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Bicol Region

Bicol Region or Bicolandia is one of the 16 regions of the

Philippines occupying the Bicol Peninsula at the southeastern end of
Luzon island and some other islands.

It consists of six provinces, namely, Albay, Camarines Norte,

Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon. It has one
independent chartered city, Naga City, and six component cities,
Iriga City, Legazpi City, Ligao City, Masbate City, Sorsogon City, and
Tabaco City. The regional centers are Legazpi City, the region's
political Center, and Naga City, the region's most progressive city
and it's commercial, educational,financial, religious, and cultural

Inhabitants, called “Bicolanos,” speak any one of several

dialects, including Bikol Rinconada (Iriga-Buhi area), Bikol Albay
(Albay Province), Bikol Sorsogon (Sorsogon), Bikol Catanduanes and
Bikol Partido (municipalities surrounding Lagonoy Gulf). Standard
Bikol is Bikol Naga, and it is generally understood by other Bikol

The Bicol region is often seen as the epicenter of the

counterculture and liberal politics in the Philippines. As many of its
inhabitants seem to oppose many right-wing governments and
ideology in which they blame for corruption. The region has a
political reputation of voting always for the opposition. It is also
widely seen as a stronghold for the National Democratic Front.
Albay's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade with
China and Malaya/Indonesia going back two thousand years. The
first Spanish contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returning
to Cebu from Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and the
captain recorded his awe at the sight of Mt. Mayon erupting. Mt.
Mayon is the most prominent of the several volcanoes in the
province, and one of the most famous jewels of the Pacific Ring of
Fire; its eruptions have repeatedly inflicted disaster on the province,
and enriched the survivors. When at peace, it is a particularly
beautiful mountain. Albay has a large amount of rich flat land, and

agriculture is the largest component of the provincial economy.
Coconuts, rice, abaca, and maize are the chief crops. Handicrafts
bolster rural incomes. Commercial fishing is also important, and the
province has several thousand manufacturing enterprises. There are
plenty of places to visit, offering opportunities to swim at beautiful
beaches, scuba-dive to wrecked galleons, explore caves, climb
volcanoes, admire waterfalls, lush vegetation, Baroque architecture,
etc. Gold-mining and jewelry manufacture continue to distinguish
the province. Agriculture and fishing are major factors in the
province's economy, and several handicrafts and small-scale
industries are widely practiced. Tourism is insignificant, though Daet
has become a destination for surfers.

Bicol is composed of six provinces and 7 cities.

Population Area density
Province Capital
(2000) (km²) (per

Albay 1,090,907 2,552.6 427.4

Daet 458,840 2,112.5 217.2

Camarines Sur Pili 1,551,549 5,266.8 294.6

Catanduanes Virac 215,356 1,511.5 142.5

Masbate 707,668 4,047.7 174.8

Sorsogon 650,535 2,141.4 303.8


Pre-Spanish Colonialization
The original Bicolanos were the indigenous people e.g. the
Agta that roam the peninsula. They can be found in the area of Mt.
Isarog and Mt. Iriga. They have their own culture and economy.
Before the foreign commercial influence, their cultural practices
were friendlier to the environment even if they practice the
traditional slash and burn agriculture.
One of the elements of their slash and burn practices is to leave the
land for a while for it to recover. They transfer to another
area.Pmcalara 12:45, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)
Contrary to western Historians that Philippines was discovered
by the Spaniards, there were already Bicolanos in the region.
Artifacts from several museums in the region can attest to this.
Some of these artifacts were found in Ticao Island in Masbate. There
were artifacts the pre-date the arrival of the Spaniards by at least
500 years.

There was already a Bicol Culture. Also, the many Languages

of Bicol are living evidence to this colorful culture. The Bikol
Languages were closely linked with austronesian languages of South
east asia and the Pacific. This indicate that the Bicolanos had an
interaction, culturally and economically, with its Island neigbors. The
propaganda that the Philippines and the Bicol region were
discovered by the Europians were part of a plan to colonize the
nation--physically and culturally.

The economy was based in agriculture and fishing.Pmcalara

11:27, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)

In the Island of Masbate, there was still the practice of the

local folks to thank elements of nature e.g. water, wind, land, river,
etc. before and after harvest. They called this as Pa-Ulaw or
Pasasalamat literally thanksgiving. Thanking elements in nature
througy Pa-ulaw is not a Western Philosophy as introduced by
Christian Philosophy. Related to Pa-ulaw is the Pa-tamoy or
nagpapaalam literally asking permission. This means also asking a
bountyful harvest or water. In the Pa-tamoy indigenous people as
permission from un-seen elements in nature for them to use the
land, if they are doing agricultural activities.--Pmcalara 17:33, 2
September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time) .

Pa-ulaw and Pa-tamoy have a big possibility that these were

handed down by their ancestors centuries before the the Europeans
colonized the Bicol region. This practices are now part of Filipino and
Bicolano fold religiosity that is still observed today (as observed by
Perry Calara, unpublished).Pmcalara 12:45, 2 September 2007
(Taipei Standard Time)

Spanish Colonialization
The seat of power was based in Nueva Caceres (now Naga

American Colonial Era

The Americans controlled Power and Economy.

There were revolts against the occupiers e.g. the Simeon Ola
revolt in Albay.

Most of the Business, particularly Mining industry in Camarines

Norte and Masbate, were controlled by the Americans.Pmcalara
11:27, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)

World War II
The Bicolanos were dragged in the fight of two imperialist
countries in the world--Japanese and the Americans. They were
fighting for world economic and political dominance particularly in
the Asia Pacific Area.

The Japanese landed in the region a few months after they

bombed Pearl Harbor. When the Americans left the region, Bicolano
guerillas were left to defend the region. Guerilla forces were
organized around the regions to independently fight the new
japanese colonizers. Many battles were fought by the Bicolanos

without the Americans.Pmcalara 11:27, 2 September 2007 (Taipei
Standard Time)

There were also elite politicians who collaborated with the


Post World War II

Most of the Politicians in powers were pro-Americans who re-
occupied the regions after the War. Some pro-American guerillas
became political leaders.Pmcalara 11:27, 2 September 2007 (Taipei
Standard Time)

Martial Law
Bicol bacame to be known as an opposition region perhaps
because of its anti US backed Marcos regime and its anti-people
Martial Law. Many anti-fascists and anti-imperialist organization
emerged in the region during this dark era in the region.

Some of the more prominent were the Bicol Saro, Bagong

Alyansang Makabayan- Bicol (BAYAN-Bicol), and many sectoral
organizations e.g. Alyansang Magbubukid ng Bicol. Many Bicol Saro
members were politicians who unified in the anti-fascist movement.
Some were local elites removed by Marcos from power.Pmcalara
11:36, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)

Bayan had provincial chapters and to some extent municipal

chapters. The organization represented the Middle and Lower class
of the social spectrum.
While there were legal organization actively fought the
dictator, the the re-organized Communist Party of the Philippines
(CPP) also organized the underground New Peoples Army (NPA) in
the regions in the mid 1970s. Romulo Jallores and his brother Benjie
started it in the Caramoan Peninsula of Camarines Sur

Post People Power One (1986)

Many of the Bicolano opposition elite who fought the Marcos
ruled Bicol regions after the downefall of the dictator. There were

instances that some Marcos cronies also took local powers after
winning in the elections.

The traditional feudal patronage politics of pre and during the

Marcos regime continue to exist.

Backward economy based on traditional agricultural practices

continue to exist. The political and economic condition also continue
to feed the armed rebellion of the New People's Army (NPA)that
existed during the Marcos regime.

The rebellion even expanded to the Island of

Catanduanes.Pmcalara 12:19, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard

Post People Power Two (2001)

During the 2001 Elections, the Militant Bayan Muna party list
emerged as the dominant partylist group in Bicol when they got the
most number of votes in the partly list elections.

From February 14, 2001 until December 15, 2006 about 127
Bicolano activists from progressive organizations and partly list were
extrajudicially killed under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime.

List of those killed can be found at the [Karapatan-Bicol]


Local elites continue to dominate the political arena after the 2007

Component Cities
1. Legazpi City, Albay
2. Ligao City, Albay
3. Tabaco City, Albay
4. Iriga City, Camarines Sur
5. Naga City¹, Camarines Sur
6. Masbate City, Masbate
7. Sorsogon City, Sorsogon

¹ Naga City is an independent chartered city.


The Bikol languages are the dominant languages of the region.

Tagalog is also spoken in most of Camarines Norte as well as in the
municipality of Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. Two Visayan languages,
Sorsoganon and Masbateño, are spoken in Masbate and Sorsogon;
they are collectively referred to as Bisakol.

Bicol History

The Bicol Region or Bicolandia is one of the 17 regions of the

Philippines. It occupies the Bicol Peninsula at the southeastern end of
Luzon island and some other islands.

It consists of six provinces, namely, Albay, Camarines Norte,

Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon. It has one
independent component city, Naga City, and six component cities, Iriga,
Legazpi, Ligao, Masbate, Sorsogon, and Tabaco. The regional centers are
Legazpi City, the region's political and administrative center, Naga City,
the region's cultural and religious center. Legazpi City, Naga City, Iriga
City and Sorsogon City are the leading cities in the region in terms of
urbanization and also the hub of the region's economic activity

Bicol Region has had various names since the time of Spanish who
called its northern part Tierra de Camarines and its southern part Tierra de
Ibalon. Some historians claim that it was originally referred to Ibalon but
the Spaniards later divided it into Partido de Ibalon and Partido de
Though described by the Spanish missionaries as the friendliest race in the
Philippines, gentle, temperate and religious, the Bicolanos fiercely resisted
the first attempts to subdue them in 1573. Fr. Martin de Rada reported
how they refused to surrender unless forced into it by superior arms. Their
chiefs bravely opposed the Spanish forces led by Salcedo’s officer, Captain

Pedro Chavez, who established the Spanish city of Caceres next to the
indigenous village of Naga.


Location: Southermost tip of Luzon

• Northwest-Quezon Province
• East-Pacific Ocean
• Southeast-Samar Sea
• Southwest-Sibuyan Sea
Total Land Area: 18,140.4 square kilometers

Political Subdivisions:
• No. of Province: 6
• No. of Cities: 7 (one chartered city: Naga and six component cities,
namely: Legazpi, Iriga, Tabaco, Ligao, Masbate and Sorsogon
• No. of Municipalities: 107
• No. of District: 14
• No. of Barangays: 3,471
Land Use Agricultural:
• 50.76%
• Forest: 13.56%
• Grasslands: 30.23%
• Miscellaneous: 2.42%
Topography: From Slightly Modulating to Rolling and from Hilly to
Highest Elevation: Mayon Volcano 2,462 meters above sea level
Coastal Waters: Ragay Gulf San Miguel Bay Lagonoy Gulf Albay Gulf
Sorsogon Bay Alinang Bay Nin Bay Asid Gulf
Population (as of 2000 National Census of Population) Bicol
Region: 4,674,855
• Albay: 1,090,907
• Camarines Norte: 458,840
• Camarines Sur: 1,548,846

• Catanduanes: 215,356
• Masbate: 707,668
• Sorsogon: 650, 535
The Bicol region is often seen as the epicenter of the counterculture
and liberal politics in the Philippines because many of its inhabitants seem
to oppose many right-wing governments and ideology which they blame
for corruption. The region has a political reputation for always voting for
left-wing politicians. It is also widely seen as a stronghold for the National
Democratic Front.

Inhabitants, called Bicolanos, speak any one of the several varieties
of Bikol, an Austronesian language closely related to other Central
Philippine languages such as Cebuano and Tagalog. Bikol varieties include
Bikol Rinconada (Iriga-Buhi area), the western Albay dialects (Oas,
Daraga), Bikol Sorsogon (Sorsogon), Bikol Catanduanes and Bikol Partido
(municipalities surrounding Lagonoy Gulf). Standard Bikol is based on the
dialect of Naga City and is spoken in a wide area stretching from
Camarines Norte, most of Camarines Sur, the entire east coast of Albay
(including Legazpi and Tabaco) and northern Sorsogon. Standard Bikol is
generally understood by other Bikol speakers and is the regional lingua
The Bikol languages are the dominant languages of the region. The
Filipino language (Tagalog) is also spoken in northern parts of Camarines
Norte as well as in the municipality of Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. Two
Visayan languages, Sorsoganon and Masbateño, are spoken in Masbate
and Sorsogon; they are collectively referred to as Bisakol

Bicol is the one of the most secular out of the entire Philippines, as
only 55% of Bicol Region inhabitants attend church weekly, compared to
68% as the nation's whole.
Albay's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade with China,
Malaya and Indonesia going back two thousand years. The first Spanish
contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returning to Cebu from
Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and the captain recorded his awe
at the sight of Mt. Mayon erupting. Mount Mayon is the most prominent of
the several volcanoes in the province, and one of the most famous jewels

of the Pacific Ring of Fire; its eruptions have repeatedly inflicted disaster
on the province, and enriched the survivors. When at peace, it is a
particularly beautiful mountain. Albay has a large amount of rich flat land,
and agriculture is the largest component of the provincial economy.
Coconuts, rice, abaca, and maize are the chief crops. Handicrafts bolster
rural incomes. Commercial fishing is also important, and the province has
several thousand manufacturing enterprises. There are plenty of places to
visit, offering opportunities to swim at beautiful beaches, scuba-dive to
wrecked galleons, explore caves, climb volcanoes, admire waterfalls, lush
vegetation, Baroque architecture, etc.
Gold-mining and jewelry manufacture continue to distinguish the
province. Agriculture and fishing are major factors in the province's
economy, and several handicrafts and small-scale industries are widely
practiced. The region has recently seen a revival in its tourism industry,
due mainly to the popularity of the new CamSur Water Sports Complex,
the Mayon Volcano and the whale shark spotting and an increase in the
number of upscale resorts in the region. Daet has long been a destination
for surfers. It is hoped that the planned Southern Luzon International
Airport will further boost tourism in the region.
In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces entered in Bicol.
In 1945, beginning the liberation of Bicol on April 3 to April 4, 1945
we fought the battles by joint Filipino and American soldiers together with
the local Bicolano guerillas against the Japanese forces during the Bicol
campaign at the end in World War II.


Long before the Spaniards arrived, Albay had a thriving civilization.

This was evident in the archeological finds dating to the middle Pleistocene

age between 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. During those times, Albay
was called Ibat ruled by Gat Ibal, a very old chief.
In July 1569, Luis Enriquez de Guzman, a member of the expedition
led by Maestro de Cam-po Mateo de Saz and Captain Martin de Goiti, led a
group who crossed from Burias and Ticao islands and landed on a coastal
settlement called Ibalon in what is presently the province of Sorsogon.
From this point another expedition was sent to explore the interior and
founded the town of Camalig.
In 1573, Juan de Salcedo penetrated the Bicol peninsula from the
north as far south as Libon and established the settlement of Santiago de
Libon. Jose Maria Peñaranda, a military engineer, was made “coregidor” of
the province on May 14, 1834. He constructed public buildings and built
roads and bridges.
The entire Bicol peninsula was organized as one province with two
divisions, Camarines in the northwest, and Ibalon in the southeast. In
1636, the two partidos were separated, and Ibalon became a separate
province with Sorsogon as capital. In the 17th century the Moro slave
raiders ravaged the coastal areas of the province of Albay on the
northeastern coast.
Mayon Volcano, in one of the most violent eruptions, destroyed five
towns surrounding its base in 1814. This eruption forced the town of
Cagsawa to relocate its present site to Legazpi.
A decree was issued by Governor and Captain General Narciso de
Claveria in 1846 separating Masbate, Ticao and Burias from Albay to form
the comandancia of Masbate. Albay was then divided into four districts:
Iraya, Cordillera or Tabaco, Sorsogon and Catanduanes.
Glicerio Delgado, a condemned “insurecto” started the revolutionary
activities in the province. With headquarters in the mountain of
Guinobatan, he joined the revolutionary government of Albay as lieutenant
of the infantry.
A unit of the Philippine Militia was then organized by the Spanish military
authorities. Mariano Riosa was appointed major of the Tabaco Zone which
comprised all the towns along the seacoast from Albay to Tiwi, while
Anacieto Solano was also appointed as major for the Iraya Zone which was
made up of the towns from Daraga to Libon. Each town was organized into
sections of fifty men under the command of a lieutenant.
On September 22, 1898, the provisional revolutionary government
of Albay was formed with Anacieto Solano as provisional president. Major
General Vito Belarmino, appointed military commander, reorganized the
Filipinos Army in the province.

During the Filipno-American War, Brigadier General William Kobbe
headed the expedition that landed on the ports of Sorsogon, Bulan and
Donsol. From there, the American marched to Legazpi and captured the
Although, a civil government was established in Albay on April 26,
1901, Colonel Harry H. Bandhortz, Commanding Officer of the
Constabulary in the Bicol Region, attested that Simeon Ola, with a
thousand of men, continued to defy American authority after the capture
of Belarmino in 1901. Ola was later captured with about six hundred men.
During the Second World War, the Kimura Detachment of the
Japanese Imeprial Forces occupied Legazpi on December 12, 1941. The
region was defended only by the Philippine Constabulary unit under Major
Francisco Sandico.

An aerial view of Legazpi


The primitive province of Albay was formerly called IBALON, a name

likewise given by the Spaniards to the island of Luson. Albay was once a
big province which comprised the territory of present Albay and those of
the provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes. It took many years for the
Spaniards to explore and occupy this territory. They came during different

In 1567, Master-de Camp Mateo del Saz and Captain Martin de Goiti
stayed in the islands of Masbad now called Masbate. In 1569, Luis Enrique
de Guzman explored the islands of Tiago (Ticao) and Burias and crossed
the tiny strip of water to the mainland and landed in the coastal barangay
called IBALON by the inhabitants. In 1570, Andres de Ibarra, a captain of
the fleet of Legazpi at that time anchored in Panay, commanded a small
flotilla that followed the route to his predecessor, Enrique de Guzman, and
had made the people of the islands of Masbad and Ticao settle down in
town then proceeded immediately to Ibalon where he erected a chapel of
bamboo and nipa, the first to be built on the island of Luzon.

Andres de Ibarra established himself momentarily in Ibalon while Fr.

Alonzo Gimenez, an Augustinian priest with him baptized the natives. It
could be safely said, therefore, that the Ibalongs (Albayanos) were the
first inhabitants of Luzon to be Christianized.

In 1573, Juan de Salcedo sailed upward the Bicol river and founded
the village of Santiago over the vast sprawling valley by the riverside,
which the native called Biong, in the month of July of the same year.

During the early day of the Spanish conquest, there was no distinct
territorial division that clearly delimited the province of Albay. Catain
Diego de Artieda, in his report, cited: But, toward the north of Masbad,
was the island of Ibalon or Luzon which has many river, abounding in gold
mines.” Several years later, Ibalon was divided into two political divisions
called Camarines and Partido de Ibalon. The towns in the Eastern part of
the peninsula from Matnog to Caramoan belonged to Ibalon and those in
the Western part, belonged to Camarines.

In 1663, by virtue of a Spanish decree, the province of Ibalon was

changed into Albay. On October 19, 1846, by the decree of Governor
General Narciso de Claveria, the territories of the provinces of Albay and
Camarines were clearly defined. The towns of Sangay, Tigao, Goa,

Patrocinio, San Jose, Lagonoy and Caramoan formerly under the
jurisdiction of Albay were ceded to Camarines, while the towns of Libong,
Polangui, Oas, Ligao, Guinobatan, Jovellar (Quipia) and DOnsol were also
acquired by Albay from Camarines. In the same dcree, it was also ordered
that islands of Masbate and the island of Catanduanes as another
independent military district.

Albay Adventure

Mayon Volcano

Lying at the eastern portion of the province and rising to around

2,462 m. above sea level, Mayon covers an entire area of 250 sq. km.
With a base circumference of 62.8 km., it encompasses the seemingly
sleepy towns of Camalig, Malilipot and Sto. Domingo.

Corangon Island (Tiwi)

A tiny islet formed by pulverized corals through thousands of years.
The swirling turns of waves and sea currents caused these crushed corals
to surface above the sea line, circling on and on until it evolved into an
island. The island is clearly apparent during low tide as one approaches
the town of Tiwi.

Vera Falls (Malinao)

Nestling about 400 ft. above sea level, on a secluded nook of Mt.
Malinao, this natural paradise of forest and clear cascading water is
treasure to behold. A snake-like trail passing along rivers and tree-filled
hills awaits you, trekking with endless enthusiasm. At its base, cold water
fresh for drinking flow freely. Time seems to stop when one reaches this
pristine falls.

Calabidongan Caves (Camalig)

The name really means "Caves of the Bats"; a grotto-like formation
inside the cave astounds visitors.


The Hoyop Hoyopan Cave is a cave-system in

Camalig, Albay. It is the most popular destination in the
town. (I only knew about this after our visit to the cave). It
got its name from ‘hoyop’, a Bicolano word for ‘blow’. It’s
not that you’ll feel strong winds inside the cave but it’s
cool in there. It could be reached by any type of motor

The cave, which was discovered during the Japanese

invasion and is currently private property belonging to
three owners, has 3 layers. We were accompanied by one
guide and he brought with him a gas lantern. (Entrance fee
to the cave is P20/person plus you decide on how much
you’ll pay the tourist guide.) You also won’t have to fear
about walking in total darkness since the pathways are
lighted by incandescent light bulbs. We were only able to
explore two layers of the cave though due to time

The cave exploration was a very educational
experience since the tour guide was very well informed.
He shared all his knowledge to us like he was teaching
kindergarten pupils making the tour very enjoyable. So,
please allow me to share some of our experiences inside
the cave through the photos below.
There are a lot of stalactite formations inside the
cave that’ll surely amaze you.

Misibis Beach Waterfront Resort

Other nearby islands with white beaches are: Buguias in Sula

Channel, Guinanayan near the northeastern tip of Cagraray Island, and
Rapu-Rapu particularly a northwestern barangay called Morocborocan.

Ligñon Hill
One of a must visit place when you visit Legazpi City, the what I call
Legazpi City's mini "Paradise in the Sky". As of now it is stillunder
construction at the top of the hill, for it to be more attractive and to attract
more towns people and of course to attract more tourists. Getting there is
easy if you have a ride, motorcycle or a four wheel maybe, but it will take
you at least 5 minutes or so if you decided to trek atop of the hill walking.
Ligñon Hill is also known to be one of the best recreational spot for
people who likes to exercise such as jogging and other stuffs, because of
its stiff road, people find it much better to have their physical exercise just
only walking atop of the hill, which is of course, multiplying their usual
exercising habit.
Along the way to the top of Ligñon Hill you can see the beautiful city
of Legazpi and Daraga town. This is also an ideal place for nature lovers
because of its serene views especially when it is sunrise or sunset where
you can see the sun rising or setting.

Small store are also located there just in case people gets hungry. It
is also a good and convenient place to have a family picnic, dates and
other stuffs, relaxing while viewing the landscpaes from above but be
aware on picking some flowers or destroying plants, it comes with a price
and be aware of other rules set by the local government.
Of course, when you are at the top of Ligñon Hill you can see the
wholeness and the boldness of the Majestic Icon of Albay, the Mt. Mayon

Total Area - 11,220 Has.
Major Industries - Cottage Industries
( mats, hats, baskets,
rope making, furniture &
Major Crops - Rice, coconut and
Distance from Poblacion to Capital - 22.7 kms.


1.Baclayon 21. Mataas

2.Banao 22. Misibis
3.Bariw 23. Mahapunan
4.Basud 24. Namanday
5.Bayandong 25. Namantao
6.Bongga 26. Napao
7.Buang 27. Panarayon
8.San Jose (Buadac) 28. Pigcobohan
9.Cabasan 29. Pili
10. Cagbolacao 30. Pongco (Bonga)
11. Cagraray 31. San Pablo
12. Cajogutan 32. San Pedro
13. Cawayan 33. Sogod
14. Damacan 34. Sula

15. Gubat 35. Tambilagao
16. Hindi 36. Tambongon
17. Igang 37. Tanagan
18. Langaton 38. Uson
19. Manaet 39. Vinisitahan (Basud)
20. Mapulang-Daga 40. Vinisitahan (Napao)

Brief History:

Founded in 1649 as a barrio of Tabaco and

declared an independent town in 1660, Bacacay derived
its name from Bagacay, a bamboo specie. The shores of
the town face the scenic islands of San Miguel and
Cagraray where Jean Montano, a French anthropologist,
collected skeletal remains of unusual sizes now on
exhibit in the Museum of Paris and the Royal Museum of

Bacacay abounds in beauty spots which

beckon tourists all year round such as the Caves of
Minaroso, the beaches of Curon-curonan and Namanday
and the Kawilihan Bicol, an island resort where one may
spend a leisurely week-end without missing the
conveniences of metropolitan life. Other places of
interest are Nagtapis Point, the Caves of Cagbulacao
rich in guano deposits and Sula Pass, a natural maze for
sailors but a haven for ships during storms.

Very rich in fish and other marine resources,

the seas of Bacacay provide a steady income to the
town inhabitants.


Total Area - 13,088 Has.
Major Industries - Handicraft and Hollow-
Blocks making
Major Crops - Rice, Abaca, Fruits,
Citrus, Coconut &
Distance from the Poblacion to Capital - 11.8 kms.

Brief History:

Founded in 1570 on the southern slope of Mayon

Volcano, Camalig progressed uninterruptedly until it
became one of the most popular towns throughout the old
Camarines region.

The violent eruption of Mayon in 1814 destroyed the

original poblacion, so for a short while its people settled
farther inland in the Barrio of Baligang. But lack of water in
the area forced the people back to the rubbles of the old
poblacion where the town still stands today.

Camalig will be long remembered in the annals of

World War II for it was in its Quituinan hills where the
Japanese forces made their last stand.

The town now hums with activity – its men folk with
their muscles strained limestone mining and hollow blocks
making, while its womenfolk keep their hands busy making
abaca novelties, pilinut candies and the proverbial

Camalig Town, Albay Province, Region V, Philippines

Researchers of Bikol History say that, in 1569 a group
of spaniards led by Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman came
to the Bikol Region accidentally as they were scouting the

neighboring islands in search of food supply badly needed
by Legaspi's soldiers stationed in Panay. From the shore of
Sorsogon, they ventured inland and went as far as
Camalig, Albay. They came upon a prosperous settlement
whose inhabitants kept their farm produce in little huts
with grass roofs and without walls called "kamalig" in the
local language.
It is to assume that Camalig got its name from these
huts used for storing harvest or crops. Its Hispanized form,
Camarin, and its plural form, Camarines was soon used to
caal the region we now know as Camarines' Sur and Norte.
Camalig was once a part of the big province of Camarines.
Eventually, when the Province of Albay (Ibalon) was
segregated, Camilig, together with other towns were
ceded to Albay.
Camalig was evangelized by the Augustinian friars
and later by the Franciscans who came to Bikol Region in
1578. Camalig became a town in 1579, founded by the
Franciscan missionaries Fr. Pablo de Jesus and Fr.
Bartolome Ruiz. A parish was established in 1605
dedicated to St. John the Baptist whose feast is celebrated
every 24th of June.
This town was not spared from the Moro depredations
from 1569 to 1818. The Moro continually burned,
destroyed properties and held captive its residents. Some
900 Maranao came to destroy this town, together with
other neighboring towns. The government seemed
hopeless in the defense from constant Moro incursions.
The eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814 destroyed and
buried the whole town of Camalig and the town of
Cagsawa, Budiao and part of Guinobatan and Albay.
For sometime the town proper was transferred to sitio
Tondo where it remained for a few years. Still feeling
unsafe from the menacing mudflow of Mayon Volcano, the
inhabitants were forced to move again to higher grounds.
For another 2 years, the town was situated in Quilaponto,
then for reason of convenience the town proper was
moved to the sitio Baligang where it remained until 1837.
In the same year half of the town was razed to the ground
by a big fire. Drought followed. These drove the town to be
moved back to the former site where the town is now
The church of Camalig was reconstructed by Fr. Miquel de
Barcela and it was blessed by the pastoral care of a saintly
Franciscan priest, the popular St. Peter Baptist. This friar
was martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. The sanctity and
holiness of the old friars can account for the dominance of
Catholicism in this town.


Total Area - 11,864 Has.

Major Industries - Cottage Industries
(Bags, baskets,
rugs, etc.)
Major Crops cultivated - Coconuts, rice
Abaca, Fruits &
Distance from the Poblacion to Capital - 2.8 kms.

Brief History:

The word Daraga (with the accent on the last syllable)

refers to a kind of tree, after which the town is named.
When pronounced with the accent of the second syllable,
however, the term means “maiden”.

Founded in 1818 from the original village of Salcedo,

the town is noted for its church atop a hill built after the
destructive Mayon eruption of February 1, 1814 that
buried the whole Cagsawa town of old.

Once a part of Legazpi City under Republic Act No.
306, its name was converted to Locsin by Republic Act No.
4994, passed on June 17, 1967. Despite the change,
however, the people continued to call their town Daraga.
Now, be it Locsin or Daraga, the town stands on its own
merits as a trade and commercial center with its busy
market place, copra dealers and abaca cottage industry.


Total Area - 23,468 Has.

Major Industries - Bakya Making and
Hollow Blocks
Major Crops cultivated - Coconuts, rice
Abaca, Fruits &
Distance from the Poblacion to Capital - 18.5 kms.

Brief History:

Up to the year 1678, Guinobatan was a barrio of

Camalig. Formerly known as Bubulusan, the town has
suffered several relocations brought about by the activities
of the Mayon Volcano and other natural calamities.

In 1730 it was located in the place now called

Binanuaan. Then it was relocated at Bubulusan,
retransferred to its present location and after the Mayon
eruption of 1814 it was moved to Mauraro on the other
side of San Francisco river.

Guinobatan had a college, the Colegio de San

Buenaventura, founded in 1895 by Bishop Monasterio. It

was there that the Provincial Government of Albay was
housed in 1899 during the revolution.

The town boasts of several historic figures, among

whom are Generals Francisco Lukban and Simeon Ola of
revolutionary fame, amd Msgr. Ope, the Parish Priest who
renovated the Guinobatan Church into one of the most
beautiful in Bicolandia.

Guinobatan is a town of the bakya industry and under

it flows a rich limestone lode ripe for anyone’s tapping.


Total Area - 10,171 Has.

Major Industries - Copra making
Major Crops cultivated - Coconuts,
Abaca & Vegetables
Distance from the Poblacion to Capital - 34.5 kms.

Brief History:

Originally founded in 1649, this town was formerly

called Quipia, Qui meaning “belonging to” and Pia
referring to a woman who was one of its ancient foremost

Once part of Camarines, it was ceded to Albay in

1846 by a decree of Governor General Narciso Claveria
which defined the territorial jurisdictions of Albay and

Camarines. In 1862, Quipia became known as Jovellar after
a Spanish Captain General (Joaquin de Jovellar y Soler).

Now a thriving municipality still lush with virgin

vegetation, Jovellar is a rich source of copra and abaca,
rootcrops and vegetables.

Jovellar is a small, scenic town that is on the

southeastern part of the Province of Albay. Bounded in the
North by Guinobatan, in the south by Sorsogon Province. In
the East by Daraga Town and in the West, by Pio Duran.
The climate is cool and suited to different kinds of
agricultural crops. The people are peace-loving and
mostly, they rely on farming for their livelihood. The only
outlet is the road connection from Guinobatan and takes
about 30 minutes to travel on these two points. It could
also be traveled by boat or banca though the Donsol River.
Publish records in 1865 by missionary priests became a
municipal districts in 1649. A 1811 decree by the Governor
General of that time rendered it a town as Municipio de
Quipia and its head was governadorcillo Anastacio dela
How the town got its name is told in a legend about a
woman named Pia who settled at the mouth of Quipia
River (name of the river could have been named after the
town). This place became a successful trading post, and
many people came to trade gums, logs and animal meat. It
became known as Qui-pia or which belongs to pia. People
who inhibited the place where fondly called "quipot" which
in local parlance, is malicious and not pleasing to the ears.
They pursued to change the name and by virtue of a
decree in 1882, the name was changed to Jovellar which
was derived from a brave Spanish officer, Captain Joaquin
Jovellar y Soler who was known for initiating the infamous
Residence Certificate or "Cedula Personal".
Like all its neighboring towns, Jovellar was not spared
during the time of the Moro marauders. Between their

raids and typhoons and floods, many vital records were
destroyed and burned and reference cannot be availed of.
Its Patron Saint is St. John the Baptist and being celebrated
every 29th day of August.


Total Area - 18,540 Has.

Major Industries - Hollow blocks,
furniture making,
Major Crops cultivated - Rice, Abaca &
Distance from the Poblacion to Capital - 43.4 kms.

Brief History:

One of the first four Villas established in the

Philippines, Libon was founded by Capt. Juan de Salcedo in
1573 and made a settlement in 1575.

When Nueva Caceres was declared a Diocese in

1595, the Villa de Santiago de Libon lost its administrative
hold on the Camarines region and remained no more than
toleration for a partially abandoned institution. The Villa
finally ceased to be in 1846, when by a decree issued by
Gov. Narciso de Claveria, Libon was absorbed by the new
province of Albay as delineated from Ambos Camarines.

Libon is now 18,540 hectares of fertile land. Nearly

70% of its 41,047 inhabitants till the soil, while the rest are
builders of homes, homes which build confidence among

fellowmen, who by their industry breed progress for the


Total Area - 27,797 Has.

Major Industries - Furniture making,
Major Crops Cultivated - Rice, Abaca,
Fruits, Rootcrops and
Distance From Poblacion to Capital - 28.3 kms.

Brief History:

Formerly one of the five barangays which constituted

the confederation of Cabasi headed by Datu Pagkilatan,
Ligao was first a barrio of Polangui and then of Oas, until it
became an independent town in 1666.

Since then, Ligao has prospered continuously and is

now the hub of land traffic from the north toward the
southern tip of Albay, an advantage that has boosted its
commercial and industrial progress.

Everytime Mayon goes into one of her tantrums and

mudflows come rushing downs its slopes, all land traffic
converge at Ligao. At such times the town becomes the
terminal of the PNR, the government railway firm that links
Bicol to the nation’s capital.

Camarines Norte History

From 1573 to 1829, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte formed

only one political unit known as Ambos Camarines.
In 1829, they were separated but reunited again in1854. They
again separated, to be reunited again in 1893. This union continued until
1919. On March 3, 1919, Camarines Norte was created by the Philippine
Legislature in Act 2809.
When Camarines Norte was separated from Ambos Camarines in
1829, it was assigned to the towns of Daet, as capital, Talisay, Indan
(Vinzons), Labo, Paracale, Mambulao (Jose Panganiban), Capalonga,
Ragay, Lupi and Sipocot. Seventeen years late, it lost Sipocot, Lupi and
Ragay to Camarines Sur in exchange for the town of Siruma.
Juan de Salcedo, dispatched by Legazpi to explore the island in
1571, influence the existence of Camarines Norte. After subduing Taytay
and Cainta, he marched further across Laguna and Tayabas.
He visited the rich gold-laden town of Mambulao and Paracale
obsessed by them about which he heard from native’s there of existing
gold mines.
When Francisco de Sande took over from Legazpi as Governor
General, Spanish influence started to be felt in the region. He established
a permanent Spanish garrison in Naga to control the region and defend it
from Chinese and Muslim pirates. Capt. Pedro de Chavez was assigned to
head this force.
There were already native settlements here when the Spaniards
arrived. The flourishing town of Mambulao and Paracale were two of
Indan and Daet were the other settlements besides Capalonga and
others. But Paracale remained the most sought after and the most
prosperous because of its gold mines. The towns were chiefly inhabited by
Tagalogs; the rests were of Visayan strain. However, most of the
immigrants were from Mauban Quezon. The Spanish missionaries did not
falter in their mission to Christianized the natives.
By virtue of RA Act 2809 of March 3, 1919, General F. B. Harrison
separated Camarines Norte from Camarines Sur with Don Miguel R.

Lukban as its first governor. At present it has twelve towns: Basud,
Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo
Ruiz, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Talisay and Vinzons. Daet remained as its
capital town.

Tourist Attractions

Bagasbas Beach (Daet)

The most popular beach resort in the province is in Brgy Bagasbas.

The beach has a long and wide expanse of fine gray sand. During clear but
windy days, the big waves that roll in from the Pacific Ocean make it a
paradise for surfing beginners and afficionados.

Mangcamagong Beach

A clean gray beach facing San Miguel Bay with clear water suitable
for swimming and outings. Its scenic and peaceful ambience provides
excursionists and tourists a nice place for relaxation. Cottages, restrooms,
roadside eateries and sheds are available to tourists at reasonable prices.

San Jose Beach

An extension of Bagasbas beach. Known for its fine gray sand. It

faces the Pacific Ocean and features strong winds, making it ideal for wind
surfing, snorkeling, swimming and jet skiing.

1st Rizal Monument

The town of Daet holds the distinction of being the first town to
erect a monument in honor of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. This is the first monument
to be built throughout the Philippines. The effort was initiated by Lt. Col.
Antonio Saez of the Revolutionary Army. The unveiling was held on
December 30, 1898. This historical landmark stands on the corner of
Magallanes and J. Lucban Streets.

Camarines Sur History

Known centuries ago as the Tierra de Camarines, the province is

distinctly Spanish-founded settlement. Its name having been derived from

"camaronchones" or "camarines", a Spanish word for "kamalig" referring
to small nipa or bamboo-made huts by the natives.
In 1574, Governor General Guido de Lavezarez referred Camarines
Sur to the King of Spain as Los Camarines, after the abundance of
camarins-rice granaries - which were conspicuous features of the area.
Spanish colonizers later subjugated its people and denominated the area
into two distinct aggrupations. The southern portion comprising the area
south of the present town of Camalig (in Albay), Sorsogon, the islands of
Masbate and Catanduanes, and the area, which is now Partido in present
day, then called “Partido de Ibalon”. The northern, upper portion, which
included from the present day Camalig town in Albay, and all towns of
Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, was called “Partido de Camarines”.
Partido de Camarines was partitioned into Camarines Sur and
Camarines Norte in 1829, and thereafter underwent fusion, annexations
and re-partitions until March 19, 1919 when two provinces, jointly called
Ambos Camarines, were finally separated with their present boundaries by
decree of the First Philippine Legislature.
The Philippine Revolution started in Ambos Camarines when Elias
Angeles and Feliz Plazo, Filipino corporals in the Spanish Army, sided with
revolutionist and fought the local Spanish forces on September 17, 1898.
Governor Vicente Zaidin capitulated to the revolutionist on the following
day. With the arrival of General Vicente Lukban, the revolutionary
government in the Bicol Region was established.
The American forces occupied the Bicol Peninsula in January 1900.
In March of the same year. General John M. Bell was made the military
governor of the southeastern Luzon. Civil government was finally
established in Ambos Camarines in April 1901.
At the outbreak of World War II. Guerilla units were organized by
Wenceslao Q. Vinzons that waged underground operations against the
Japanese troops stationed in Camarines Sur. After the capture of Vinzons
on July 8, 1942, the guerilla movement was carried on by Lieutenant
Francisco Boayes. In April 1945, Camarines Sur was finally liberated from
the Japanese invaders.
Naga City, the former capital of Camarines Sur, was founded in
1573 as “Nueva Caceres” – namesake of the Province in Spain and among
the original five royal cities of the colony. It was designated as the
Province’s Capital by virtue of Philippine Legislative Act No. 2711 approved
on March 10, 1917 until June 6, 1955, when Pili, the adjoining town was
declared the Provincial Capital by virtue of Republic Act 1336 up to the
present time

Tourist Attractions

Mt. Isarog

Towering 1,976 meters above sea level and covering 10,112

hectares, it is the haven of indigenous flora and fauna. Most of the rare
and exotic orchids, medicinal and flowering plants, wild boars, deer,
squirrels, monkeys and untamed rodents are found on the base of the
slopes of the mountain. It is now the last Rainforest Mountain in Southern
Luzon. Hundreds of waterfalls both known and unknown, are an
unforgettable sight to behold. The Protected Area Management Board has
identified Malabay Falls (Naga City), Curry (Pili) Consocep (Tigaon), and
Hiwacloy (Goat) as tourism areas within the mountain.

Tayak Lagoon (Malarad Island, Caramoan)

The lagoon is accessible by swimming underneath the rocks on the

beach side. Coral gardens are vast and colorful.

Lahuy Island (Caramoan)

The island has long stretches of uniquely white fine sand. Barangay
Gota has been known as a gold-mining community even before the war. At
present only small-scale operation is in existence. At sitio Nipa, a spring
300 meters from the shore provides fresh water source not available
elsewhere. A 40-hectare mangrove swamp near Barangay Oring offers a
habitat for a marine wildlife

Animasola Island (Balatan)

Exotic rock formations and crystal clear water welcome visitors

traveling off the coast of Balatan

Catanduanes History

The province, formerly known as "Catanduan," "Catandognan," and

finally, "Catanduanes," derived its name from the "tando" trees which then
abound in the Island.

In 1573, Juan de Saceldo explored Catanduanes. Later, on January
6, 1576, Fr. Diego de herrera with nine Augustinians sailed from Acapulco
to the Philippines aboard the galleon, "Espiritu Santo."
Although it was reported that the galleon was shipwrecked near the
coast of Catanduanes in April 1576, the others claimed that the disaster
was caused by bad weather and all the crewmembers perished. Some said
that the survivors were either killed by natives or made servants of a
certain "Datu" of the island
Catanduanes was once a part of Ibalon, now Albay. The
ecclesiastical mission in the province was controlled by Nueva Caceres.
However, in 1582, it was allotted to four "encomendoeros.
In 1663, Fr. Francisco Colin, SJ. described the inhabitants as noted
shipbuilders, without using nails or futtock timbers
In 1755, the Muslims overran the island, defeated the "alcalde
mayor," and pillaged and burned the towns including important
ecclesiastical and municipal records.
During the Philippine Revolution, the Spaniards left Catanduanes on
a motorboat named Josefa on September 18, 1898, before the arrival of
the first Philippine revolutionary troops under Major Estanislao Legazpi
When the Philippine-American war broke out, Brigadier General
William A. Kobbe occupied Virac on January 24, 1900.
The island was governed by Japanese Imperial Forces after they
occupied Legazpi in 1941. After the liberation of Bicol region in 1945,
including Catanduanes, the United States Armed Forces maintained a
military base in Panay Island.
On September 26, 1945, Commonwealth Act. No. 687, Catanduanes
(a subprovince of Albay) became a separate and independent province.
Under Republic Act No. 159, dated June 26, 1947, the former municipality
of Caramoan was recreated out of the Municipality of Pandan; under R.A.
No. 491, dated June 12, 1950, the Municipality of Bagamanoc was also
In the town of Bato, Msgr. Teotimo Pacis, Bishop of Legazpi,
declared the Holy Cross of Batalay as a Diocesan Shrine on April 1, 1973.
The cross was said to be the place by Geronimo Galves at the burial site of
Fr. Herrera in 1576.

Tourist Attractions
Puraran Beach (Baras)

The surfing area boasts of a magnificent view of mountains and
coves. Photo enthusiasts could get a perfect view of the sunrise in this
area. For holiday seekers, this is a place for total relaxation, communing
with nature, and simply, rejuvenation and serenity.

Luyang Cave

Feel the cool, damp air as you go inside this mute witness and tomb
to the massacred natives who fled from the Moro pirates during the 17th

Amenia Beach Resort

Easily accessible and reasonably priced accommodations make the

pristine waters and creamy waved-combed sands of this vacation spot
more appealing to the beach-goers. Its clear ambiance is relaxing

Bato Church

Easily accessible and reasonably priced accommodations make the

pristine waters and creamy waved-combed sands of this vacation spot
more appealing to the beach-goers. Its clear ambiance is relaxing

Masbate History

When Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman anchored on the shores of

Masbate in 1569, he found tiny settlements spread along the coasts
engaged in flourishing trade with China. Chinese traders visited Masbate
and founded small settlements during the Shri-Vijayan and Madjapahit
periods. Ruins of cave-like dwellings resembling "kiva" (possibly built by
Indians who accompanied the Chinese traders), were found along the
coasts of Aroroy, Palanas, and Masbate. Porcelain jars dating back to the
10th century were excavated at Kalanay (Aroroy) in the 1930s.
Historical accounts show that the Christianization of the Bicol Region
actually began in Masbate in 1569:
Father Alonso Jimenez was the first missionary to the islands of
Masbate, Burias, Leyte and Samar. Then he went to Ibalon (Bicol) in the
province of Camarines, where he resided many years, and made many
religious incursions into Albay and Sorsogon. Fray Jimenez is considered
the apostle of the island of Masbate
In December 1600 Dutch Commander Admiral Oliver van North,
sought refuge at San Jacinto Harbor after his fleet lost to the Spanish
Armada in Manila. He was later engaged in a fierce clash with Limahong's
fleet at Canlibas-Matabao passage.
At the height of the Galleon Trade, Mobo contributed first class
lumber for the construction of galleons, making it the center of trade in

the province and was the capital of the province in the early part of the
Spanish occupation
In 1864, Masbate was declared a separate province from Albay.
Guiom was made the capital while Ticao became a commandancia-
politicio-militar. Shortly before the declaration of Philippine independence
by President Emilio Aguinaldo, the town of Masbate was established as the
provincial capital.
The Americans came to Masbate in 1900 to extend their pacification
campaign. In December 1908, Masbate was annexed to the province of
Sorsogon. A bill declaring Masbate as independent province was approved
on February 1, 1922.
As early as 1906, the Masbate representative made the proposal to
the United States Congress to grant the Philippines her independence.
The first Japanese elements arrived in Masbate the dawn of January
7, 1942 from Legazpi. They landed in several places without facing
opposition- the province was too stunned to mount any resistance.
The Japanese occupation reduced Masbate to total economic
shambles. Economic activities were limited to fishing, buying/selling, or
stealing. Food production ground to a halt. Camote, pakol, banana
blossoms, pith, and even such obscure fruits like barobo were used as food
substitutes. Lakad-bulan served as cigarette, tea or coffee. Barter
transaction prevailed. For lack of nutrition and sanitation, many people
succumbed to beri-beri or malaria. Lice and ticks infestations spared only a
lucky few.
Dr. Mateo S. Pecson, who was governor of the province, having
refused to cooperate with the Japanese, evacuated the provincial
government to Guiom, a command post used by the guerrillas. Pecson was
eventually arrested by the Japanese and incarcerated in Cavite. He
managed to escape; he later joined the guerrilla movement in Central

In 1944, Provincial Board Member Atty. Jose L. Almario was

conscripted by the Japanese to govern the province. During the Liberation,
he was arrested by the guerrillas and charged with collaboration. He was
exonerated and saved from set execution by a letter from General
Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, the lone house representative of Masbate,
fought against a congressional bill authorizing the conscription of Filipinos
into the service of Imperial Japan and for this he was detained in Fort

When Masbate was formally liberated on April 3, 1945, Pecson was
sent to Masbate by President Osmeña to organize the civil government;
Pecson took the reins of government on May 11, 1945.

Tourist Attractions
Limestone Hills (Aroroy)

Believed to have been inhabited by the Kalanay people. These early

inhabitants practiced jar burials. Excavations yielded human bones.

Kalanay Falls (Palanas)

A beautiful scenery, found in Brgy. Nabangig.

Bat-ongan Caves (Mandaon)

Found in this mole-like mountain, famous for its numerous

chambers and beautiful rock formation towering at about 150 feet. The
caves offer tourists a thrilling experience in steep rock-climbing up to the
highest peak.

Matangtubig Spring (Monreal)

A unique spring with three sources. The spring comes out of a rock.
Trees and lush vegetation give shade in the area around the spring.

Tacdogan Reef (San Jacinto, Ticao Island)

One of only two areas where Manta Rays abound, the giant mantas
come to the area to feed. The reef is a six hectare shoal of coral formation
60 feet below the surface. Proof positive of the thriving marine ecosystem
in the area.

Rodeo Masbateño (Masbate)

Cattle raising is a trademark of Masbate and a major source of
livelihood for the province. The rodeo will highlight the Masbate Livestock
Week. The festival held every November 26, 27, and 28 will feature a
grand Rodeo Parade, Agro-Livestock Fair and Individual Group
Competitions in Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Lassoing, Post Driving, Calf
Casting, Food Chopping, Carabao Race and other traditional Filipino

Sorsogon History

When the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who was

then based in Panay Island in the Visayas, dispatched, sometime between
1565 to 1570, to this part of the islands an expeditionary force headed by
Capitan Luis Enriquez de Guzman, together with their chaplain, the
Augustinian friar, Fray Alonso Jimenez, primarily to gather provisions for
the starving Spanish force in Panay, and at the same time, evangelize
whatever native villages they might come upon in the course of their
foray, the group stumbled upon a small fishing village at the mouth of the
Ginning River, in what is now the Municipality of Magallanes.
This was the village of Gibalong, the very first Christian settlement
in the island of Luzon. It was here where the first mass in Luzon was
celebrated by the Augustinian friar, Fray Alonso Jimenez.
Thus, the name Ibalong, to refer to the whole of Bikol Region, really
came from this small fishing village, Gibalong, which is now a mere sitio of
Barangay Siuton, in Magallanes town, where the local parish constructed
sometime in the 1970s a small wooden chapel and a concrete historical
marker on the site. In some old Spanish maps, the Spanish cartographers
even retained the original spelling by identifying, either the whole Bikol
Region or parts of it – Tierra de Gibalong. In his book, From Ibalon to
Sorsogon: A Historical Survey of Sorsogon Province to 1905 (New Day
Pub. QC, Philippines, 1991), Dr. Luis C. Dery writes, “Historical records
showed that the Spaniards started using the name Ibalon as early as 1567
to refer variously to a pre-Spanish native settlement in Sorsogon Gulf, to
the entire Bicol Region, and sometimes to the entire island of Luzon. The
Spaniards’ indiscriminate use of this name was due to their inadequate
knowledge of Bicol geography at the outset of their exploration and

conquest of the region. Gradually, they were able to delimit Ibalon and the
rest of Kabikolan’s territory.”
Sorsogon became a province, separate from the Province of Albay to
which it was formerly attached, in 1894. This is the reason why, in 1994
the centennial foundation anniversary of the Province started to be
commemorated and celebrated with a festival – the Kasanggayahan
Festival – every October of each year.

Tourist Attractions

Bulusan National Park

The Mt. Bulusan Natural Park, one of the parks in the country
declared by the national government as such in order to protect its
ecosystem and maintain its natural beauty, covers a complex of primary
and secondary forests, mystical lakes, rivers and natural springs, and the
still active Mt. Bulusan which has an elevation of 5,077 feet above sea
level. The lake itself, which has a circumference of 2,006 meters, has an
elevation of 2,084 feet upon the slopes of the volcano. There is a smaller
lake higher up the volcano called Lake Agingay. The tragic love story of
Bulusan and Agingay is an interesting local folk legend

Rizal Beach Cave

This long, wide white sand beach is located in Gubat town, just 25
minutes ride by car from Sorsogon City. It is a favorite picnic destination
for locals and visitors. There are now two resort hotels along the beach,

offering air-conditioned rooms, including restaurants, function halls,
beachside cottages, and souvenir shops.

Bulusan Mountain Lake Resort

The Bulusan Mountain Lake is a favorite of visitors who want to

commune with nature, with a concrete pathway rimming the lake,
affording the visitor a pleasant and serene, leisurely nature walk The
Park complex is a sanctuary for rare flora and fauna. Eager mountaineers
regularly scale the volcano up to its crater and marvel at the ancient,
moss-covered trees, giant ferns and rare wild orchids that they see on
their way to the peak of the volcano.

Mateo Hot and Cold Springs Resort

Located in Brgy. Monbon, Municipality of Irosin, the resort, which

has dormitory-type accomodations, including poolside picnic cottages,
shower and dressing rooms, features swimming pools with hot to tepid
water, and cold spring water. Soaking in the hot water pool is soothing
and relaxing, and is believed medicinal. The hot spring water flows from
the Bulusan Volcano since the resort is located at its foot.

Donsol Whaleshark Interaction

Considered the biggest fish in the world, a large pod of Whale
Sharks (scientific name: Rhincodon typus), locally known as Butanding,
converge annually just at the mouth of the long and winding Donsol River
in the Municipality of Donsol. This phenomenon occurs starting October of
each year, and peaks during the months of February, March, April and
May. It is believed that these Whale Sharks, about 30 to 40 of them at any
one time, converge off the Donsol waters to feed on plankton, krill and
juvenile fish, which are the only food of these giant fishes. In spite of their
awesome size, the Whale Sharks are gentle and harmless and allow
humans to swim or interact with them. This phenomenon, found only in
the waters off Sorsogon, particularly Donsol, has attracted hundreds of
tourists around the world eager to interact with these gentle giants of the

Bicol Famous Personalities

Bicol Region has produced many famous personalities known locally
and abroad. According to Wikipedia, here are a few of the many famous
Bicolanos well-respected in their field of expertise.

1.Tecla San Andres Ziga - First woman bar topnotcher in the Philippine
History, a Philippine Senator (Albay)

2.Venancio Ziga - Governor (Albay)

3.Victor San Andres Ziga - Second generation politician, an

Assemblyman, a Governor (Albay) and a Philippine Senator

4.Raul S. Roco - was a Philippine Senator from Bombon, Camarines Sur,
former DepEd Secretary

5.Jorge Barlin - was the first Filipino bishop from Baao, Camarines Sur

6.Francisco Tatad - was a Philippine Senator from Catanduanes

7.Gregorio Honasan - is a Philippine Senator

8.Joker Arroyo - is Philippine Senator from Baao, Camarines Sur

9.Francisco “Chiz” Escudero - is a Philippine Senator from Sorsogon

10.Nora Aunor - a celebrity from Iriga City

11.Eddie Garcia - a director and celebrity from Buhi, Camarines Sur

12.Conrado de Quiros - a columnist

13.Ely Buendía - a Filipino music icon, songwriter and musician who
gained fame as the lead vocalist in the popular 1990’s Pinoy rock band,
The Eraserheads from Naga City

14.Dina Bonnevie - Actress from Magarao, Camarines Sur

15.Rodolfo Noel Lozada - star witness involved in the Philippine National

Broadband Network controversy from Ligao, Albay

16.Jayson Fernandez - vocalist for Rivermaya from Camarines Norte

17.Ricky Lee - prominent scriptwriter from Camarines Norte18.Don

Mariano Sasis Maronilla (1840-1908)- an ancestor of the Maronilla
clan of Libon, Albay (one of the most prominent clans in the region)

19.Don Felix Maronilla Sr. - father of Felix Maronilla Jr., Landlord,


20.Manuel Calleja Fernandez - born on 16 February 1916 in Libon,

Albay. He was a medical practitioner, specializing in dermatology — having
worked at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital (1947-1949), UCLA

Medical Center (1948) and several other hospitals across Canada and the
United States. He served as the President of the University of the
Philippines Manila Medical Alumni Association in 1966; and served as a
dermatologic surgery consultant at UP PGH’s Dermatology Section. In
addition to being affiliated with many associations and foundations, he was
a member of Makati Medical Center’s Founders Circle. He also served as
Chairman of the Department of Dermatology of MMC. He is the father of
Dr. Manuel Ocampo Fernandez (a pioneering cosmetic surgeon who first
brought liposuction to the Philippines), Maria Victoria “Vicki” Ocampo
Fernandez-Zubiri (the socialite-mother of Senator Juan Miguel “Migz”
Zubiri) and Malu Ocampo Fernandez (the infamous lifestyle writer who
enraged millions of OFWs with her 2007 People Asia travel article).

21.Bartolome Seda Fernandez (1892 - 1981) - was the son of Manuel

Praxedes Fernandez and Mamerta Seda. A government auditor, Bartolome
was assigned to several provinces — Zamboanga, Camarines Sur,
Sorsogon, Capiz, Leyte, Cebu and Iloilo. Shortly after the outbreak of
World War II, he fled with his family from Iloilo to Leon, where he
continued his function as Provincial Auditor to the Civil Resistance
Movement, together with the then Governor Tomas Confesor. He was a
member of the Emergency Currency Committee — a team tasked to
oversee the printing and circulation of emergency notes to be used by the
guerilla forces. After the fall of Bataan in 1942, President Manuel Quezon
wired the appointment of Bartolome as the Auditor General of Western
Visayas, while he was on his way to Australia. In years after the war,
President Carlos P. Garcia appointed him to Deputy Auditor General of the
Philippines — a position he held until 1961. He married Pilar Maronilla
Calleja in 1917. After Pilar’s death in 1946, he remarried — taking
Mercedez Guerrero as his bride in 1958. He is the great grandfather of
Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.

22.Maria Victoria “Vicky” Ocampo Fernandez - the daughter of Makati

Medical Center pioneer Dr. Manuel Calleja Fernandez. A graduate of
Assumption College, she is a designer and is a partner in Victoria II (a
boutique patronized by Manila’s social elite). She was included in the
Survivors Issue of People Asia Magazine in 2007, after having triumphed
over a brain tumor which necessitated two surgeries and radiation
therapy. She is the sister of of Dr. Manuel Ocampo Fernandez (a
pioneering cosmetic surgeon who first brought liposuction to the
Philippines in 1983) and of Malu Ocampo Fernandez (the infamous lifestyle

writer who enraged millions of OFWs with her 2007 People Asia travel
article). She is the wife of Bukidnon Governor Joe Zubiri, with whom she
has 5 children (the third being Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri).

Bikol Festivals and Events

Philippine festivals happen all-year round. In Albay, it is no
exception. Festivals reflect how the locals love to celebrate and party. The
best time to go to Albay is to coincide it with a province-wide festival to
join in the merry-making.
Magayon Festival happens all month of May, and this fiesta features
sports and cultural events and trade fairs. The event’s focus is the stage
re-enactment of tragic love story of two legendary characters.

Magayon Festival 2008

Tabak Festival which runs on the last week of March in Tabaco City,
Albay, is a week-long activity. It includes a street presentation filled with
colourful parades, and it usually coincides with the City’s Foundation
Anniversary.Sarung Banggi Festival is another annual May fiesta that
immortalizes a timeless love song, Sarung Banggi. It showcases colourful
performances of a variety of cultural and religious activities.Every 3rd
Saturday of August in Tiwi, the locals celebrate the Pilgrimage to Jordan,
which is for the Nuestra Señora de Salvacion, the patroness of Albay. A
procession and mass is celebrated on the shores of Sogod Beach.

The Katalingkasan Festival is held every 2nd week of July at Libon.
This festival features trade fairs, cultural shows and lots of street
dancing.Generally, Philippine festivals are commemorated to give praise to
their respective patron saints. Apart from the religious aspect of these
fiestas, the merriment almost always includes parades and street-dancing.
Join in the fun and mingle with the locals.
wedding invitations - simple, stylish, offbeat or original, we have a wide
selection of designs for quality wedding stationery and invitations.
wedding fireworks displays - celebrate the wedding of the year through a
live 40-50 piece symphonic wind band and spectacular fireworks.



Camalig as a third class town is one of the most

picturesque and the earliest town founded in 1579 in the
Province of Albay. It is situated approximately 8, 000 feet
below the crater of Mount Mayon, the world renowned
volcano because of its most perfect cone. It is composed of
fifty barangays nestled among the verdant fields and
rolling hills where gabi plants grow abundantly. These are
the plants from which the tender leaves are gathered and
made into pinangat, which is Bicol’s gastronomic delight
and a signature dish as well.

Local gourmets are easily agreed that none can
equal the quality of pinangat in Camalig. Whenever visitors
come to Bicol, the first thing they invariably look for is
their favorite pinangat from Camalig. Even balikbayans do
not fail to take home along with them to their host country
a box or two of frozen pinangat as pasalubong. That’s how
popular and special Camalig pinangat is as a food dish.

Pinangat is a nutritious vegetable dish whose main

ingredient includes shredded gabi leaves, a bit of red
ginger, tiny shrimps (balaw) or a slice of salted fish
(kanduli) or pork. Crushed pepper (siling labuyo) is added
to the mixture to make the pinangat hot. The entire recipe
is then wrapped in gabi leaves and tied in small bundles.
These are placed in a palayok and cooked in coconut milk.

Pinangat is definitely a palate teaser, appetizing

and yummy. It is in fact the pride of Camalig.

The highlight of this year’s Camalig Town Fiesta

celebration is the PINANGAT FESTIVAL which features the
culture and arts of the Camaligueños, the natural and
man-made attractions of the municipality and the people’s
warmth and hospitality. The name was adopted as an
attention-getting feature of the celebration to attract more
visitors and promote the product as a food delicacy.

The month long festivities is a colorful potpourri of

memorable and thrilling activities for everyone especially
to Camaligueños. This consists of sporting events for the
youth and elderly, competition and exhibition in arnis and
other forms of martial arts, cultural presentation of
creative songs and dances, a folk concert and lives bands,
a dance contest among secondary and tertiary students
dubbed as “hataw sayaw laban sa droga,”, song writing
contest, amateur singing contest, disco in the park, batang
pinoy games (Laro ng Lahi), street presentation, drum and
lyre corps competition, mass demonstration, civic and
military parade, fireworks display and many more. Part of

the culminating activities will be the agri fair wherein
pinangat cooking contest among local residents engaged
in this home industry.

Over and above all, Pinangat Festival will provide

an enjoyable vehicle not only for fun seekers but more
importantly as a means for prospective entrepreneurs,
promoters of new business and investors as well to look
into various possible ventures that will serve the
Camaligueños imagination and continue their collective
spirit into becoming more deeply involved in Camalig’s
unending aspiration for sustained local development and
lasting peace and progress as bodly envisioned and
proudly embodied in the municipality’s slogan: OSWAG
CAMALIG. To be definite, the festival plays a vital role in
the development of the tourism industry in Camalig thus
contributing immensely to the faster socio-economic
growth and development of Camalig as a medium town for
the succeeding years of local governance of development.