1899-1900 United States. Philppine commission.

Report of the Philippine commission to the President, January 31, 1900-[December 20, 1900] (Volume 3) online

. (page 11 of 46)
Online Library1899-1900 United States. Philppine commissionReport of the Philippine commission to the President, January 31, 1900-[December 20, 1900] (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


gan, Cabilao, and Capalape are situated along the coast between
Loon and Calape.

Sequijor. Tnis island is the most important and populous of those
around Bohol. It is situated southeast of the lower part of Negros
and almost south of the strait which separates Cebu and Bohol, a dis-
tance of 23 kilometers southeast of the southern entrance of Tanon
Strait. The island is of but little altitude, very much broken, and is
formed of the central mountain, from whose sides flow in all direc-
tions the little streams which fertilize the island. Northeast of the
central mountain is Mount Gudringan, whose sides on the north and
east form Points Sandugan and Daquit. This island measures 27 kilo-
meters from west-northwest to east-southeast and 20 kilometers from
north to south.

The products of the island are tobacco of excellent quality, rice,
corn (scarcely sufficient for the wants of the people of the island),
hemp, and chocolate, which is exchanged for wax and cotton. A con-
siderable amount of rough hemp cloth is exported. Tortoise shell,
sea cucumbers, and birds' nests of inferior quality are collected.

The principal towns are Sequijor, on the best port of the island,
with a population of 11,695; Canoan, with 10,695; Lasay, with 7,629;
San Juan, with 6,171, and Maria, with 5,556. This is the most densely
populated island of its size, it having 88 inhabitants to the square
kilometer.



CHAPTER IX.

VISAYAS (C).

SAMAR, LEY,TE, AND THE ADJACENT ISLANDS.

[Maps Nis. 18, 19, and 30 of the Atlas of the Philippines.]

ISLAND OF SAMAR.

BOUNDARIES AND GENERAL CONDITION OF TH K COl'NTRY.

This large island, formerly called Ibabao, is the most eastern of the
Visayas. It is situated southeast of the eastern part of the island of
Luzon, from which it is separated by the Strait of San Bernardino.
Toward the southwest it is separated from the island of Le\ 7 te by the
narrow Strait of San Juanico, which runs from north to south, lying
between the southwestern coast of Samar and the northeastern coast oi
Leyte, and uniting that arm of the sea called the Western Sea of Samai
on the north and the bay of San Pedro and San Pablo on the south.
The Western Sea of Samar is the body of water lying between the
western coast of the island of Samar, the northern coast of Leyte, and
the eastern coast of Masbate. In it are situated the islands of Biliran.
Paresan, Buad, Maripipi, Canahahuan, Libucan, Mesa, Sibugay Ta<>-a-
pula, and others of lesser importance. It is a part of the sea not well
known, and is still quite dangerous to navigate. In general the coasts
of Samar still require detailed exploration, in particular the eastern
coast, which is irregular, mountainous, and bordered with small islands
and large rocks.

The district of Samar, in addition to the island of this name, includes
the small islands adjacent to its coast, among which may be mentioned
as most important Bolicuatro, Bateg, Capul, Dalupiri or Puercos,
Jornayol or Malhon, Laguan or Lavang, or Calamutanay, Manican,
Parasan, Buadlos, Nazanjos, Mesa, Tagapula, and Limbacanayan.

The shape of this island is that of an oblong square, but is very
irregular in the southwestern part. It is about 20 leagues long in a
straight line from north to south, and about 20 leagues wide in the
northern part from east to west. The country is mountainous, although
there are many fine valleys under cultivation.

ARKA AND INHABITANTS.

The area of the island of Samar and the adjacent islands is estimated
to be 13,471 square kilometers, and its population 185,386. In the
mountains there are about 10,000 native refugees who live an inde-
pendent and almost savage life.
98



REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. 99



About the middle of the western coast of the island is the town of
Catbalogan, the capital of the district. It is a much frequented port.
Its population is 6,072. Other towns are Balangiga, with 4, 130; Basey ,
with 12,852; Bobon, Borongan, with 12,563; Calbayog, with 20,725;
Calviga, Capul, Catarman, with 9,495; Catubig, with 11,517; Gandara,
with 11,101; Guiuan, with 12,872; Hernani, Jiabon, La Granja, Lanan,
Oras, Palapag, Painbujan, Palanes, Paric, Pinabigdao, Quinapundan,
San Julian, Saliedo, San Sebastian, Santa Rita, Sutat, Taranguan,
Tubig,Villareal, Tumarraga, Santa Margarita, Santo Nino, and Weyler.



PRODUCTS.



The products of the island are such as are found in all the archi-
pelago. There are many tine kinds of wood, especially those suitable
for shipbuilding, many varieties of wild fruits, various kinds of
bamboo, roots suitable for food, rattan, game, and fish. Wax and
honey, abundant in the extensive forests, are much prized by the
inhabitants; cocoanuts are abundant, and many of the inhabitants are
engaged in extracting the oil, particularly in the vicinity of Guinan.
At the present time the three most important products are rice, cocoa-
nuts, and hemp. Among the medicinal plants grown in this island the
most famous is the seed called "isigud" or the fruit of San Ignacio,
known also as Catbalogan seed, because it is grown in the vicinity of
that town. It has many excellent properties and is claimed by some
to be an antidote for certain kinds of poisons. (1) Father Murillo, S. J. ,
in his historical geography, speaking of these seeds, says that in
Peking they are much sought after by the Chinese, because they proved
so efficacious in an epidemic of cholera, no one dying who took this
remedy. There are, besides, many other plants having well-known
medicinal value.



ADJACENT ISLANDS.



There are perhaps 300 islands bordering Samar, of which only the
most important will be mentioned.



NORTHWESTERN COAST.



The Balicuatro Islands, situated onlhe northern coast of Samar, lie
between Points Balicuatro and Babon, about 18 miles to the east of the
former. They form two groups with Viri on the west^ composed of 4
islands, and the group of Cabauan Grande on the east.

Viri gr&up. The principal island, Viri, is situated 3 miles- from
Balicuatro Point. It is about 4 miles long and 3 miles broad. Its
two towns are Enriqueta and Viri. Quirnagaligan Island is situated
between Viri and Samar, and has one town of the same name as the
island.

CaJbaulan Grande group is situated to the east of Viri and near to
the coast of Samar. The principal island of the group is Cabaulan
Grande.

Along the same northern coast are found the islands of Laguan,
Batag, and Cahagayan, which form and shelter the famous port of
of Palapag. The island of Bacuii is about 3 miles to the east of Port



100 REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION.

Palapag and very near to the coast of Sarnar. In general the northern
coast of Samar is bordered with islands, shoals, and rocks, which render
navigation very difficult.



THE WEST COAST.



Capul. This island lies southeast of the Ticlines group, with which
it forms the Strait of San Bernardino. It is of medium altitude, th.
highest lands being in the vicinity of Abac, which lies on the western
coast, 2i miles from the southern point of the islands. The town <>i'
Abac has a population of 6,834. In the northern part of the island
is the bay known as Puerta de Galeras. Copper is found in the
mountains.



TICLINES GROUP.



This group, composed of three islands, called Calintan, Tuac, and
Ticlin, forms, with the coast of Luzon, the Strait of Ticlines, which
runs from northeast to southwest.

Calintan. This island lies about 5 cables' length to the southeast
of Point Culasi; it is the most southern of the Ticlines and about a
mile in length. Its forests abound in ebony.

Tuac, an island near to and south of Calintan, having a length of
\\ miles from north to south and a breadth of one-half a mile from
east to west, is likewise mountainous and covered with ebony trees.

Ticlin. This island is situated two-thirds of a mile from Point
Pandan.

Naranjos Islands. This group, situated 7 miles to the south of
Tajiran on the coast of Luzon, is formed by the six little islands called
San Anreas, Rosa, Del Medio, De la Darsena, De la Aguadu. and
Escarpada.

Datupiri, or Hog Island, is situated between the island of Capul and
the western coast of Samar; it is low, covered with trees, and sur-
rounded by a rock-strewn beach. It has two towns or villages, Dalupiri
and El Pilar. Game is very abundant, especially wild hogs. In the
central part there is a lake containing large numbers of crocodiles.

Tagapula. This island, in the southern part of the Naranjos group,
is mountainous and has but one small village.

Mesa, a small island southeast of Tagapula, is also mountainous.

Limbancanayan is situated east of Mesa or Talajit; it is quite flat
and has one town, Santo Nino, with a population of 5,640, and one
village.

Camandag (Sibugay), an island to the east-northeast of Mesa, is cir-
cular in form, of medium elevation, and about 2 miles in diameter.

Libucan group. This is a little group, composed of three islands
and various isles, 4 miles west of Point Traguan.

Libucan- Daco, about 2 miles in length, is the largest of the group
and has a good anchorage.

Tangad- Libucan is a small island 1 mile northwest of Libucan-Daco.
To the southwest of the principal island of the group are the little
islands of Maraquit-Daquit, and to the southeast the Lalaya isles.

Buri. This island is 2f miles to the northwest of Ca.balogan; it
has two anchorages, one to the east and the other to the north.

In some of these former islands there are villages or hamlets.

Canahauan Islands. These islands are situated near the western
coast of Samar, 8 miles to the southwest of Catbalogan. They include



REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. 101

various islands and isles, as follows: Timpasan, Canalinan-daco, Canali-
nan-gutiay, Boloang, Cavantiguianes, Balading-daco, and Batgongon.
These islands lie in the form of an ellipse, 4i miles long in the direction
west, northwest, south, southeast, and 2 miles in breadth, in the center
of which is a fine anchorage, protected against all the monsoons.

The great Bay of Maqueda is formed by the coast south of Catbalo-
gan and the islands of Parasan and Buad.

Parasan. This island, lying at the entrance of the Bay of Maqueda,
is 10 miles long from north to south, 5 miles wide, very low, and has
some sandy beaches. It has one town, of the same name as the island.

Biiad, an island lying to the east of Parasan, at the entrance of the
Bay of Maqueda, is almost circular in shape, about 4| miles in diameter,
and has but little elevation. The town of Buad is of little importance.
The town of Zumarraga, on the west coast, has a population of 6,404.
There are several villages.

Daran. This is the largest of the islands bordering Samar, and
extends irregularly from north to south, forming two peninsulas of
almost equal size. It is low and has extensive mangrove swamps. It
is situated west of Parasan and Buad and is surrounded by little
islands. Along the shore there are some villages and hamlets of little
importance.

iintarcan is an island to the south of the bay of Maqueda, in the
northern part of the entrance to the strait formed by the island of
Daran, on the coast of Samar. It has a few villages or hamlets along
the coast.

Canal de Tanatabas is in the west, northwest extremity of the strait
of San Juanico, which separates Samar and Leyte.

Tanaban and Tanabaay. These island are situated in the middle of
the channel.

Tabualla. This island is situated above the rounded point which
terminates the narrow entrance of the channel on the north coast.

Tanabon lies southeast of Jabualla and Tanabaay; it is triangular in
shape and elongated from northwest to southeast. Many rocks lie
along the coast. At the northern entrance of the famous channel of San
Juanico is the so-called strait of Santa Rita, the name being that of
a town of 3,014 inhabitants, situated on the western coast of Samar.



STRAIT OF SAN JUANICO.



This strait is one of the most attractive natural scenes in the archi-
pelago. It has an average width of 6 cables length, but in certain
places is not over 2 cables in width. It is neither regular in depth
nor in the character of the bottom, the soundings varying from 9
meters to 20 meters in the middle of the channel. In general, the bot-
tom is covered with shells in the north and sand in the south, some
places being rocky. Many little islands and shoals render this pic-
turesque channel still narrower. The currents in the channel and the
character of the coasts render navigation very difficult. In the low
caves in the bluffs along the coasts on the Samar side of this channel
the remains of human skeletons have been found which in size are
r Jiueh superior to those of the actual inhabitants of the neighboring
islands.



102 REPORT OF "THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION.



BAY OF SAN PEDRO AND SAN PABLO.



The strait of San Juanico terminates on the south in the bay of San
Pedro and San Pablo. The town of Guintuhan is at the head of this
bay, on the most western of the two arms, into which the Cadann or
Vasey River enters.



RIO VASEY AND THE CAVES OF SA.TOTON.



The tide water of this river, as indicated by the nipa groves, reaches
several miles inland ; from there the river is very shallow and rapid.
presently passing a natural arch formed by two fallen rocks support-
ing each other and surrounded by limestone rocks from 10 to 12
meters high. In front, and opening like a mouth, rises a sort of
portal of rocks of beautiful appearance; they are 8 or 10 meter* in
height, and through the opening a part of the river may be seen. In
the wall on the left of this oval court, 11 meters above the water, a
cave opens, quite easy of access. This cave is about 28 meters in
depth and terminates in a narrow part, where a species of table or
altar is formed of the limestone rock. There is found an open space,
and the grouping of the rocks shows them to be the remains of a
stalactite cavern, whose roof has fallen in. This is the place called
"Cuevas de Sojoton."

In a little indentation to the east of the bay, about 5 miles from the
Vasey, is the little town of Pansignican, and about a mile and a half
south of this town is Basiao. Between them is a series of picturesque
rocks, reaching an altitude of 28 meters ; they are rounded and their
summits covered with vegetation, and worn away on their bases by
the action of the water, appearing to rise as gigantic mushrooms
above the waves. In ancient times the inhabitants buried their heroes
and old people on these rocks, placing in the coffins all of the objects
which were most valued during life.



GUIMANOC.



This little island, situated at the head of the ba\ r and in front of the
river Vasey, is regular in outline, high, and formed on a table.



THE SOUTH COAST.



Manicani. This island is situated 4 miles to the southwest of the
town of Guinan; it is almost circular, 2 miles in diameter, and has a
central mountain of medium height. It is surrounded on all sides,
except the northwest, by a reef about 3 cables in length. It has a
roomy anchorage between the bluffs on the north of this island and
the coast. Various small islands extend in all directions in front of
this anchorage. The point south of Samar terminates in a little
island very close to the shore.



THE EAST COAST.



This coast is very little known. While on an expedition to the
southern part of Samar we had occasion to admire the magnificent nat-
ural port of Pambujan, which, in our opinion, is the best in all the
islands. It is situated between points Maritiano and Buri, and is easy



REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. 103

of entrance, clear and deep, having in its interior a channel called
Tangbab, which is well protected from all winds. It is formed by a
series of small islands extending parallel to the coast between Pambu-
jan and Hernani.

A few miles to the north of Pambujan is the famous port of Boron-
gon, at the entrance of which are the islands of Audis and Davinnbo.

To the north of Salat are the islands of Catalaban and Anchao.

More to the north, in front of the port or bay of Gray, lie the
islands of Hilaban and Tubabao. To the south-southeast of Hilaban
there extends a series of islands in the form of a semicircle, terminat-
ing in the little island of Pasig, in front of the town of Dolores.



THK NORTH COAST.



The important islands here are as follows:

Laguan. This island forms, with the island of Samar, a narrow chan-
nel, which unites the bay of Lagnan with the strait of Calomatan.
The town of Lagnan, situated in the southwestern part, has a popula-
tion of 7,773. There are several villages on this well-populated island.

Batag. This island is situated to the north-northeast of Lagnan. It
is rather low, and aids in sheltering Port Palapag. There are but few
inhabitants, the only important village being Mahinog.

Cahagayan. This is the smallest of the islands which form the port
of Palapag; it is surrounded by rocks.

Bacon. This island lies 3 miles east of the port of Palapag, and
very near to the coast of Samar; it is formed of high, rocky land.
All the coast of the north offers but little security to shipping, on
account of the reefs and little islands which rise close to it.

THE ISLAND OF LEYTE.

BOUNDARIES AND GENERAL ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY.

This island, belonging to the Visayas, is situated between Samar,
Dinagat, and Mindanao on the southeast, Bohol on the southwest, and
Masbate on the northwest. It is elongated in shape, very irregular, and
much wider on the north and south than at the center. It has a length
of 160 kilometers from north to south, and is 75 kilometers wide at its
broadest part. On the northern extremity of Leyte, forming with it
a little channel, is the island of Gingantagan. To the south of the bay
of Ornoc lie the Camotes Islands, and near to the coast, and in front
of Mount Sacripante, lies a group of four little islands. The eastern
coast of Leyte is separated on the northeast from the island of Samar
by the narrow strait of San Juanico, this island being almost united
to it b}- a tongue of land, which forms the northwestern point of Leyte.
To the east of the island is the island of Biliran, with which it forms a
narrow channel of the same name. Toward the east exists the channel
of Tanabatas in the west-northwest extremity of San Juanico, formed
by the islands of Jabualla, Janabon, and Tanabaay.

To the north of the bay of Guinatungan lie the little islands of
Cabugan. In the southeast the sharp point in which this island termi-
nates forms, with the adjacent island of Panaon, the strait of this
name and the port of Liloan. The interior of the island is mountainous,
there being a number of craters of extinct volcanoes. In these



104 REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION.

mountains are found large numbers of shells, which indicate that great
physical disturbances have been suffered by this island. At one time
the water dominated its mountains, and probably caused the separation
of this land from Samar, with which it undoubtedly in ancient times
was joined. The large valleys of the island are cultivated by the
natives. There are two lakes, one called Bito, and the other, a small
one, in the region of Jaro, to the north, this communicating with the sea
through the Leyte River.



AREA AND INHABITANTS.



The province, including the adjacent islands, has an area of 9,976
square kilometers and 270,491 registered inhabitants.

LANGUAGE.

Visaya is the language spoken.

TOWNS.

The capital, Tacloban, is a beautiful town, situated at the entrance
of the strait of San Juanico, on the bay of San Pedro and San Pablo.
It is a well-known port. The town has some fine buildings, both pub-
lic and private. Other towns of importance are: Abuyoc, with 9,534
inhabitants; Alanggalang, with 2,038; Albuera, Bato, Babatungan,
Barugo, with 12,755; Baybay, Buranen, with 21,200; Cabalian, Capoo-
can, Cajaguaan, Carigara, 13,099; Gaibiran, Dagami, with 12,220;
Dulag, with 13,557; Hitongos, Hinunangan, Hindang, Inopacan, Jaro,
with 10,422; Hinimdayan, Leyte, Ma-asim, Macrohon, Malibago, Mal-
itbog, Maripipi, Matalom, Merida, Ormoc, Palos, with 18,297; Palom-
pon, Pastrana, Quiot, San Isidro de Campo, San Miguel, Sogod Tan-
anan, with 17,046; Tolosa, Tabonstabon, and Villaba.

PRODUCTS, INDUSTRIES, AND WAYS OF COMMUNICATION.

The mountains are covered with forests; from these are obtained
pitch, honey, sugar, and many varieties of building woods. There
are mines of gold, lead, and silver, and mines of sulphur. The
exports of the island are important, among these being hemp of the
value of $5,000,000, sugar of the value of $50,000, and chocolate,
coffee, oil, corn, cattle, horses, and hogs to the value of $63,000.
Wax, honey, bird's nests, shells, sponges, and pearls are exported in
small quantities. The most important product is hemp, no other

Erovince being able to compete with Leyte, because its plantations
ave been under cultivation for forty years. These plantations require
very little work, the crop being permanent, abundant, and of excel-
lent quality. There are but four interior towns. The important
ports are Tacloban and Carrigari on the east coast, and Ormoc,
Baybay, Ilongos, Ma-asim, and Malitbog on the west coast. The
land within the jurisdiction of the province is 572,000 hectares, of
which 250,000 are under cultivation, the remainder of the land being
mountain or grazing land. In some of the towns of the eastern coast
the women are very skillful in the manufacture of fabrics and in
embroidering. The eastern coast of Leyte has many good roads suit-
able for carriages at all times of the year. The western coast has but



REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. 105

few such, and others suitable for horses. Communication by sea is
more frequent, as the large number of gulfs and bays, although they
may cause breaks in the roads, furnish good interior waterways.

ADJACENT ISLANDS.

THE NORTH COAST.

Maripipi. This, the most northern island, is a rounded mountain y
covered with vegetation, and having an elevation of 911 meters above
sea level.

SaiYibahuas. These are small islands or rocks very close together and
surrounded by a sandy shoal.

Balizan. This important island lies to the extreme northwest of the
island of Leyte, and has approximately a length of 20 miles from north-
west to southeast and a breadth of 10 miles. It is mountainous, quite
high, and in the north is seen the beginning of the small mountain chain
which divides it longitudinally. The highest peak of this chain is in the
western part. The most important towns are Almeria, Naval, and
Bilizan on the western coast, and Caibizan on the eastern coast. There
is a multitude of little villages along the coast. This island is noted for
the sulphur springs in the mountains.

Calumpijan. This little island lies about a mile from the shore, east
of the sharp mountain peak called Pacduhuuan. The little islands of
Polo and Calajit lie in the middle of the little channel formed by the
island of Bilizan on the north coast of Negros.



THE WEST COAST.



Gigantangan. This island lies li miles from Point Taglanigan, north-
west of Leyte, and is 2 miles long from north-northwest to south-south-
east and 1 mile wide.

Calangaman. This is a little island 7 miles west of Vantay. From
Villaba to Ormoc nothing but very small islands and reefs are found.

Camotes. This is the name given to some small islands which form
a group united by little reefs. They are called Pacijan, Poro, and
Poson, there being a little island to the north of Poicajon called Talong.
They are situated to the north of the Bay of Ormoc and of Pozios,
which is the most northern of the group, and 5 miles from Point
Catunangan, which forms a wide and deep pass. The islands are
inhabited and have some small towns and villages.

Cuatro Islas group. These are about the only islands found near
the coast between Ormoc and Inopacan. The most northern of the
islands is the smallest, and is called Duquio. The largest, south-
southwest, is Mahabas; another, nearer the coast, Apit, and that
faithest to the south, Himaquitan.

Canigao. This is an island of little importance, and is about the
only one found between Inopacan and Ma-asim.

THE SOUTH COAST.

Lamasana. This island is situated 2 miles southeast of the south-
ern point of Leyte, is long and narrow, 4 miles from north to south
and 1 mile in breadth. It has two little towns, San Bernado and
Triana.

p c VOL 301 12



106 KEPOKT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION.

Pauaon. This island is separated from the southeastern part of
Leyte by the little strait of the same name; it is mountainous, long



Online Library1899-1900 United States. Philppine commissionReport of the Philippine commission to the President, January 31, 1900-[December 20, 1900] (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 46)