ormoc, etc.

Bus companies that ply the 24-hour Manila-Catbalogan City route including the 2-hour ferry from Matnog, Sorsogon to Allen, Northern Samar are the following:

  • Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. (BLTB)
  • CUL Transport
  • Eagle Star Transit Corp.
  • Goldline Tours
  • Inland Trailways
  • Philtranco
  • Silver Star
  • Ultra Bus
  • Villegas Transit
  • VS Pintados Inc.


Catbalogan City Schools belong to the DepEd City Division of Catbalogan.

Elementary Schools/Pre-Schools:

  • Catbalogan 1 Central Elementary School & SPED (Special Education) Center
  • Catbalogan 2 Central Elementary School
  • Catbalogan 3 Central Elementary School & SSES (Special Science Elementary School)
  • Catbalogan 4 Central Elementary School
  • Catbalogan 5 Central Elementary School (formerly Mercedes Elementary School)
  • Catbalogan Community School (formerly Catbalogan City Chinese Chamber School)
  • Dorcas Daycare Center
  • Little Birdie Child Development Center
  • Salug Elementary School
  • St. Mary's Child Development Center

Secondary Schools:

  • Antonio G. Tuazon National High School
  • Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School
  • Eastern Visayas Regional Science High School
  • Guinsorongan National High School
  • Pangdan National High School
  • Samar National School
  • Silanga National High School



  • Allied Bank
  • Asia United Bank
  • Banco de Oro
  • The CARD Bank, Inc.
  • China Bank
  • Development Bank of the Philippines
  • EastWest Bank
  • First Consolidated Bank
  • Land Bank of the Philippines
  • Metro Bank
  • Philippine National Bank
  • Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation
  • Rural Bank of the Philippines

Fresh Oysters locally harvested

Notable Attractions / Landmarks[edit]

  • St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church - The Church of St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, was built in 1616. The church did not assume its present form until 1814, when Father Felix Carreon, OFM, set out to repair the church following its initial burning in 1760. Father Martin de Yepes constructed the altars and also had a colonnade of wooden posts raised, thus dividing the nave into three sections. The facade used Ionic columns for its articulation. In 1835, the church burnt a second time but was rebuilt by the Franciscans. The old meter-high image of the patron saint, St. Bartholomew, is presently kept in the rectory. Behind the church are remains of the quadrilateral fort traced to Jesuit times.
  • The Rizal Monument at Catbalogan City Plaza - In front of the Catbalogan City Hall, there’s a small park with a unique bust of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, with his two novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo serving as the base. Holding up the books with the bust are three muscular men who are all naked except for a leaf that covers their genital areas. The three naked men, representing the Philippine archipelago's three major group of islands - Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, carry the books and the bust. The sculpture means to convey that "ours is a continuing burden to reform the social system, to pave the way for a better life for Filipinos." The naked men interpret as "naked in the sense that we are all equal." This one-of-a-kind Rizal monument in Catbalogan City is a tourist attraction and has been featured in news articles. The sculptor is Miguel Alcazar, a native of Catbalogan City. He studied at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, and he made the Rizal monument in 1959, before his family migrated to the United States. He died in New York in October 1980.[10]
  • The Pieta Park - located adjacent to St. Bartholomew Church and St. Mary's College of Catbalogan, it has a memorial honoring Catbaloganons and four thousand-plus others who perished in the tragic collision of the passenger ship MV Doña Paz and the oil tanker MT Vector on December 20, 1987. With an estimated death toll of 4,386 people, historians describe the Doña Paz tragedy not only as the world's deadliest ferry disaster but also the worst peace-time maritime disaster in history.
  • The Obelisk - located in the heart of Catbalogan City's Samar Provincial Capitol Park, it depicts four major events in Samar's history - the 1901 Balangiga Encounter that saw local revolutionaries inflicting the "worst single defeat" of the Americans during the Philippine-American War (1899–1902); the 1649 Agustin Sumoroy Rebellion in Palapag against the Spaniards; the October 15, 1596 arrival of the first Jesuit missionaries to Samar; and Queen Isabella II of Spain carrying a Royal Decree of August 11, 1841 declaring Samar as an independent province.
  • The Century Old Tree - a Balete tree (Ficus stipulosa Miq. Linn) found in Barangay Iguid, is believed to be over a hundred years old.
  • Bangon Falls - located in Barangay Bangon in the interior mountains of Catbalogan City
  • Basiao Island Beach
  • Buri Baras Cove Beach Resort - located on Buri Island, it is 12 km from the city proper. The beach has a long coastal stretch and is ideal for swimming and diving.
  • Cal-apog Leopard Beach Resort - a rocky beach located in Sitio Cal-apog, Barangay Bunuanan.
  • "Campo" Historical Landmark
  • Igot Cove
  • Juvie's Resort - located in Barangay San Roque, Buri Island
  • M Grand Royale Resort - located at Executive Heights, Barangay Guinsorongan
  • Malatugawi Island Beach
  • "Parola" - Catbalogan City's Lighthouse - located south of Barangay Mercedes
  • Payao Beach
  • Rosario Hills - located in Barangay New Mahayag
  • Samar Provincial Capitol
  • Sunshine Beach - a prominent beach located in Barangay Guinsorongan.
  • Waray Banwa Coral Reef - located just 2 km off Guinsorongan (Sunshine) Beach.


Catbaloganons have a zest for life, and this is reflected in their festivals. The people you meet in Catbalogan City will be friendly, helpful and hospitable.

  • The Manaragat Festival - Held during the annual August month-long Fiesta celebration (August 1–31), the Manaragat Festival is a tribute to the fishermen of Catbalogan City. Local fishermen share their catch of fish and other marine products which they trade in the market. The Manaragat is a festive dance characterized by varied movements and intricate steps of the different species of fish and sea shells inhabiting Maqueda Bay and beautifully presented by dancers in exotic and colorful costumes. The Manaragat Festival of Catbalogan City honors its Patron Saint, St. Bartholomew, every 24 August. St. Bartholomew, the miraculous Saint, is believed by the local folks to have maintained the richness of Maqueda Bay as the major fishing ground of the province of Samar.
  • Kaadlawan Han Samar (Samar Day) - August 11 - Festivities held in Catbalogan City, it marks the celebration of Samar's Foundation Day. The festival is participated by the province's two cities and twenty-five municipalities and includes agro-fisheries trade fair, civic military parade, cultural dance competitions, and Mutya Han Samar (Miss Samar Philippines) beauty pageant among other activities.
  • Tribu Katbalaugan - 2015 Grand Champion of Aliwan Festival in Pasay City.

Local Government[edit]

Elected Officials in the election on May 13, 2013:

  • City Mayor: Stephany Uy-Tan
  • City Vice Mayor: Art Sherwin Gabon
  • City Councilors:
    • Coefredo "Tekwa" Uy
    • Christine Joy L. Escober
    • Jeffrey Uy
    • Beethoven Bermejo
    • Martha Myla Cinco
    • Ernesto C. Arcales
    • Maximo Pescos
    • Nanette Jasmin Sabenecio
    • Rodrigo Perez III
    • Renante F. Aquino

Police and Military Human Rights Administration[edit]

Region VIII or the Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division

The Regional Police

The Provincial Police

The City Police Station


Lambda Beta Phí (Brotherhood Only)

Black Rose


Alpha Kappa Rho



Rotary Club of Catbalogan

Circulating Newsletter[edit]




Philippine Daily Inquirer

Manila Bulletin


Notable Catbaloganons[edit]

  • Michael Cinco - Dubai-based renowned fashion designer.
  • Antonio Eduardo Nachura - retired Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice; former Representative 2nd District of Samar, Solicitor General, Dean of Arellano Law School and Undersecretary, Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
  • Romero Quimbo - Representative, 2nd District of Marikina City and former Pag-IBIG president.
  • Tom Rodriguez - Actor, model and television celebrity best known for his roles in Be Careful With My Heart and My Husband's Lover.
  • Rosalio D. Martires - popularly known as Yoyong Martirez, he is a former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player, comedian, and member of the Philippine National Basketball team that played in the 1972 Summer XX Olympiad in Munich, Germany. He is also a past vice mayor and currently councillor of Pasig City.
  • Tessie Tomas - Actress
  • Prudencio Miel - Singapore-based award winning cartoonist who received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Illustration Award for 2001.
  • Anthony Tentativa - Paris-based fashion designer who was the grand prize winner in the Talents de Mode design competition in Paris, France.
  • Nelson Bohol - San Francisco Bay Area-based celebrated artist/designer at Pixar Animation Studios who has worked on movies such as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles etc. among others.
  • Cesario Antonio Singson - Topnotcher, 2010 Philippine Bar Examination


Source: Cities of the Philippines

Catbalogan City is a component city of the Province of Samar.


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Samar (Western Samar)". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 15 May 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 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "An act creating the municipality of Jiabong, province of Samar". Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ SC reverses self, upholds creation of 16 cities
  7. ^ Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
  8. ^ cagutsan Sierra
  9. ^ "Province of Western Samar". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  10. ^ GMA News Online post by J.I.E. Teodoro

External links[edit]