Bicol History

August 28, 2017 | Author: Amylen N. Bautista | Category: Languages
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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 center. 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 speakers. 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 1

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.


Pop. density (per km²)


Population Area (2000) (km²)


Legazpi City


2,552.6 427.4

Camarines Norte



2,112.5 217.2

Camarines Sur Pili


5,266.8 294.6




1,511.5 142.5


Masbate City


4,047.7 174.8


Sorsogon City


2,141.4 303.8



History 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 4

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 City). 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 5

without the Americans.Pmcalara 11:27, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time) There were also elite politicians who collaborated with the Japanese. Post World War II Most of the Politicians in powers were pro-Americans who reoccupied 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 Time) 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] website. Local elites continue to dominate the political arena after the 2007 elections. Component Cities 1.

Legazpi City, Albay


Ligao City, Albay


Tabaco City, Albay


Iriga City, Camarines Sur


Naga City¹, Camarines Sur


Masbate City, Masbate


Sorsogon City, Sorsogon


¹ Naga City is an independent chartered city. Languages 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 Camarines. 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.

FACTS AND FIGURES: Location: Southermost tip of Luzon Boundaries: •

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:


Forest: 13.56%

Grasslands: 30.23%

Miscellaneous: 2.42% Topography: From Slightly Modulating to Rolling and from Hilly to Mountainous 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 9

Catanduanes: 215,356

Masbate: 707,668

Sorsogon: 650, 535 Culture 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. Language/Dialect 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 franca. 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 Religion 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. History 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 10

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. 12

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 place. 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 13

ALBAY: HISTORY 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 eras. 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, 14

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 vehicles.

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 constraints. 17

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. 18

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 Volcano.

Municipalities BACACAY Total Area 11,220 Has. Major Industries Cottage Industries ( mats, hats, baskets, rope making, furniture & piggery) Major Crops Rice, coconut and rootcrops Distance from Poblacion to Capital 22.7 kms. Barangays Baclayon Banao Bariw Basud Bayandong Bongga Buang San Jose (Buadac) Cabasan 10. Cagbolacao 11. Cagraray 12. Cajogutan 13. Cawayan 14. Damacan 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

21. Mataas 22. Misibis 23. Mahapunan 24. Namanday 25. Namantao 26. Napao 27. Panarayon 28. Pigcobohan 29. Pili 30. Pongco (Bonga) 31. San Pablo 32. San Pedro 33. Sogod 34. Sula 19

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Gubat Hindi Igang Langaton Manaet Mapulang-Daga

35. Tambilagao 36. Tambongon 37. Tanagan 38. Uson 39. Vinisitahan (Basud) 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 London.

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 Major Industries


13,088 Has. Handicraft and HollowBlocks making Major Crops Rice, Abaca, Fruits, Citrus, Coconut & Vegetable 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 pinangat. 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 21

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. 22

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 located. 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. DARAGA Total Area Major Industries


11,864 Has. Cottage Industries (Bags, baskets, rugs, etc.) Major Crops cultivated Coconuts, rice Abaca, Fruits & Vegetables 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.

GUINOBATAN Total Area Major Industries


23,468 Has. Bakya Making and Hollow Blocks Major Crops cultivated Coconuts, rice Abaca, Fruits & Vegetables 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 24

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.

JOVELLAR Total Area Major Industries Major Crops cultivated rootcrops


10,171 Has. Copra making 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 leaders. 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 Pena. 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.

LIBON Total Area Major Industries


18,540 Has. Hollow blocks, furniture making, handicraft Major Crops cultivated Rice, Abaca & Vegetables 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 27

fellowmen, who by their industry breed progress for the province.

LIGAO Total Area Major Industries


Major Crops Cultivated Coconut,


27,797 Has. Furniture making, blacksmith Rice, Abaca,

Fruits, Rootcrops and Vegetables 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. 28

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 them. 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. 29

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 32

"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 33

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 created. 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 century. 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 experience. 37

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 experience.

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 38

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 commandanciapoliticio-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 Luzon. 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 MacArthur. 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 Santiago. 39

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. 40

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 games.

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, 43

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 sea.

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, 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, Philantrophist 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 47

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 48

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.

THE PINANGAT FESTIVAL: A FESTIVAL OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CAMALIG, ALBAY 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. 50

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 51

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.


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