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|City of Maasin
Dakbayan sa Maasin (Cebuano)
Siyudad san Maasin (Waray-Waray)
Lungsod ng Maasin (Filipino)
|Nickname(s): Religious and Miraculous City in the Philippines|
Map of Southern Leyte showing location of Maasin
|Region||Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)|
|Congr. district||Lone district of S. Leyte|
|Cityhood||August 10, 2000|
|• Mayor||Maloney L. Samaco (Lakas-NUCD)|
|• Total||211.71 km2 (81.74 sq mi)|
|• Density||400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
Maasin, officially the City of Maasin or simply Maasin City, is the capital city of Southern Leyte, Philippines. A fourth class city with 70 barangays, it is located on the western part of the province with land area of 21,171 hectares (52,310 acres). According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 85,250.
Maasin City is the commercial and religious center of Southern Leyte and the south western part of Leyte Island. On August 10, 2000, Maasin was converted into a city. The Diocese of Maasin was founded on August 14, 1968.
Maasin City is politically subdivided into 70 barangays.
|Population census of Maasin|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Maasinhons speak either the Cebuano language or its dialect of Bohol, Boholano. Their cultural and linguistic affinities tend to differ them from those who reside in Cebu, Bohol, and the western coast of the province of Leyte. Most of the people are farmers and fishermen who are noted for their hard work and frugality.
Approximately 90% of the people are adherents of the Roman Catholic Church, but traditional folk beliefs and superstition still influence some of them. Some farmers still hold on to pre-Hispanic and conservative beliefs in making offerings and sacrifices before planting season starts. At times, chicken or pigs are ritually sacrificed to ensure that the spirits or the elementals of the land will allow a good harvest.
On August 14, 1968, the Diocese of Maasin was canonically erected through a papal decree issued March 23, 1968. In June of the same year, the Most Reverend Vicente T. Ataviado, D.D. who was up to then a parish priest of Masbate, Masbate, was appointed as its first bishop. He was consecrated on August 8, 1968, and installed as the First Bishop of Maasin on August 14 at Our Lady of Assumption Parish Church in Maasin, the capital of Southern Leyte.
From 1595 to 1910, the area which now comprises the Diocese of Maasin belonged to the diocese of Cebu. From 1910 to 1937 it belonged to the Diocese of Calbayog. From 1937 to 1968 it came under the jurisdiction of the Diocesan of Palo in Leyte. Today it is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The diocese comprises the entire province of Southern Leyte, and the towns of Matalom, Bato, Hilongos, Hindang, Inopacan and Baybay in the province of Leyte, with the Maasin Parish Cathedral as the seat of the diocese. Distributed within its 2,505 square kilometers of land are 38 parishes and 1 quasi-parish. To facilitate administration these parishes have been grouped under 6 vicariates.
In recent years, awareness of their potent role in the local church has been perceived among the lay faithful – a result of diocesan programs designed to awaken the "sleeping giant" in the church. There has been a marked increase in the number of lay ministers to assist priests in every parish, as there has been in the number of volunteer catechists.
The Diocese of Maasin today has started to focus on the vision of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. Apart from the usual ministerial and sacramental functions, the clergy has succeeded to penetrate the people's conscience with concern for other issues, such as reforestation, among others.
The Social Action Center has generously offered help in livelihood projects to those who do not have the necessary capital. This has been successful in the abaca business enterprise. The Center is now in the process of opening up more opportunities for more livelihood projects.
The Commission on Youth is helping in the formation of the youth in all the parishes of the diocese through youth encounters and leadership training. It has organized three diocesan summer youth camps between 1993 and 1995, attended by more than a thousand delegates.
In 1993 the Diocese of Maasin marked its 25th anniversary as a diocese.
Maasin Cathedral built in the 17th century is probably not only the biggest, but also the oldest church in Maasin City. It is a diocesan seat since 1968. The church is adorned or embellished with an ornate altar and images of saints, and became a testament to the religious devotion of the people of Southern Leyte. It shares its history with Don Anatalio Gaviola Plaza which is dedicated to a former mayor of Maasin. It still is one of the highly recommended stumping points for tourists as well as for locals.
The Guinsohotan Cave is a large subterranean cave, 15 km from the city center and 276 meters above sea level. Those who do enter the cave by wading or swimming can find small “in-cave” waterfalls, bats and impressive rock formations. The water coming out of Guinsuhotan Cave flows down in cascades to form a natural lagoon, Cagnitoan Lagoon, frequently visited by bathers and patrons of cool therapeutic treatment. These two sights, which belong more or less together, are placed in Barangay Cagnitoan and can be reached from Barangay Maria Clara by using a Habal-habal. The last part of the way is a walking part: you pass by small groups of houses, fields and palms. In the background there are the mountains covered by large vegetation.
Camp Danao Forest Park is located 335 m. above sea level and 15 km away from the city proper. It hosted the 2010 BSP (Boy Scout of the Philippines) National Activity. The sprawling forested area has a man-made lake and will contain one of Southern Leyte’s tourism hubs: Maasin Zoo and Adventure Park (soft-opening in early 2012). One of the specialties of this zoo will be that the animals will not be kept in cages but be separated from the spectator by “natural” barricades.
The private-owned Bogo Bird Paradise, just about 4 km from the city proper is a mountain retreat nestled among flora, fauna and especially rare species of bird.
At Busay Falls you can find lush vegetation just as well as wildlife cavorting with cascading mountain waterfalls and chirping birds. It can be found in Barangay Combado. Sadly, this former completely wild and dreamlike part of nature is victim of fast economic expansion, so water quality is not as good as years ago and the former wild lagoon was removed by a pool.
Another sight of Maasin is Abiera Museo d’Art, showing a rare collection of artifacts, antiques, paintings, preserved animals, coins, gems, and historical relics. Although it is privately owned by the Abiera Family, it can be visited by interested ones. It is located in Barangay Tunga-tunga in the heart of the city.
The Lady of Assumption at the Jalleca Hills is the tallest privately owned shrine in the Philippines. The statue itself and the nearby chapel can be reached by using a stairway with more than 300 steps and is located at 104 m above sea level in Barangay Mantahan. It is one of the most visited religious landmarks in Southern Leyte. Not only during daytime, this impressive landmark can be seen already from far but even at night as it is illuminated.
Maasin, famous for its religious places and pilgrim targets, also has the San Francisco Javier Pilgrims Center, a miraculous chapel 400 meters above sea level which can be found in Barangay Hanginan, 7 km from the city proper. It can be reached by an hour-long trek to the top thru a follage of trees and wild shrubs. It is said that every petition is granted and every prayer spoken is answered.
Another highlight for pilgrims is Monte Cueva Shrine,also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, is a donation by the philanthropists Odong and Loring Chung to the Diocese of Maasin. It offers a refuge to pilgrims and devotees. A 30-foot Marian icon perches from a highland over the Via Crucis and Resurrection. A cathedral within the cave is the coup-de-grace to the natural wonder, situated 2 km from Maasin City.
Transit bus companies:
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||Camotes Sea||Matalom, Leyte||Tomas Oppus|
|Pres. Garcia, Bohol / Canigao Channel||Malitbog|