THE PROVINCE AT A
During the early days of Spanish rule, Samar Island was under
the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Cebu. In 1735, Samar and
Leyte were merged to form one province. Three years later, Samar
was separated from Leyte, and Catbalogan became its capital.
At June 19, 1965 Samar Island was divided into three provinces:
Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar. The name of
Western Samar was changed to Samar on June 21, 1969.
Waray is the lingua franca here
as in the rest of the province but many people are conversant in
English and a great deal of sign language.
As an agriculture province, the most important
products are coconut, rice, corn and abaca. There are a few
large industries such mining, jellyfish processing and logging.
Samar Province has the largest marble reserves in the region.
Large-scale drying and salting of fish are done in Catbalogan
for consumers in upland areas and the Manila market.
Cottage industries include woodcraft, shell craft,
basket-weaving and abaca processing.