Southern Leyte

Pagkamugna Festival

Pagkamugna Festival is the yearly founding anniversary of the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines every 1st of July. It is the biggest festival in the province. Activities occur in Maasin City, its capital. Its activities include a competition of cultural festivals of constituent localities, parade, and others.

History of Pagkamugna Festival

Pagkamugna Festival comes from the word pagkamugna, which means the creation.

History of Southern Leyte

Pagkamugna Festival is the celebration of the establishment of Southern Leyte. The province is bordered by Leyte in the north and the sea (Camotes Sea, Surigao Strait, and Leyte Gulf). It has four islands namely Limasawa, Panaon, San Pablo, and San Pedro. It is part of Eastern Visayas which includes the provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Samar.

The historic significance of Southern Leyte cannot be overstated. The island of Limasawa is the site of the first Easter Mass in the Philippines, which took place on March 31, 1521 with Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan, local chieftains Rajah Siani, and Rajah Kolambu. Presently, a marker is installed in the location to remember the event.

Throughout the centuries of Spanish colonization, the area that presently comprise the province had a small population due to Moro raids that were prevalent in those times. In the 19th century, the population grew. In the past, the island of Leyte was an entire province with Tacloban City as the capital.

This posed a challenge in terms of administration and delivery of public services, and splitting it was thought to be a solution. There were a few administrative offices that were present such as the provincial fiscal and treasurer during the Spanish colonial era, but when the American occupiers came these were shuttered except for the office of the provincial fiscal.

In 1919, the idea of splitting Leyte championed by Representative Ciriaco K. Kangleon of Macrohon was introduced in the lower house of Congress but the Senate did not support the plan. Then Commonwealth Act No. 3117 was passed on March 27, 1923 which intended to divide it into Oriental and Occidental Leyte. However, no promulgation of the law was done. Later Act No. 3788 was approved on December 2, 1930 that established five legislative districts in the province.

Southern Leyte was created from the municipalities of Leyte (Anahawan, Bontoc, Cabalian, Hinunangan, Hinundayan, Libagon, Liloan, Maasin, Macrohon, Malitbog, Padre Burgos, Pintuyan, Saint Bernard, San Francisco, Silago, and Sogod) that constituted the third representative district. It was made possible through Republic Act. No. 2227.

The law was signed by Carlos P. Garcia on May 22, 1959 and established Maasin as the capital. The inauguration of the provincial government of Southern Leyte occurred on July 1, 1960, which is the date that Pagkamugna Festival commemorates.

How to reach Southern Leyte

Book a flight to Tacloban Airport and take a bus to Maasin City. Ferries also have regular schedules from neighboring islands such as Cebu.


Pagkamugna Festival Summary

NamePagkamugna Festival
Contact(053) 570 7101
DateJuly 1
LocationSouthern Leyte
OrganizerProvincial Government of Southern Leyte