Diocese of Calbayog
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In a land area of 5,591 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the civil jurisdiction of the province of Samar (formerly known Western Samar).

Samar Island occupies the eastern portion of the Philippines. It lies southeast of Luzon and covers 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. The territory is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by Leyte Gulf and on the west by the Samar Sea.

Population

The total population in the diocesan territory is 702,133 as of the end of December 2009.

Language

The native language of the majority in Samar province is Samarnon-Waray-Waray (also known as Waraynon, Samarnon, or Samar-Leyte Visayan). However, in the island municipalities of Almagro and Santo Niño, Cebuano is the native tongue. Other languages spoken are Tagalog, which is the base language of Pilipino, the national language. English is also widely spoken, and is the medium of instruction in schools and used in business transactions and government official communications.

History

Suffragan of Palo
Created: April 10, 1910
Comprises the civil jurisdiction of the province of Western Samar
Titular: Sts. Peter and Paul
Feast Day: June 29

Leyte and Samar were once considered one province by the Spanish government placed under the jurisdiction of Cebu. In 1768 it was divided into separate provinces, with Tacloban as the capital of Leyte and Catbalogan the capital of Samar.

On April 10, 1910, Pope Pius X separated the island provinces of Samar and Leyte form the Diocese of Cebu, and erected the Diocese of Calbayog comprising both island provinces. In 1914 the Franciscans turned over the administration of the parishes of Samar to the secular clergy.

On Nov. 28, 1937, Pope Pius XI separated Leyte from the Calbayog diocese by creating the Diocese of Palo, in Leyte. On Oct. 22, 1960 Pope John XXIII decreed the division of Samar by creating the Diocese of Borongan, also in Samar. And again on March 11, 1975, Pope Paul VI decreed the creation of the Diocese of Catarman, also in Samar. Thus the whole island of Samar now has three dioceses: Calbayog in Western Samar, Borongan in Eastern Samar, and Catarman in Northern Samar. These three dioceses belong to the Ecclesiastical Province of Palo, Leyte, and are suffragans of this archdiocese.

Vision: "A community of persons united in faith, hope and love, centered in Christ, living by the Word and the Sacraments, prophetically witnessing to the Gospel values of sharing, unity, peace and justice, in solidarity with the poor, within the concrete historical situation and needs of the people of Samar, under the guidance of the Magisterium and the example of Mary, Mother of the Church."

Goal: "The Diocese of Calbayog shall have Ecclesial Communities that are renewed, transformed, animated and consumed by the Gospel values of sharing, unity, peace and justice in solidarity with the poor, imbued with the spirit of Vatican II and Plenary Council of the Philippines II, conscious and actively working toward Total Human Development, whose impact will be felt by society."

Thrust: "Basic Ecclesial Communities that are committed to Evangelization and Total Human Development."

Political

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.

Transportation

Calbayog Airport is an airport serving the general area of Callbayog City, located in the province of Samar in the Philippines. The airport is classified as a Class 2 principal (minor domestic) airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.

By Land
From Manila
Calbayog is accessible by land from Manila daily. Several bus companies operate the route such as CUL, Ultrabus, Philtranco and Silverstar. Approximate time of travel is more or less 18 hours.

Calbayog is also accessible by land thru the different bus companies that ply the Mindanao-Manila route which passes through the Pan-Philippine Highway.

Sea Port
Calbayog City Port is used by passenger boats plying the Calbayog-Cebu-Calbayog route and chartered cargo ships to transport copra and abaca hemp to other points of the country. Imported products like flour, cement, and other construction materials and other commodities are also brought in through this facility. Another port is also situated at Barangay Manguinoo, Tinambacan District. Such is a private one which could accommodate bigger vessels and inter-island vessels as well and considered to be an alternative seaport. Inter-island vessels dock regularly at ports to load/unload people and cargoes to and from Manila and Cebu. Two shipping lines for Manila and two also for Cebu are serving Catbalogan; while Calbayog City has two shipping line for Cebu and one for Manila. Motorized bancas or motorboats are available in going to and from the nearby municipalities and barangays.

Roads and Bridges
The Maharlika Highway links Samar to Luzon and Mindanao. The total road network in the province is 1,217.20119 kilometers long. Bridges connecting the national roads have a total length of 2,399.64 linear meters, while those connecting the provincial roads are stretched over 309.90 linear meters.

Passenger and cargo vehicles from Samar are transported by ferryboats from Allen, Northern, Samar to Luzon across the San Bernardino Strait through Bicol road network. Southbound transport to Mindanao is possible. Ferryboats sail for Surigao from Liloan, Southern, Leyte. Ferryboats also service the Leyte-Cebu waterway from Pingon, Isabel, Leyte.

Road classification is broken into the following: National roads, 326.18019 kilometers; provincial roads, 290.439 kilometers; municipal roads, 69.515 kilometers; barangay roads, 520.832 kilometers and city roads, 10.235 kilometers.

Sources of Power
The Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant in Leyte is the primary source of energy in Samar province through the two Electric cooperatives. SAMELCO I covers 10 municipalities and 1 city, Calbayog City of the First District of Samar. SAMELCO II covers 15 municipalities including the capital town of Catbalogan of the Second District of Samar.

On the other hand, the Ton-ok Mini-Hydro Plant in Oquendo, Calbayog City is a reserve source of electricity for the city. The Bugtong Falls in Tinambacan is also a potential for hydro-generated electricity with an estimated capacity four times more powerful than the Ton-ok Falls.

Sources of water supply in the province are deep wells, shallow wheels, surface water and protected spring and rivers. The most feasible water source for domestic water supply of most communities in the province is from groundwater. In areas were Level II and III projects are identified for development, additional hydro geological investigation should be conducted. A number of untapped springs and surface water could harness for Level II or III service to serve the inadequately served or unserved residents.

Economy

The annual per capita income in the diocesan territory is (in Philippines Peso) 16,641 (USD356 as of May 2010).

Agriculture
The big land area of the city is generally divided into agriculture and forest areas. Agricultural lands are subdivided into production, built-up area, protection land, mangrove, severe erosion area, and watershed forest reserve; while forest lands are further subdivided into open canopy, logged-over areas, built-up and protection areas.

Its major products are copra, abaca, rice, vegetables, corn, rootcrops, fruits, bamboo, & nipa.
Major Industries
a.) Integrated Mussel Industry (Jiabong)
b.) Coco Oil Industry (Calbayog)
c.) Tinapa Industry (Calbayog)
d.) Native Cheese Processing (Gandara)
e.) Abaca Industry
f.) Ticog Industry (Basey)
g.) Fishing Industry
h.) Copra Industry

Financial Institutions
There are sixteen (16) banks operating in the province with nine (8) branches based in Catbalogan and another eight (8) in Calbayog. Some rural banks are also operating in various municipalities of the province. It offers loans and other services aside from the regular savings deposits.

Telecommunication

Telephone System
There are two local telephone systems operate in Catbalogan (BAYANTEL and TELOF) and one in Calbayog City (Calbayog Telephone System in cooperation with PLDT). These systems provide domestic as well as international direct dialing. Public Calling Offices are also available to accommodate clienteles aside from the local subscribers. Other PCOs are provided by PLDT and EVTELCO in Catbalogan. The Telecommunication Office (TELOF) of the Department of Transportation and Communications has provided telephone lines to the municipalities within the province specifically the Poblacion. The use of cellular phones makes communication accessible even to remote areas thru text messaging.

Telegraph Stations
Government telegraph exchanges facilities are available in every municipality of the province, aside from a private telegraph company based in Catbalogan and Calbayog City.

Postal Services
The Philippine Postal Corporation provides the postal services in almost all the municipalities. The corporation takes charge of these services that include receipts of mails, issuance of money order, dispatch and delivery of mails. In terms of delivery, it has its express mail service that is the fastest service. Private forwarders (JRS, LBC, etc.) are also available in Catbalogan and Calbayog City.

Newspapers
National newspapers are also available in the province, which is transported by air through Tacloban City and/or Calbayog City. Available also are three local periodicals.

Radio Stations
There are three local radio stations serving the province. These are DYMS located in Catbalogan and the other two stations, DYOG-Radyo ng Bayan and Radio Natin FM which are located in Calbayog City.

Television Stations
There is one affiliate TV station and one government —owned TV relay station in the province, all located in Calbayog City. However, there are eleven Cable Television providers in the province, two in Catbalogan, another two in Calbayog and the rest are in other municipalities of the province.

Topography

Samar province is hilly, has some mountain peaks ranging from 200 to 800 meters high and narrow strips of lowlands, which tend to lie in coastal peripheries or in the alluvial plains and deltas accompanying large rivers. The largest lowlands are located along the northern coast extending up to the valleys of Catubig and Catarman rivers.

Smaller lowlands in Samar are to be found in the Calbayog area and on the deltas and small valleys of Gandara and Ulot rivers. Slopes are generally steep and bare of trees due to deforestation. Run-off waters after heavy rains can provoke flooding in low-lying areas and the erosion of the mountains enlarges the coastal plains of the province.

The province of Samar is composed of two (2) congressional districts, twenty four (24) municipalities and two (2) cities (Catbalogan and Calbayog). It has a total of nine hundred fifty two (952) barangays. Samar belongs to Eastern Visayas, Region VII.

Education

Literacy rate (simple literacy) 85.5 percent

Culture

Sarakiki-Hadang Festival: September 1-8

SARAKIKI is a local term apparently referring to premeditated or frenzied movements which means to allure, to draw with, to attract or exercise attraction, to entice or to win. By its pre-colonial denotation, it means to praise, extol or eulogize spirits of gods. The word does not only ascribe to the ritual or hadang as an activity to gratify the gods, but likewise hadang as the offering or the sacrifice.

HADANG a ritual dance. Sarakiki as a ritual dance per se is a dance-offering of the Warays to their deity or deities which traces its roots to pre-colonial religious beliefs. Calbayognons held that spirits occupied a position of command over the power of nature which may inflict harm or do good in society. Rituals to please these spirits were held during feasts and other occasions like planting and harvest season, drought and in times of dreadful epidemics. The ceremony could last a couple of days. It involved the entire villagers who offered (manok) sacrifices to venerate the spirits. Traditionally, our forefathers make use of patani ug ugis nga manok (black feather and white feather chicken) as the offering in veneration of the spirits.

SARAKIKI-HADANG in a nutshell, had two elements: one, the way the ceremonies were prescribed; two, the offering to the supernatural. In the former, ceremonies were done in all sort of gesticulations and body movements — that of the chickens - uproar and shouting in rhythmic beating of talutangs and pealing of bells. The other element was the use of patani ug ugis nga manok as the sacrifice. A manok serves as an offering and indubitably as a part of the ritual.

In the context of cultural development, the term Sarakiki is adapted to describe the significance of the movements used in the famous dance "kuratsa", a courtship dance eminent to all Calbayognons. Today "kuratsa" is the most popular dance form consummated in all celebrations most especially during wedding jovialities. Sarakiki is likewise place forth in songs particularly the SADA-SADA an event of merriment in the evening before a wedding ceremony, which redound to one of our most well-liked tradition, the so-called pamalaye or pamamanhikan. Another confirmation is the thumbs-up form of the Calbayognons while dancing which represents the tahud.

Bagolan Festival, June 29
It features merrymaking and thanksgiving by coconut farmers, who after the backbreaking work of pangopras (harvest), gather to drink tuba (coconut wine), share stories and laughter and break into a dance accompanied by the sounds and rhythm of the bagol (coconut shell).

Pahoy-Pahoy Festival, May 24-25
Pahoy-Pahoy Festival, an after-harvest ritual celebrated by the people of Calbiga is a ritual and has became part of Christian tradition of the annual town fiesta held every May 24-25 in Calbiga, Samar. Pahoy in the Visayan dialect means "scarecrow"-- the farmer's alter ego that drives pests away from their ricelands. The town showcases giant pahoy-pahoy (scarecrows) made of indigenous materials dancing in the streets to the sound of musical instruments made up of bamboos, cans and stones that scare the maya or ricebirds. It features the legend of Pahoy as they drive off the evil spirits and ricebirds that ruined their rice lands and agriculture. They commemorate the time when the tribe "humanoid" saved the village settlers from famine. Groups of dancers from different barangays join the parade, dressed like pahoy and move in the same stiff manner as scarecrows to contrapuntal drumbeats or other native instruments. Also, a giant pahoy joins the parade while dancing to the drumbeats.

Arts
The center of kut-kut art. A technique combining ancient Oriental and European art process, considered lost art and highly collectible art form. Very few known art pieces existed today. The technique was practiced between 1600 and 1800 A.D. Kut-kut is an exotic Philippine art form based on early century techniques — sgraffoto, encaustic and layering. The merging of these ancient styles produces a unique artwork characterized by delicate swirling interwoven lines, multi-layered texture and an illusion of three-dimensional space.