Northern Samar is one of the three provinces comprising Samar Island. It was created on June 19, 1965 through the issuance of Republic Act 4221, “Providing for the Division of Samar Island into Three Provinces: Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar”.
The province is located in the eastern part of the Philippine Archipelago, bounded on the north by the San Bernardino Strait, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the west by the Samar Sea, and on the south by Samar. It is composed of 24 municipalities and 569 barangays covering a total land area of 3,692.9 square kilometers. Catarman is the provincial capital and center of trade and commerce.
Northern Samar is strategically located as the gateway to Visayas and Mindanao from Luzon. It is 743 kilometers from Manila and can be reached by 1 hour and 20 minutes plane ride to Catarman or 14 hours bus travel through the Pan Philippine Highway passing Bicol Region and traversing San Bernardino Strait via ferry boat in the primary ports of San Isidro and Allen, from Matnog, Sorsogon. The route to Mindanao is through Tacloban City, being connected to Northern Samar by the famous San Juanico Bridge, via ferryboat in Liloan, Southern Leyte to Surigao.
In the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the province registered a total population of 589,013, posting an average annual growth rate of 1.64 percent. It has 113,980 households with an average size of 5.2. Its population density is recorded at 160 persons per square kilometer. Majority speak Waray dialect, along with Inabaknon, which is predominantly spoken in Capul Island.
The province is endowed with metallic minerals such as copper, aluminum and bauxite which can be found particulary in Biri, Mapanas and San Isidro.
Major agricultural crops include coconut, abaca, palay, rootcrops and other subsistence crops. Its rich fishing grounds produce spanish mackerel, grouper, tuna, big-eyed scad, round scad, herring, anchovies and salmon. Other aquatic products include cattlefish, crabs, shrimps, squid and lobsters.
Northern Samar is famous for its natural rock formations found in Biri Island and white silky sand beaches in San Jose and Lavezares. A visit to the century old church in Capul Island brings you to the 16th century. Only missionary fervour made possible the building of this church on this island.