The Waray Culture

warayThe Waray inhabit the islands of Samar and Biliran, and the eastern section of Leyte in the Eastern Visayas Region. The Waray language belongs to the Visayan language family and is related to Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Masbateño. The Waray-speaking people of Leyte (Leyteños) and Samar (Samareños) are a strong and proud group. They produce some of the finest native Philippine wines, commonly called pangasi and tuba. Hats and mats made from buri or tikug plant strips, which are still heavily used in the rural areas today, are the most distinctive handicrafts of the Warays. The island of Samar and northern Leyte are inhabited by the Waray (Waray-waray), a hardy people who have attuned their lives to the fact that their homes lie in the paths of Pacific typhoons. The core areas are Leyte (700,634) and Samar (829,249 NSO 1990), with a total national population of about 2,423,761 (NSO 1990). The land is rugged with narrow coastal areas and a mature karst spine. Wet rice intensive cultivation, production of copra, and domestic fishing economy sustain the basic population. Fishing industry is particularly intensive in the southern part of the island. The culture is basically Visayan. The Waray weave beautiful mats from palm fronds found in the vicinities of Basey in the southern tip of Samar.

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