The Province of Biliran
Biliran is the youngest and the smallest among the six provinces in Eastern Visayas. It was formerly a sub-province of Leyte starting 1959 and was converted into a regular province on May 11, 1992. The province was originally known as Isla de Panamao (Panamao Island). Panamao, according to an early Visayan dictionary, refers to a native fishing net. However, sometime between 1668-1712, the island was renamed as Biliran, derived from a native grass “Biliran” which is used for weaving mats.
The island province of Biliran is comfortably nestled between the islands of Leyte and Samar and is situated about 123 kilometers north of Tacloban City, the regional center. It has a total land area of 536 square kilometers. The province has 8 municipalities and 132 barangays. The seat of government is in Naval, the capital town. The province represents a lone congressional district.
The province registered a total population of 161,760 in 2010. Majority of the people speak Cebuano and Waray-waray.
Biliran’s economy is predominantly agricultural. The major agricultural products of the province include palay and coconut. With the potential of major fruits such as banana, mango and citrus grown in the area, the province is aiming to be the fruit basket in Eastern Visayas.
Biliran is richly endowed with natural attractions that lure both local and foreign tourists. These include coral reef gardens, scenic waterways, white sand beaches, natural hot and cold water springs. It has also the clear and sweet-tasting water that flows from the Tomalistis Falls in Caibiran which is believed to be one of the best in the world. With these natural wonders, the province is presently developing eco-tourism in the area.
The island province also offers serenity and peacefulness, with the distinction of having a zero insurgency rate.
Young as she is, Biliran, has already gained recognition having won the Cleanest and Greenest Province for three consecutive years.