Bicol Region
Overview
 
The Bicol Region or Bicolandia (also known as Region V) is one of the 17 regions
Regions of the Philippines
In the Philippines, regions are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions...

 of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. Its regional center is Legazpi City
Legazpi City
The City of Legazpi is a first class city and capital of the province of Albay, Philippines. With 179,481 inhabitants according to the 2007 census, it is the largest city in the Bicol Region in terms of population, though not in land area...

. Bicol (also spelled Bikol) is composed of four provinces
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

 in the Bicol Peninsula
Bicol Peninsula
Bicol is a peninsula of the Philippines. It is located on Luzon Island and is part of Bicol Region. The active Mayon Volcano is here....

, the southeastern end of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

 island, and two island-provinces adjacent to the peninsula.
The region is composed of six provinces, namely, Albay
Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

, Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Daet and the province borders Quezon to the west and Camarines Sur to the south.-Demographics:...

, Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

, Sorsogon
Sorsogon
Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region; it is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities and one city. Its capital is Sorsogon City and borders the province of Albay to the north...

 and the island-provinces of Catanduanes
Catanduanes
Catanduanes is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel. As of 2007, the population of the province is 232,757 people.-Etymology:"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first...

 and Masbate
Masbate
Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.-History:...

.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The Bicol Region or Bicolandia (also known as Region V) is one of the 17 regions
Regions of the Philippines
In the Philippines, regions are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions...

 of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. Its regional center is Legazpi City
Legazpi City
The City of Legazpi is a first class city and capital of the province of Albay, Philippines. With 179,481 inhabitants according to the 2007 census, it is the largest city in the Bicol Region in terms of population, though not in land area...

. Bicol (also spelled Bikol) is composed of four provinces
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

 in the Bicol Peninsula
Bicol Peninsula
Bicol is a peninsula of the Philippines. It is located on Luzon Island and is part of Bicol Region. The active Mayon Volcano is here....

, the southeastern end of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

 island, and two island-provinces adjacent to the peninsula.

Political division

The region is composed of six provinces, namely, Albay
Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

, Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Daet and the province borders Quezon to the west and Camarines Sur to the south.-Demographics:...

, Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

, Sorsogon
Sorsogon
Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region; it is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities and one city. Its capital is Sorsogon City and borders the province of Albay to the north...

 and the island-provinces of Catanduanes
Catanduanes
Catanduanes is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel. As of 2007, the population of the province is 232,757 people.-Etymology:"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first...

 and Masbate
Masbate
Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.-History:...

. It has one independent component city
Cities of the Philippines
A city is a tier of local government in the Philippines. All Philippine cities are chartered cities, whose existence as corporate and administrative entities is governed by their own specific charters in addition to the Local Government Code of 1991, which specifies the administrative structure...

, Naga City, and six component cities
Cities of the Philippines
A city is a tier of local government in the Philippines. All Philippine cities are chartered cities, whose existence as corporate and administrative entities is governed by their own specific charters in addition to the Local Government Code of 1991, which specifies the administrative structure...

 - Iriga
Iriga City
The City of Iriga is a 4th class city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is located about 400 kilometers south of Manila, 37 kilometers south of Naga, and about 61 kilometers north of Legazpi City...

, Legazpi
Legazpi City
The City of Legazpi is a first class city and capital of the province of Albay, Philippines. With 179,481 inhabitants according to the 2007 census, it is the largest city in the Bicol Region in terms of population, though not in land area...

, Ligao
Ligao City
Ligao City is a 4th class city in the province of Albay, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 101,179 people in 17,031 households. Ligao City is strategically located in the heart of the Third District of Albay...

, Masbate City
Masbate City
The City of Masbate is a 4th class city in the province of Masbate, Philippines. It is the capital city of Masbate province...

, Sorsogon City
Sorsogon City
Sorsogon City is a 2nd class city in Sorsogon, Philippines. It is the capital city of the province of Sorsogon The city is located at southernmost tip province of Luzon. This city was formed by merging the Bacon and Sorsogon towns. The city serves a trans-shipment point from the Visayas and...

, and Tabaco
Tabaco City
Tabaco City is a 4th class city in the province of Albay in the Philippines. It is one of the three component cities of the province. The mainland part of the city is bordered by the town of Malinao to the north, the towns of Polangui and Oas to the west, Ligao City to the southwest, Malilipot town...

. Masbate City and Sorsogon City are cities within their namesake
Namesake
Namesake is a term used to characterize a person, place, thing, quality, action, state, or idea that has the same, or a similar, name to another....

 provinces.

The regional centers are Legazpi, the political and administrative center; and Naga City, the cultural, business and religious center. Together with Sorsogon City, they are the leading cities in the region in terms of urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 and the hub of the economic activity.

Population

As of August 1, 2007, the population of the Bicol Region is 5,109,798 with Camarines Sur, the largest with a population of 1,693,821. Catanduanes is the least populated province with 232,757 people.

Geography

The total land area of Bicol Region is 17632.5 km² (6,807.9 sq mi) or 5.9% of the total land area of the country. Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

 is the largest province occupying 5266.8 km² (2,033.5 sq mi) or around 30% of the total, while Catanduanes
Catanduanes
Catanduanes is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel. As of 2007, the population of the province is 232,757 people.-Etymology:"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first...

 is the smallest with only 1511.5 km² (583.6 sq mi) or 8.6% of the total. Of the region's total land area, around 71% is alienable and disposable while the remaining 29% is public forest areas.

The region is bounded by Lamon Bay
Lamon Bay
Lamon Bay is a large bay in the southern part of Luzon island, Philippines, at .-Lamon Bay:It is a body of water connecting the southern part of Quezon province to the Pacific Ocean, and bounds the coastal towns of Atimonan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Lopez, Calauag, and the islands of Alabat. It is a rich...

 to the north, Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 to the east, and Sibuyan Sea
Sibuyan Sea
The Sibuyan Sea is a small sea in the Philippines that separates the Visayas from the northern Philippine island of Luzon.-Description:It is bounded by the island of Panay to the south, Mindoro to the west, Masbate to the east, and to the north Marinduque and the Bicol Peninsula of Luzon Island.The...

 and Ragay Gulf
Ragay Gulf
Ragay Gulf is a large gulf in the southern part of Luzon island, Philippines, at . It is separated from the Sibuyan Sea by Bondoc Peninsula in the west....

 to the west. The northernmost province, Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Daet and the province borders Quezon to the west and Camarines Sur to the south.-Demographics:...

, is bordered to the north by the province of Quezon, thereby connecting the region to the rest of Luzon.

Geology

Bicol Region is volcanic in origin and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

. Volcanism is evident by the number of volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es, hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

, crater lake
Crater lake
A crater lake is a lake that forms in a volcanic crater or caldera, such as a maar; less commonly and with lower association to the term a lake may form in an impact crater caused by a meteorite. Sometimes lakes which form inside calderas are called caldera lakes, but often this distinction is not...

s that dot the area. Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Renowned as the "perfect cone" because of its almost symmetric conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City, the largest city in terms of...

 is the most prominent of the several volcanoes in the province, and famous for its almost perfect conical shape. Its eruptions have repeatedly inflicted disasters on the region, but during lulls in activity, it is a particularly beautiful mountain. The southernmost tip of the peninsula is dominated by Bulusan Volcano, the other active volcano in the region. Tiwi
Tiwi, Albay
Tiwi is a 1st class municipality in the province of Albay, Philippines as recorded in the latest National Statistics Coordinating Board. According to the 2007 NSO Census of Population, it has a population of 49,185 people in 8,036 households....

 in Albay and Bacon, Sorsogon are the sites of two major geothermal fields that contribute substantially to the Luzon Power Grid.

Language

The people of the Bicol region, called Bicolanos, speak any of the several languages of the Bikol sociolinguistic language, also called Bikolano, an Austronesian language closely related to other Central Philippine languages such as Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

 and Tagalog. Bicol languages include the Inland Bikol of Bikol-Rinconada (Rinconada area), Bikol-Cam. Sur (Buhi, Cam. Sur; Libon, Oas, Daraga, Albay and Donsol, Sorsogon), Bikol-Pandan (Northern Catanduanes). Standard Bikol is based from the coastal Bikol language of the dialect of Naga City and is understood widely throughout the region even though they cannot speak it fluently.

Bikol is the dominant language 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 or Minasbate, are spoken in Masbate and Sorsogon; they are collectively referred to as Bisakol.

Religion

The region retains Roman Catholicism as the overwhelming religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 of the great majority. The Catholic religion has the highest number of followers than any other area in the Philippines.

Fiestas
Fiesta patronal
The Fiestas patronales are yearly celebrations held in countries influenced by Spanish culture.A fiesta patronal is usually dedicated to a saint or virgin, who is the patron of whichever city holds the fiesta. Usually, town members adorn the town streets with colorful decorations and other things...

 (Feast day of saints) are annual celebrations of parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

es, from a simple barrio fiesta honoring a patron associated for good harvest, to a town fiesta honoring a miraculous saint, or a regional one such as the Our Lady of Peñafrancia
Our Lady of Peñafrancia
Our Lady of Peñafrancia is a wooden statue of virgin mary originally came from Salamanca, Spain. Tens of thousands of pilgrims, devotees, tourists come to Naga City, Philippines every September for a nine-day festivities in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Patroness of Bicol, endearingly...

 Fiesta, a week-long celebration to honor the Virgin Mary, dubbed as the "Queen Patroness of Bicolandia". It is widely acknowledged that in Luzon, it is Bicol Region that holds the most number of men entering the seminary
Seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

 for Catholic priesthood
Priesthood (Catholic Church)
The ministerial orders of the Catholic Church include the orders of bishops, deacons and presbyters, which in Latin is sacerdos. The ordained priesthood and common priesthood are different in function and essence....

, or women entering the religious life to become Catholic nuns.

Archaeology

Albay
Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Malaya
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 going back two thousand years. The first Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returning to Cebu
Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

 from Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and the captain recorded his awe at the sight of Mt. Mayon
Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Renowned as the "perfect cone" because of its almost symmetric conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City, the largest city in terms of...

 erupting.

Economy

Bicol Region has a large amount of rich flat land, and agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 is the largest component of the economy with close to 50% depending their livelihood on the industry. Coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

s, abaca
Abacá
Abacá, Musa textilis is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. The plant is of great economic importance, being harvested for its fibre, once generally called Manila hemp, extracted from the trunk or pseudostem. On...

, banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 and jackfruit
Jackfruit
The jackfruit is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family . It is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh, . The jackfruit tree is believed to be indigenous to the southwestern rain forests of India...

 are the top five permanent crops in the region. Rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 and maize
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 are among the chief seasonal crops of the region. Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions...

 is also important with thirteen major fishing grounds supplying fish markets in places as far as Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

. Agriculture and fishing are the major factors in the province's economy.

Mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 is also one of the contributors to the region's economy. Several handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

s, jewelry manufacturing, other small-scale industries and manufacturing enterprises bolster rural incomes.

Tourism

The region has recently seen a revival in its tourism industry
Tourism in the Philippines
The Philippines, is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The Philippines is a country that contains a myriad of different amalgamated cultures and influences...

, due to the popularity of Mayon Volcano, the new CamSur Water Sports Complex, whale shark
Whale shark
The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow-moving filter feeding shark, the largest extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of and a weight of more than , but unconfirmed claims report considerably larger whale sharks...

 spotting, among others, which consequently increased the number of upscale resorts in the region.

Owing to its location, Region V offers plenty of choices for visitors - beautiful natural features like beaches, mountains and waterfalls with lush vegetation; activities could include scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 to wrecked galleons, spelunking, mountaineering; or visits to man-made attractions like church architecture from the Spanish Colonial Period; etc.

The municipality
Municipalities of the Philippines
A municipality is a local government unit in the Philippines. Municipalities are also called towns . They are distinct from cities, which are a different category of local government unit...

 of Daet and Catanduanes province have long been destinations for surfers. The opening of the Southern Luzon International Airport in Legazpi City, which is under construction, is hoped to further boost tourism in the region.

External links

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