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Eastern Visayas, Region VIII, Philippines

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: eastern visayas | leyte | samar | biliran | tacloban | ormoc | calbayog |
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The Philippine Republic's Region VIII, Eastern Visayas, comprises six provinces on three principal islands (each province includes nearby islets).

Flag images here drawn after Symbols of the State, published by the Philippines Bureau of Local Government.

See also:


[Biliran, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The island of Biliran, a province since 1992, is the newest province in the region, and, with 140,000 inhabitants on 555 sq. km., the smallest in both population and area. It is divided into eight towns, of which Naval is the capital.
John Ayer, 17 February 2001


[Leyte, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

South of Biliran is the island of Leyte, divided into the two provinces of Leyte and Southern Leyte. Leyte has a population of 1,572,000 in Tacloban City (the capital), Ormoc City, and forty-four towns. The island is unusually rich in history. Magellan visited here, and the first Christian mass in the Philippines was apparently celebrated on Leyte on Easter Sunday, 1521. The Leyteños, among the first Filipinos to welcome the Spaniards, were also among the first to take up arms against them. It was on Leyte that Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines in 1944, accompanied by President Sergio Osmeña and Gen. Carlos P. Romolo of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands. A town in Leyte is named MacArthur. To the east was fought on 24-26 October 1944 the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which noted naval historian Commodore Samuel Eliot Morison calls "the greatest naval battle of all time," and the last in which capital ships formed line of battle and exchanged cannon-fire. It was disastrous to the Japanese. Hill 120 on Leyte, where American soldiers raised the Stars and Stripes less than two hours after their landing, is a memorial to the victors in that war, one of many. There is also a memorial to the Japanese war dead, which the Japanese maintain and visit, one of several in the Philippines; and there is a monument to Philippine-Japanese friendship, again one of several.
John Ayer
, 15 February 2001

Tacloban City

[Tacloban City, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

The capital of the province of Leyte is Tacloban City. The provincial capitol was the seat of the Philippine government after the Allied landing. The houses where Gen. MacArthur and Pres. Osmeña lived are preserved. The city is also home to several universities, museums, monuments, a Buddhist temple, etc., and many fine beaches. Its population is 179,000.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001

Ormoc City

[Ormoc City, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

Ormoc City is adorned by Tongonan Hotsprings National Park and Lake Danao. Its population is 146,000.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001

Southern Leyte

[Southern Leyte, Philippines] image located by Vanja Poposki, 14 July 2012

The new flag of Southern Leyte Province is described at

"A flag is a visible representation of the feelings, aspiration and values of people through the use of conventional or traditional symbols. Viewed in the context of this definition, a flag thus, becomes the symbol of people and fulfillment of their legitimate dreams and aspirations. As applied to the Philippine setting, it stands for faith in the future and confidence in our capability to undertake the task of nation-building geared towards the creation of a New Society, freed from the inequities and maladies of the old. In a way, it also presents a challenge to the vigilance of all citizens in the desire and obligation towards affirmation of one's dignity as a person. To be able to give the flag the courtesy and affection it deserves, an accurate understanding of the symbolism hidden behind its traditional or commonplace representations becomes a necessity.
In spite of the simplicity of its design, the Southern Leyte provincial flag is no exception. This primer hopes to throw more light into its symbolism.

  1. The green background identifies Southern Leyte as an agricultural province where majority of the people derive their livelihood from the products of the soil.
  2. The golden trimmings suggest golden harvest, not so much as assurance, as it is an expression of a common prayer and a hope in the face of the unpredictable elements of nature and vagaries of chance.
  3. The cross is an allusion to its historical past in connection with the first Christian Mass on the Philippine soil which was celebrated at Limasawa island.
  4. The coconut and abaca leaves represent the two major agricultural products of the province from which majority of the people derive their livelihood.
  5. The four flowers represent the four major areas into which the province is divided namely:
    - Maasin, Macrohon, and Padre Burgos Area
    - Sogod Bay Area
    - Pacific Area
    - Panaon Area
  6. The orchid flower representing the four areas, belong to the Intermedia hybrid of the Phaelanopis genus of orchids common in the country. This particular variety, however, was originally found in Southern Leyte. This explains why it is the Provincial Flower. And true to its role as the provincial flower, during the summer months, riotous profusion of its attractive blooms is one of the distinctive features of Southern Leyte. The famous 'Star of Leyte' which won a major prize in orchid show in Manila in 1967 was actually taken from Southern Leyte. This has already produced several attractive variants or mutants which are high-priced collectors' items. Among them may be mentioned the mutant distinctively curly petals and dark violet labellum locally called 'Kulot'. This rarity has elicited appreciated raves from orchid enthusiasts. The 'Star of Leyte', as it was billed in the orchid show, is a mutant of 'Kulot'."
Valentin Poposki, 16 September 2010

Quoting "Orchids Wiki":
Phalaenopsis × intermedia is a hybrid between Phalaenopsis aphrodite × Phalaenopsis equestris. Phalaenopsis × intermedia is the first recognized Phalaenopsis hybrid. It is also known as the Star of Leyte. The plant is found only on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. It was first described by Lindley as a species in 1853 who also supposed that it was a hybrid. The supposition was confirmed by John Seden on April 8, 1886 when he flowered a artificial hybrid of the same parentage.×_intermedia
Ivan Sache, 14 July 2012


Former flag

[Southern Leyte, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

Southern Leyte has 358,000 inhabitants in nineteen towns, of which Maasin is the capital. The two provinces were divided in 1959.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001


[Western Samar, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

North of Leyte is the slightly larger island of Samar, divided into three provinces, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Samar, also known for distinction as Samar (Western), Western Samar, or West Samar. This island still contains considerable areas where according to report many people have never seen a foreigner. The island is rich in rivers, exotic wildlife, caves, and scenery, and the surrounding ocean abounds with exotic fish, but some of them are hammerhead sharks.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001

Calbayog City

[Calbayog City, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

Calbayog City, Samar, is, in area, the second largest city in the Philippines. Its population is 147,000. It boasts a waterfall of seven cascades, an archaeological museum, numerous historic sites, and at least one university.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001

Eastern Samar

[Eastern Samar, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

Eastern Samar has 376,000 inhabitants on 4340 in twenty-three towns, of which Borongan is the capital. It contains the spot where Magellan's expedition first touched the archipelago that Magellan named after his king. Samar (Western) has a population of 641,000 on 5591 It is divided into Calbayog City and twenty-five towns, of which Catbalogan is the provincial capital.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001

Northern Samar

[Northern Samar, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

Northern Samar has 501,000 inhabitants on 3498 in twenty-four towns, of which Catarman is the capital. The upper half of its seal bears a map of the province and an image of a sailboat.
John Ayer
, 17 February 2001