Maasin, which counts 79,737 inhabitants after the last census of 2007, is located in the Region VIII - Southern Leyte - and contains a land area of 1734.8 square kilometers. It consists of 70 smaller villages and is a provincial capital for 19 more towns of the region.
The province of “Southern Leyte” and thus Maasin can be reached in the extreme south-western tip of the island of Leyte on the National Road 1, also known as highway, and is boundered in the north by the municipality Matalom, in the east by the Leyte Gulf and the city of Malitbog, in the West by the coastline of the Camotes Sea which creates the shores of the canal of Canigao, which separates the island of Leyte from the island Bohol and in the south through the Street of Surigao and the municipality of Macrohon.
Maasin is characterized by relative flat land sections along the coastal areas, in which have grown up the majority of residents activities.
According to legend, some Spaniards reached the Canturin River in searching of potable water. They asked the locals in Spanish language: "Que pueblo es este?" (Which village is located in the east?), although showed it with a gesture along the river. The locals, who haven`t understood not even a word, got the opinion that they were asked after the taste of the water and responded Ma-asin (salty). Since that time, the place and the area is known under this name.
The spring of people of this region come from the "Boholano" race. They speak the Cebuano language and Boholano, also called Binisaya. Most villagers of this province are recognized farmers and fisher people. They can be described as very industrious, religious and moderate people. Agriculture is the main source of their living support. Coconuts, abaca, rice, sugar cane and bananas are the main crops. The focus of their livestock production can be found in the piggery. The production of poultry and broilers occupies a growing proportion of their production.
Since the liberation of the island of Leyte by General Douglas MacArthur in 1944, Maasin established step by as a trade and educational city. So there are found some of the prestigious high schools, such as the St. Michael collage, where many young people are trained for a life in the economy and abroad.
Today Maasin is still a trading town, but due to the bad location of the port, Maasin is no longer in the position of a major port city in the west of Leyte. Surely, so it is our view, Maasin will be replaced by the newly formed port and trading city Hilongos.
By August 11, 2000 President Joseph Estrada signed the Republic Act Nr. 8796 adopted and confirmed in a plebiscite by the residents on July 10, 2000. This finally moved Maasin in the status of a city.
The Spanish era and the Catholic Church is an important keystone in the history and brought glory and reputation to the Leyteńos.
At the beginning of the 18th century the Jesuit missionaries decided, to establish a congregation right at this place. This church downtown Maasin is adorned with a magnificent altar and beautiful paintings of saints. A sign for the revelation of the continuing religiosity of the people.
In Maasin it`s already found in 1521, the cradle of the first Christianity of the island of Leyte. Approximately 90% of urban residents are Roman Catholic, although the traditionally pagan beliefs still enjoys deep influence within the population.
Maasin is considered as home of the shrine of the Virgin Mary or like the population identifies him: Shrine of our Lady of the Assumption.
If one is coming from the sea, one can see the first of the 3 shrines from afar.
A strong and steep staircase with 161 steps, aby the Municipal Hospital leads the way up to a plateau from which the city Maasin can be beautifully overlooked. Also you can see in the mountains the 2 other shrines.
Grace the help and support of the city and influential businessmen a small chapel was built up in 1996. The dream of establishing a hermitage of a pilgrim shrine had a fairly poor and simple but very religious woman. 30 years she dreamed to build up a chapel on this mountain; in 1996 it began to implement her dream. Share the dream of this woman with a visit during your stay. The round trip in Maasin requires approx. one hour.
The second shrine is located in the northern mountains, but it's still good to reach by walking from downtown. In general, we drive you to the entrance to the shrine at the bottom of the mountain. Nevertheless, the mounting and relegation, as well as a small break on the top of the mountain takes about 2 hours. You must already be well on foot to reach the top. An impressive pilgrimage chapel was constructed in an old cave just below the peak of the mountain. This chapel provides space for about 200 persons. Currently there is setting up in the outdoor area another chapel. The ambitious plans of the diocese show the construction of a cablecar until 2020 to reach the top, in addition to a new convent with adjoining hotel.
A third shrine can only be reached difficultly. He is also on the peak of a hill and allows a wide overview of the island of Leyte up to the islands of Bohol, Cebu and Mindanao. Even this will be served from us, however, the last miles can only be reached with a 'Habal-Habal, a specially designed motorcycle converted for passenger and goods transportation. That's fun.
The road leads in some places a slope of 18,00 %. This means even once: Descending please… and walk for yourself the next 200 meters. The rest of the way, of about 1 km, you have to make by your own, by foot.