Bicol Region

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bicol Region
Region V
Nickname(s): Kabikolan; Bicolandia
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Bicol Region
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Bicol Region
Country Philippines
Island group Luzon
Regional center Legazpi
 • Total 18,054.3 km2 (6,970.8 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 5,420,411
 • Density 300/km2 (780/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Provinces 6
Cities 7
Municipalities 107
Barangays 3,471
Cong. districts 14
Languages Bikol, Albayano, Masbateño, Rinconada, Pandan Bikol, Sorsoganon, Tagalog
Website Bicol Region Official Website

Coordinates: 13°30′N 123°20′E / 13.500°N 123.333°E / 13.500; 123.333 The Bicol Region (Filipino: Kabikulan; Spanish: Bicolandia) is one of the 17 Regions of the Philippines, designated as Region V. Bicol (also spelled Bikol) is composed of four provinces in the Bicol Peninsula, the southeastern end of Luzon island, and two island-provinces adjacent to the peninsula, namely: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.[2] The administrative center is Legazpi, Albay.[3][4]


The Bicol Region is located in the southernmost tip of Luzon Island, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago. The total land area of the region is 18,054.3 km2 (6,970.8 sq mi),[5] which or 5.9% of the total land area of the country. Around 69.3% of the total land area is alienable and disposable while the remaining 30.7% is public forest areas.[2]

The region is bounded by Lamon Bay to the north, Pacific Ocean to the east, and Sibuyan Sea and Ragay Gulf to the west. The northernmost province, Camarines Norte, is bordered to the north by the province of Quezon, thereby connecting the region to the rest of Luzon.


Albay's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade with China, Malaya and Indonesia going back two thousand years. The first Spanish contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returning to Cebu from Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and the captain recorded his awe at the sight of Mt. Mayon erupting.[citation needed]

Naga City, or formerly Nueva Caceres is also one of the Royal Cities instituted by the Spanish. It houses the oldest churches, and the oldest seminary in Southern Luzon.[6]


Population census of Bicol
Year Pop.   ±%  
1990 3,910,001 —    
2000 4,686,669 +19.9%
2010 5,420,411 +15.7%
Source: National Statistics Office[7]


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 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 Legazpi City and is understood widely throughout the region even though they cannot speak it fluently.

Bikol Central is most centralized of all the dialects. Majority of its speakers are in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

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.

Celebration of Our Lady of Peñafrancia


The region retains Roman Catholicism as the overwhelming religion of the great majority. The Catholic religion has the highest number of followers than any other area in the Philippines.

Naga City is the religious center of the Bicol Region.

Bicol Region also houses one of the oldest dioceses in the Philippines, the Archdiocese of Caceres which is centered in Naga City. Other dioceses include are the Diocese of Legazpi, Diocese of Sorsogon, Diocese of Daet, Diocese of Masbate, Diocese of Libmanan, and the Diocese of Virac.

Fiestas (Feast day of saints) are annual celebrations of parishes, from a simple barrio fiesta honoring a patron associated for good harvest, to a town fiesta honoring a miraculous saint, a diocesan fiesta like the feast of Our Lady of Salvation, or a regional one such as the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Fiesta, the largest Marian devotion in Asia, a week-long celebration to honor the Virgin Mary, dubbed as the "Patroness of Bicolandia". It is widely acknowledged that in Luzon, it is Bicol Region that holds the most number of men entering the seminary for Catholic priesthood, or women entering the religious life to become Catholic nuns. This can be accredited to the Holy Rosary Seminary, Daughters of Mary, and Daughters of Charity[disambiguation needed] Convents in Naga City[citation needed]

Political division[edit]

Political map of Bicol Region

The region is composed of six provinces: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate. It has one independent component city, Naga City, and six component citiesIriga, Legazpi, Ligao, Masbate City, Sorsogon City, and Tabaco City. Masbate City and Sorsogon City are cities in their namesake provinces.

As of 2010, Camarines Sur is the largest province in area and population, occupying 5,481.6 km2 (2,116.5 sq mi) or around 30.4% of the total land area with a population of 1,822,371. Catanduanes is the smallest in area as well as population with only 1,511.5 km2 (583.6 sq mi) or 8.4% of the total regional area and a population of 246,300.[1]

The Bicol has expected its 7th province the Nueva Camarines.

The administrative center of the region is Legazpi.[2] while the religious, education, economic, industrial and commercial center is Naga City — which is also colloquially known as the Queen City of Bicol, Pilgrim City, and as One of the Seven Golden Cities of the Sun.

Provinces Capital No. of
No. of
No. of
Income classification
ZIP Code Governor
1st Class
Joey Salceda
Vlag Fil CamarinesNorte.gif Camarines Norte
2nd Class
Edgardo Tallado
Vlag Fil CamarinesSur.gif Camarines Sur
1st Class
Luis Miguel Villafuerte III
Vlag Fil Catanduanes.gif Catanduanes
3rd Class
Celly Wong
Vlag Fil Masbate.gif Masbate
Masbate City
1st Class
Rizalina L. Seachon-Lañete
Vlag Fil Sorsogon.gif Sorsogon
Sorsogon City
2nd Class
Raul Lee


Bicol region is volcanic in origin and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Known as the Bicol Volcanic Arc or Chain, the volcanoes are the results of the Philippine Sea Plate subducting under the Philippine Mobile Belt, along the Philippine Trench. Volcanism is evident by the number of hot springs, crater lakes, and volcanoes that dot the region starting from Mount Labo in Camarines Norte to the Gate Mountains in Matnog, Sorsogon.[15] Mayon Volcano is the most prominent of the volcanoes in the region, famous for its almost perfect conical shape and for being the most active in the Philippines. 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 in Albay and the Bacon-Manito area between Sorsogon and Albay are the sites of two major geothermal fields that contribute substantially to the Luzon Power Grid.[16][17]

Volcanoes of the Bicol Region[edit]

From North to South

Photo Name
Philippines 2006 338.jpg Mount Isarog is a 1,966-metre (6,450 ft) fumarolic volcano with a 2.5-kilometre (1.6 mi) wide crater breached to the east.[18] The mountain and vicinity covering 10,112 hectares (24,990 acres) is a protected area in the Bicol Region under the name Mount Isarog Natural Park.[19]
Mount Iriga.jpg Mount Iriga is a 1,196-metre (3,924 ft) volcano with a large horseshoe-shaped collapsed crater located adjacent to Lake Buhi (foreground).[20]
Mount Malinao.jpg Mount Malinao is a 1,548-metre (5,079 ft) volcano with a large crater about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) at its widest, which is breached to the east, The geothermal fields of Tiwi are located on its lower eastern slope.[21]
Masaraga.jpg Mount Masaraga is a sharp-topped 1,328-metre (4,357 ft) Holocene volcano NW of Mayon.[22]
Mayon 0006.jpg Mayon Volcano, the highest at 2,463 metres (8,081 ft), is also the most popular in the region for its beautifully symmetrical cone. It is also the most active in the country.[23] The volcano is one of the protected areas of Region V under the name Mayon Volcano Natural Park encompassing 5,776 hectares (14,270 acres).[19]
Pocdolberge.jpg Pocdol Mountains with its highest elevation at 1,102 metres (3,615 ft), is a fumarolic group of volcanoes situated between Albay and Sorsogon provinces. It is the location of the Bac-Man Geothermal Power Plant and the PNOC Eco-Park, a 25,100-hectare (62,000-acre) ecotourism park maintained and protected by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).[24][25]
Mt-Bulusan.jpg Bulusan Volcano, the other active volcano of the region, has an altitude of 1,565 metres (5,135 ft). It is located on the remains of the 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) Irosin Caldera.[26] The volcano is a protected area and the centerpiece of the 3,672-hectare (9,070-acre) Bulusan Volcano Natural Park.[19]


Bicol Region has a large amount of rich flat land, and agriculture is the largest component of the economy with close to 50% depending their livelihood on the industry. Coconuts, abaca, banana, coffee and jackfruit are the top five permanent crops in the region. Rice and maize are among the chief seasonal crops of the region. Commercial fishing is also important with thirteen major fishing grounds supplying fish markets in places as far as Metro Manila. Agriculture and fishing are the major factors in the province's economy.[2][27]

Mining is also one of the contributors to the region's economy. Several handicrafts, jewelry manufacturing, other small-scale industries and manufacturing enterprises that is located in Camarines Norte bolster rural and regional incomes.

Naga City boasts its large international businesses and industries, being the largest city in Bicol. It contributes to nearly 23.6% of the total GDP and GNP of the Bicol Region. It is also the center of BPO offices in Bicol, housing 5 BPO companies. It is also the center of trade, tourism, and commerce having the busiest and largest terminals and the largest trade center, the Naga City Regional Trade and Distribution Center. Naga City also has the only SM and Robinsons Malls in Bicol.. It also boasts its schools being the educational center of Bicol Region, schools such as Ateneo de Naga University, University of Nueva Caceres, Universidad de Santa Isabel, Bicol State of Applied Sciences and Technology, Philippine Women's University, and University of the Philippines Open University, and the Bicol Medical College are all located in Naga City. Naga City also boasts tourism as it houses the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex, and the Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Naga City is also the Pilgrim City because it is the center of devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the largest Marian devotion in Asia.

Naga City also hosts the most number of BPO companies in Bicol, being cited as one of the best areas to conduct BPO in.[28] BPO companies such as IBM, Accenture, Concentrix, Sutherland, and CGI Philippines have all opened their BPO offices in Naga.

Sorsogon City and Sorsogon has greatly contributed to the eco-tourism of the region. The areas known to have been most popular in the place which offer beaches are the Subic Beach in Matnog, Dancalan Beach in Bulusan and the Paguriran Island in Sorsogon City. Also, in Donsol, Sorsogon, it has been a center for the Butanding or Whale Shark exposure tours. The province also produces mass numbers of Pili, a native fruit to have brought many functions.


Bicol hosts some of the most repudiated and honored schools as it has the best performing schools. For an example Naga City Science High School and Naga Central School won champions in the DPSA or Doon po sa amin competition.[29] Naga City is known to be the center of education in the Bicol Region because of its great performance, and has the most number of colleges and schools in the Bicol Region.

'List of Universities and Colleges in Bicol Region'

Albay -Bicol University (BU)

-Aquinas University

Camarines Norte Camarines Norte State College (CNSC)

Camarines Sur -Partido State University (ParSU)

-Central Bicol State University of Agriculture

-Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges

-Calabanga Community College

-Caramoan Community College

-St. Peter Baptist College Foundation Inc.

-Ceguera Technological Colleges

-La Consolacion College [30] [31]

'Naga City'

-Ateneo de Naga University(ADNU)

-University of Nueva Caceres(UNC)

-Universidad de Santa Isabel(USI)

-Naga College Foundation(NCF)

-Philippine Women's University(Bicol Campus)

-University of the Philippines Open University(UPOU)

-Bicol College of Applied Sciences and Technology(BISCAST)

-Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation

-AMA Computer University(Bicol Campus)

-STI College(Naga Campus)

-Philippine Computer Foundation College Inc. Naga Campus

-Camarines Sur Community College

-Worldtech Resources Institute Inc. Naga Campus

-Naga View Adventist College

-Brentwood College of Asia International School

-Computer Communication Development Institute-Naga

-The Raya School-Naga Campus

[30] [32]

Catanduanes -Catanduanes State University (CSU)

Masbate -Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT)

Sorsogon -Sorsogon State College (SSC)


Whale shark spotting in Donsol, Sorsogon

The region has recently seen a revival in its tourism industry, due to the popularity of Mayon Volcano, the new CamSur Water Sports Complex, whale shark spotting, among others, which consequently increased the number of upscale resorts.

Owing to its location, Region V offers plenty of choices for visitors — beautiful natural features like beaches, mountains and waterfalls with lush vegetation. Activities include scuba diving to wrecked galleons, spelunking, and mountaineering or visits to man-made attractions like church architecture from the Spanish Colonial period, etc.

The municipality of Daet and Catanduanes province have long been destinations for surfers.[33] The opening of the Southern Luzon International Airport in Legazpi City, which is under construction, is hoped to further boost tourism in the region.


The Bicol Region is the main media hub for both the region and the island of Mindanao. Large media networks such as ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network, GMA Network, Inc., TV5, National Broadcasting Network, and RPN9 maintain their respective local stations and branches for viewership, commercial and news coverage purposes. Most of these stations broadcast local news and public affairs as well as entertainment and dramas to cater the local viewers.

Cable television operators are putting up cable TV stations in an effort to spread the TV signals all over the region. They also offer free worldwide array of television stations for various channels for news, sports, drama, cartoons, and advertisements.

Television networks

News Programs


Also, Miss Universe 4th runner up, Maria Venus Bayanito Raj lives in bicol reigion.Raj placed 3rd and 4th in the swimsuit and evening gown respectively.


  1. ^ a b c "2010 Census of Population and Housing - Region 5". National Statistics Office, Philippines. Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  2. ^ a b c d "Overview of Bicol Region". Department of Agriculture Web Site. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  3. ^ "DILG Regional Office No. 5 Directory". Bicol Region Official Website - DILG. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The total land area is derived from the summation of provincial areas from the table below
  6. ^ Naga, Camarines Sur
  7. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bicol Region". Philippine Standard Geographic Code. Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  9. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Albay". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  10. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Camarines Norte". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  11. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Camarines Sur". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  12. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Catanduanes". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  13. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Masbate". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  14. ^ "Basic Facts and Figures - Sorsogon". Department of Interior and Local Government (Philippines)/ Retrieved on 2012-05-11.
  15. ^ McDermott, Delfin, Defant, et al. (2005). "The Petrogenesis of Volcanics from Mt Bulusan and Mt. Mayon in the Bicol Arc, Philippines". University College Dublin School of Geologic Sciences. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  16. ^ "Our Geothermal Projects". Energy Development Corporation. Retrieved on 2011-08-01.
  17. ^ (2009-01-20). "The Tiwi Geothermal Plant". Gallery. Retrieved on 2011-08-01.
  18. ^ "Isarog". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  19. ^ a b c "Protected areas of Region 5". Bureau of Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  20. ^ "Iriga". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  21. ^ "Malinao". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  22. ^ "Masaraga". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  23. ^ "Mayon". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  24. ^ "Pocdol Mountains". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  25. ^ Jamoralin, Reynaldo T.. "Places of Interest". Sorsogon Tourism. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  26. ^ "Bulusan". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  27. ^ "Top 5 Permanent Crops, Region V". Department of Agriculture, Region V. Retrieved on 2011-08-01.
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ a b [3]
  31. ^ [4]
  32. ^ [5]
  33. ^ "Catanduanes surfing". Philippines Travel Guide. Retrieved on 2011-08-01.

External links[edit]