5 June 2010


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


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.”


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 garison 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 Camariens 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.


Camarines Norte or Hilagang Kamarines occupies the northwestern portion of the Bikol Peninsula. Along the coastlines, the province faces the Basiad and Lamon Bay on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the north, and the San Miguel Bay on the east. Inland, it is bounded by the Province of Quezon on the southwest and Camarines Sur on the south.

The province's topography is generally rugged. It is composed of rolling hills and mountainous terrain with only a small coastal plain. Its coastal areas are fertile. Situated on these coastal areas are the towns of Vinzons, Jose Panganiban, Paracale, Sta. Elena, Capalonga, Daet, Basud, Talisay and Mercedes


Camarines Norte has a total land area of 220,012 hectares, or 2,200 square kilometers. This is inclusive of 8,762 hectares of land disputed by the Province of Camarines Norte and Quezon, which was finally awarded to Camarines Norte by the Supreme Court in 1989.


The province is divided into 12 municipalities: Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz (formerly Imelda), San Vicente, Sta. Elena, Talisay and Vinzons. The town of Daet is the seat of government and the center of education, commerce, and trade. Other growth centers are Labo, Jose Panganiban, Sta. Elena and Mercedes.

Each municipality is further divided into smaller political units, called barangays. In land size, Labo is the biggest municipality, occupying approximately 23 percent of the total provincial area or 50,360 hectares, and Talisay is the smallest with just 2% or 4,680 hectares. The capital town rank ninth in size.

The province has a population of 470,654 as of May 1, 2000 with a growth rate of 1.50 percent from 1995 to 2000.


Major dialects spoken in the province are Tagalog and Bikol Dialect comprising about 63.09% and 35.57% respectively. About 1.34% of the household surveyed speaks other dialects and languages like Cebuano, Ilocano, Chinese, Pangasinan, Ibanag, and others. The greater number of Tagalog-speaking household may be attributed to the fact that Camarines Norte is adjacent to the Southern Tagalog provinces, from where the majority of migrants to Camarines Norte come from.


Agriculture is the leading and major source of income of the people. Major crops planted are coconut, palay, rootcrops and vegetables.
Pineapple production, on the other hand, made quite a name for Camarines Norte in recent years. Metallic minerals (gold, silver, iron, lead, zinc, bull quartz, iron lump and iron in laterite) and non-metallic minerals (silica sand, kaolin, diatomite, refractory clay and limestone) are found in abundance. Gold production is the signature product of Camarines Norte. The yellowish Paracale gold and the reddish Labo gold extracted by miners and goldpanners from the bowels of earth, helped prop up small and medium scale industries engaged in jewelry production. Other industries found in the province are livestock/poultry and fishery.


Camarines Norte is accessible via land and sea transport.

Land Transport

Camarines Norte is about six hours drive from Manila through lush forests and picturesque seascapes.

Air Transport

Camarines Norte can also be reached by air through the Pili Airport in Camarines Sur. From the airport you can take a bus or a cab to Daet via Naga City,

Sea Transport

Motorboats, motor launches and non-motorized bancas are usually used in transporting passengers and cargoes from the mainland to the coastal barangays and islands of the province.


Eleven (11) radio stations (3 AM and 8 FM)
High frequency (HF/SSB) and very high frequency (VHF) transceivers
7 Cable television service providers
One local community TV station (STV-6) and one relay TV Station, the ABS-CBN Channel 2.
3 Cellular Mobile telephones (Globe, Smart and Sun).
14 public calling offices in the province with a load capacity/number of channels of 428
Six (6) local newspapers that are operating
Three (3) internet service providers (ISP)
Sixteen (16) postal stations
Seven (7) courier services (LBC, JRS Express, Daily Overland Express, DHL, Aboitiz Express, Camarines Norte Forwarders, and Philparcel).

2 June 2010


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 Bikol Region was established.

The American forces occupied the Bikol 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


Located in the central part of the Bikol peninsula, which forms the southeastern part of the island of Luzon; Bounded on the north by the Provinces of Camarines Norte and Quezon, San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean; on the south by the Province of Albay; on the east by Lagonoy Gulf; and on the west by Ragay Gulf.

The largest among the six provinces in Bikol, its total land area is 5,266.82 sq. kms, which is about 30% of the entire region and about 2% of the national land area.

Thirty-five municipalities and two cities classified into four districts compose the province of Camarines Sur. The first district (Railroad Town) consists of eleven municipalities; second district (Central Bay) has eight municipalities and one chartered city; third district (Partido Area) has ten municipalities and the fourth district (Rinconda Area) comprises of six municipalities and one component city.

It is traversed by the long wide and meandering Bikol River and other streams that descend from the southwestern side of Pasacao-San Fernando-Libmanan mountain ranges and northeastern side of Mt. Isarog

Except for some highlands found in some inland towns such as Ocampo, Baao and Iriga, the rest are mountain ranges which bordered the rugged coastlines. They surround the vast fertile plains and arable lowlands except those found in Nato, Sangay, Sabang and San Jose beaches.

Camarines Sur boasts of three beautiful lakes namely: Baao, Bato and Buhi and four mountains sucha as: Isarog, Iriga, Buhi and Tangcong Vaca.

Camarines Sur is in the middle of the Bikol Peninsula jutting out southeasterly from the main island of Luzon. The province is 450 kilometers from Manila at the north and approximately the same diistance from Cebu in the Visayan Islands at the South.


The western and southern part of the province belong to the fourth type which is characterized by no dry season and no very pronounced maximum rain period. A definite absence of a dry season with a very pronounced maximum period from November to January predominates over the eastern and northern area. Caramoan Peninsula and the regions east of Mt. Isarog and Iriga fall under this climate.


As a province which belongs to the Bikol region, Standard Bikol is the primary dialect being used. There are, however, other speech varieties which are adapted by some people in other areas of the province. These dialectal differences are believed to be derivatives of the standard Bikol dialect. It is always an advantage having to listen to a Bikolano speaking his own dialect as it is claimed to be one which is endowed with beauty and artistic merit. In the premiere province of Camarines Sur, not to be treated with exemptions are two distinct dialects which are the Buhi-non and Partido dialects. Buhi-non has the reputation of being the most unique albeit the most difficult of all the varieties of Bikol. The Partido dialect, on the other hand, is one which is widely used in the towns of Ocampo, Goa, Tigaon and Lagonoy.


The population of the province as of May 2000 census was 1,551,549 accounting for almost 33 percent of the regional population. The province's population grew at an average annual rate of 1.72 percent between 1995 and 2000. Its population density is 283.0 persons per square kilometer of land area.


Agriculture is the leading industry with rice and coconut as the leading agricultural crops in the province. Abaca and banana are next because of the kind of soil prevalent in the province. Camarines Sur is a province endowed with a variety of natural resources: from verdant forests which provide a wide range of flora and fauna species; hidden deposits of rare and precious minerals to the vast water world which offers a whole lot of water resources. Moreover, the province's abundant natural resources make it an ideal base for broad range of resource-based industries. Its arable land is suited to the growing and production of a wide variety of food and commercial crops. Mining is a growing industry, too. Aside from this, it is also sufficient in fish due to its virtually untapped, rich fishing grounds


Air Transport

The province can be reached by plane within a flying time of 45 minutes. There is the service of the Philippine Airlines at the upgraded Pili Airport. Shown below are the flight schedules going to and from the province.

Philippine Airlines
2/F G7 Holdings Building
Dinaga Street, Naga City

Flight Schedule:
Manila-Naga: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun
Departure- 7:00 am; Arrival- 7:50 am

Naga-Manila: Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
Departure- 8:30 am; Arrival- 9:15 am

Rail Transport

Camarines Sur is served by the Philippine National Railways (PNR) which operates rail service from Manila, passing through woodlands of the Southern Luzon, to its destination in Tabuco, Naga City, in a ten-hour trip.

Philippine National Railways
Tabuco, Naga City
Tel. Nos. 73-96-15; 811-15-53

Naga to Metro Manila - Daily:
4:30 P.M. - Bikol Express
7:30 P.M. - Peñafrancia Express

Naga to Ragay Daily:
6:05 A.M.; 9:25 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
Naga to Libmanan - Daily: 11:30 A.M.

Sea Transport

Boats sail offshore to islands and coastal communities. Cargo ships from Cebu sail directly to Pasacao Port and Nato Port in Sagñay Town.

Land Transport

Aircon and non-aircon buses ply daily through the Quirino Highway from Manila and vice-versa in an 8-hour trip. The Central Business District (CBD) Terminal located at Naga City houses a line of buses and their booking offices.

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila: 7:30 P.M. Daily

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Daet:Every hour from 5:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.
Naga to Legazpi:Every 30 minutes from 5:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila: 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. Daily

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila - Daily:6:45, 9:30 and 10:30 A.M.
Continuous trips from: 1:00 to 10:00 P.M.

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila: 7:30 P.M. Daily

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila: 7:30 and 8:00 P.M. Daily

Central Bus Terminal, Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila: 7:00; 7:30 and 8:00 P.M. Daily

Diversion Rd., Naga City
Naga to Metro Manila - Daily
Every 30 minutes from 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.


Planning your visit to Camarines Sur would necessarily entail essential information on the province such as how to get here, when to go here, accommodations, transportation, weather and similar other details that would assist you in making your stay in this premiere province of Bikolandia as pleasurable and hassle-free as possible.

To every potential visitor, you can call the Provincial Tourism Office, Promotions and Marketing Section at telephone number 4773172 to inquire on the offered tour packages which you might want to avail of.


Telephone Payphones are available everywhere: at drugstores, convenience stores, malls, department stores, gasoline stations, bus terminals. There are also some small grocery store owners who avail of the opportunity in making use of their personal phones for the public charging them P5.00/per minute of call.

In making a long distance call or overseas call, one has to purchase a payphone prepaid card to be able to make such call. The cards are available anywhere. The area code for the entire Camarines Sur is 54.


Commercial banks are open from Monday to Friday. Banking hours are from 9:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon. There are however a number which starts banking transactions as early as 8:30 and ends at 5:30 in the afternoon.

Automated Teller Machines or ATMS serve as the easy way to withdraw money from one's account. Every bank has its own ATM located within the bank's premises or inside the bank itself.


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 G
uzman, 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 Bikol peninsula from the north as far south as Libon and established the settlement of Santiago de Libon. Jose Maria Penafrancia, a military engineer, was made "coregidor" of the province on May 14, 1834. He constructed public buildings and built roads and bridges.

The entire Bikol 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 place.

Although, a civil government was established in Albay on April 26, 1901, Colonel Harry H. Bandhortz, Commanding Officer of the Constabulary in the Bikol 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.


Albay is situated on the southern part of the island of Luzon. It lies 1240 east latitude and about 14.400 north altitude. On the eastern plank, Albay is rimmed by chains of little islands and is exposed to the Pacific Ocean. The long indented coast on its western part dominates the narrow but no less turbulent Burias Pass. To the north lies the province of Camarines Sur and Lagonoy Gulf, while to the south is the province of Sorsogon.

The mountains of the province are Mayon, Masaraga, and Malinao in the northeast and Catburaun in the west. Its forests are a source of timber, rattan, pili nuts, and gum elemi. There are also vast grasslands for pasturing horses, cattle, carabaos, goats, and sheep.


Albay is composed of three cities (Legazpi, Tabaco, Ligao) and 15 municipalities grouped into three congressional districts. Legazpi has been officially designated as administrative center and site of the regional offices


The climate in Albay is generally mild with no specific extreme seasons. The frequency of the tropical storms in the entire region is between 16 to 19 percent, while in the eastern part it is 19 percent.


Generally, the Bikol dialect spoken in Legazpi City and Albay District is the common tongue used. The alteration in tones and in words arise as one travels away from the city proper. Tagalog is fluently spoken language and English is not a difficult medium to communicate with liberal stature.


Relish Bikolandia"™s mouth-watering indigenous cuisine namely: Bikol Express (spicy pork and shrimp concoction), Cocido (fish soup), Balaw (small shrimps), Natong, Candingga and Pinangat. These are made more flavorful by the Bikolanos penchant for spice (sili). The strong taste, however, is neutralized by the sweetness of pili, a nut that is made into various confections. Other tasty delicacies are lunga (sesame seeds) and puto ( rice cake) and panocha ( sugar cake).


The province has continued to direct its efforts toward the development of its industries. Of the total 6,369 manufacturing establishments in the Bikol Region, half are located in Albay. 48.6% of the large scale lot are operating in Albay.

Agriculture, however, still accounts for the largest share in the total production and employment. Coconut, rice, abaca, and corn are the major crops.

Handicrafts are the main source of rural income. Albay is a major supplier of geothermal energy to the Luzon Grid with its Tiwi Geothermal Plant in Tiwi.

The province is also famous for its variety of beautiful and exquisite orchids that can be bought practically everywhere but more specifically in Cagsawa Park and in downtown Legazpi.


Air Transport

By air, Legazpi City is 45 minutes away from Manila via the nation"™s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines.

Land Transport

By land, aircon tourist bus companies ply the Manila-Legazpi route daily with an average travel time of nine hours. The average travel time by train is sixteen hours via the Philippine National Railway, the country"™s sole rail transport service.

Sea Transport

Several shipping lines have regular trips to and from Catanduanes through the Tabaco Port. Travel time from Visayas and Mindanao pass through the port of Matnog in Sorsogon.


Buses and jeepneys are generally the modes of transportation in getting around Albay"™s destinations. Pedicabs and tricycles are also available for short distance travels. Taxis and rent-a-car services are also available.


Albay has modern and efficient services such as domestic and international dialing, telephone/cellphone facilities, facsimile, worldwide express delivery services, postal services, telegram system, media communication, internet service providers and network system for e-mail and internet services.



Tel. No. (052) 820-2794
Regular Aircon: 8:00 AM Legazpi-Pasay/Cubao/6:00 PM
Fare: Php 778.00

Gold Service: 8:30 AM Legazpi-Pasay/Cubao/7:00 PM
Fare: Php 1,040.00

Tel. No. (052) 820-0578
Aircon: 7:00 AM Legazpi-Cubao/6:00 PM
Fare: Php 580.00

Tel. No. (052) 820-6598
Business Class: 6:00 PM Legazpi-Cubao/6:00 PM Daraga-Cubao/6:30 PM Legazpi-Cubao
Fare: Php 550.00


Departure: 9:00 AM/Arrival: 9:50 AM
Departure: 7:30 AM/Arrival: 8:25 AM
FARE: Php 2,753.00