Viga, Catanduanes

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Official seal of Viga
Nickname(s): Rice Granary of the Province of Catanduanes
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 / 13.87°N 124.3°E / 13.87; 124.3Coordinates: 13°52′N 124°18′E / 13.87°N 124.3°E / 13.87; 124.3
Country Philippines
Region Bicol (Region V)
Province Catanduanes
District Lone district
Founded Year 1661
Barangays 31
 • Mayor Emeterio 'Bong' Tarin (United Nationalist Alliance)
 • Vice Mayor Jennifer Tuplano (Liberal Party)
 • Total 158.23 km2 (61.09 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 21,624
 • Density 140/km2 (350/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 4805
IDD:area code +63 (0)52

Viga is a fourth class municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 21,624 people.[3]

Viga is one of the eleven towns in the province of Catanduanes, located in the north-eastern 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.


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 inter-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 pitched 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 mostly rugged and mountainous terrain. Its slope characteristics are 29% gently sloping to undulating, 3% classified rolling to hilly, 18% very hills and mountains, 6% level to very gently sloping, 13% steep hills and mountainous, and 13% plains. The prominent mountain forms with important significance include the ranges are Summit and Magsumoso. The largest coastal plain is the contiguous wetlands over which lays the widest area of rice paddies and a vast swamp full of nipa and mangroves. 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.

Forest and Vegetation[edit]

Viga is a biodiversity hotspot. Its lush rainforest is home to Philippine brown deer (Rusa marianna), flying foxes, and other endemic bat species, warty pigs, civets, cobras, giant pythons, monitor lizards, sailfin lizards and other endemic animals. Exotic bird species such as Philippine hornbill, rail, parrot, bittern, egret, pheasant, coot, lapwing, plover, Philippine duck, quail, owl, oriole, kingfisher, swiftlets and many more are also found. In fact, a record of "Philippines Birding Trip Reports" has found out massive bird species in several portions such as the watershed and timberland forests reserve where scattered deer populations are also usually reported. Unfortunately, one bird subspecies, the Catanduanes Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba luzonica rubiventris) had experienced over-exploitation in the late 20th century. Although most forests are still intact, this species has suffered over-hunting. It is very rare and believed to be near extinction or already extinct as its last reported specimen was collected in 1971.

The Southern giant slender-tailed cloud rat (budkon/bugkon) which is found only in Catanduanes and the southern half of Luzon Island, is still widely reported. It is critically endangered as humans hunt them for food and for some extent, as pets. In mainland Luzon, sightings of this wonderful creature is already rare while in Marinduque, it is generally considered extinct.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The Catanduanes narrow-mouthed frog (Kaloula kokacii), an arboreal amphibian which is found only in Catanduanes and some parts of Bicol, enjoys its diversity but being carefully monitored. Clearing of some forests may possess threat to amphibian species. An amphibian Hylarana similis is found only in Catanduanes and Luzon islands. One of the very recent species found in Catanduanes and portions of Bicol region is the new loam-swimming skink, a legless reptile with its assigned scientific name Brachymelesmakusog. The rich dipterocarp forest also harbor numerous tropical plant species including the threatened species of pitcher plants and rafflesia as well as endemic banana varieties. Many highly economical hardwood tress such as yakal, apitong, palosapis, and molave are still found in the forests though local reports indicate that these species are already threatened. Mangrove forests exist in several coastal areas but the largest locations are in Banquerohan (Viga-Panganiban).

Marine Diversity[edit]

The marine environment of Viga is also ecologically rich as its terrestrial zones. Coastal reefs harbor many endangered and threatened types of mollusks such as giant Triton, cowries, abalone, cone snails, conches, octopuses, squids, and nautiluses. Marine mammals are also reported to frequent on its coasts such as species of dolphins and whales which appear in March–June. Many edible marine algae such as caulerpa, valonia, and turbellaria also grow abundantly on its rough coasts. Viga is nestled in the very beginning of the Kuroshio Current; a sea current that runs through Eastern Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. This current performs an array of physical and biological functions in countless marine life like migration and breeding. This explains why migratory fish tracks are usually encountered in its waters. Tuna migration can be seen on its peak in the months of April and May. Dugongs were once known to swim on coasts but this event is already becoming extremely rare.

Viga coast is one of the best spots for flying fish population; a flying fish can attain its fullest size which may weigh 300 grams (11 oz). Rabbitfish, a kind of reef fish is one of the most heavily exploited marine tropical fish in the locality. Its fry that comes out in shallow coasts during the breeding season (March–May) are fished in large volumes. Approximately 10 million rabbitfish fries are caught annually. That natural event supplies food for many people but its ecological impact can be devastating. Nature advocates started to strengthen their campaign for an eco-dialogue for this matter. Sea cucumbers are also known to be abundant in many islets of the eastern coasts facing the Pacific Ocean.


Population census of Viga
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 3,938 —    
1918 13,424 +8.52%
1939 11,232 −0.85%
1948 11,000 −0.23%
1960 20,880 +5.49%
1970 14,839 −3.35%
1975 16,063 +1.60%
1980 15,863 −0.25%
1990 16,270 +0.25%
1995 18,569 +2.51%
2000 18,105 −0.54%
2007 19,266 +0.86%
2010 20,669 +2.59%
2015 21,624 +0.86%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][5][6][7]

In the 2015 census, the population of Viga, Catanduanes, was 21,624 people,[3] with a density of 140 inhabitants per square kilometre or 360 inhabitants per square mile.


Viga is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.[2]

Barangay Population Income Class[8]
(2015)[3] (2010)[5] (2007)[6]
Almojuela 3.0% 651 556 523 Rural
Ananong 1.9% 409 424 407 Rural
Asuncion Poblacion 2.6% 556 533 456 Rural
Batohonan 0.9% 198 180 169 Rural
Begonia 3.1% 675 653 361 Rural
Botinagan 1.3% 273 299 307 Rural
Buenavista 3.6% 779 753 695 Rural
Burgos 4.6% 1,003 962 904 Rural
Del Pilar 1.7% 366 360 306 Rural
Mabini 1.8% 396 382 287 Rural
Magsaysay 2.8% 612 566 529 Rural
Ogbong 4.8% 1,042 1,006 844 Rural
Osmeña 2.0% 422 368 340 Rural
Pedro Vera (Summit) 6.6% 1,427 1,248 1,156 Rural
Peñafrancia Poblacion 1.6% 354 339 334 Rural
Quezon 3.7% 797 714 694 Rural
Quirino (Abugan) 1.2% 255 228 208 Rural
Rizal 6.1% 1,329 1,274 1,295 Rural
Roxas 2.7% 581 541 208 Rural
Sagrada 3.1% 666 626 659 Rural
San Isidro Poblacion 1.3% 284 333 311 Rural
San Jose Poblacion 4.0% 870 909 833 Rural
San Jose (Oco) 5.5% 1,183 1,163 1,040 Urban
San Pedro Poblacion 2.6% 571 550 569 Rural
San Roque Poblacion 3.8% 829 728 656 Rural
San Vicente Poblacion 3.7% 800 728 684 Urban
Santa Rosa 2.9% 634 604 559 Rural
Soboc 4.0% 869 852 713 Rural
Tambongon 5.4% 1,163 1,190 1,066 Rural
Tinago 5.0% 1,080 1,058 1,073 Rural
Villa Aurora 2.5% 550 543 521 Rural
Total 8.3% 21,624 20,669 19,266 4th Class [9]


Viga is an agricultural municipality, considered as the rice granary of the province. The two types of agricultural products raised are food and export crops. The food crops 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.


Elementary Schools[edit]

List of public elementary schools in Viga

Name of School Location Principal
Botinagan Elementary School Botinagan
P. Vera Elementary School P. Vera
Summit Elementary School Summit
Batohonan Elementary School Batohonan
Ananong Elementary School Ananong
Ogbong Elementary School Ogbong
Tinago Elementary School Tinago
Almojuela Elementary School Almojuela
Osmeña Elementary School Osmeña
Soboc Elementary School Soboc
Sagrada Elementary School Sagrada
Mabini Elementary School Mabini
Viga Central Elementary School San Pedro Pob.
San Jose (Oco) Elementary School San Jose (Oco)
Magsaysay Elementary School Magsaysay
Quirino Elementary School Quirino (Abugan)
San Vicente Elementary School San Vicente
Burgos Elementary School Burgos
Buenavista Elementary School Buenavista
Roxas Elementary School Roxas
San Roque Elementary School San Roque
Del Pilar Elementary School Del Pilar
Begonia Elementary School Begonia
Rizal Elementary School Rizal
Tambongon Central Elementary School Tambongon
Sta. Rosa Elementary School Sta. Rosa
Quezon Elementary School Quezon
Villa Aurora Elementary School Villa Aurora

National High Schools[edit]

The table below contains the list of all the public senior high schools found in Catanduanes published by the Department of Education or DepEd. Included on the list are the municipalities, school ID, school names, and program offerings.

List of public/national high schools in Viga

No. Name of School Location Program Offering
1 San Jose National High School San Jose (Oco) General Academic Strand & Technical Vocational Livelihood
2 Tambognon National High School Tambongon General Academic Strand & Technical Vocational Livelihood
3 Viga Rural Development High School Viga Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Accountancy, Business, and Management; & Technical Vocational Livelihood

Places to visit[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Catanduanes". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Census of Population (2015). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "An act creating the municipality of Gigmoto in the province of Catanduanes". Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  5. ^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Province of Catanduanes". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  8. ^ name="psgc">Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  9. ^ Philippine Standard Geographic Code

External links[edit]