||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2010)|
|— City —|
|Region||Bicol (Region V)|
|Founded||1578 (as a visita)|
|Founded||1683 (as a pueblo)|
|Cityhood||September 3, 1968|
|• Mayor||Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen (LP)|
|• Total||137.35 km2 (53.03 sq mi)|
|• Density||770/km2 ( 2,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|Income class||3rd class, partially urban|
The City of Iriga (Bikol: Ciudad nin Iriga; Filipino: Lungsod ng Iriga) is a third class city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is located about 400 kilometres (250 mi) south-east of Manila, 37 kilometres (23 mi) south of Naga, and about 61 kilometres (38 mi) north of Legazpi City. It is bounded by the town of Buhi in the east, by the municipalities of Baao, Nabua and Bato in the west, by the province of Albay in the south, and by the municipalities of Ocampo and Sangay in the north.
According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 105,919 people in 20,061 households.
|Population census of Iriga|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Irigueños or people of Iriga speak Riŋkonāda Bikol language. Irigueños of Austronesian lineage are using Iriga variant while the indigenous and oboriginal groups of Agta/Itom (Negrito) are using Agta variant of the language. Tagalog/Filipino and English languages are also understood and spoken.
The ecclesiastical district of Camarines Southeast of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is located in Barangay San Nicolas. The office oversees Iglesia Ni Cristo members in Rinconada area and Partido area in Camarines Sur and Burias island in Masbate. Thus, a large number of INC members can be found in the city. At present, INC has 3 locales and 2 extensions. However, the majority of the city residents are Roman Catholic. The Archdiocese of Naga has several parishes and churches in the city. The biggest Catholic cathedral can be found at the center of the city (Saint Anthony of Padua) and the Lourdes grotto symbolizes the long history of Catholic Church in Iriga. Tinagba, a harvest festival can be seen a fusion of folk tradition and Catholic saint celebration. Islam is a new religion in the city and most of its members are immigrants from Mindanao island. LDS Church members are also numerous, as well as Jehovah's Witnesses. Baptist adherents are active in the city.
The city was chartered September 3, 1968. It has a small City Center and a number of businesses. The City Park which houses the national hero's monument is located near the cathedral and across the old City Hall. It is a well landscaped, Japanese themed park-garden with a huge spurting fountain at the center but was later replaced with a skating rink. Acacia trees are lit with colored lights on Christmas. The catholic Lourdes Grotto offers a great view of the downtown. The old public market was one of the busiest in the region. The city was the center of commerce in Rinconada district.
With the opening of SM City in nearby Naga, large mall operators are eyeing Iriga City as expansion base of their operations in the region. SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, and Puregold are showing interest in the city. The city is home to 2 universities, several colleges and trade schools. The University of Saint Anthony, University of Northeastern Philippines, La Consolacion College, STI College, AMA Computer Learning Center and many others are located right inside the City Center. These schools have enrollees from within the city and from surrounding towns in the region. Iriga City is host to a big number of temporary student migrants from the entire region. Banks have opened branches in Iriga City. Philippine National Bank, Banco Filipino, Metro Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Banco de Oro and several other local and rural banks. Many others are planning to put up branches in the city.
A new convention center built in front of the Catholic Grotto hosts important events in the city. A new City Hall was constructed a few miles from the city center to decongest and expand the city. Iriga City has a number of waterfalls and springs, several resorts and hotels were built to accommodate growing tourist arrivals in the city. The old Ibalon Hotel which was renovated and renamed as Iriga City Plaza Hotel is one of the region's best places to stay and dine. Local cuisine offering vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with coconut milk are the best in the region.
The old Iriga City Public Market was redesigned and reconstructed in 2010 and now hosts a big, air-conditioned and modern LCC supermarket, many local shops and several national chain restaurants. The new public market sells locally grown and harvested organic produce. Tilapia from nearby Lake Buhi and Lake Bato are among the country's best. Salt water fresh and dried fish from neighboring Balatan coast are sold in abundance in the market. Strolling the new market is loved by tourists. Local food is great. Vegetable, fish and meat entrees, desserts and local delicacies made from rice, cassava and coconut milk sold in the new public market are among the tourists' favorites. Bargains are great. Gift shops offering locally manufactured products made from local hemp, pili nut, bamboo and coconut are very inexpensive offering great value for your money. National chain restaurants like Mang Inasal, Chow King, Jollibee, Biggs and Shakey's opened branches in the city. Many other fastfood and specialty restaurants are planning to open branches soon.
A small central bus terminal was constructed in the city center to accommodate buses, shuttles and jeepneys going to Manila and neighboring cities. Philippine National Railways and Philippine Transportation company (PHILTRANCO) maintain stations in Iriga City. Several hospitals operate in the city. A catholic convent run Sta. Maria Hospital is well- equipped and among the best in the region. The city government is doing its best to upgrade the city's infrastracture. The city aims to be a first class city in the region in the near future.
On several occasions, Iriga City was awarded the Cleanest and Greenest City in the region. But the city is prone to occasional flash floods. Rain water gushes from Mount Iriga to the downtown area bringing mud along the way. The city government is on its way to modernize the ageing drainage system of the city center. Several roads, government buildings, and hydro electric energy projects are underway. Electrification of far villages in the mountain was completed and now, the city is 100% electrified.
Iriga City is served with several nationally-operating telecom companies. Digitel, Bayantel, PLDT, Smart, Globe and Sun cellular maintain major operations in the city. All of them offer phone and internet services. A few local cable TV operators dominate the cable TV market. Iriga City is also the center of communications, they are GMA TV 13 Iriga (DZAL affiliates = Rinconada Broadcasting Corp.,), ETC 10 and ABS-CBN Corp. has also proposed to construct a relay station in the city probably on a UHF Channel. Radio Stations include: DWYK FM 89.9 (Mix FM) at UNEP, DWOS FM (USANT) & DWIR FM (MBC) and AM Station: DZKI Iriga (Solar TV/ETC) and by 2012, 96.70 FM RADYO AMIGO is on-air (RBC). And Finally, the TV5 will expand its network to the city through UHF Channel soon.
- "Cities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Province: CAMARINES SUR". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Iriga.|
- Official Website of the City of Iriga
- FPJ's Blog "Skulakog" by H. Frank V. Peñones, Jr.
- Iriga Historical Timeline
- 2007 NSCB information
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- Philippine Census Information
- Iriga City, World
- Iriga City, Philippines : Great People, Great Destination
- NCC Website for Iriga City
- News from Iriga
- University of Saint Anthony