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Basic Facts-Albay




The PROVINCE OF ALBAY is located between the provinces of Camarines Sur on the north and Sorsogon on the South.  It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the northeast by the Lagonoy gulf, and on the west and southwest by the Burias Pass.  The island in the north under the jurisdiction of the province are Rapu-rapu, Batan, Cagraray and San Miguel.


Albay has a land area of 2,552.6 square kilometers, consisting of 14 towns, and a population of 904, 382. The important products of the people are hemp, coconut, sugar cane, pineapple, vegetables and rice.


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


In 1569, Luis Enriques de Guzman led an expedition from Panay to the Islands of Masbate and Ticao, and to the region named Ibalon.  The Augustinian missionary, Father Alonzo Jimenez, Christianized the first inhabitants of Ibalon, camarines and Burias.  He learned the Bicol dialect and composed a Bicol catechism.


In July 1573, Juan de Salcedo, with 120 soldiers, explored Ibalon and founded the town of Santiago de Libong.  Jose Maria Pe�afrancia, a military engineer, was made � coregidor � of the province on May 14, 1834.  He constructed public buildings and built roads and bridges.


Governor and Captain General Narciso de Claveria issued a decree 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 seacost from Albay to Tiwi, while Anacleto 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 Anacleto Solano as provisional president.  Major General Vito Belarmino, appointed military commander, reorganized the Filipinos Army in the province.


During the Filipino-American War, Brigadier General William Kobbe headed the expedition that landed on the ports of Sorsogon, Bulan and Donsol.  From there, the Americans marched to Legazpi and captured the place.


Although a civil government was established in Albay on April 26, 1901, Colonel Harry H. Bandholtz, 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 Imperial Forces occupied Legazpi on December 12, 1941.  The region was defended only by the Philippine Constabulary unit under Major Francisco Sandico. 


By December 19, the Bicol Peninsula up to Sipocot, Camarines Sur, with patrons towards Ragay gulf and Daet, was already under the enemy.


Albay, a progressive province with the capital city of Legazpi, has a large reservoir of steam deposits in Tiwi, according to geothermal experts G.W. Gridley of New Zealand.  On August 14, 1970, Presidential Proclamation No. 739 authorized the National Power Corporation to exploit and develop the Tiwi power plant project.


Mayon Volcano, major tourist attraction of the province, is known for its symmetrical, almost perfect cone that rises over 7,500 feet above sea level.  It erupted 15 times, with the catastrophe of February 1, 1814 as the most destructive.  Its lava buried the town and church of Cagsawa.

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Located at the southern tip of Luzon Island and about 550 kms.  From Manila, Albay is approximately 13 to 13.5 degrees north latitude and 123.25 to 124.25 degrees east longtitude.  It is bounded by Lagonoy Gulf and the province of Camarines Sur in the northwest, the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Province of Sorsogon in the south, and the Burias Pass in the southeast.  It has a total land area of 2,552.6 kms., a total coastline of 354 kms.  Albay is composed of 3 cities and 15 municipalities grouped into 3 congressional districts.

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Albay has fourteen (14) municipalities and three cities (Legazpi, Tabaco, Ligao).  Legazpi has been officially designated as the site of the regional offices.


The municipalities are politically subdivided into three districts: namely, first district (Bacacay, Malinao, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Tabaco City and Tiwi), second district (Legazpi City, Camalig, Daraga, Manito and Rapu-rapu), third district (Guinobatan, Jovellar, Libon, Ligao City, Oas, Pio Duran, and Polangui).

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Albay has 3 types of climate.  The eastern areas experiences no dry season with a very pronounced maximum rain period from December to January, the western areas have more or less heavily distributed rainfall throughout the year and the central areas have no pronounced maximum rain period with a short dry season from November to January.  The province has a yearly average of2 20 typhoons ranging from 60-180 kph.  Average rainfall is 233 millimeters with a lowest at 130 millimeters in April and the highest at 389 millimeters during December.  Average temperature is 33.15 Celsius high and 22.60 Celsius low.

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As of May 1, 2000, the Census of Population shows that Albay had reached 1,090,907 million inhabitants.  The urban population constitutes 19.6% of the entire population, proving that Albayanos are predominantly living in rural areas.



Bicol is the local dialect.  Surprisingly, it constitutes a strange variety inwords and in diction among the seventeen municipalities compromising the province.  In some towns, there are clear distinctions of variable terminologies in their use of words to convey their messages as compared with the nearest neighboring towns.  What puzzles visitors and tourists are the amazing variations of many words of the same meaning for one object or concept among the people in every town.


Generally, the Bicol dialect spoken in Legazpi and Albay District is the common tongue used.  The big alteration of tone and of words arises as one travels away from the city proper.


They also speak Tagalog fluently. English is not difficult for them to communicate with liberal stature.

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Like in recent years or even in the early seventies, the province of Albay has continued to direct its efforts toward the development of its industries.  Agriculture, however, still accounts for the largest share in the total production and employment.


Of the total 6,369 manufacturing establishments of varied sizes in the Bicol Region, half is located in Albay.


On large-scale manufacturing industries, 48.6 percent are operating in Albay.  Among them are the export-oriented establishments like Isarog Pulp & Paper Mills and Albay Industrial Development Corporation.


Handicraft is the major source of rural income.  It continues to provide fairly large share in the small scale industries of the province.


On Agriculture, coconut, rice, abaca and corn are its major crops.


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Albay is a major supplier of geothermal energy to the Luzon Grid with its Tiwi Geothermal Plant in Tiwi, Albay with an energy generating capacity of 330 megawatts and the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) Geothermal Plant at the boundaries of Manito, Albay and Bacon, Sorsogon with an energy generating capacity of 210 megawatts.


Local electrification is provided by the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO).  All of the municipalities and city of the and cities of the province are energized for a 100% electrification coverage.


The province also boasts of its coal resources in Batan Island now being tapped by private firms.

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