The first town, named Biliran, was founded in 1712. During this time, the island was a part of the province of Cebu. Biliran, together with the islands of Samar and Leyte were constituted into a separate province in 1735. Later when Samar and Leyte were split into two provinces in 1768, Biliran became part of Leyte.
In 1945 liberated by the Philippine Commonwealth forces landed in Biliran with the local guerrilla forces by the attack of the Japanese troops from the island during the Battle of Biliran.
On 26 May 1754, the Moros destroyed the pueblos of Biliran in Leyte and Catbalogan in Samar. Panamao was reportedly razed to the ground and only the gobernadorcillo of Biliran pueblo escaped capture by the raiders. The settlements of Biliran, Caybiran, Mapuyo and Maripipi were also destroyed by the Moros.
The Moros staged their attack by marching inland along a river in the province named Anas for a distance of 1.5-2 leguas (leagues). Having covered part of the interior around a mountain, they managed to capture the inhabitants, with the exception of the gobernadorcillo who had escaped. The houses and property of the natives were burned or destroyed. The church building suffered the same fate and its valuables were taken away by the raiders.
The inhabitants of Biliran Island petitioned for pueblo and parish status as early as 1712. The first parish priest was assigned in 1765 but its parish status was apparently withdrawn because of Padre Gaspar’s apostasy. The parish was re-established on February 22, 1782.
In 1828, Caibiran on the east became an independent pueblo and parish, the second to be created in Biliran Island.
Naval became the third town, and it was carved out of the territory of Biliran town. It initially became a separate parish in 1860. The Spanish colonial government officially recognized its pueblo status on 23 September 1869, the petition for which was apparently submitted around 1861.
Almeria became a separate town in 1886 and was named after a town in Spain of the same name.
Maripipi used to be a barrio of Naval. It was officially inaugurated as a town in 1867, two years ahead of its mother town, then folded up and was reduced into a barrio of Almeria, and then became a town again in 1899. Maripipi and the new towns of San Clemente (later Kawayan), Culaba and Esperanza (later Cabucgayan) were created around 1899 by the revolutionary government under Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo.
Biliran Island lies off the northern coast of Leyte across Biliran Strait. To the southeast is Carigara Bay, to the northeast is Samar Sea, and further on, the island of Samar. To the west is the Visayan Sea and Masbate lies 30 km to the northwest.
The main island features mountainous interiors with very narrow coastal areas. Mountain ranges occupy the major portion of the island municipality of Maripipi. Only the municipalities of Naval and Caibiran have wide plains extending about 7 km from the coast suitable for agriculture. Mount Suiro, which has an elevation of 1,300 meters is the highest point on the island.
Biliran has a combination of warm and cool climatic zones, thus the prevailing climate is ideal for the cultivation of a wide range of agricultural crops. There is no distinct dry season but the heavy wet season generally occurs in December.
Biliran's single historic eruption was from a flank vent in 1939. There are five solfatara fields on the island. The solfatara on the west side of Mt. Guinon contained more than 400 tones of sulfur in 1880.
Being mountainous, Biliran can support various agricultural crops. The warm lowlands are conducive to palay production and other tropical crops. The cool highlands are favorable to high-value crops such as cutflowers and varieties of vegetable traditionally grown in Baguio City or Tagaytay City.
The inhabitants also engage in hunting, lumber, and manufacturing. The principal raw material produced is copra and coconut oil. Processed goods include white clay ceramics, dried fish, raw gulaman, and citronella oil.
Major industries includes fashion bags, Romblon bags, shellcrafts, placemats, hotpads, baskets, coasters and trays.
The Managing Director in Asia Pacific of Reykjavik Energy Invest informed that this is the first geothermal development project undertaken by Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI), a global leader in the development of renewable energy with specific focus on geothermal energy, here in the Philippines
This is an ambitious project that they have to jumpstart in the country since their firm is committed to the Department of Energy thru Secretary Angelo T. Reyes and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to provide part of the 1, 200 MW needed by the country by 2013 during the signing of the contract agreement between their firm and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on July 10, 2008, Sigurjonsson added.
The Envent Managing Director added that if the surface exploration that cost $1M can start by next month, it is expected that it will be finished by May of next year.
He added that it will cost from $16M to $19M for the drilling of the two geothermal wells found in Sitio Pulangyuta in Barangay Cabibihan and Barangay Villavicenta in Caibiran and the other one found in Barangay Libtong in Naval.
According to Sigurjonsson, an investment of $125M is expected to be financed by their firm for a 50 MW source of geothermal energy that will be taken from the project. It is expected that the geothermal project in Biliran province can produce up to 100 MW.