Eastern Visayas

Eastern Visayas encompasses the two large islands of Leyte and Samar, the province of Biliran and several minor islands. This region is the eastern boundary of the Philippines.

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 Visayan and Camotes Seas separate the region from the rest of the Visayas. On the east, the region faces the Pacific Ocean.

The San Juanico Strait separates the islands of Samar and Leyte. The terrain of the two large islands is entirely different. Leyte has a high peaked mountain mass in the interior while Samar has low rugged hills interspersed with valleys

As of August 1, 2007, the total population of the region was 3,912,936. This increased by 1.12% from its population of 3,610,355 in May 1, 2000.
Region VIII is inhabited by the Waray-Warays, the country’s fourth largest cultural linguistic group. But Cebuanos, from the nearby island of Cebu live in Ormoc City, Western Leyte and parts of the Southwest of Leyte.

The eastern portion of the region is frequently visited by storms from the Pacific Ocean. The region receives heavy rainfall throughout the year with no pronounced dry season.


Eastern Visayas is primarily an agricultural region with rice, abaca, corn, coconut, sugarcane and banana as major crops. Its total land area is 21,431.7 sq. kms. 52% of its total land area are classified as forestland and 48% as alienable and disposable land.


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, 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.

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. Cebu 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.

The region receives the “spillover” from Cebu’s industrial and eco-tourism activities

Leyte is planned to become an industrial hub of the region with the development of the following industrial estates and centers:

Leyte Industrial Development Estate
Amihan Cebu Woodlands township
Eastern Visayas Regional Agri-industrial Growth Center
Barugo Economic Zone
Leyte Provincial Industrial Center in Ormoc City
Baybay Techno Science Par

The centers of education, trade and commerce in the region are the cities of Tacloban (Now Highly Urbanized City) and Ormoc in Leyte and Catbalogan and Calbayog in Samar.

The San Juanico Bridge connects the islands of Leyte and Samar, across the San Juanico Strait. It is also linked to the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway.

The region has several national, municipal and private ports and a number of airports. Postal, telegraph and telecommunications services are provided by both government and private sectors .