History of Kawayan

The origin of the town probably dates back between the 6th and the 7th century when the moro marauders were rampant in the vicinity of the Visayas seas. The Natives of Cebu, Bohol and the neighboring islands were frequently threatened by same of Lapu-lapu’s Christian converted descendants settled along the seashore beside a rocky hill. This settlement was called Telegrapo . More group of people came in, specially Cebuano speaking for safety.

The name Telegrapo was later changed to San Clemente when General Mojica happend to pass by the place in going to mainland Leyte. The name San Clemente was derived from the name of the general’s only son. Subsequently raided by the Moros, the folks had to post guard atop the hill overlooking the sea. To protect the guards from hostile elements, they planted bamboo trees around the area which become the dence in no time. The dense growth of bamboo trees, “Kawayan” in local terminology, impressed travelers that the settlement’s name was associated with and revolved to Kawayan. Hense, Kawayan is the name up to the present.

Kawayan and the neighboring barrios in the north were once part of the town of Almeria, the older settlement. Sometimes in 1906, just few years after the Philippine-American Roman Catholic churches affected the Parish of Almeria. The usual procedure of the spanish sonquistadors was to have a church built near the town hall. The church played and important role in the affair of the government. When the progressive town of Naval was established, the Almeria parish was transferred to the former.

The vacuum worried the Almerian councils engaged in a heated debate, over the proposals of some councils members to bring the Aglipayan priest. The northern councilors were against the idea. Finally, Mayor Margarito Sabornido decided with some councilors to accept the Aglipayan priest to administer religious affair. The decision infuriated devout Catholics in the north that they filed a protest with the military Governor of Leyte who decided to suspend the mayor and appointed Matthew MacFarland to replace him.

It was during the administration of Macfarland that the township of the municipality was transferred to Kawayan being 31 yrs. after, when township has been granted to Almeria. Kawayan’s area in the south was reduced to Tabunan north of the river, as the boundary line between Almeria.

Kawayan was refuted to be founded by Capitan Basio with Recardo Sanoza as Justice of Peace. The chosen municipal president/mayors in chronological order:

Municipal President/MayorsDate
Matthew MacFarland1906-1909
Alberto Del Rosario1909-1912
Santiago Palquera1912-1916
Francisco Victorioso1922-1928
Pastor Mecaydor1928-1931
Narciso Antipolo1931-1934
Simplicio Jaguros1934-1943
Jose Dingcong and Domingo Otic (Japanese Occupation)1909-1922
Maximo Salloman1945-1948
Cenon Pancito1948-1955
Froilan Jaguros1955-1967
Alberto Sipaco Sr.1967-1971
Froilan Jaguros1988-1992
Gina B. Ang1992-1998
Caridad Atok-Angincumbent


The Municipality of Kawayan is located on the northern tip of the island province of Biliran. It is one of the eight municipalities of the province, and about 17 kilometers from Naval, the provincial center. It is bounded on the North by the Samar sea; on the south by the Municipality of Almeria; on the east by the Municipality of Culaba and on the west by the Visayan sea. It approximately located at 142*25*10″ east longitude and 11*30*25″ north longitude.

The Municipality composed of twenty(20) barangays namely: Inasuyan, San Lorenzo, Tucdao, Ungale, Madao, Baganito, Villa Cornejo, Mapuyo, Burabud, Bilwang, Bulalacao, Masagaosao, Balite, Poblacion, Tubig-Ginoo, Kansanoc, Balacson, Buyo, Masagongsong and Tabunan North. Except fot Kansanok and Tubig-Ginoo, all the other barangays are situated along the coast.

Kawayan had also administrative jurisdiction over the islets of Tagasipol,Tagnocan, Genoru-an and Tingcasan. Except for Tingcasan, these islets were uninhabited.

All barangays in the Municipality of Kawayan could be reached by transportation through existing road links. Inayusan the last barangay on the northeast is 18 kilometer from the town proper. While Tabunan north, the last barangay on the south is 3.5 kilometers.

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