LEYTE, laita, Philippines, a province con sisting of the island of Leyte and 40 dependent islands, discovered by Magellan in 1521; area of Leyte 3,872 square miles; area dependent islands 342 square miles; total 4,214 square miles. Leyte lies southeast of Luzon, south west of Samar, from which it is separated by the narrow strait of San Juanico, and north west of Mindanao; it is roughly. rectangular in outline; its extreme length from northwest to southeast is 121 miles. The two most import ant dependent islands are Biliran, area 144 square miles; and Panaim, area 76 square miles. They are both mountainous; Biliran is noted for its sulphur springs; Panaon is well populated and has some gold deposits. The in terior of the island of Leyte is mountainous (highest peak, Mount Sacripante, 3,930 feet), there being a number of extinct volcanoes and the island is crossed by a number of large riv ers; the coast line is irregular, indented by a number of hays, some of which afford excellent harbors, among the best in the Philippines.
There are numerous roads on the east coast and the west coast is also paralleled by roads and trails for almost its entire length; the riv ers furnish good inland transportation. The climate is temperate and healthy; the province is one of the best cultivated in the archipelago; the most important product is hemp and many of the plantations being under cultivation for almost 50 years require little work, the crop being abundant and of excellent quality; other products are rice for home use, cotton, choco late, sugar, coffee and corn. The mineral prod
ucts include sulphur, gold, iron, lead and silver; of these the most important is sulphur, which supplied the gunpowder works at Manila under Spanish rule. There are also valuable forests; the yield of dammar, the brea or pitch of the Spaniards, is the most important in the Philip pines. The largest industries are the manufac ture of abaca and the cabonegro or black boat cables from the hemp and the extracting of cocoanut oil. There are also ship-building yards at Tacloban, the capital, at which good-sized schooners are often built, and weaving of fine fabrics by the women. Civil government was established in April 1901; the people have proved generally favorably inclined to the new regime although there were sporadic troubles in 1905 and 1906; there has been renewed ac tivity in every line of industry; and protection is now in the hands of a native police. The school attendances number over 44,000. Pop. 357,641, mostly Visayan.