Eastern Visayas

Eastern Visayas (German: Eastern Visayas, Tagalog: Silangang Kabisayaan ) or Region VIII is a region of the Philippines.

The region includes the eastern islands of the Visayan group, consisting of six provinces:

Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte.

The administrative center is located in Tacloban City, one of four cities on the island of Leyte. In contrast, part of Calbayog City, one of two cities in the province of Samar, one of the oldest cities in the entire island state.

  • 4.1 Cities


The Eastern Visayas region includes the two large islands of Samar and Leyte, the island province of Biliran and several other smaller islands in the Camotes Sea, the Philippine Sea, the Straits of Surigao and the Gulf of Leyte. In the northwest, the road separated from the San Bernardino County area of the island of Luzon, while the road from Surigao the island of Leyte from the northeastern part of Mindanao separated. The San Juanico Strait in turn runs between the two islands of Leyte and Samar. In the West, the region is bounded by the Camotes Sea and the Visayan Sea, to the east, the Pacific Ocean covers.

The topology of the two large islands is completely different. Leyte is traversed in their home by mountain ranges and some extensive plains, while Samar is interspersed with low hills and valleys.

The total area of ​​the region is 21431.6 km ². 52% here is classified as forest area and 48% of floor space.

Demographics, language and religion


In the region as a whole 3,610,355 people live. The population average is 168.5 inhabitants per km ². The Leyte province has the highest population with 1.64346 million, representing about 48 % of the region. The Samar province follows with 589 373 people from Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte.

The Region VIII is mainly inhabited by the ethnic group of Waray Waray -, culturally and linguistically fourth largest ethnic group in the Philippines. The western part of Leyte, in particular the area around Ormoc City, on the other hand is home to the ethnic group of Cebuanos who had emigrated in earlier times from the nearby island of Cebu.

In the province of Biliran share the ethnicities. Thus the inhabitants of the eastern part belong to the majority Waray, while the rest of the culture of the Cebuanos is attributable.


The language most spoken widely on Leyte and Samar is the Lineyte - Samarnon Visayan, better known under the name Waray Waray -. On almost the entire island of Samar and in about 25 % of the area of the northern Leyte local people this form of language used, which have evolved in the different localities, various modifications. The Boholano and Cebuano languages ​​are used primarily in some areas in the north-west and the north-eastern Leyte and almost the entire western and southern part of Southern Leyte before. On some other islands, as well as on Samar, Cebu and Bohol were migrants from settling down in the past. In Northern Samar, they have mostly settled in the island municipality of San Vicente, in parts of San Antonio and in Almagro in Western Samar.

On the island Capul, located at the northern tip of Samar, people speak the dialect Abaknon, which is associated with the language sama. Historical narratives, according to the ancestors of this ethnic group of the Balabac, a group of islands in the south of Palawan came. They left their homeland and traveled together with their leader Abak across the sea to escape the dominance of the Moros, who had their raids of Mindanao from increasingly extended to the islands of the Visayas.


The absolute majority of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic faith. In the second place the followers of the Aglipayan and the evangelists follow. Other religious groups represented in the region are the Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah 's Witnesses and Seventh- day Adventists.

Agriculture and fishing are the livelihoods of many residents dar. Since their culture is often characterized by superstition, they trust throughout the growing season, from sowing to harvest, ritual practices that agree the nature spirits and their ancestors gracious and giving them a fruitful to bring harvest. The fisherman asks people in the same way the assistance of the water spirits, so that they accompany them safe and let them be given a successful catch.


Eastern Visayas is primarily agriculturally oriented region, who lives on the cultivation of rice, corn, coconut, sugar cane and bananas. The most important export product, however, is the Abaca fiber, which is sold as a pre -finished or finished product abroad.

The main sources of income are the manufacture of various products, wholesale and retail trade and the service. The mining, agriculture, fishing and tourism contribute significantly to the economic development of this region. Among the local companies include mining companies, fertilizer plants, sugar central, rice and wheat mills and other enterprises of the food industry. Furthermore, the production of coconut oil, alcohol distillation, beverage production and processing of forest products significant economic factors in Eastern Visayas. There exist in this region also a number of small scale enterprises that deal with the production of hats, baskets, weaving products, metal processing, the production of ceramics, as well as the production of decorative products from wood, shells or bamboo.

The women of Basey Samar to weave a variety of complex shape mats of reeds, which are called Tikog. Furthermore, they produce an ornate type of mats that are decorated with flowers, birds, fish and mermaids or provided with scenes of local legends and legendary world. Other traditional arts and crafts of the region is made in the potteries of Tanauan, Leyte and Biliran, as also in the basket weavers of Calbiga, Samar and Leyte in Carigara.

The vast coastline but also the water reservoirs and rivers in the country offer many types of salt water and fresh water fish and other marine products. The region is one of the main export regions for fish and seafood of the entire country.

Also mineral reserves are promoted here to day. The most important minerals are chromite, nickel, clay minerals, coal, limestone, pyrites, sand and gravel. In addition, the provinces of Eastern Visayas have abundant geothermal energy sources and large fresh water resources, which will benefit the development of medium and heavy industry in the area.

Administrative divisions

Eastern Visayas is politically subdivided into six provinces. Overall, the region includes six cities and 137 independent communities to managed.

These in turn are divided into a total of 4,390 barangays ( districts ). The region consists in total of 12 congressional districts.


¹ Ormoc City is an independent from the provincial town.


Based on geological findings, it is assumed that the islands of Mindoro, Luzon and Mindanao during the Ice Age, the Pleistocene ( 2 million years - 8000 years BC ), with Samar, Leyte and Bohol were connected and together formed one large island.

Excavations in the caves Sohoton in Basey, Samar, brought stone tools to light, which could be dated to the year 8500 BC. Other excavations along the Basey Rivers revealed more stone tools, which were used until the 13th century.

Two smaller islands in the region have in Philippine history, a special historical significance: the island Homonhon that belongs to Eastern Samar, 1521 was the first landing place in the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan, after he had crossed the Pacific Ocean with his fleet. On Limasawa, an island municipality in the southern part of the present province of Southern Leyte, he celebrated the first Mass in the archipelago.

The next emitted from Spain expedition in 1565 was commanded by Ruy López de Villalobos, who gave the island of Leyte in the name " La Isla Filipina " in honor of the Spanish Crown Prince Philip II. A term that was later transferred to the entire archipelago. Leyte Samar and were ruled at the beginning of Spanish rule in the Philippines as a single province under the jurisdiction of Cebu. From 1768 to the two provinces finally managed separately.

The San Bernardino road between Samar and Leyte formed at that time the access path for Spanish galleons on their voyages to the islands of the northern archipelago. In the place Palapag on Northern Samar is a haven of royal colonial power was established in order to anchor the ships protecting against wind and stormy seas can. In 1649 shipbuilders were called to the shipyards of Cavite to there to make new galleons and barks. In the same year came to Samar to an uprising of some recruits under the leadership of Sumuroy, which is considered one of the earliest revolts against the Spanish occupation.

At the beginning of the 20th century, in the midst of the Philippine- American War, won the inhabitants Balangiga on Samar a small but momentous victory when they attacked and aufrieben stationed in their place Company C, an American battalion. The triggered effect from this action retaliatory campaign of Americans will cost 60,000 Samarnons, including many civilians, life.

During the Second World War, Leyte and Samar fundamental arenas in the Pacific War. On October 20, 1944, American troops were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur and President of the Philippine Commonwealth Sergio Osmeña on land. On Red Beach in Palo, Leyte, MacArthur himself entered the beach and called there the beginning of the liberation of the Philippine island nation of. In the wake of the Battle of Leyte occurred in the area of ​​today's governmental district of Eastern Visayas to the sea and air battle of Leyte Gulf, which is considered the largest naval battle of modernity today. For several weeks the town of Tacloban was the headquarters of the Commonwealth government and formed thus de facto capital of the free Filipino nation.


The eastern portions of the region are repeatedly afflicted by storms that come up from the Pacific Ocean and frequenting the area several times a year. Throughout the year can be violent rains occur on the islands of Eastern Visayas, without a longer drying time would be mint.


Island groups in the Eastern Visayas

Islands in the Eastern Visayas

  • Almagro Iceland
  • Biri Iceland
  • Calangaman Iceland
  • Camandag Iceland
  • Capinahan Iceland
  • Capul Iceland
  • Caygan Iceland
  • Dalupiri Iceland
  • Dalutan Iceland
  • Higatangan Iceland
  • Karikiki Iceland
  • Libucan Daco Iceland
  • Maripipi Iceland
  • Sambawan Iceland
  • San Bernardino Iceland
  • Santo Niño Iceland
  • Tagapul - to Iceland
  • Homonhon Island


  • The Samar Natural Park
  • The gene. Douglas MacArthur Landing Memorial
  • The San Juanico Bridge
  • The Sto. Niño Shrine and the Cultural Museum in Tacloban City
  • The Sohoton -Natural Bridge National Park, in Basay
  • The Kuapnit Balinsasayaw National Park
  • The San Juanico Strait
  • The Breakneck Ridge in Capoocan
  • The island Limasawa
  • Panaon Iceland
  • The Cathedral of Maasin
  • The Bangon - Bugtong cases in San Joaquin
  • The island Kantikan (Pearl Iceland )
  • The church of La Inmaculada Concepcion is on the short list of the Philippines for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.