Our Lady Of the Most Holy Rosary

Naval Fiesta 2017 Schedule of Activities

Naval will celebrate its 157th town fiesta in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary on Oct. 6 – 7 , 2017.

12octAll Day31Naval Town Fiesta 2021Oct. 1 -2, 2021Time has ran out! Better luck next time!

Naval Fiesta 2017 Schedule

Naval Fiesta 2017 Schedule

Partial list of the Sport Activities for this year's fiesta.

Partial list of the Sport Activities for this year’s fiesta.

September 26 – October 1, 2017Pasundayag 2017 (c/o LGU) -Tawag ng Tanghalan -Bikini Open -Bingo -Naval Got Talent, etc.
September 26, 20178:00amPueblo Day
7:00pmPasundayag (Cultural Night) with different Barangays, national, local agencies, local agencies, officials and NGOs
September 27-October 5, 20179-day Novena Mass
October 1, 2017Religious, PWDs, Women, and Senior Citizens’ Night Pasundayag
October 3, 20178:00amMotorcade (Miss Naval 2017)
8:00pmSearch for Miss Naval 2017
October 4, 20171:00pmParade
2:30pmBanda Hudyaka
7:00pmYouth & GAD Night
October 5, 2017NSU Alumni Homecoming
October 6, 20176:00amFluvial Procession (5-clusters composed of different Barangays)
8:00amParade (Playground Demonstration
5:00pmVesper Mass
10:00pmCoronation Night: Queen of Naval
October 7, 20175:00amDiana
10:00amPontifical Mass
1:00pmTown Fiesta Street Parade
3:00pmBagasumbol Festival 2017 & Search for Bagasumbol Queen
8:00pmTsinelas Party

Biliran Airport

The Biliran Airport is located in Catmon Barangay, Naval, Biliran Province.

The Biliran Airport was built 7 kms away from Naval poblacion. Constructed in the 1970s as an adjunct of the Busali Ranch, believed to have been acquired by the Marcos Dynasty.

The length of the runway in Biliran aiport is 1,000 m.

Air Juan is the only commercial operator who operates charter flights mainly Cebu-Biliran-Cebu route three times a week.

Biliran by Air. The Biliran Community Airport in Naval is well maintained by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Chartered flights to and from Cebu have prices ranging from P25k to P40k.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

#NavalFiesta2016 Naval Town Fiesta 2016

Naval will celebrate its 156th town fiesta in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 , 2016.

The town fiesta was returned to its October schedule starting in 2007, to be closer to the actual feast day of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.


Recent Accomplishments in the History and Culture Scene of Naval

Dr. Rolando O. Borrinaga

(Speech at the 155th Naval Pueblo Day Program on September 26, 2015, held at the Municipal Grounds in Naval, Biliran.)

It is my great honor and pleasure to be with all of you again for the 155th anniversary of Naval Pueblo Day. Except for last year, when I could not come here because of a conflict in schedule to speak at a conference that launched a new regional history group in Tacloban, I always came here for this celebration since the year 2007. But although absent, I still had my speech on the history of disasters in our town read to you by Vice-Mayor Redy Villordon. This is my small symbolic way of giving importance to and supporting a mayor who is a native of and had grown up in Naval. Kanang mayor nga lumad ug nagtubu dinhi sa Naval.

We have accomplished much in the history and culture scene of Naval since Mayor Susan Parilla was voted into office in 2007. That year, we corrected the date of the founding of Naval pueblo based on updated information from my research. We also returned the commemoration of the town fiesta from January to its original October schedule. A unique component of our celebrations that started in 2007 is the Tsinelas Party on the evening of our fiesta, which has become a magnet of its own for people to join our affair.

I must emphasize here that by the time the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo popularized his Tsinelas brand of leadership and governance under the Aquino Administration in 2010, our Tsinelas Party in Naval was already four years old. Naunahan natu silang tanan.

Our Tsinelas Party has replaced the annual Grand March to welcome the New Year at midnight every December 31. One non-native past leader suppressed the previous unifying cultural and democratic ritual years ago, and in the process also caused the demolition of our iconic old Town Hall and Municipal Quadrangle, on the place now occupied by the Naval Gymnasium.

This can also be done again for the democratic Tsinelas Party and its underlying message of protest. But fortunately, our people will never run out of creative alternatives to subvert suppressive acts that are intended to divide and control us – ang mga lumad nga taga Naval.

In 2008, I launched my third history book titled Leyte-Samar Shadows: Essays on the History of Eastern Visayas here in Naval, as a component of the Pueblo Day and Naval Town Fiesta activities that year. This book includes a number of chapters I had researched and written that shed light on the history of our hometown.

In 2010, we had a grandiose celebration to commemorate the 150th or Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Founding of Naval as Pueblo and Parish. Many of you still hold fond memories of the events of that year, which were documented and published in a hard-cover edition of a commemorative book with limited circulation, but which has a digital edition that I think can still be accessed in the Internet.

In 2011, aspects of Naval’s ancient history made it to primetime television, dramatized in the epic-series titled “INDIO” that was serialized by GMA-7 TV Channel over a period of several months, for which I served as History Consultant. For some time, the Bisayan words “Ilawod” and “Ilaya,” which are still place-names in our town, as well as the construction of galleon boats, which is represented on our municipal seal, were frequently mentioned in this historical fiction series.

In the same year, I discovered the original petition papers for the creation of Naval pueblo at the Philippine National Archives in Manila. I had the documents photo-copied and, after returning home to my Tacloban residence, I took time to flesh out the handwritten texts in Spanish, and had this translated to English and to Cebuano-Binisaya. I read my Cebuano translation of the original petition document during my speech here in 2012.

From this document we can infer that Bagasumbul, the old name of Naval that was handed to us by our forefathers, came from the abbreviated fusion of the names of Bagombong and Nasombol, the two visitas or large villages that proposed the creation of a new pueblo separate from the mother town of Biliran, which would be named Naval when approved. Thus, Bagasumbul was a transitional name that lasted about three years, from the signing of the petition in January 1857 until the erection of the Naval parish on September 26, 1860, which completed the pueblo creation process.

I turned over a framed set of the photo-copied petition document to Mayor Parilla in 2012, and I saw this hung on the display board of the Old SB Hall in the Municipal Building. I hope the corresponding transcriptions of its Spanish text and its translations to English and Binisaya would be displayed beside this important document.

Mayor Parilla will end her three terms as Naval mayor next year. As a concluding project, I hope she will allocate some funds for a magazine-type publication that would include my speeches, papers, the Naval pueblo petition, and other documents related to our Pueblo Day commemorations that came up during the nine years of her administration.

This publication will have an educational value for instilling pride of place and of heritage, and it will be useful to our teachers and students at all levels of the academe in Naval. They will then have some ready reference materials at hand about the history and culture of our town. And this is something that can be handed down to the next and future generations of Navaleños.

Salamat ug maayong buntag sa atong tanan.

Padre Inocentes Garcia. This is the official name of the barangay, although it is called Ilaya by the residents. It was named after the founder of the pueblo of Naval, Fr. Juan Inocentes Manco Garcia, the parish priest of Biliran pueblo who served the entire area of the present province from 1839 to 1861 [Jose 2008, 37]. In our language, Ilaya refers to the interior part of a land mass. This poblacion barangay is the educational center of Naval, being the location of the Naval Central School and the former Naval High School, now the Naval State University.

Padre Inocentes Garcia Naval

Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province

Padre Inocentes Garcia (Pob.), Biliran Island, Philippines

Padre Inocentes Garcia. This is the official name of the barangay, although it is called Ilaya by the residents. It was named after the founder of the pueblo of Naval, Fr. Juan Inocentes Manco Garcia, the parish priest of Biliran pueblo who served the entire area of the present province from 1839 to 1861 [Jose 2008, 37]. In our language, Ilaya refers to the interior part of a land mass. This poblacion barangay is the educational center of Naval, being the location of the Naval Central School and the former Naval High School, now the Naval State University.

It has a population of 4,744 (2010 Census).

Fiesta: May 14-15

Patron Saint: San Isidro Labrador

Barangay Officials

Barangay Captain: Casas, Merle Garcia

Calves, Apollo Bernadas
Saulan, Miraflor Icain
Villordon, Roel Co
Ponferrada, Rosita Sabonsolin
Opeña, Aladin Espejon
Josep, Fina Garcia
Zamora, Bernard Jay Payod

SK Chairman: Pitao, Christian Edzmhar Almen

Padre Inocentes Garcia In Pictures





Smo. Rosario Naval

Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province

Santissimo Rosario Pob. (Santo Rosa), Biliran Island, Philippines

Santissimo Rosario. This is the official name of the barangay, although it is called Baybay by the residents. It was adopted from the Spanish noun modifier of the patron saint of our town, the Birhen del Santissimo Rosario (Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary). Baybay is the Bisaya word for coastal area, which aptly describes the geography of this poblacion barangay. Photo by Jalmz[/caption]

It is the commercial center of Naval.
It has a population of 2,420 (2010 Census).

Fiesta: Every last monday of the month of August

Patron Saint: Sr. San Roque

Barangay Officials

Smo. Rosario Barangay Officials

Smo. Rosario Barangay Officials

Tel No: +63 53 500 9835




In Pictures




An aerial view of Brgy. Atipolo, Naval, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz

Atipolo Naval

Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province

Atipolo, Biliran Island, Philippines

Atipolo. The place has always been called by its natives as Tipolo, which is actually the Bisaya word for Antipolo (Artocarpus communis). The word Artocarpus is derived from the Greek words artos (bread) and karpos (fruit). Antipolo is a large tree, similar in habit, size, and leaf characteristics to Rimas (Artocarpus altilis) [http://www.stuartxchange.com/Antipolo.html].

It has a population of 3,325 (2010 Census).

Fiesta: April 29-30

Patron Saint:  San Roque

Barangay Officials

Barangay Captain: Gaviola, Alicia Sabong

Bulat-ag, Rudolfo Mabag
Neduelan, Amador Saberon
Tonelete, Joenard Escalicas
Tambis, Junathan Roladan
Matugas, Angeles Sabucohan
Casado, Necitas Bernadas
Verian, Oliver Oledan

SK Chairman: Sabagkit, Ervin Abby Sabornido

In Pictures




Contemporary History of Naval

By Ben Granali

(This guest article first appeared in the 1995 Naval Town Fiesta Program. Mr. Ben Granali is a recognized Naval-based writer who retired from government service as administrative officer of the Naval General Hospital.)

The surging prominence of the town of Naval in the destiny of the Province of Biliran can be seen as that of a favored child of fortune. Naval was the first instant large settlement in Biliran; known in 1600 as Isla de Panamao. Before World War II, it had already assumed a dominant role among the towns of Biliran. Naval became the capital of the subprovince of Biliran in 1959, and undisputedly the capital of the new province in 1992.

Naval has always played a dominant role in the politics of Biliran because of its population. Projected at 31,392 in 1994, Naval’s population is 25.26 percent (one-fourth) of the provincial total of 124,269. Of the 78,988 registered voters of Biliran Province in 1992, 18,715 or 23.69 percent were registered in Naval.

The fact that Naval holds the lead in population and will continue to do so can be attributed to its capability to support a large number of people. The territory of Naval comprises a total land area of 10,710 hectares, which is 19.27 percent (one-fifth) of the total land area of Biliran. The fertility of the soil, the abundance of fresh water, evident in its springs and flowing rivers, the beneficent climate and the rich marine resources have drawn people to settle in Naval.

In writing the history of Naval, the author takes the liberty of arbitrarily dividing its history into time capsules as an aid to research and, because of the lack of space, for the purpose of concentrating on the periods of more interest to present Navaleños.

  1. The beginnings of Naval from 1600 to September 22, 1869.
  2. Naval from an independent pueblo on September 23, 1869 to 1898.
  3. Naval during the transition from 1898 to 1946.
  4. Naval from July 4, 1946 to the present.

o – 0 – o

Naval from July 4, 1946 to April 8, 1959

We posit July 4, 1946 as the beginning of the historical period of Naval under the Republic of the Philippines. Naval had gone through the Japanese Occupation unscathed.

Ysaias Icain, who was mayor during the war years, was replaced by Pablo Caneja and Fidel Limpiado successively in 1945, the latter’s term ending in 1947 when Pablo Caneja was elected mayor for the next four years. Absalon Sablada was mayor from 1952 to 1955. He was succeeded by Brigido Caneja, Sr., who served for four consecutive terms.

To one accustomed to the amenities of life, living conditions in Naval in 1946 would seem to be primitive. There were no electric plant, water system, hospital, fire department, nor transportation within the poblacion or to the outlying barangays.

Naval was virtually isolated from the seat of the provincial government in Tacloban City, which was 123 or more kilometers away. There was no road then connecting Naval, Biliran, and Leyte-Leyte; no bridge spanning the channel from Biliran to the mainland of Leyte.

In 1946 a big step was taken in the development of higher education when the Naval High School was opened, making secondary education affordable to students from Biliran (Island). For the school year 1951-1952, the Naval Junior Teachers College (a private school) was organized. It offered secondary and college courses, but the college closed after one year of operation.

During the term of Absalon Sablada, a Liberal, the reservoir at Bungot Spring was constructed and a water system was installed in the poblacion through funds secured by Carlota Limpiado. A Nacionalista vice-mayor of the previous administration, Limpiado turned Liberal in exchange for the construction of the waterworks.

(NOTE: Mr. Granali failed to mention that the name of Carlota Limpiado, a progressive woman leader of Naval, was also linked with the existence of a radio station and an electric service in Naval in the 1950s. There was electric power in Naval until the early 1960s. – ROB)

Naval as the Capital of the Subprovince

On April 9, 1959 Biliran became a subprovince when R.A. 2141 was signed into law by President Carlos P. Garcia. The author of R.A. No. 2141 was the Hon. Marcelino R. Veloso, Congressman of the Third District of Leyte.

It did not take long for the subprovincial officials to realize that the powers granted to the lieutenant governor were limited. R.A. No. 6415 of 1971 was enacted amending R.A. No. 2141 and created the positions of assistant fiscal of the subprovince, subprovincial engineer, subprovincial health officer, and subprovincial treasurer. The law specified that the appointees thereof shall exercise such powers and perform such duties vested in their respective office by law as if the Subprovince of Biliran was a different and separate province.

Uldarico Reyes was appointed the first lieutenant governor of the new subprovince; he was later elected lieutenant governor, thus serving from 1960 to 1967. Dr. Jorge Zamora served his term from 1968 to 1971. Gov. Teofilo Sabonsolin served a 14-year term, from 1972 to 1986. Gov. Jose Gonzales served as an appointee from 1986 to 1988 when he was elected governor; he resigned in early 1992 to run for congressman. With the plebiscite in favor of the provincehood, Gov. Wayne M. Jaro was appointed by Pres. Fidel Ramos as the first governor of the full-fledged province of Biliran..

The mayors of Naval during the period were Brigido Caneja, Sr., who served from 1956 to 1971; Arturo Velasquez from 1972 to1979; Niceto Limpiado from 1980 to 1986; Fortunato Casas from 1986 to 1987; Gorgonio Contredas and Francisca Bangcuyo in 1987; and Simeon Pitao from 1988 to the present (1995).

From 1946 to 1959, 13 had passed and still Naval lacked the necessary services that would improve the way of life of the people.

In 1961, the Naval Emergency Hospital as it was known then and the Naval School of Fisheries were organized in Naval. These two institutions proved to be of great benefit to the people.

The hospital not only served one of the expectations in the pursuit of a better quality of life for the people. It also played a vital role in the socio-economic life of the capital town and of the subprovince. It provided jobs. It funneled money into circulation through salaries, local purchases, and infrastructure projects. It rendered hospital services to the indigent sector, believed to be 80 percent of the population.

The desire of the people to have affordable college education in Naval led to the conversion of Naval High School into an institute. The Naval Institute of Technology was the first chartered state college in the subprovince of Biliran. It was formerly a municipal high school which started its operation on June 3, 1946 pursuant to Municipal Resolution No. 35, series of 1945. R.A. No. 4309, which was passed in 1965, laid down the foundation for the conversion to corporate existence effective August 31, 1972.

In the 1960s, Mayor Brigido Caneja, Sr., gave attention to the municipal water system which was losing water pressure and thus depriving many homes of tap water. During the term of Mayor Arturo Velasquez, he tried to solve the problem of water pressure by regulating the flow of water into designated areas. Gov. Teofilo Sabonsolin himself took an interest in the improvement of the water system.

On April 1, 1980, the Naval Water District was organized for the purpose of improving the water system and insuring the future need for potable water for the growing town of Naval.

By 1980, 34 years had passed since 1946 and still Navaleños were still not able to enjoy the many conveniences that sufficient electric power could provide. Only in 1982, when BILECO (the Biliran Electric Cooperative) installed power lines connected to the geothermal plant in Tongonan were Navaleños able to enjoy its full use.

The enormous fires that devastated Naval in the late fifties, late sixties, and in the seventies could have caused severe setbacks in the economy. Nevertheless, the economy continued to grow. The lesson learned from the fires prompted Mayor Niceto Limpiado to secure two fire trucks.

On March 8, 1989, Bishop Filomeno G. Bactol was formally installed in the Diocese of Naval. By this time, living conditions were much better and conducive to the enhancement of the quality of life.

When Biliran Subprovince celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 8, 1989, many Navaleños believed with other Biliranons that the success of the Movement for the Provincehood of Biliran would cut the umbilical cord attaching Biliran to the mother province.

Naval as Capital of Biliran Province

We can only briefly state for lack of space the progress of Naval as capital of Biliran Province. Conditions are now better for Naval in the matter of access to resources and technologies. Essential infrastructures are now being built with the support of the provincial government.

Naval is now beset by problems of a growing town. The increasing population has aggravated the problems of cleanliness and sanitation, garbage disposal and drainage, which the local administration is now addressing with energy and technological skills.

At the same time, Mayor Pitao is concerned whether the advances in the living conditions of the town, which would lead to a better way of life, are actually available in the indigent sector. Towards this end, the question now arises whether water and electric power are being priced out of the capability of the indigent sector who need to enjoy their uses as much as the moneyed people.

Now the provincial government, with its greater resources and access to national funds, is contributing to the development of Naval in many aspects. The support that Gov. Wayne M. Jaro is giving to the development of Naval is greater than the previous administration. Basic infrastructure programs for Naval include the improvement of the Biliran Airport and the construction of the P12.5-million Naval Port. The hosting of the 1995 EVRAA (Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association) Meet has brought dividends in enhancing the image of Naval and the development of its sports facilities.

Villa Caneja Naval

Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province

Villa Caneja, Biliran Island, Philippines

Villa Caneja. It was named after the Caneja Family, the known owner of most lands around this barangay. Villa is the Spanish word for “village,” not a mansion as commonly understood.

It has a population of 854 (2010 Census).


Barangay Officials

Barangay Captain: Montiadora, Cornelia Cabalquinto

Roque, Rodolfo Mahinay
Cubay, Edwin Payos
Arche, Helen Escala
Caotivo, Edgar Borrinaga
Caotivo, Melquiades Caotivo
Victoria, Oscar Majait
Cadion, Bencio Tambis

SK Chairman: Aregalo, Raffy Rejer

In Pictures




Sto. Niño Naval

Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province

Sto. Niño, Biliran Island, Philippines

Sto. Niño. Santo Niño. Formerly known as Aslom, after the pomelo (Citrus medica acida), the largest variety of citrus trees [Tramp 1995, 22]. The new wave of Cebuano-speaking residents, presumably not aware that the original aslom (the Leyte-Bisaya term for the Cebuano’s buungón) was a tree and not a taste, did not like the “sour” connotation of the name of their barangay. They agreed to rename it after their adopted patron saint.

It has a population of 2,627 (2010 Census).

Fiesta: January 16

Patron Saint: Sr. Sto. Niño

Barangay Officials

Barangay Captain: Sabonsolin Arsenia Lutap

Escala, Jacqueline Calusor
Docallos, Ermy Gadugdog
Ocampo, Michael antes
Sabonsolin, Reynaldo Almadin
Temblor, Cipriano Ario
Cuizon, Willie Narrido
Tibon, Jerry Paculan

SK Chairman: Jamin, Leomar Ebina

In Pictures