Leyte /ˈleɪtɛ/ is an island in the
Visayas group of the
Politically, the island is divided into two provinces: (Northern)
Leyte and Southern Leyte. Territorially,
Southern Leyte includes the
island of Panaon to its south. To the north of
Leyte is the island
province of Biliran, a former sub-province of Leyte.
The major cities of
Leyte are Tacloban, on the eastern shore at the
northwest corner of
Leyte Gulf, and Ormoc, on the west coast. The
island was once the location of Mairete, a historic community which
was ruled by Datu Ete. Before being colonized by Spain, the island was
once home to indigenous animist
Warays to the east and other
indigenous animist Visayan groups to the west.
Leyte today is notable for the geothermal electric power plants near
Leyte is most famous for its role in the reconquest of the
Philippines in World War II. On 20 October 1944, General Douglas
MacArthur waded ashore on Leyte, saying, "I have returned", but the
Japanese did not give up so easily, as the ensuing Battle of Leyte
proved. The convergence of naval forces resulted in the four-day
Battle of Leyte
Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.
3 Historical and interesting sites
4 In popular culture
6 External links
the island measures about 180 kilometres (110 mi) north-south and
about 65 kilometres (40 mi) at its widest point. In the north it
nearly joins the island of Samar, separated by the San Juanico Strait,
which becomes as narrow as 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) in some places.
The island province of
Biliran is also to the north of
Leyte and is
Leyte island by a bridge across the narrow
To the south,
Leyte is separated from
Mindanao by the Surigao Strait.
To the east,
Leyte is somewhat "set back" from the
Philippine Sea of
the Pacific Ocean,
Samar to the northeast and the
Dinagat Islands to
the southeast forming the
Leyte Gulf. To the west is the Camotes Sea.
Leyte is mostly heavily forested and mountainous, but the
in the northeast has much agriculture.
Source: National Statistics Office
Historical and interesting sites
Battle of Leyte: General
Douglas MacArthur and staff land at Dulag
Beach, Leyte, 20 October 1944.
Leyte provincial capitol is the seat of the provincial government
where there is a mural depicting the First Mass in the Philippines,
believed to have happened in Limasawa, and the landing of General
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Red Beach, Palo, marks
the 1944 landing by the American liberation forces. It also has a
lagoon where a life-size statue of Gen. MacArthur stands. MacArthur's
true landing took place at Dulag, Leyte.
Lake Danao is a violin-shaped lake hemmed by cloud-capped mountain
Palompon, Leyte is a virgin island with pure
white sand. The ecological atmosphere of the island had been preserved
by the municipality.
The Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum boasts the painting of the
fourteen stations of the cross done by Filipino artists and a
bas-relief of the legend of the first Filipino man and woman (Malakas
San Juanico Bridge
San Juanico Bridge is the longest bridge in the Philippines.
Island is the birthplace of the
Tinikling dance, popular
throughout the Philippines.
On Friday, 8 November 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) destroyed
70-80% of the structures in its path on
Leyte province. An estimated
10,000 people died and up to 620,000 people were displaced across the
In popular culture
The 1959 Japanese film Nobi ("Fires on the Plain"), though filmed in
Japan, is set in
Leyte in 1945.
The film was remade in 2014 under the same name; this version was
filmed in the Philippines.
^ "Islands by Land Area".
Island Directory Tables. United Nations
Environment Programme. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
^ Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population
2015 Census of Population. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
^ Mogato, Manuel; Ng, Roli (10 November 2013). "
kills estimated 10,000, destruction hampers rescue efforts". Reuters.
Retrieved 9 March 2016.
Media related to
Leyte (island) at Wikimedia Commons
Island travel guide from Wikivoyage
Island - TA.com
Major islands of the Philippines
Geography of the Philippines
Island groups of the Philippines
List of islands