Hernani is a 5th class municipality in the province of Eastern Samar, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 7,642 people in 1,412 households. It has a land area of 49.42 km².
Hernani is politically subdivided into 13 barangays.
A settler, named Miguel “Totoy Yadawon” Candido, from Guiuan, Samar, founded Hernani around the year 1850. Formerly called Nag-as (derived from the name of the river located southeast of the town proper), the settlement is in a flat coastal terrain facing the vast Pacific Ocean.
The diligence and determination of the early settlers propelled the rapid growth of NAG-AS. For a short period of time, tracks of cultivated lands planted to varied agriculture crops thrive in the verdant plains of the infant settlement. Its stable economic base is complemented by the abundance of domesticated animals and aquamarine resources. Reliable accounts also disclosed that early Chinese traders paid periodic visits to nag-as to trade their merchandize or barter with native products such as copra, cereals, root crops, dried fish, wooden carvings, herbs, fruits and more.
Nag-as reached the epochal point of its development when it was made a regular and independent municipality as embodied in a Royal Decree issued by Spanish Governor-General Rafael Echague on January 4, 1864. The royal fiat also mandated to change the old name Nag-as to Hernani.
Hernani was at the height of its progress and prosperity when a tragic event occurred. On October 12th, 1897, giant tidal waves struck the poblacion. The tragedy claimed more than 300 lives and the terrible waves destroyed the public buildings and houses including the newly-built stone church. The destruction and misery wrought by the tragedy compelled the survivors to resettle in a more secured place about one-half kilometer north of the abandoned town. The site is now the present poblacion.
Right after the Philippine-American War, the political status of Hernani was reduced into a barrio under the jurisdiction of Lanang (now Llorente). In 1912, its status as municipality was restored but the seat of local government was transferred to Pambujan (now Gen. MacArthur). However, in 1926 the municipality of Hernani regained back the township by virtue of an Executive Order issued by then American Governor-General Leonardo Wood.
Hernani is classified as a fifth class Municipality.
Political Subdivision and Geographical Location
Hernani is a coastal municipality is located in the southeastern part of the province and atmost equidistant to the prime municipality of Borongan (capital town, 52 kilometers to the north) and the southern municipality of Guiuan(56 kilometers).
It is bounded by the North by the municipality of Llorente, on the south by the Municipality of Gen. MacArthur, on the East by the Philippine Sea (the western fringes of the Pacific Ocean), on the West by the mountain ranges of Llorente.
The municipality is divided into thirteen (13) barangays. Four (4) barangays are within the Poblacion (Brgys. 1, 2, 3 and 4). The coastal barangays are Batang, Canciledes, Carmen, Garawon, Nagaja, Padang, and San Miguel while San Isidro and Cacatmonan are upland barangays.
Hernani is classified as a fifth class municipality (November 2001)