Eastern Visayas is one of the three regions in the Visayas group of islands and it is designated as Region VIII out of the 17 regions of the entire Philippines. The region is a grouping of three major islands of Samar, Leyte and Biliran and other small islands scattered throughout the eastern archipelago of the Visayas. It is composed of the six provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Biliran.
Being the caving capital of the Philippines, the region is home to many cave systems located underneath the mountains of Samar island. Interspersed with this cave systems are waterfalls, rivers and underground rivers inside caves. Hence, the region is a destination for extreme mountaineering adventures such as spelunking and trekking.
The region is also a destination for marine adventures like scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing. At the southern end of Leyte island, Sogod Bay boasts of a massive underwater coral gardens ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. In the Pacific coast of Eastern Samar, the island of Calicoan is home to an international surfing circuit held every year. The smaller island of Biliran is popular to beachcombers with its pristine white sand beaches.
For geological wonders, along its shores at the northern part of Samar island are towering rock formations in Biri and Capul, Northern Samar, and in the Leyte Gulf side of Marabut, Samar. There are volcanic lakes located in the various islands of the region, most notable of which is Lake Danao in Ormoc City.
For road trip adventure, the three major island of the region is encircled by a coastal highway end to end. Countryside driving can be a relaxing experience with views of the ocean and seas atop the mountains of Samar. San Juanico Bridge, the first longest bridge in Asia is found in the region. It connects Leyte and Samar islands between Tacloban City and Sta. Rita, Samar. The bridge became an engineering marvel after its construction in the 70s. Biliran Bridge connects Leyte and Biliran islands.
Historical sites such as Homonhon and Limasawa islands, two of the few stop-over of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan in his voyage from Spain enroute to Cebu, are located in the region. Homonhon Island is at the southern end of Samar Island while Limasawa Island is at the southern end of Leyte Island.
The region is home of the Pintados and Sangyaw festivals. On the month of June each year, Pintados and Sangyaw festivals are held in the region's capital Tacloban City. These festivals are the region's biggest crowd drawing events coinciding with the religious festivities of Tacloban City honoring Señor Sto. Niño, the Patron Saint of Tacloban. Other smaller festivals and festivities are held in every town annually at different dates.
On Leyte Island
On Samar Island:
On its own island
- Tacloban City - capital of Leyte province and regional center
- Baybay City, in Leyte province
- Borongan City, capital of Eastern Samar province
- Calbayog City, in Samar Province
- Catbalogan City, capital of Samar province
- Maasin City - capital of Southern Leyte province
- Ormoc City, in Leyte Province
- Sogod Bay coral reef
- Canigao island coral reef
- Homonhon island coral reef
- Biri island coral reef
- Samar Island Nature Park
- Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park
- Sohoton Cave Natural Park
- Amandaraga Falls
- Bagongbong Falls
- Balantak Falls
- Bangon Falls
- Binalarawan Falls
- Bito Falls
- Busay Falls
- Casyawan Falls
- Guinsohotan Falls
- Gunhuban Falls
- Habag Falls
- Kaputian Falls
- Larik Falls
- Lulugayan Falls
- Mahalika Falls
- Mantikawol Falls
- Pan-as Falls
- Pinipisakan Falls
- Tarangban Falls
- Tinago Falls
- Tingson Falls
- Ton-ok Falls
- Ulan-ulan Falls
- Sohoton Cave Natural Park
- Robins Cave - Las Navas, Northern Samar
- Km. 3 Cave - Las Navas, Northern Samar
- Jiabong Cave - Jiabong, Samar
- Guimit Cave
- Canyawa Cave - Calbiga, Samar
- Sulpan Maybug Cave - Matuguinao, Samar
- Ludi Bito Cave - Calbiga, Samar
- Elaroman Cave - Calbiga, Samar
- Langun Cave - Calbiga, Samar
- Burabod Cave - Calbiga, Samar
- Guintoble Cave
- Campanira-Ludi Bito Bur
- Binobowakang Cave - Hinabangan, Samar
- Posiksaw Cave - Hinabangan, Samar
- Lasona Cave - Hinabangan, Samar
- Kurot Cave - Hinabangan, Samar
- Calicoan Island
- Homonhon Island
- Biri Islands
- Capul Island
- Canigao Island
- Cuatro Islas
- Limasawa Island
- Digyo Island
- Divinubo Island
- Danao Lake - Ormoc City
- Kalidongan Lake
- Ginagatusan Lake - Las Navas
- Ulot River in Samar island
- Catubig River - Catubig and Las Navas
- Marabut Rock Formations
- Capul Island Rock Formation
- Biri Island Rock Formation
- San Juanico Bridge, longest bridge in the Philippine - connects two islands over sea
- Agas-agas Bridge, highest bridge in the Philippines connecting two mountain side
- Leyte-Naval Bridge, connecting two islands over sea
Churches and Fortifications
- Tanauan Church fortication - built 1704
- Hilongos Church fortification - built 1710
- Catbalogan Church fortification - built 1760
- Capul Church fortication - built 1616
- Palapag Church fortification - built 1649
Extreme adventure and sport
- Bungee jumping at Agas-Agas Bridge
- Zipline at Agas-Agas Bridge
- San Juanico Golf course
- Visayas State University (formerly VISCA) complex in Baybay City
- University of Eastern Philippines in Catarman, Northern Samar
Waray people are perceived to be difficult and brave. Although, this may be true in some instances, the Warays are just like other ordinary Filipinos who share the same level of hospitality. This perception was rooted to the heroism and galantry of local folks in many battles fought during World War I and II.
- Good morning! - Maupay nga aga!
- Good noon! - Maupay nga udto!
- Good afternoon! - Maupay nga kulop!
- Good evening! - Maupay nga gab-i!
- How much? - Tag-pira?
- Can I ask a discount? - Puyde tumawad?
- Thank you! - Salamat
- Where is the way to Dagami? - Hain it tikadto ha Dagami?
- I will come back - Mabalik ako
- Can we be friends? - Puyde kita mag sangkay?
- You are beautiful! - Mahusay ka!
- You are handsome! - Gwapo ka!
- I love you - Higugmaon ko ikaw
Tacloban City is the jump-off point of the region. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Zest Air serve the city from Manila and Cebu daily. Other secondary routes served by local airlines from Manila are Catarman Airport, Calbayog Airport and Ormoc Airport
All cities and capital towns in the region are accessible by bus from Manila, Cebu, Davao. The biggest regional terminal is at Tacloban City where buses and vans have direct connection to all cities and provincial capitals in the region. The five major seaports (ferry terminal) of entry to the region is at Silago, Southern Leyte for buses coming from the island of Mindanao, Bato, Leyte for buses coming from island of Bohol, Palompon, Leyte for buses from Cebu, and the two ferry terminals at Allen, Northern Samar for buses coming from Luzon island. The islands of Leyte, Samar and Biliran are interconnected by bridges with the beautiful San Juanico Bridge connecting Leyte and Samar islands.
For scheduled passenger ferries, Ormoc City is the main entry point from the province of Cebu while the town of Bato, Leyte is the entry port from the island of Bohol. The town of Palompon is the seaport for scheduled passenger vessels from Manila and Mindanao.
The city of Tacloban is the educational, cultural, commercial and trade center of the region while the neighboring town of Palo, Leyte is where most agencies of the national government is located. Hence, it is the government center for Eastern Visayas region.
- Buses and vans connect Tacloban City to all other capital cities and towns within the region. From the provincial capitals, mini buses and jeepneys connect the capital city or town to all outlying towns belonging to each province. In some instances within a province, jeepneys and vans connect two major neighboring towns.
- There are available vans for hire going to every destination in the region. In most cases, in rural towns, motorbike for hire is the common form of transportation from the town proper to the inner barangays or villages.
- The entire region is encircled by a coastal road from end to end since most of the towns are in coastal areas. Very few inner towns can be located at the central part of each island.
- San Juanico Bridge - the first longest bridge in Asia constructed in the 70s.
- Agas-agas Bridge - the highest bridge in the Philippines.
- McArthur Landing Park - World War II memorial park dedicated to General Douglas McArthur of the United States Armed Forces.
- Coral gardens at Sogod Bay
- Canigao Island
- Calicoan Island surfing
- Pinipisakan Falls
- Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival (June 29-30)
Fly to Catarman, Northern Samar Proceed to Laoang, Northern Samar for white beaches or Proceed to Biri island Then proceed to Allen, Northern Samar Proceed to Calbayog all the way to Catbalogan Either proceed to Borongan going to Calicoan or Go straight to Tacloban from Catbalogan Go to Ormoc, proceed to Maasin Proceed to Sogod Bay, then to Silago Return to Tacloban and fly out
- Scuba dive and snorkel at Sogod Bay.
- Surf at Calicoan Island where international surfing competition is held every year.
- Visit the historical Homonhon Island, where Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, as commissioned by
Spain, first set foot on Philippine soil in the year 1521.
- McArthur Park in Palo, Leyte, where General Douglas McArthur made his landing, liberating the Philippines from the Japanese invasion during World War II.
- Take a dip at Danao Lake in Ormoc City.
- Explore the breath-taking Biri island
- See the magnificent Rock formations in Marabut, Eastern Samar.
- Experience countryside setting of the region on a road trip along its coastal road encircling around the region from east to west and north to south.
- Explore the many lakes and waterfalls which are aplenty in the region.
- Binagol, the native sweet delicacy indigenous to the town of Dagami, Leyte sold in the sidewalk of Tacloban City.
- Moron, the rice chocolate delicacy also indigenous to Dagami, Leyte but now made everywhere in the region.
- Tuba, a local wine made from coconut sap with coloring mixture from mangrove bark.
Bigger hotels can be found in the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc and Calbayog. Leyte Park Hotel & Resort in Tacloban City is the region's biggest hotel. It is overlooking San Pedro Bay. Beach resorts can be found in outlying coastal towns, famous of which is Calicoan Surf Camp at Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
For tourists traveling to outlying towns and interior villages, it is advisable to register with the Municipal Tourism Officer at the town hall.
Fly out from:
- Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (Tacloban)
- Catarman Airport
- Calbayog Airport
- Ormoc Airport
Ferry and bus trip to:
- Cebu at Ormoc City Pier
- Matnog at Allen Ferry Terminal
- Mindanao at Silago Ferry Terminal
- Bohol at Bato Pier
- Masbate at Palompon Pier