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.

Distribution of Ethnic Groups by Provinces
(Arrangement: Population count)
Total National Population 2,423,761
Abra 255
Agusan del N. 3,640
Agusan del S. 4,841
Aklan 996
Albay 2,743
Antique 917
Aurora 1,397
Basilan 542
Bataan 8,741
Batanes 59
Batangas 6,532
Benguet 1,874
Bohol 1,936
Bukidnon 4,331
Bulacan 22,398
Cagayan 1,756
Camarines N. 976
Camarines S. 2,950
Camiguin 305
Catanduanes 1,088
Cavite 31,600
Cebu 7,593
Davao 9,025
Davao del S. 7,708
Davao Or. 2,029
E. Samar 321,546
Ifugao 36
Ilocos N. 1,250
Ilocos S. 1,618
Iloilo 3,371
Isabela 3,474
Kalinga-Apayao 338
La Union 2,132
Laguna 11,756
Lanao del N. 1,638
Lanao del S. 862
Leyte 700,639
Maguindanao 1,654
Marinduque 513
Masbate 1,830
Misamis Occ. 749
Misamis Or. 2,428
Mt. Province 109
Negros Occ. 2,932
Negros Or. 1,307
N. Cotabato 2,726
N. Samar 349,819
Nueva Ecija 4,563
Nueva Vizcaya 827
Occ. Mindoro 2,751
Or. Mindoro 3,020
Palawan 7,495
Pampanga 12,835
Pangasinan 201
Quezon 6,488
Quirino 371
Rizal 23,362
Romblon 566
W. Samar 479,430
Siquijor 67
Sorsogon 2,617
S. Cotabato 5,880
S. Leyte 1,846
S. Kudarat 877
Sulu 483
Surigao del N. 5,720
Surigao del S. 3,384
Tarlac 4,877
Tawi-tawi 299
Zambales 10,819
Zamboanga N. 730
Zamboanga S. 7,050
Kalookan 34,877
Las Pinas 11,898
Mandaluyong 8,830
Manila 56,476
Marikina 9,423
Malabon 10,771
Makati 12,417
Muntinlupa 7,387
Navotas 8,601
Paranaque 12,448
Pasay 18,330
Pateros 2,011
Quezon City 68,266
San Juan 3,065
Taguig 12,025
Valenzuela 11,419