Samar, also known as Western Samar, is a province on Samar Island, located in the eastern portion of the Philippines. It lies southeast of Luzon and occupies the northernmost section of Eastern Visayas. It is separated from Luzon on the north by San Bernardino Strait and from Leyte on the southwest by the narrow San Juanico Strait. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by Leyte Gulf and on the west by the Samar Sea.
Many names (Samal, Ibabao, Tandaya) were given to Samar Island prior to the coming of the Spaniards in 1596. The name Samar was derived from the local dialect “samad”, meaning wound or cut, which aptly describes the rough physical features of the island that is rugged and deeply dissected by streams.During the early days of Spanish occupation, Samar was under the jurisdiction of Cebu. In 1735, Samar and Leyte were united into one province with Carigara, Leyte as the capital town and again Samar became a separate province in 1768.
The province of Samar comprised the whole Samar Island before the approval of Republic Act 4221 on June 19, 1965 which divided the island into three provinces: Northern Samar, with Catarman as capital; Eastern Samar, with Borongan as capital; and Western Samar (officially known as Samar) with Catbalogan as capital. Eastern Samar and Northern Samar bound the province of Samar on the east and north, respectively, Leyte Gulf on the south and the Samar Sea on the west. The province of Samar is composed of two congressional districts, 24 municipalities and two cities (Catbalogan and Calbayog). It has a total of 952 barangays.
The tourist attractions of Samar include the Sohoton National Park, Sohoton Natural Bridge, Panhulugan Cave, Sohoton Cave, Panhulugan Cliff, Bugasan and Kapigtan Caves, the Ruins of the Tinago Church, the Basey Church, Bangon Falls, Malajog Beach, Lo-ok Beach, Tinago-an Cave, Mawacat Slide, Blanca Aurora Falls, Pan-as Falls, Ton-ok Falls, Lologayan Falls, Mapaso Hot Spring, Darosdos Falls, Calbayog Cathedral, Danao Cave, Guinogo-an Cave, Samar Archeological Museum, Guimit Cave, Obelisk, Kinabut-an Spring, Ruins of Bangahon, San Juanico Bridge, Lulugayan Falls and Rapids, Langun-Gobingub Cave, and the Marabut Marine Park.