Eastern Visayas

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Eastern Visayas
Region VIII
Clockwise from top: San Juanico Bridge, Pintados Festival, Biliran shirt, Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Calbayog City, Blanca Aurora falls in San Jorge, Mesa de Palapag, The Obilisk,[1] Mac Arthur park in Tacloban City -->
Clockwise from top: San Juanico Bridge, Pintados Festival, Biliran shirt, Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Calbayog City, Blanca Aurora falls in San Jorge, Mesa de Palapag, The Obilisk,[1] Mac Arthur park in Tacloban City -->
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Country Philippines
Island group Visayas
Regional center Tacloban
 • Total 21,562.9 km2 (8,325.5 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 4,101,322
 • Density 190/km2 (490/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ISO 3166 code PH-08
Provinces 6
Cities 7
Municipalities 136
Barangays 4,390
Cong. districts 12
Languages Waray-Waray (Leyte-Samarnon), Cebuano, Abaknon, Baybayanon, Kinabalian

Eastern Visayas (Filipino: Silangang Kabisayaan, Waray-Waray: Sinirangan Kabisay-an) is one of the 18 regions of the Philippines, designated as Region VIII. It is composed of three main islands, Samar, Leyte and Biliran. The region has six provinces, one independent city and one highly urbanized city [3] namely, Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Silangang Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc and Tacloban. The highly urbanized city of Tacloban is the Eastern Visayas Regional Center (EVRC). These provinces and cities occupy the easternmost islands of the Visayas group of islands. It is one of only two regions having no land border with another region, MIMAROPA being the other.

Eastern Visayas directly faces the Pacific Ocean. The region is known for its famous landmark, the San Juanico Bridge which dubbed as the "Most Beautifully Designed and Longest Bridge in the Philippines". As of 2010, it has a population of 4,101,322 people.[2]


Eastern Visayas lies on the east central part of the Philippine archipelago. It is composed of two main islands, Leyte and Samar, which formed the eastern most coast of the archipelago. It is bounded by the Philippine sea on the east and north with San Bernardo Strait separating Samar island from southeastern Luzon: Camotes sea and Visayas sea on the west: Bohol sea on the south with Surigao Strait separating Leyte island from northwestern Mindanao. It has a total land area of 2,156,285 hectares or 7.2% of the country’s total land area.[4] 52% of its total land area are classified as forestland and 48% as alienable and disposable land.


There are two types of climate prevailing in the region under the Corona system of classification: Type II and Type IV. Type II climate is characterized by having no dry season but a pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January. Samar Island and the eastern part of Leyte Island fall under this type of climate. Type IV on the other hand has an even distribution of rainfall the year round and a short period of dry season that can be observed starting February up to May. This type of climate is well exhibited at the western half of Leyte island and some portion of Samar which covers the municipality of Motiong up to San Isidro of Northern Samar.

In November 2013, the region was hit with the highest death toll in the country by Typhoon Haiyan, the second deadliest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines.

Natural Resources[edit]

The region's sea and inland waters are rich sources of salt and fresh water fish and other marine products. It is one of the fish exporting regions of the country. There are substantial forest reserves in the interiors of the islands. Its mineral deposits include chromite, uranium(in Samar), gold, silver, manganese, magnesium, bronze, nickel, clay, coal, limestone, pyrite and sand and gravel. It has abundant geothermal energy and water resources to support the needs of medium and heavy industries.


Population census of Eastern Visayas
Year Pop. ±%
1990 3,054,490 —    
2000 3,610,355 +18.2%
2010 4,101,322 +13.6%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]


Waray-Waray is the lingua franca of the Eastern Visayas Region and mostly spoken on the island of Samar, Biliran, Tacloban and north-eastern Leyte. A Sama language, distantly related to the languages of the region, called Abaknon is spoken in the island of Capul in Northern Samar. Cebuano is spoken in western, central, and southern parts of Leyte and in Southern Leyte. Other languages spoken in Eastern Visayas are Baybayanon, which is spoken in Baybay with 10,000 speakers and Kinabalian, which is spoken in the municipality of San Juan, Southern Leyte.

Political divisions[edit]

Political map of Eastern Visayas
Seal Province/City Capital Type No. of
Pop. density
(per km²)
Founding Year
Ph seal biliran.png Biliran Naval Province 0 161,760 555.4 291.2 1992
Eastern Samar (Silangang Samar) Borongan City Province 1 428,877 4,339.6 98.8 1965
Leyte Logo.png Leyte City of Tacloban Province 1 1,567,984 5,712.8 274.5 1768
Ph seal northern samar.png Northern Samar Catarman Province 0 589,013 3,692.9 159.5 1965
Ormoc Leyte.png Ormoc Not Applicable Independent Component City Not Applicable 191,200 613.60 311.6 1834 (Cityhood 1947)
Ph seal samar.png Samar Catbalogan City Province 2 733,377 5,591.0 131.2 1768
Ph logo southern leyte.png Southern Leyte Maasin City Province 1 399,137 1,734.8 230.1 1959
Ph seal Tacloban.png Tacloban Not Applicable Highly Urbanized City Not Applicable 221,174 201.72 1,096.44 1770 (Cityhood 1953)

Component Cities[edit]

Seal City Province City Class Income Class Population Area
Pop. density
(per km²)
Founding Year
Baybay Leyte.png Baybay Leyte Component City 4th 102,841 459.34 220 1620 (Cityhood 2007)
Borongan Silangang Samar Component City 5th 64,457 475.00 140 1619 (Cityhood 2007)
Calbayog Samar.png Calbayog Samar Component City 1st 172,778 880.74 200 1785 (Cityhood 1948)
Catbalogan city seal.jpg Catbalogan Samar Component City 5th 94,317 274.22 340 1596 (Cityhood 2007)
Maasin logo.jpg Maasin Southern Leyte Component City 4th 81,250 211.71 380 1770 (Cityhood 2000)


Float exhibiting products of Eastern Visayas

Eastern Visayas is primarily an agricultural region with rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane and banana as its major crops.

Primary sources of revenue are manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and services. Mining, farming, fishing and tourism contribute significantly to the economy Manufacturing firms include mining companies, fertilizer plants, sugar central, rice and corn mills and other food processing plants. Tacloban is the hub of investment, trade and development in the region.

Other industries include mining, rice, corn and sugar milling, coconut oil extraction, alcohol distilling, beverage manufacture and forest products. Home industries include hat and basket weaving, metal craft, needlecraft, pottery, ceramics, woodcraft, shell craft and bamboo craft.


Eastern Visayas is home to several state universities, including the most prestigious University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College. The region is also home to the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), located in Catarman, Northern Samar, which holds the most number of baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate courses among universities in the region.

The Zonal Agricultural University for the Visayas under the National Agriculture Education System concept, Visayas State University (VSU) is also in the region, located in Baybay. Also, the region is home to Palompon Institute of Technology, a maritime school in the Philippines providing deck and engine cadet. Its main campus is located in the municipality of Palompon, Leyte province.

The Eastern Visayas State University is Leyte's state university with five extension campuses. Southern Leyte State University with five extension campuses, is the only state university in the province of Southern Leyte. In Biliran, Naval State University is the province state university. For Eastern Samar, the Eastern Samar State University is the only state university of the province with a single extension campus while Samar State University is Samar's state university with two extension campuses. For normal education, the Leyte Normal University specializes in education courses.



The region's Leyte and Samar islands serve as main link between Luzon and Mindanao by land transport. A total of nine airports, are strategically located in different parts of the six provinces that define the region. Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban is the main gateway by air to the region. There are seaports in Tacloban, Catbalogan, Calbayog, Borongan, Ormoc, Bato, Maasin, Sogod and Naval.

Power and Energy[edit]

The region is the top producer of geothermal energy supply in the country. The province of Leyte hosts the biggest geothermal plant in the Philippines. Still, geothermal exploration is ongoing in the nearby province of Biliran. With abundance of river system, the region has potential in hydroelectric production. Being coastal facing Pacific Ocean, the region have location being eyed for wind power generation. The strait of San Juanico between Leyte and Samar islands has been declared as potential source for water current and tidal energy sources.



Tinikling, the Philippines' national dance is folkdance that originated from the region. But the most popular cultural dance among Warays is the Kuratsa, danced during feast celebrations and special gatherings. The Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company, a local cultural group, held highly successful performances around the world.


Waray people are music lovers whose folkloric music are mostly ballads in form, famous of which is "Dandansoy" while "Iroy nga Tuna" (Motherland) is a patriotic song.

Points of interest[edit]

Photo Name
Crossing the San Juanico Bridge.jpg San Juanico Bridge is the longest and the most beautifully designed bridge in the Philippines. It features the picturesque San Juanico Strait with a thousand whirlpools, lovely islets and view. From one end of the bridge, half of the bridge looks like in a form of an S (for Samar) and from the other end L (for Leyte)
Agas-Agas Bridge.jpg Agas-Agas Bridge, the highest bridge in the country, located at Barangay Kahupian, Sogod, Southern Leyte as part of the Maharlika Highway.
Lake Danao.jpg Lake Danao is a guitar-shaped lake on the hills of Ormoc in the province of Leyte.
Sto. Nino Shrine.jpg Sto. Nino Shrine, It displays the fortune and previous properties of the first dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos


External links[edit]