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, Eastern 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 Pintadosl 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.
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