Filipinos stake a large claim on hospitality, just sort of making it a national treasure, and the Leyteños from the small province of Southern Leyte are no different. There is a warmth that begins with the lilt and caress of welcoming voices. Most of the locals, you see, speak Cebuano, a dialect that seems naturally nurturing. Even the land is naturally welcoming, as evidenced by the lights that beckon from homes that hug the coast and the waving fronds of coconut palms. Southern Leyte may be reached by land via the Pan Philippine Highway or, as most prefer, by sea. Either way, one finds oneself in Maasin, the provincial capital. Maasin is hardly your idea of a bustling town; it has maintained a pace that is welcome after the hurly-burly of city life. It is also blessedly situated between sea and forest. The former provides virtually untouched beaches waiting to be discovered, and the latter, virgin growth still unexplored.
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