Before the reversion of the municipality to a mere barrio, a certain Spanish Colonel of the Spanish Armed Forces by the name of De Las Navas explored the northern part of Samar. He sailed with his men upstream Catubig River and reached a place called “Binongtu – an”. The people warmly met him as a high ranking Official of the Spanish Armed Forces with full respect and high regard to the Government.
In his visit to the place, he changed the name “Binongtu – an” to Las Navas in his honor and serve as a reminder that a prominent Spanish Army arrived and reached the place. The people accepted Las Navas as its official name.
Las Navas is politically subdivided into 53 barangays.
During the Spanish regime, one of the municipalities that was recognized as a town is Las Navas, formerly known as “Bungto” (meaning town). Upon recognition, a Parochial Church was constructed with a Parochial Priest as head of the town.
Las Navas is situated in the interior part of the Samar Island, lying along the Las Navas River (Formerly Catubig River). It comprises a wide lowlands between hills now known to be the Catubig Valley. The Las Navas river is wide and big enough that small tonnage or motored vessels can easily sail to the source of the river.
Towards the end of the 18th century, a band of Moro pirates sailed to the river and reached the town. There, the inhabitants were robbed and the town was burned. Afraid that the pirates would return again, the people abandoned the town for a period of time.
After several months, the people returned to the place and retrieved all that were left by the fire. They constructed their homes and reestablished the town and the seat of the government. As soon as the municipality was reestablished and the community was stabilised, the populace and leaders unanimously agreed to change the town’s name from “Bungto” (Town) to “Binongtu – an” to emphasize and commemorate that the place was once a thriving town, was abandoned because of Moro pirates’ assault, and was resettled after sometime.
A research on the history of Las Navas revealed documents from the National Archives, “Errecion de los Pueblos Samar 1786-1898, Pueblos de Catubig y Binungtuan Tomo”, Exp. 9 , pol. 149-197. Exepediente promovido en 1832 sobre la erreccion de la visita de Binungtuan en pueblo civil independiente de su matriz Catubig en la prov de Samar, Manila, 20 de Dissiembre de 1848.
How it got its name
On or before the reversion of the municipality to a barrio, a certain Spanish Colonel of the Spanish Armed Forces by the name of De Las Navas explored the northern Part of Samar. He sailed with his men upstream the Catubig River and reached the place “Binongtu – an”. The people warmly met him as a high ranking Official of the Spanish Armed Forces with full respect and high regard to the Government.
In his visit to the place, he told the people that the name “Binongtu – an” be changed to Las Navas (his name) and serve as a reminder that a prominent Spanish Army arrived and reached the place. The people accepted the proposed name and changed the name Binongtu – and to Las Navas as its official name.