Abuyog, Leyte

Abuyog, officially the Municipality of Abuyog, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Leyte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 59,571 people.[3]

Municipality of Abuyog
Downtown area
Home of the Buyogan Festival
Map of Leyte with Abuyog highlighted
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°44′45″N 125°00′44″E
Country Philippines
RegionEastern Visayas (Region VIII)
District5th district of Leyte
Barangays63 (see Barangays)
  TypeSangguniang Bayan
  MayorLemuel Gin K. Traya
  Vice MayorOctavio J. Traya Jr.
  CongressmanCarl Nicolas C. Cari
  Electorate37,114 voters (2019)
  Total688.25 km2 (265.73 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
  Density87/km2 (220/sq mi)
  Income class1st municipal income class
  Poverty incidence36.06% (2015)[4]
  Revenue (₱)213,700,662.57 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63(0)53
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Native languagesWaray

Facing Leyte Gulf out into the Philippine Sea, it is the largest town of the island of Leyte in terms of land area. It is bordered to the north by Javier, to the east by Mahaplag and Baybay City and to the south by Silago in Southern Leyte.

Abuyog got its name when Spanish sailors came ashore in an early settlement at the mouth of the Abuyog River to replenish their supplies. Swarms of bees were all over the shore. The Spaniards asked the natives "¿Cómo se llama el pueblo?", not knowing that the Spaniards asked for the town's name, the natives answered "Buyog". Repeating after the natives, the sailors muttered, "Ah! Buyog". Eventually the town came to be known as "Abuyog" to which some Spanish chroniclers often used in reference to the whole island of Leyte. But Abuyog in the early annals, though grown prosperous, remained obscure because of the absence of a powerful chieftain. It was Datu Bangcao, who had his seat of government in Carigara, who ruled Abuyog.

People mostly from Samar migrated to Abuyog because of the many opportunities the immigrants got from its rich soil. The language of this town which acquired the name "melting pot" became Waray-Waray language from the Samar immigrants.


Abuyog is politically subdivided into 63 barangays.

* Alangilan
* Anibongan
* Buaya
* Bagacay
* Bahay
* Balinsasayao
* Balocawe
* Balocawehay
* Barayong
* Bayabas
* Bito (Poblacion)
* Buenavista
* Bulak
* Bunga
* Buntay (Poblacion)
* Burubud-an
* Cagbolo
* Can-uguib (Poblacion)
* Can-aporong
* Canmarating
* Capilian
* Cadac-an
* Combis
* Dingle
* Guintagbucan (Poblacion)
* Hampipila
* Katipunan
* Kikilo
* Laray
* Lawa-an
* Libertad
* Loyonsawang (Poblacion)
* Mahagna (New Cagbolo)
* Mag-atubang
* Mahayahay
* Maitum
* Malaguicay
* Matagnao
* Nalibunan (Poblacion)
* Nebga
* Odiongan
* Pagsang-an
* Paguite
* Parasanon
* Picas Sur
* Pilar
* Pinamanagan
* Salvacion
* San Francisco
* San Isidro
* San Roque
* Santa Fe (Poblacion)
* Santa Lucia (Poblacion)
* Santo Niño (Poblacion)
* Tabigue
* Tadoc
* New Taligue
* Old Taligue
* Tib-o
* Tinalian
* Tinocolan
* Tuy-a
* Victory (Poblacion)


In 1588, presumably on account of mal-administration of the incumbent encomendero, the inhabitants revolted. Capitan Juan Esguerra had to send a punitive force to chastise the assassins of the encomendero. In 1613, Sanguiles and Caragas plundered and marauded the town.

In 1655 the Jesuits made Abuyog their second post, with Dagami as the center. The year 1716 saw the founding of the town and parish under the patronage of St. Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies. The Augustinians took over in 1768 and continued the work of Frs. Jose Herrera and Cipriano Barbasan. The people of this era, according to Fr. Augustin Maria de Castro, were very rich though extremely belligerent; the continually defied the Moros. In 1843 the town was given to the Franciscan Order with Fr. Santiago Malonda as the first Franciscan parish priest. A horse path was opened between Abuyog and Dulag in 1851.

The early captains were Galza, Foran, Nicolas Mandia, Faustino Remanes, Prudencio Remanes, Felipe Costin, Ciriaco Costin, Eulalio Brillo, and Vicente Tiaoson. Eulalio Brillo became president in 1896-1899 while Nazario Tupa took office in 1900. Eugenio Villote finished Tupa's term.

The period 1901 to 1906 was notable for the notorious pulahanes or bolero attacks, the most infamous leader of which was Faustino Ablen. The municipal building was razed. Ex-Capitan Eugenio Villote, Pedro Gonazaga, and two other policemen were killed in the encounter.

In the electoral division made by the Philippine Assembly, Abuyog was placed in the third district of Leyte. During the Commonwealth regime, Abuyog was transferred to the fourth district. During these periods, the town prospered under the administration of Arturo Brillo, Vicente Brillante, Basilio Adolfo (two terms), Antero Brillo and Ricardo Collantes (three terms). In 1940, Pedro Gallego was elected mayor and served until July 3, 1946, Mayor Pedro Remanes Gallego was the only mayor in Leyte that did not surrender to the Japanese forces . On July 4, 1946, Catalino Landia was appointed mayor. He was re-elected for three terms.

Abuyog's progress took greater strides with the inauguration of the first passenger bus service in 1925. In 1936, the vice-president Sergio Osmeña inaugurated the Baybay-Abuyog road, thus linking for the first time, by good road, the eastern and western coasts of Leyte.

At the outbreak of World War II, Abuyog became a Japanese occupied area. But on October 13, 1942, the Japanese abandoned the town due to guerrilla pressure. They came back on November 26, 1943, much stronger this time, yet they suffered heavy losses in the hands of the guerrillas.

On July 14, 1944, the submarine "Nautilus" landed in Barangay San Roque to unload 72 tons of much-needed weapons and ammunition, food and propaganda materials for Leyte and Samar guerrillas. When the American Armada was sighted off Leyte Gulf, the Japanese forces deserted the town of Abuyog before the American landing and entered to the Filipino troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary military units. After liberation, elementary school education was resumed on December 4, 1944, under the supervision of the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit (PCAU). From then on, Abuyog's development went on steadily under the consistent leadership of Mayor Catalino T. Landia.


Population census of Abuyog
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 8,943    
1918 16,546+4.19%
1939 39,111+4.18%
1948 46,930+2.05%
1960 37,709−1.81%
1970 34,434−0.90%
1975 37,864+1.92%
1980 41,702+1.95%
1990 47,265+1.26%
1995 48,905+0.64%
2000 53,837+2.08%
2007 56,097+0.57%
2010 57,146+0.68%
2015 59,571+0.79%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority [3][5][6][7]

In the 2015 census, the population of Abuyog, Leyte, was 59,571 people,[3] with a density of 87 inhabitants per square kilometre or 230 inhabitants per square mile.

Daughter towns

Javier used to be Barangay Bugho, MacArthur used to be Barangay Taraguna and Mahaplag used to be Barangay Mahaplag.

Places of interest

  • The Church of St. Francis Xavier was first built with nipa, wood and bamboo in 1718 by the Jesuits. Fr. José Herrera and Cipriano Barbasan restored the church and convent, as well as, the school and Casa Real. The Augustinians took over the church's supervision in 1768 after it was rebuilt. The church's design was changed in 1781 to conform with the architecture of Roman Renaissance. A more durable church and convent of masonry was later built, with a galvanized iron roof and wooden floor. In 1965, the church was renovated when an extension was built at the center of the church through the effort of Msgr. Luis D. Caintic who also facilitated in the construction of the new bell tower.
  • Kuapnit Balinsasayao National Park, along the Mahaplag-Baybay Rd., is a 364-hectare campsite located between Abuyog and Baybay. It offers a wide panorama of primeval forests, rolling hills with many attractive picnic spots, caves and a view of Mt. Lobi.
  • The 7-m. high, 10-tiered Malaguicay Falls, in Barangay Malaguicay, has a 3-m. deep pool. From Tab-ok Port, take a 20-min. motorized boat ride to Barangay Malaguicay along the Higasaan River and then a 20-min. hike to the waterfalls.
  • Caves are found in Brgys. Balocawehay (along the highway) and Nebga (Higasaan).
  • Tib-o Islet and Undersea Water Cave, in Barangay Tib-o, Abuyog, Leyte, is a unique destination for divers and swimmers to experience and explore the beauty of the cave located within the Leyte Gulf Area. Using the islet as a diving board or as a stop-over to view the beauty of the Leyte Gulf. There is a coarsely formed rock formation at the side of the cave.
  • Waterfalls are located in Brgys. Malaguicay, Balinsasayao, Katipunan and Nebga.
  • The 0.5-hectare Cagbolo Hot Spring (Barangay Cagbolo)
  • Danghol Hill (Barangay San Isidro)
  • Layog River (BarangayBalinsasayao) is a stream and the estimate terrain elevation above sea level is 4 meters. There are variant forms of spelling for Layog River or in other languages.
  • Lake Bito The main source of Leyte Metropolitan Water Service, it covers almost all municipalities in Leyte
  • Cold Spring (Castanas Spring Resort) along the Maharlika Highway, Barangay Balinsasayao
  • Abuyog Lighthouse is facing the sea and another attraction in the municipality which serves as a beacon for ships and for the fishermen to prevent them from getting lost at sea during nighttime. Legend says that during the night when a fierce typhoon struck Abuyog, the patron saint St. Francis Xavier was seen here waving his crucifix in order to spare the town from the wrath of the typhoon.


  • Abuyog Community College
  • Abuyog Academy
  • Abuyog National High School
  • Balocawehay National High School
  • Kikilo National High School
  • Hampipila National High School
  • Libertad National High School
  • Notre Dame of Abuyog
  • Abuyog South Central School
  • B.V. Closa Central School
  • Bahay Primary School
  • Balinsasayao Elementary School
  • Balocawe Elementary School
  • Balocawehay Elementary School
  • Barayong Elementary School
  • Bayabas Elementary School
  • Buenavista Elementary School
  • Bunga Elementary School
  • Canmarating Elementary School
  • Gabaldon Central School
  • Hampipila Elementary School
  • Picas Primary School
  • Salvacion Elementary School
  • San Isidro Elementary School
  • Santa Fe - Santo Nino Elementary School
  • Tadoc Primary School
  • Tabigue Elementary School
  • Maitum Elementary School
  • Capili an Elementary School
  • Odiongan Elementary School
  • Katipunan Elementary School


  • Abuyog District Hospital
  • Abuyog Rural Health Unit
  • Balocawehay Rural Health Unit


  1. "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. "Province: Leyte". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. Census of Population (2015). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  6. Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  7. "Province of Leyte". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
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