San Jose is a 5th class municipality in the Province of Northern Samar, Philippines. The municipality can be found in the map at 12°N latitude and 124°E longitude. It is located at the north central part of the aforementioned province, about nineteen kilometers west of Catarman, Northern Samar, the provincial capital, and about thirty kilometers east of Allen, Northern Samar, where the ferry terminal which connects islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao via the Pan-Philippine Highway (formerly the Maharlika Highway). It is approximately one hundred-fifty(150) kilometers north-northeast of Tacloban City, the Regional Center of Region VIII or Eastern Visayas.
Politically, the municipality is bounded on the north by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Municipality of Bobon, on the south by the Municipality of Victoria and on the west by the Municipality of Rosario. Its total land area of 8,867 hectares is generally underlain by well-bedded and moderately undulating terrain. The rock unit is probably part of the Mawo Volcanics, which is widespread in Northern Samar. The terrain is diversely oriented with inclination angles ranging from 10 degrees to 14 degrees. In the surveyed area, mangrove swamps dominate the western part of the municipality which extends to its northern coastline. In fact, more than half of the land area in the town proper, which is located at the northern coastline of the municipality are reclaimed lands from these swamplands.
Being a coastal town, it has several islets within its municipal waters. There are six islets located at the northern coast of the municipality, which abound with natural resources waiting to be developed. These are the following: Cabaungon Grande, Cabaungon Pequiño, Tandang, Pangilala, Puropangdan, Matungko and Maghungaw which are plentiful in fishes, crustaceans, and other marine products. These islets also hold potential for eco-tourism.
The land occupied by the municipality is actually valley bounded on the east by the Palusong Mountain Range moving south and on the west by the Hitaasan Mountain Range. The northern portion of the municipality is occupied by the islands aforementioned which together with the coastline is arranged in such a manner that a lake is formed.
The land where the town is located consists generally of alluvial flat and swamplands which has an elevation of less than 10 meters above sea level, while going south, south easterly, the physiography abruptly rises to moderately rugged hills with a peak of sixty-eight meters. The drainage system in the area generally flows northeast towards Carangian Channel. Vegetation in this area generally consists of mangrove trees and shrubs, cogonal growth, and coconuts. The flat areas are planted with rice, corn and coconuts.
There are small flat and level areas along Barangay Dao and Barangay Geratag creeks. There are also wide coastal swamps. Most of the agricultural land areas are located along the valley between Palusong Mountain Range, near Barangay Aguadahan, and Barangay Geratag in the east, and Hitaasan Mountain Range near Barangay Bagong Sabang and Barangay Bonglas in the west.
According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 13,564 people in 2,729 households.
San Jose is politically subdivided into 16 barangays.
The Municipality of San Jose grew from a place that was then covered with bushes, shrubs, zacates. Marshes, where wild chicken, locally known as ilajas, abounded. It was then called carangian being the site where hunters assembled their trap, known as carang, to catch wild chickens. So, whenever one saw a person bringing his contraption carang, he already knew that he was going to carangan. In time, the word carangan was corrupted and the place began to be known as Carangian. Due to favorable economic opportunities, people migrated to the place. As population grew, it became a barrio within the administrative jurisdiction of the Municipality of Bobon known as Carangian.
With the construction of a deep-sea port, steamers and ships from Manila and other countries began to dock in Carangian, which due to its strategic location and the presence of the well-protected deep-sea port, quickly became the main port entry of Northern Samar. As its economy boomed, it was inevitable that the barrio would aspire to become a municipality. As early as 1932, Barrio Carangian had been aspiring to become an independent municipality from its mother town of Bobon. In that year, the Governor of Samar, Honorable Pedro Arteche, conducted a plebiscite for the conversion of Barrio Carangian into a municipality. Unluckily, however, due to the overwhelming negative votes in the Poblacion of Bobon and some other barrios which were jealous of the imminent independence of Carangian that dream was not realized.
Before the elections of 1949, the leaders of Carangian saw a golden chance to separate from Bobon in the rift between President Elpidio Quirino and José Dira Avelino, President of the Senate. A delegation was formed under the leadership of Honorable Eladio T. Balite, Representative of the first district of Samar. The delegation was immediately dispatched to Manila to lobby for the independence of Carangian. After more than a month of going from office to office in Manila, the delegation succeeded in having the Barrio of Carangian created into the Municipality of San Jose. Eugenio Perez, Speaker of the House, was also instrumental in the creation of the new municipality. Thus, on July 25, 1949 by virtue of Executive Order No. 248 of the then President Elpidio Quirino, Carangian together with eleven became the new municipality of San Jose in honor of the late Jose Tagros Balite, Sr, then Mayor of Bobon, Samar.