The Legend

The name Burauen evolved from the word “burabod” which is means spring. The name attributed to the town which can be explained naturally because of the abundance of springs and several rivers. Burauen is the fountainhead of two big rivers – the Daguitan and Marabong Rivers and other smaller ones, the Guinarona, Malitobg and Hibuga Rivers that passes through several neighbouring towns. There was a time that a drought which dried up several water tributaries and forced the community to flock to a place called “Buraburon,” wherein a large and sustainable spring was located and the town people get their needs. During the course of the years, the name “Buraburon” (means abundance of springs) underwent transmutation of the word “Burawon” and finally to “Burauen.”          

The Earlier Settlers

Clandestine diggings conducted by antique hunters and verified by the Nation Museum archaeologists yield valuable artefacts consisting of China wares and burial jars. Some of the discoveries were Stone Age artefacts and implements. Theses antiques and artefacts were found on the plateaus of both sides of the Kag-olo-olo Brook of Brgy. Patag and Villa Aurora, which were 16 kilometers southwest of the pobalcion of Burauen. Similar artefacts were found in Brgy. Paghudlan which is 12 kilometers northeast from the Kag-olo-olo Brook. The earlier diggings in the southwestern part of the poblacion, and those in Brgy. Tambuko and Armasen unearth several precious antiques also. With the extensive presence of these artefacts over the said areas, the past locations of the early settlements in Burauen during the prehistoric era are indicated.

The Spanish Period

The early development of Burauen was take place in 1595 when Spanish Jesuit Friars discovered the settlement of Burauen.  Its community was used as their base in the Christianisation on the central part of Leyte. Between the years 1609 to 1616 Burauen was the most populous town of Leyte and Samar and it consistently registered the highest tax collection during the same period in the region.

Between the years 1609 to 1616, the original settlement was established in one of the sitio Libas (presently called now as Brgy. Libas) which is called “Armasen” meaning a trading place and at the same time a granary. With the perennial flooding of the area by the Guinarona River, and as recommended from the Jesuit Missionaries, the community was transferred to a new site of the present Brgy. Malabca. Due to the frequent attacks of Moro pirates, the settlers relocated again to Laguiwan, a Southern part barangay of the Municipality which means a “refuge” place. With the presence of continued abundant yield of crops at the eastern part of the Municipality, the people transferred to the plains of Tambuko. However, due to severe long drought, the people forced to look for water and led them to find some springs at the southern side of the present poblacion, and they prefer to have a settlement in the area. The settlers built a fortress-like structure (a resemblance of tower) near the Daguitan River which is called the “Cota”. Due the perennial occurrence of floods at the Cota, the town’s people prefer and selected a town site on the elevated northern part of the present poblacion which form part of the town proper today. 

The Filipino-American War

The short-lived Philippine Republic proclaimed on June 12, 1898 faced a new enemy, the Americans who were pursuing their so called “Manifest Destiny”. The troops of the Revolutionary Army under General Ambrosio Mojica, realizing that their fortifications of “estacas” (bamboo palisades) around the poblacion of Burauen were weak, they forced to withdraw to the mountains. Several encounters occurs during the Filipino-American War, the American burned the poblacion on July 4, 1900, sparing only the Catholic Church, its convent, the warehouses of the building of the Smith Bell and Co. and Chinese merchandizing. The incident made Burauen one one the stronghold of the “Pulahan” dissidents.

With the cessation of hostilities, the people devoted their efforts to the reconstruction of their homes and expansion of their farms to usher progress of the municipality. The productive endeavours of the people lured many enterprises to the town. The first electric system and cinematographic house in Leyte and Samar was established in Burauen in 1916. In 1928, the Burauen Academy, the first secondary school in the municipality was founded. The different municipal administrations of that time were able to put up irrigation system in 1912. Constructed a big public market building in 1918, erect a concrete municipal building in 1925 and build concrete school building in 1928. The income of the municipality in 1908 to 1928 was bigger than the income of the whole province of Surigao, due to the wide area of abaca plantation of that time. This boomtown prosperity lasted until 1929 when the great depression took place.

World War II Period

 The outbreak of World War II stunted the economic growth of Burauen. The Japanese Military en-camped the eastern part of the poblacion and many encounters between guerrillas who were firmly established in Burauen’s mountain strongholds until the Allied Forces liberated Leyte on October 20, 1944. Burauen was among the most heavily devastated towns in the province in terms of countless lives and heavy property destructions, including public and religious edifice.

Post War Period to Present

Rising from the ruins of war, the municipality rehabilitated its homes and agriculture, hand in hand with the improvement of its institutions and facilities. In 1946, the Burauen High School was founded, followed by the rehabilitation of the Gabaldon School Buildings and operates of the Burauen Water System in 1948 with the technical assistant by the NAWASA. The private sector contributed in the field of education when the year 1950 saw the founding of the Burauen Catholic Institute and the Rizal Colloges. The progress of the town suffered a setback in the middle of 1951 when a very strong typhoon hit Burauen, which followed by four others that were equally ravaging.

In 1952, despite financial hardship the municipal government was able to repair the municipal building from its own funds but generally, the recovery of the municipality was very slow. On March 2, 1962 the Rural Bank of Burauen was established, the first rural bank in Leyte and Samar. A decade after, on April 1, 1972 the Burauen General Hospital was opened to accept its first patient.

 After the EDSA revolution in February 25, 1986 and subsequently the enactment of RA-7160 otherwise known as “The Local Government Code of 1991” all local government nationwide enjoyed the special provision of the act the allocation of IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) coming from the national government. This fund has been instrumental in the progressive development of the municipality not only to the municipal government but also down to all the seventy-seven barangays of the town. During this period and the succeeding years, the municipality has constructed several infrastructures of great importance to its constituents and also to the general public. The municipality had acquired several heavy equipment in 1998 for its opening and widening of farm-to-market-road projects especially to the upland barangay for easy and immediate transport delivery of farm products to the market. In 2004, it has implemented the total rehabilitation and expansion of the Burauen Water Works System (BWWS) to serve to the growing demand needs of the populace including to the low land barangays. In the same manner, it has constructed a new Burauen Public Commercial Complex in 2009 composed of several buildings like the two-storey Textile and Dry Goods Section, Carenderia, and Rice and Grains Section, Sari-sari, and Fruits and Vegetables Section, Dried Fish Section, Fish and Meat Section, Covered Tricycle Terminal, Bus and Van Terminal, and the expanded area for “Tabuan” (day market) which were funded by the capers of the municipality and also with the financial assistance from different national government agencies.

 In compliance to the new law on Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA-9003), as mandated the municipality has earned-mark the construction of Sanitary Land Fill Site which was open for operation on April 2015. With the prudent financial management of the local government, it was able to construct a new four-storey Executive and Legislative Building beside the main municipal building wherein it has designated an area for the Treasury Department, Office of the Mayor, the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall and its offices, and activity or function area for the various events of the municipality and it was inaugurated on December 7, 2015.

Although Burauen was also devastated by the super typhoon Yolanda (Internationa name: Hiayan), the municipality is in the track for the full recovery of the damages affected by the catastrophe brought-in.  It has managed to rehabilitate with the financial assistance from the national government of its infrastructures, and likewise also with the help of NGOs as well as the international NGOs for the social development of the communities.

Burauen may not reach her aspiration immediately but her citizens hope they will be able to continue supporting their old hometown become a happier place to live in. Thus pursuing a lofty desire to contribute their little way and even small measure, something in the making of the national edifice, and if possible, to mankind.