Leyte is known as the land of history. During the pre-colonial period, it was called Mairete or the “land of Ete,” a datu who ruled the island and the nearby towns. Before embracing Christianity, the locals were animist Warays and Hindu-Buddhist Visayans.
In 1543, Ruy López de Villalobos discovered Leyte and named it Las Islas Felipinas. During this time, Leyte and Samar became part of Cebu province. In 1735, they were separated from Cebu, and 33 years later, these two were split into two separate provinces.
During World War II, the Leyte Provincial Capitol became the seat of the Philippine Government for a while. The largest naval battle in modern history between the Allied and the Imperial Japanese Navy took place on the island in 1944. It was later called the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Presently, the island is politically divided into two provinces, Northern Leyte and Southern Leyte. The former occupies three-fourths of the island, while the latter occupies the remaining quarter of the island’s southern part. This province is connected to Samar and Biliran through the San Juanico Bridge and the Biliran Bridge.
As an island with rich history and attractive natural resources, Leyte is one of the go-to destinations for local and foreign tourists in the Visayas. Staying here allows you to enjoy proximity to other tourist destinations in the Visayas, such as Samar, Cebu, Bohol, and Surigao.
MORE ABOUT LEYTE
Its history, natural wonders, and continuous development make Leyte an ideal destination for tourists, residents, and businesses. Here are other reasons why you would want to settle in this province:
Home to the World’s Largest Geothermal Power Plant
The Malitbog Geothermal Power Station is the world’s largest geothermal power plant located in Kananga, Leyte. This is just one of the four operating power plants in Leyte Geothermal Production Field. Aside from providing electricity in the Visayas region, the excess energy produced by these power plants is supplied to the national grid, contributing to the energy reserve used in the neighboring islands of Luzon and Mindanao.
Thriving and Developing Economy
Northern Leyte’s economy is a mix of agriculture, fishing, industrial, energy, and mining. The top products of the province include rice, coconut, and sugarcane. The region also houses the Leyte ICT Park, one of the economic zones in the area located in Barangay Pawing in the town of Palo. Here, you will find several IT-BPO companies.
Southern Leyte’s economy is also dependent on agriculture and fishing. The province’s top agricultural products include coconuts and abaca. It has a robust cottage industry where furniture and handicraft items are produced.
The island of Leyte is a tourism haven due to its abundant natural resources and proximity to the airport. About 200,000 travelers visit Northern and Southern Leyte each year. This contributes to the provinces’ annual income, which the local government uses to further push infrastructure programs and the tourism industry.
PIT STOPS IN LEYTE
Leyte is not just a vacation destination. With modern conveniences available, it also makes for an ideal address if you want to move into a new home. Here are some of the landmarks and establishments in Northern and Southern Leyte that promote convenient living:
Schools and Universities
For families who are considering moving into a house and lot for sale in Leyte, here are the educational institutions in the province where you can enroll your children:
- Sacred Heart School
- San Fernando Central School
- Sagkahan National High School
- Saint Peter’s College
- Sto. Niño College of Ormoc City
- St. Paul’s School of Ormoc Foundation Inc.
- Eastern Visayas State University
- University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College
- Leyte Normal University
- Prestige International School
- Saint Thomas Aquinas College
- Saint Bernard Central School
- St. Joseph High School
- Southern Leyte State University
Clinics and Hospitals
Retirees who wish to settle down in Leyte will find it convenient to do so, especially since hospitals and clinics, such as the ones listed below, are highly accessible to residential areas:
- Kananga Community Hospital
- Villaba District Hospital
- Northwestern Leyte District Hospital
- Ormoc District Hospital
- Clinica Gatchalian and Hospital
- Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital
- Living Hope Hospital
- Pintuyan District Hospital
- Saint Vincent Medical Clinic
- Sogod District Hospital
- Maasin Maternity and Children’s Hospital
- Corompido Hospital
- Havilah Polymedic
Getting your daily essentials is easy if you live in Leyte. There are enough malls and other retail centers in the province to purchase your necessities and wants. These establishments could likewise be leisure spaces for families and friends who want to unwind together.
- Puregold Kananga
- Robinsons Place Ormoc
- 578 Emporium
- Central One
- Gaisano Capital Riverside
- SM Center Ormoc
- Chinatown East Gate
- J&F Palompon
- Robinsons Place Tacloban
- Town Center Sogod
- Gaisano Capital Sogod
- Metro Maasin
- Hinunangan Commercial Complex
- St. Bernard Town Center
- Metro Baybay
- J&F Mall
HOW TO MOVE AROUND LEYTE
All forms of transportation are available in Leyte, so you will find it convenient to commute aside from driving your private car to go places. Most of the roads are paved and residential communities are located along or just a few meters away from these main thoroughfares. For distant travels, you can ride the bus, minivan, jeepney, and for short trips, you can ride a tricycle.
In Northern Leyte, the travel time from Tacloban City to Ormoc City is almost two hours. If you prefer taking public transportation, you can ride a minivan. If you’re driving, you simply have to follow Santa Fe-Tacloban Road to Alangalang-Santa Fe Road, and continue onto Eastern Nautical Highway to Palo-Carigara-Ormoc City Road to reach Ormoc City.
If you are coming from Tacloban City and you wish to go to Maasin City in Southern Leyte, you may ride a minivan to reach your destination. If you plan to drive there, it will take you a little over four hours to get to Maasin. From Tacloban City, Take Santa Fe-Tacloban Road to Pan-Philippine Highway. Continue on the Eastern Nautical Highway to Mahaplag then follow the Tacloban-Baybay S Road to Baybay-Inopacan Road in Baybay City. Take Bato-Bontoc Road to Garces Street until you reach your destination.
WHAT TO DO IN LEYTE
“I shall return” is among the most famous sayings associated with Leyte. It was from this promise by General Douglas McArthur that the province composed their tagline: “Once you see Leyte, you shall return.” True enough, with its rich offerings that include spectacular natural attractions and deep heritage, tourists are choosing to return and even settle down in Leyte.
If you decide to visit or live in Leyte, here are a few activities you will enjoy:
Leyte celebrates a lot of fiestas. These include the Sanggutan Festival celebrated every May, Sangyaw Festival every June, Lubi Lubi Festival and Pasaka Festival every August, and Alikaraw Festival every December. These colorful celebrations are filled with songs, dances, dramatic performances, and a wide array of local cuisines.
Feast on Delicacies
Leyte offers some of the best food items ranging from savory to sweet. Some of the savory foods you don’t want to miss in Leyte are bulalo, Tacloban barbecue, and beef lomo guisado. End your meals with sweet and filling treats such as binagol, suman latik, tres Marias, chocolate moron, and bocarillos.
Go on a Nature Trip
Leyte is teeming with lush natural tourist attractions. Here are some you can visit:
- Kalanggaman Island
- Canigao Island
- Digyo Island
- Mahaba Island
- Apid Island
- Himokilan Island
- Lake Danao
- Napansao Marine Sanctuary
- Tangkaan Beach
- Limasawa Island
- Panaon Island
- San Pedro and San Pablo Islands
- Sun-ok Fish Sanctuary
- Kuting Reef Resort
- Cambaro Caves
As mentioned earlier, Leyte is divided into North and South. Northern Leyte’s capital is Tacloban. The region also hosts Ormoc, a port city and the largest city in the area. Meanwhile, Maasin City is the capital city of Southern Leyte.
Here are some of the cities and municipalities in Northern and Southern Leyte you may consider living in:
The capital of Leyte is highly urbanized, home to 138 barangays. This city has spacious lots to offer if you want to construct your dream home. Rental apartments and boarding houses are also abundant. Tacloban is the home of the popular Pintados Festival.
Palo, a neighbor of Tacloban, is the religious and historical center of Leyte. Here, you will find government departments and regional offices. The Leyte Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Park is also in this town, which makes it attractive to career-driven individuals. The municipality has 33 barangays that offer residents convenient and affordable housing.
Tanauan is the oldest town in Leyte, dating back to 1710. This municipality is home to 54 barangays. For property seekers who wish to start a business in Leyte, Tanauan is worth considering. This town supports agricultural, livestock, fishing, forestry, mining, trade, industry, manufacturing, and tourism businesses.
Aside from commercial properties, you can also find residential properties for rent and sale in Tanauan. This town is also recognized as the “Skimboarding Capital of the Philippines,” being the venue for local and international skimboarding competitions.
Ormoc serves as western Leyte’s economic, cultural, commercial, and transportation hub. This highly urbanized city comprises 110 barangays and is home to various real estate developments such as Camella Ormoc North, Buena Vida Heights, Ormoc Heights Subdivision, and Bria Homes Ormoc.
Palompon is one of the safest municipalities in Leyte. Compared to other towns and cities in the province, it has lower crime rates. Palompon is set to become one of the centers of commerce and trade in the province, as it sees more infrastructures being developed.
Maasin City is the commercial and religious center of Southern Leyte. This city is divided into 70 barangays. Houses and lots for sale in the area are perfect for large families, as they offer spacious indoor and outdoor living spaces. The properties allow easy access to the city’s commercial and business areas and its natural attractions.
Sogod is one of the municipalities in Southern Leyte worth considering if you want to live in a suburban community. This town is divided into 45 barangays. Most properties for sale here are lots that are perfect for property seekers who want the freedom to make their vision of a home or commercial property become a reality. With steady population growth and a booming local economy, Sogod is an ideal place to reside and start a business in.