Northern Samar is the province consisting of the northern part of the island of Samar and its offshore islands to the north.
The provincial capital of Northern Samar, Catarman, is accessed by daily flights from Manila and other provincial
airports such as Tacloban. Part of the Eastern Visayan region, Northern Samar is bordered in the north by Biri Island and the San Bernardino
Straight, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Samar Sea. Often referred to as one of the last frontiers of the country, Northern Samar has a rich and diverse history.
From the mid 1500's through to the early 1800's, Northern Samar was the first landfall made by the Spanish treasure galleons following a
lengthy sea voyage across the Pacific from Acapulco in modern day Mexico. This trade route was of vital importance to the Spanish
and the largest ships of the day sailed this route carrying fortunes in gold and silver to Manila to pay for the silk, porcelain and jade
transported to Manila from trade with China. Those trade goods were then transported on the return voyage back to Acapulco for the overland
trip to the Atlantic coast and onwards to Spain. Upwards of 700 passengers would travel on each voyage and such was the importance of this
trade route that the loss of a single ship in any one year could throw the Spanish economy of the Philippines into turmoil.
The fortified island of Capul was often visited by the galleons to offer thanks for a safe voyage at the Jesuit church before the
onward voyage to Manila.
Northern Samar is still much undiscovered and off the beaten tourist track.
Throughout the province of you will find ancient Spanish churches, wild forests, deserted beaches and stunning waterfalls, all mostly
deserted and free for you to explore alone. Three gems of Northern Samar are the islands of Biri, Capul and Dalupiri (San Antonio) all
offshore to the north of Samar Island.
The protection of the natural beauty of Northern Samar has been assured by Presidential decree.
In the year 2000, much of the coastline of Northern Samar and as far north as Biri Island including many smaller islands and offshore
reefs became a protected area under Presidential order ensuring the region will maintain its pristine environment for generations to come.
A number of NGOs are now active throughout the region assisting the local population and LGU's to not only protect what is there now but
to restore what has been damaged in the past through harmful practises such as mangrove deforestation and reef destruction through dynamite
and cyanide fishing.
For further information please visit: www.biri-initiative.org