Bicol Region

Bicol RegionAs the home of Mt. Mayon, Spanish Churches, monuments and the Whale Shark, Bicol is a region of pilgrimage, festivals, eco-tours and historical splendor. Region 5 consists of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

Bicol Region is located at the southern most end of the main island of Luzon. Bicol has six provinces, four on Luzon and two island provinces. The two island provinces lie on either side of Luzon. Masbate Province or island is on the western side of Luzon and is protected from the fierce Pacific Ocean. On the eastern side of Luzon sitting in the Pacific Ocean is the island province of Catanduanes, which is wind swept and unspoilt.  Bicol is most famous and well know for Mount Mayon, which is an every ready, volcano. Mount Mayon litererally engulfs the skyline, towering over the landscape, quite spectacular.

It is politically subdivided into six provinces, one chartered city, six component cities, 107 municipalities, and 3,471 barangays. At present, it has 14 congressional districts.

The population of the Bicol Region reached 5,109,798 as of August 1, 2007. A region rich in history and natural resources, Bicol is inhabited by hospitable, smiling and fun-loving people.

The province of Albay, which is strategically located in the center of the region, is home to the world famous Mount Mayon with its perfect cone shape. Legazpi City, also in Albay and is called the Gateway City of Bicol, is the regional center.On the northernmost part of the region is the province of Camarines Norte whose capital, Daet, holds the distinction of being the town to erect the first monument of the country’s national hero, Jose Rizal. Naga City in the province of Camarines Sur is host to Colegio de Sta. Isabel, the first known normal school for girls in the Orient. The province of Catanduanes boasts of white beaches and resorts is an island paradise in the Pacific. The province of Masbate, which lies exactly at the center of the Philippine archipelago, is known for its mining and cattle industry while Sorsogon, the province known for its historic and panoramic places, shelters the world’s largest fish – the Whale Shark locally known as Butanding.

With its strategic location in the Philippine archipelago, the region is accessible by land, air and sea transportation facilities.

The region’s economy is basically agricultural with close to 50 percent of its workforce dependent on the industry. Owing to its location, Region V is known for its natural resorts and white beaches and has thirteen major fishing grounds supplying fish markets in places as far as Metro Manila. Mining is also one of the contributors to the region’s economy. It is also the site of two major geothermal fields which contribute substantially to the Luzon Power Grid.

Bicol Region is accessible by land transport, rail, air and water transpor­ta­tion. It has several ports both national and municipal. It is one of the famous tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its dynamic cul­ture and magnificent scenic view to offer to visitors and tourists. For nature lovers, the region has much beautiful natural scenery like mountains, volcanoes, lakes, hot springs, rivers, caves and waterfalls. It is also known for its beautiful white sand beaches with world-class diving spots. The tiniest fish in the world can be found in Bicol. Mt. Mayon, located in Legaspi City, is one of the most visited tourist destination in the region. Standing majestically at 7,946 ft, one can see the splendid view of Albay gulf and the nearby towns. Bicol is also famous because of its rich cultural and architectural heritage. Structures of churches are dated back from Spanish Period.

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