Maasin City is a 4th class component city and the capital of the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines. It is a relatively small city with a population of 87,446 people, according to the 2020 census. Despite its size, it is a commercial and religious center for Southern Leyte and the southwestern part of Leyte Island. Maasin City has a rich history that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese explorer, and navigator conducted the first Roman Catholic Mass on the island in 1521. The town was formally established as a parish by the missionaries of the Society of Jesus in the 1700s and was called nipa. The town was renamed Maasin after some Spaniards, who needed drinking water, scanned the shorelines and found Canturing River. They asked the natives in Castillan Spanish while gesturing towards the river, Que pueblo es este? Without hesitation, the natives answered Maasin (meaning salty), thinking that the Spaniards were asking them how the water tasted. From that time on, the place has been called Maasin. Today, Maasin City is a bustling hub of commerce and industry, with 70 barangays and a land area of 21,171 hectares (52,310 acres). The terrain of Southern Leyte is characterized by relatively flat lands along the coastal plains where population areas lay, and becomes rugged and mountainous towards the interior. It also has numerous small rivers in addition to at least eleven major rivers, which include Canturing River in Maasin City. Maasin City has a tropical climate, with no dry season. In general, the province receives rainfall throughout the year. The people of Maasin City speak Cebuano, and approximately 50% of the people are adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. The Diocese of Maasin was founded on August 14, 1968, and 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. The city is rich in natural resources and offers a range of activities for tourists, including hiking, swimming, and sightseeing. If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination in the Philippines, Maasin City is definitely worth a visit!

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