Region VIII, otherwise known as the Eastern Visayas Region, encompasses the two large islands of Leyte and Samar, the province of Biliran and several small islands. The region is the eastern boundary of the Philippines. It is one of the two regions of the Philippines having no land border with another region, MIMAROPA being the other region. Eastern Visayas is composed of six provinces, namely, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar and Southern Leyte. The regional center is Tacloban City, one of the two cities of Leyte.
The San Bernardino Strait separates Eastern Visayas from Luzon in the southeast while the Surigao Strait separates the province of Leyte from the northeastern part of Mindanao. The region is separated from the rest of the Visayas by the Visayan and Camotes Seas. On the east, the region faces the Pacific Ocean.
The inhabitants of Eastern Visayas are the Waray-Warays, the country’s fourth largest cultural linguistic group. The region is also inhabited by the Cebuanos, from the nearby island of Cebu. The main languages spoken are Cebuano and Waray-Waray. A language known as Inabaknon is spoken in the island of Capul in Northern Samar. Another speech variety known as Sagul, spoken on the island of Biliran, is claimed to exist in the region. Sagul, which means ‘mixed’ in Waray-Waray, is a mixture of both Cebuano and Waray. The Eastern Visayas Region receives heavy rainfall throughout the year and is frequently visited by storms from the Pacific Ocean. It has no pronounced dry season.
Eastern Visayas is primarily an agricultural region. The major crops of the region are rice, abaca, corn, coconut, sugarcane and banana. 52% of its total land area is classified as forestland and the rest are alienable or disposal land. In terms of mineral deposits, chromite, uranium, gold, silver, manganese, magnesium, bronze, nickel, clay, coal, limestone, pyrite and sand and gravel can be extracted from the region. It is one of the fish exporting regions of the country. The region also has abundant geothermal energy and water resources to meet the needs of medium and heavy industries.
Major sources of income for Eastern Visayas include manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and services. Manufacturing firms include mining companies, fertizer plants, sugar central, rice and corn mills and other food processing plants.
The islands of Leyte and Samar are connected by San Juanico Bridge, across the San Juanico Strait. The bridge is also linked to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway. The Eastern Visayas Region has several national, municipal and private seaports and a number of airports. Basic services such as electricity, telecommunications, postal and telegraph are provided by both government and private sectors.
The most populous cities and municipalities in Eastern Visayas are:
||Samar (Western Samar)
|City Of Baybay
|City Of Catbalogan
||Samar (Western Samar)
|City Of Maasin
|City Of Borongan
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