Samar is an island in the Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), just north of Leyte, and south east of Luzon.
Samar is also the name of one of the three provinces on the Island of Samar. The other two provinces are Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. Samar Province was previously known as Western Samar. The name was officially changed on June 21, 1969, with the passage of Republic Act No. 5650.
Samar Province includes not only the large south-western portion of the Island of Samar, but also several smaller islands in the Samar Sea.
There are two cities in Samar Province. Calbayog City is the largest city on the Island of Samar. The second city in Samar Province is the capital city of Catbalogan. Both cities lie on the western coast of the island.
There is one more city on the Island of Samar, which is Borongan City, the capital of Eastern Samar. The capital of Northern Samar, Catarman, has not yet achieved cityhood.
The cityhood of Catbalogan and Borongan has been much contested. At one time the Supreme Court of the Philippines had made a “final” decision, denying their cityhood. However, as of April 12, 2011, the Supreme Court has entered a new “final” decision, granting Catbalogan and Borongan cityhood.