Eastern Visayas

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Eastern Visayas

Sinirangan Kabisay-an
Sidlakang Kabisay-an
Silangang Kabisayaan

Region VIII
Eastern Visayas.png
Clockwise from top:
Ph locator region 8.svg
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°14′N125°03′E / 11.24°N 125.05°E / 11.24; 125.05 Coordinates: 11°14′N125°03′E / 11.24°N 125.05°E / 11.24; 125.05
CountryFlag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Island group Visayas
Regional center Tacloban
  Total23,251.10 km2 (8,977.30 sq mi)
(2015 census) [3]
  Density190/km2 (490/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+8 (PST)
ISO 3166 code PH-08
Municipalities 136
Barangays 4,390
Cong. districts 12

Eastern Visayas (Waray : Sinirangan Kabisay-an; Tagalog : Silangang Kabisayaan) is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region VIII. It consists of three main islands, Samar, Leyte and Biliran. The region has six provinces, one independent city and one highly urbanized city [4] namely, Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc and Tacloban. The highly urbanized city of Tacloban is the sole regional center. These provinces and cities occupy the easternmost islands of the Visayas group of islands.

Waray language Visayan language primarily spoken in the islands of Samar and Eastern Leyte

Waray is the fifth-most-spoken native regional language of the Philippines, native to Eastern Visayas. It is the native language of the Waray people and second language of the Abaknon people of Capul, Northern Samar and some Cebuano-speaking peoples of eastern and southern parts of Leyte island. It is the third most spoken language among the Visayan languages, only behind Cebuano and Hiligaynon.

Tagalog language Austronesian language

Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, and is one of two official languages alongside English.

In the Philippines, regions, are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions. Most national government offices provide services through their regional branches instead of having direct provincial offices. These regional offices are usually in the city designated as the regional center.


Eastern Visayas faces the Philippine Sea to the east. The region is known for its famous landmark, the San Juanico Bridge, dubbed as the "Most Beautifully Designed and Longest Bridge in the Philippines". As of 2015, the Eastern Visayas region has a population of 4,440,150 inhabitants, [3] making it the third most populous region in the Visayas.

Philippine Sea A marginal sea east and northeast of the Philippines

The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and northeast of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 5 million square kilometres. The Philippine Sea Plate forms the floor of the sea, which forms a portion of the western North Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Philippine archipelago on the southwest; Halmahera, Morotai, Palau, Yap, and Ulithi on the southeast; the Marianas, including Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, on the east; the Bonin and Iwo Jima on the northeast; the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū on the north; the Ryukyu Islands on the northwest; and Taiwan in the west.

San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway and stretches from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait in the Philippines. Its longest length is a steel girder viaduct built on reinforced concrete piers, and its main span is of an arch-shaped truss design. Constructed during the Marcos administration using Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans, it has a total length of 2.16 kilometers (1.34 mi) - the longest bridge spanning a body of seawater in the Philippines.


The current name of the region was derived from its location in the greater Visayas area. The name was coined by American colonialists after the take-over of the islands when the First Philippine Republic was officially defeated by the Americans. There have been proposals to rename the current Eastern Visayas region, which is dominated by the Waray ethnic group in the east and the Sebwano ethnic group in the west, into Mairete-Iberein region. The term literally translates to 'Land of Ete and Iberein'. According to documents recorded by the Spanish, Ete is the first documented pre-colonial ruler of a kingdom of Leyte, while Iberein is the first documented pre-colonial ruler of a kingdom in Samar. Ete, whose kingdom was centered in present-day Tacloban, most likely had Waray and Sebwano bloodlines, while Iberein, whose kingdom was centered somewhere in Northern Samar, most likely had Waray bloodlines. [5] [6]

Tacloban Highly Urbanized City in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Tacloban, or simply referred to as Tacloban City, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It serves as the regional center of the region of Eastern Visayas. The city is autonomous from the province of Leyte, although it serves as its provincial capital. According to the 2015 census, Tacloban has a population of 242,089, making it the most populous city in the Eastern Visayas. The city is located 360 miles (580 km) southeast from Manila.

Northern Samar Province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Northern Samar is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Catarman and is located at the northern portion of the island of Samar. Bordering the province to the south are the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar. To the northwest, across the San Bernardino Strait is Sorsogon; to the east is the Philippine Sea and to the west is Samar Sea.


Eastern Visayas lies on the east central section of the Philippine archipelago. It consists of three main islands, Leyte, Biliran and Samar, which form the easternmost coasts of the archipelago. It is bounded on the east and north by the Philippine Sea with the San Bernardino Strait separating Samar from southeastern Luzon; on the west by the Camotes and Visayan seas, and on the south by the Bohol Sea with the Surigao Strait separating Leyte from northwestern Mindanao. It has a total land area of 2,156,285 hectares (5,328,300 acres) or 7.2% of the country’s total land area. [7] 52% of its total land area are classified as forestland and 48% as alienable and disposable land.

San Bernardino Strait strait

The San Bernardino Strait is a strait in the Philippines, connecting the Samar Sea with the Philippine Sea. It separates the Bicol Peninsula of Luzon island from the island of Samar in the south.

Luzon largest island of the Philippines

Luzon is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines. It is ranked 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern region of the archipelago, it is the economic and political center of the nation, being home to the country's capital city, Manila, as well as Quezon City, the country's most populous city. With a population of 53 million as of 2015, it is the fourth most populous island in the world, containing 52.5% of the country's total population.

Camotes Sea A small sea in the Philippine archipelago, bordered by the islands Leyte, Bohol and Cebu

The Camotes Sea is a small sea within the Philippine archipelago, situated between the Eastern Visayan and the Central Visayan regions. It is bordered by the islands of Leyte to the north and east, Bohol to the south, and Cebu to the west. It contains the Camotes Islands, Lapinig Island, Olango Island, Mactan Island, and various other small islets.


Visayas 2013-11-06.jpg
Visayas 2013-11-15.jpg
Deforestation from Typhoon Haiyan in the Visayas

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 struck with the highest death toll in the nation by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the second deadliest typhoon ever to violently hit the Philippines. Typhoons frequently hit the region along with the Bicol region as the most typhoon prone parts of the Philippines.

Natural resources

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.

Chromite spinel, oxide mineral

Chromite is a mineral that is an iron chromium oxide. It has a chemical formula of FeCr2O4. It is an oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. The element magnesium can substitute for iron in variable amounts as it forms a solid solution with magnesiochromite (MgCr2O4). A substitution of the element aluminium can also occur, leading to hercynite (FeAl2O4). Chromite today is mined particularly to make stainless steel through the production of ferrochrome (FeCr), which is an iron-chromium alloy.

Uranium Chemical element with atomic number 92

Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92. It is a silvery-grey metal in the actinide series of the periodic table. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons. Uranium is weakly radioactive because all isotopes of uranium are unstable, with half-lives varying between 159,200 years and 4.5 billion years. The most common isotopes in natural uranium are uranium-238 and uranium-235. Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the primordially occurring elements. Its density is about 70% higher than that of lead, and slightly lower than that of gold or tungsten. It occurs naturally in low concentrations of a few parts per million in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite.

Gold Chemical element with atomic number 79

Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium.


Population census of Eastern
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 3,054,490    
2000 3,610,355+1.69%
2010 4,101,322+1.28%
2015 4,440,150+1.52%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority [3] [8]


The native languages of Eastern Visayas are:

Administrative divisions

Political Map of Eastern Visayas Region Ph eastern visayas.png
Political Map of Eastern Visayas Region

Eastern Visayas consists of 6 provinces, 1 highly urbanized city, 1 independent component city, 5 component cities, 136 municipalities and 4,390 barangays.

Province orHUCCapitalPopulation (2015) [3] Area [9] DensityCitiesMuni.Bgy.
km2sq mi/km2/sq mi
Biliran Naval 3.9%171,612536.01206.9532083008132
Eastern Samar Borongan 10.5%467,1604,660.471,799.42100260122597
Leyte Tacloban 38.8%1,724,6796,313.332,437.592707003401,503
Northern Samar Catarman 14.2%632,3793,692.931,425.85170440024569
Samar Catbalogan 17.6%780,4816,048.032,335.16130340224951
Southern Leyte Maasin 9.5%421,7501,798.61694.45230600118500
Tacloban 5.5%242,089201.7277.881,2003,100138

   Tacloban is a highly-urbanized city; figures are excluded from Leyte province.

  • Figures for Leyte province include the independent component city of Ormoc.


Float exhibiting products of Eastern Visayas OTOPTACLOBAN.JPG
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 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 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 four extension campus while Samar State University is Samar's state university with two extension campuses. Northwest Samar State University serves Samar Province's first district. For teacher 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, Baybay, Catbalogan, Calbayog, Borongan, Allen, Ormoc, Bato, Hilongos, Maasin, Sogod, and Naval.

Power and energy

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. 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.

Related Research Articles

Visayas one of the three island groups of the Philippines

The Visayas, or the Visayan Islands, is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Luzon and Mindanao. Located in the central part of the archipelago, it consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are also considered the northeast extremity of the entire Sulu Sea. Its inhabitants are predominantly the Visayan peoples.

Leyte island in the Philippines

Leyte is an island in the Visayas group of the Philippines.

Leyte (province) Province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Leyte is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region, occupying the northern three-quarters of Leyte Island. Its capital is the city of Tacloban. Leyte is situated west of Samar Island, north of Southern Leyte and south of Biliran. To the west of Leyte across the Camotes Sea is the province of Cebu.

Biliran Province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Biliran is an island province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Biliran is one of the country's smallest and newest provinces. Formerly a sub-province of Leyte, it became an independent province in 1992.

Eastern Samar Province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Eastern Samar is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is the city of Borongan. Eastern Samar occupies the eastern portion of the island of Samar. Bordering the province to the north is the province of Northern Samar and to the west is Samar province. To the east lies the Philippine Sea, part of the vast Pacific Ocean, while to the south lies the Leyte Gulf.

Samar (province) Province in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Samar, formerly named as Western Samar, is a province in the Philippines located on Samar Island in Eastern Visayas. Its capital is Catbalogan City. It is bordered by Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte and the Leyte Gulf, and includes several islands in the Samar Sea. Samar is connected to the island of Leyte via the San Juanico Bridge.

Ormoc Independent Component City in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Ormoc, officially the City of Ormoc or simply referred to as Ormoc City, is a 1st class independent component city in the province of Leyte in the region of Eastern Visayas of the Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 215,031 inhabitants, making it the second most-populous city in the province after the provincial capital, Tacloban City. Ormoc is the economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of western Leyte.

Samar island of the Philippines

Samar is the third largest island in the Philippines. Located in eastern Visayas, within central Philippines. The island is divided into three provinces: Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar. These three provinces, along with the provinces on the nearby islands of Leyte and Biliran are part of the Eastern Visayas region.

Visayan languages language family

Visayan is a group of languages of the Philippines that are related to Tagalog and Bikol languages, all of which are part of the Central Philippine languages. Most Visayan languages are spoken in the whole Visayas section of the country, but they are also spoken in the southern part of the Bicol Region, islands south of Luzon, such as those that make up Romblon, most of the areas of Mindanao and the province of Sulu located southwest of Mindanao. Some residents of Metro Manila also speak Visayan.

Catarman, Northern Samar Municipality in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Catarman, officially the Municipality of Catarman,, is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Northern Samar, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 94,037 people.

Pilar, Cebu Municipality of the Philippines in the province of Cebu

Pilar, officially the Municipality of Pilar,, is a 5th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 11,308 people.

Poro, Cebu Municipality of the Philippines in the province of Cebu

Poro, officially the Municipality of Poro,, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 25,212 people.

Cabucgayan, Biliran Municipality in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Cabucgayan, officially the Municipality of Cabucgayan,, is a 5th class municipality in the province of Biliran, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 20,788 people.

Basey, Samar Municipality in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Basey, officially the Municipality of Basey, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Samar, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 55,480 people.

Baybay Component City in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Baybay, officially the City of Baybay,, or simply referred to as Baybay City is a 1st class city in the province of Leyte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 109,432 people.

The Waray people are a subgroup of the Visayan people whose primary language is the Waray language, an Austronesian language native to the islands of Samar, Leyte and Biliran, which together comprise the Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines. Waray people inhabit the whole island of Samar where they are called Samareños/Samarnons, the northern part of the island of Leyte where they are called Leyteños, and the island of Biliran. On Leyte island, the Waray people occupy the northern part of the island, separated from the Cebuano language-speaking Leyteños by a mountain range in the middle of the island.

<i>TV Patrol Eastern Visayas</i> television series

TV Patrol Eastern Visayas is a local news program of the ABS-CBN Regional Network Group in Tacloban City. It has been the most watched news program in the Eastern Visayas.


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