Possessing a generally volcanic terrain, Albay is best known for the famous Mayon Volcano.

Named after the Bicol word magayon, meaning �beautiful�, the once-perfect cone is as majestic as it dreadful- its eruption in 1814 killed thousands of people and buried towns, particularly Cagsawa where the church belfry remained.

     Albay�s official seal depicts the kalaw, a high-flying bird native to Albay. The bird symbolizes the hopes and aspirations of the people. The streak of light on the shoulder of the volcano in the seal signifies the artistry of its people, while the ricefields denote the agricultural economy of the inhabitants. 

Former Names: �Sawagnan� and �Albaybay�

Land Area: 2,552.6 square kilometers

Capital: Legaspi City

Population: 809,177 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol

Income Classification: Second Class Province 

No. of Cities: 1 (Legaspi) 

No. of Municipalities: 17 (Bacacay, Camalig, Daraga-Locsin, Guinobatan, Jovellar, Libon, Ligao, Malilipot, Malinao, Manito, Oas, Pio Duran, Polangui, Rapu-Rapu, Santo Domingo-Libon, Tobaco, and Tiwi) 

No. of Municipal Districts: None 

Topography: Apart from Mayon Volcano, several other mountains accentuate the scenic panorama of the province. The plains and valleys are fertile mainly because of active volcanism in the area. There are also various creeks and rivers that drain the province. 

No. of Principal Rivers:

No. of Mountains: 11 (prominent ones are Mayon, Putsan, Caburanan, Pantao, Masaraga and Malinao) 

Climate: The eastern part of Albay has no dry season but has a pRonounced maximum rainfall from November to January.

The west portion has no dry season with the rainfalls fairly distributed throughout the year. Generally, the climate is mild. 

Average Annual Rainfall: 133.18 inches

Principal products/crops: Rice, (major crop), coconut, sugarcane, calamansi and peanuts. 

Industries: Coconut oil production (major industry), fishing and coal mining. 

Mineral Resources: Copper, coal, lime, clay, gypsum, perlite, and coral rocks.

Forest Resources: Timber, rattan, almaciga, and beeswax. 

Tourist Attractions: The Cagsawa ruins, the Pali Falls, Mayon Volcano, Hoyop-Hoyopan Caves in Camalig, the Dalipay Spring and Waterfalls, the Maglabog Boiling Lake, the Naglagbay Lake in Tiwi, Roca-Monte abaca processing at Daraga, Tiwi Hot Springs, the Kalayukay Beach and Puro Beach. 

Governor: Romeo R. Salalima

Congressman: Edcel C. Lagman, Carlos R. Imperial, Elfren R. Sarte (deceased) 


        During the later part of the 16th century, the Spanish used Camarines Norte as their base for colonizing the whole of Bicol. The Spanish thrust was, likewise, motivated by news of gold deposits in this part of Bicol. It was during this time that the Paracale deposits were discovered and the town of Paracale has been associated with gold mining ever since. Today, Camarines Norte is the second richest mining district in the country, next to the Mountain Provinces.    

    In the early years of Spanish colonial rule, Camarines Norte formed part of a province known as Ambos Camarines which was founded in 1573. In 1829, Ambos Camarines was split into northern and southern provinces; but in 1854, the new provinces were merged again. In 1957, they were again separated and in 1893, were once more reunited. The last partition was decreed in March 1919 when Philippine Legislature authorized the Governor-General to split Ambos Camarines into two provinces. This partition prevails to this day and the boundaries between Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur are substantially the same as they were in 1919. 

Former Name: Ambos Camarines

Land Area: 2,112.5 square kilometers

Capital: Daet

Population: 308,007 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol and Tagalog

Income Classification: Fourth Class Province

No. of Cities: None 

No. of Municipalities: 12 (Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Imelda, Jose, Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Talisay, and Vinzons) 

No. of Municipal Districts: None 

Topography: While blessed with extensive tracts of fertile lands, some parts of the province are stony and sandy, prohibiting agricultural cultivation. The terrain is generally rugged with rolling hills and mountains except for the coastal area where one finds fertile plains and small valleys. 

No. of Principal Rivers: 1 (Daet-Talisay)

No. of Mountains:

Climate: No dry season. Its maximum rainfall is from October to January. 

Average Annual Rainfall: 150.55 inches 

Principal products/crops: Coconut, banana, abaca and rice

Industries: Mining (major industry) 

Mineral Resources: Iron ore, gold, silver, uranium, zinc and copper

Forest Resources: Timber 

Tourist Attractions: Philippine Iron Mines, Pulang Data, Bagasbas Beach Resort, Shrine of the Black Nazarene, Bicol National Park, Calaguas Islands, Canton Caves, Lanot Soda Springs, Mananap Falls, and the Tulay na Lupa Reservoir. 

Governor: Casimiro A. Padilla Jr.

Congressman: Renato M. Unico 


      Camarines Sur�s history is intimately interwoven with that of its sister province, Camarines Norte, from the 16th century up to 1919 when Philippine Legislature finally decreed a formal separation. The province is about two-and-a-half times larger than Camarines Norte. The town of Naga became the capital of Camarines Sur immediately after the separation. When it was converted in to a chartered city on December 18, 1948, the municipality of Pili was declared its new capital.

      The province ranks next to Albay and Sorsogon as the most densely populated province of the region. Its populous city and towns are Iriga, Nabua, and Libmanan. Tabios or sinarapan, the smallest fish in the world, are found in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur. 

Former Name: Ambos Camarines

Land Area: 5,266.8 square kilometers

Capital: Pili

Population: 1,099,346 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol

Income Classification: First Class Province

No. of Cities: 2 (Naga and Iriga) 

No. of Municipalities: 35 (Baao, Balatan, Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Bula, Cabusao, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Caramoan, Del Gallego, Gainza, Garchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Lupi, Magarao, Milaor, Minalabac, Nabua, Ocampo, Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili, Presentacion, Ragay, Sagnay, San Fernando, San Jose, Sipocot, Siruma, Tigaon, and Tinambac)

No. of Municipal Districts: None

Topography: The terrain is generally mountainous but levels off to an extensive plain that cuts across the center of the province. The plain is popularly known as the Bicol Plain. The lands surrounding the two peaks of Mt. Iriga are exceedingly rough and are suitable for the growing of abaca. 

No. of Principal Rivers: 5

No. of Mountains: 16 

Climate: The western and southern portions of Camarines Sur do not have a dry season nor a very pRonounced rainy period. The rest of the province lack a dry season but experience a maximum rain period from November to January. Typhoons usually batter the province. 

Average Annual Rainfall: 150.55 inches

Principal products/crops: Abaca, rice coconut, corn, rootcrops, citrus, and bananas 

Industries: Fishing (major industry)

Mineral Resources: Copper, iron, gypsum, pumice and chromite

Forest Resources: Timber 

Tourist Attractions: The Leaning Tower of Bombon, Atulyan Island, Ubo Falls, Sibaguan Waterfalls, Lake Buhi, Malacsay Falls, Caranan Beach Resort, Penafrancia Resort, and Carolina Resort 

Governor: Luis R. Villafuerte

Congressman: Rolando R. Andaya, Raul S. Roco, Eduardo P. Pilapil, Ciriaco R. Alfelor 


      Catanduanes is one of the smallest provinces of the country in terms of population. Its slow development has been attributed to its climate.

     Juan de Salcedo explored Catanduanes in 1573. In 1582, it was allotted to four encomenderos.  In 1755, it was overran by  the Muslim who pillaged and burned the towns. During the Philippine Revolution, the Spaniards left Catanduanes on the Motorboat, Josefa, on September 18,1898 before the arrival of the first revolutionary troops under Major Estanislao Legazpi. When the Philippine American War broke out, Brig. Gen. William A. Kobbe occupied Virac on January 24, 1900. The Japanese invaders occupied the province in 1941 and was liberated in 1945. 

Former Names: Catanduan and Catagodognan

Land Area: 1,511.5 square kilometers

Capital: Virac

Population: 175,247 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol

Income Classification: Fifth Class Province 

No. of Cities: None 

No. of Municipalities: 11 (Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban (Payo), San Andres (Cololbon), San Miguel, Viga, and Virac) 

No. of Municipal Districts: None 

Topography: Catanduanes, being one huge mountain mass, has limited coastal plains. Cultivation is confined to small alluvial areas and adjacent gentle slopes. On the northern section, there is a wide coastal plain which is considered as the rice granary of the province. 

No. of Principal Rivers: None

No. of Mountains:

Climate: The province has a continuous year-long rainfall and is constantly visited by northern trade winds and the southwest monsoon and cyclonic storms. 

Average Annual Rainfall: 46 inches

Principal products/crops: Coconut, abaca, palay and rootcrops 

Industries: Logging, and fishing (major industry) 

Mineral Resources: Gold, silver, manganese, marble, kaolin and phosphate rocks

Forest Resources: Timber 

Tourist Attractions: Binauahan Falls, the Luyang caves and beach resorts such as Egang, Marilma, Lourdes and Palawig.

 Governor: Leandro I. Verceles

Congressman: Moises M. Tapia (deceased) 


    Masbate, known as the cattle island of the Philippines, was once a part of Albay. In 1846 it was separated from Albay was made a comendencia- politico- military. General Lucban established the local government and left Vicente Trivino of Boac, Marinduque in charge of Masbate until the government was turned over to the United States forces in 1900.

    On March 18, 1901, Masbate was organized as a province under Act No. 105 of the Philippine Commission. On November 23, 1905, under Act No. 1413, Masbate was annexed to Sorsogon. On December 15, 1920, by virtue of Act No. 2934 of the Philippine Legislature, it was made a province independent of Sorsogon                                   Masbate has 121 islands and islets, 61 of which are named. 

Former Name: None

Land Area: 4,047.7 square kilometers

Capital: Masbate

Population: 584,520 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol, Cebuano Hilagaynon and Tausug

Income Classification: Third Class Province

No. of Cities: None 

No. of Municipalities: 21 (Aroroy, Baleno, Balub, Batuan, Cataingan, Cawayan, Claveria, Dimasalang, Esperanza, Mandaon, Masbate, Milagros, Mobo, Monreal, Palanas, Pio V. Corpus (Limbuhan), Placer, San Fernando, San Jacinto, San Pascual and Uson)

No. of Municipal Districts: None 

Topography: The province has scattered reefs and coral areas on its southern and western coasts. The interior of the island is characterized by low rolling hills. Ticao Island is semi-mountainous with arable land concentrated mostly on its northwest corner. The eastern coastline of Burias is characterized by cliffs and bold promontories. 

No. of Principal Rivers: None

No. of Mountains: 15(Mt. Engano is the highest)

 Climate: Relatively dry from January to June and wet the rest of the year. It lies directly in the path of destructive typhoons which affect the country yearly. Burias and Ticao have rainfalls more or less evenly distributed throughout the year.

 Average Annual Rainfall: 78.79 inches

Principal products/crops: Corn, coconut, rice and banana

 Industries: Cattle raising (major industry), fishing, agriculture, and mining 

Mineral Resources: Gold, manganese, limestone, silver, iron, chromite, lead, zinc, and coal.

Forest Resources: Timber

Tourist Attractions: Dacu beach resort, Espinosa beach, Valencia beach resort and the cattle ranches. 

Governor: Emilio Espinosa Jr.

Congressman: Tito R. Espinosa, Luz Cleta R. Bakunawa, Moises R. Espinosa (deceased) 


    Abaca was introduced in the province of Sorsogon by the Spaniards. In 1660, Father Espellarga, parish priest of Bacon, invented the first stripping machine for abaca. Today, Sorsogon is the premier abaca-producing province in the Philippines.

   A total of 15 towns of Sorsogon lie along the coast. Irosin, the only inland town, is at the center of a basin which looks like a crater of a depressed volcano.

    Created in 1864, Sorsogon has three waterfalls: the Magallanes, Ubo, and Cawayan Falls. Rich fishing grounds are in the towns of Bulan, Donsol, Magallanes, Gubat, Pilar and the Burias Pass, Sibuyan Sea and Ragay Gulf.

 Former Name: None

Land Area: 2,141.4 square kilometers

Capital: Sorsogon

Population: 500,685 (1980)

Principal Dialect: Bicol

Income Classification: Third Class Province

No. of Cities: None 

No. of Municipalities: 16 ( Bacon, Barcelona, Bulan, Bulusan, Casiguran, Castilla, Donsol, Gubat, Irosin, Juban, Magallanes, Matnog, Pilar, Prieto Diaz, Santa Magdalena, and Sorsogon) 

No. of Municipal Districts: None 

Topography: Although the terrain is very hilly, there is no great mountain range extending to it. There are six main elevations, the highest of which is Mt. Bulusan, an active volcano reaching 5,165 feet. There big rivers cut the province. 

No. of Principal Rivers: 3 

No. of Mountains: 6 (Mt. Bulusan is the highest) 

Climate: There is considerable rainfall throughout the year, with precipitation occurring during the latter half of September and October. The province lies within the typhoon belt. 

Average Annual Rainfall: 144.96 inches 

Principal products/crops: Abaca, coconut rice, corn, rootcrops, fruits and pili 

Industries: Hemp making and fishing (major industry) 

Mineral Resources: Sulphur, coal, and limestone 

Forest Resources: Almaciga, tanbark, buri, nipa, rattan and firewood 

Tourist Attractions: Lake Osiao and Cape Pampang in Bacon, Bulos and Mapaso Springs in Irosin, Tinalos islet near the Bagatao Island, Magallanes Falls and Ubo Falls in Santa Magdalena, the Bucal-bucalan Springs and the Cawayan Waterfalls in Sorsogon, and the Bugs Cave in Bulusan. 

Governor: Cleto D. Arnedo

Congressman: Salvador Escudero III, Bonifacio H. Gillego


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