Region VIII, also known as Eastern Visayas Region, lies in the easternmost border of the Philippine Archipelago. Its two main islands: Leyte and Samar are connected by San Juanico Bridge, the second longest bridge in Southeast Asia. The region consists of six provinces: Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte,West Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

map of region 8 eastern visayas
Map of Eastern Visayas

Eastern Visayas has an agriculture-based economy being the top produces of abaca and the third largest coconut-growing region in the country. It is dubbed as the geothermal capital of the Philippines because of its abundant {mosimage}geothermal power reserve. It is also known for its abundant deposit of metallic and nonmetallic minerals. Region VIII takes pride of its 3.6M people (2000 Census of Population and Housing) that mostly speak two dialects; Waray and Cebuano. The region is also endowed with beautiful natural attractions like beaches, caves, mountains and lakes. Now, Eastern Visayas has become a favorite destination of tourists and investors because of its abundant economic resources, natural beauty and improved transportation and telecommunication facilities.

The region figured prominently in the Philippine history. The first catholic mass was celebrated in Limasawa, Southern Leyte on March 31, 1951.; General Douglas MacArthur led the fleet of transport and warships that first landed in Leyte which concluded the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines. The discovery of the Philippines by Western voyagers was led by Magellan in 1521 in Homonhon Island, Eastern Samar.

MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park
MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park

Eastern Visayas is located within 10 0 12′ to 14 0 north latitude and 124 0 19′ to 126 0 east latitude. The region lies in the eastern part of the country’s Visayan belt. The region is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the Bicol Peninsula, on the northwest by the Samar Sea, on the west by Camotes Sea, and on the south by the Surigao Strait and Bohol Sea. The region’s terrain is relatively flat near and along its coasts. The mountainous areas of the region are located in the middle portion of the sister islands of Leyte and Samar. Vast plains can be found in the island of Leyte but these are traversed by mountain ranges with peaks measuring from approximately 2,295 to 3,280 feet high and extending generally from north to south. Some mountain ranges are endowed with forests and deep valleys.

San Juanico Bridge
Tulay ng San Juanico

The region occupies a total land area of 21,434.7 square kilometers, the fourth largest region in the country and contributing 7.1 percent of the nation’s total land area. Due to its geographic location, the region’s climate generally belongs to the second climatic type which is characterized by having no distinct dry and with very pronounced maximum rainy period during the months of November to January.