(Central Bicolano: Probinsya kan Albay; Filipino: Lalawigan ng
Albay; Spanish: Provincia de Albay)is a province located in the Bicol
Region in southeastern
of the Philippines. Its capital is the
city of Legazpi, the regional administrative center of the whole Bicol
Region, which is located in the southern foothill of
the symbol most associated with the province. This perfectly
symmetrical active stratovolcano forms a magnificent, scenic backdrop
to the city of Legazpi and is visible throughout the municipalities
and cities of
including the surrounding provinces.
The province was added to the
World Network of Biosphere
Reserves in March 2016.
1.1 Pre-Hispanic period
1.2 Spanish colonial period
1.3 Philippine revolution
1.4 American colonial period
1.5 World War II
2.2 Administrative divisions
6.2 Water transport
6.3 Air transport
7 See also
9 External links
Long before the Spaniards arrived,
Albay had a thriving civilization.
Formerly called Ibat, and then Bogli,
Albay was once ruled by Gat
Ibal, an old chief who also founded the old barangay of Sawangan, now
part of the city of Legazpi.
Spanish colonial period
In July 1569, Luis Enriquez de Guzman, a member of the expedition led
by Maestro de Campo Mateo de Saz and Captain Martin de Goiti, led a
group which crossed from Burias and Ticao islands and landed on a
coastal settlement called
Ibalon in what is now the province of
Sorsogon. From this point another expedition was sent to explore the
interior and founded the town of Camalig.
Juan de Salcedo penetrated the
Bicol Peninsula from the north
as far south as Libon, establishing the settlement of Santiago de
Libon. Jose Maria Peñaranda, a military engineer, was made
“corregidor” of the province on May 14, 1834. He constructed
public buildings and built roads and bridges.
Bicol Peninsula was organized as one province with two
Camarines in the northwest and
Ibalon in the southeast. In
1636, the two partidos were separated, and
Ibalon became a separate
Sorsogon as capital. In the 17th century, Moro slave
raiders from southern
Philippines ravaged the northeastern coastal
areas of the province of Albay.
Mayon Volcano, in one of its most violent eruptions, destroyed the
five towns surrounding its base on February 1, 1814. This eruption
forced the town of Cagsawa to relocate to its present site, Legazpi.
A decree was issued by Governor-General Narciso Claveria 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 (insurgent), started
revolutionary activities in the province. With a headquarters in the
mountain of Guinobatan town, he joined the revolutionary government of
Albay as a lieutenant in 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 seacoast from
Tiwi while Anacieto Solano was appointed 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
Philippine Revolution on September 22, 1898, the
provisional revolutionary government of
Albay was formed with Anacieto
Solano as provisional president. Major General Vito Belarmino, the
appointed military commander, reorganized the Filipino Army in the
American colonial period
The sovereignty of the country was transferred to the United States
after the Treaty of Paris (1898). During the Philippine–American
War, Brigadier General
William August Kobbé
William August Kobbé headed the expedition
that landed at the ports of Sorsogon, Bulan and Donsol. From there,
the Americans marched to Legazpi and captured it.
Although a civil government was established in
Albay on April 26,
1901, Colonel Harry Hill Bandholtz, Commanding Officer of the
Constabulary in the Bicol Region, said that General Simeon Ola, with a
thousand men, continued to defy American authority after the capture
of Belarmino in 1901. Ola was later captured with about six hundred of
World War II
Following the December 12, 1941
Japanese invasion of Legaspi
Japanese invasion of Legaspi during
the Second World War, the Kimura Detachment of the Imperial Japanese
Albay Province. The region was defended only by the
Philippine Constabulary unit under the command of Major Francisco
During the Japanese Occupation, the military general headquarters of
the Commonwealth Army of the
Philippines remained active from January
3, 1942 to June 30, 1946, and the 5th Infantry Regiment of the
Philippine Constabulary was established from October 28, 1944 to June
30, 1946 and stationed in Albay. Then came the clearing operations and
anti-Japanese insurgency in the Bicol Peninsula, helped by the local
Bicolano resistance. Some Bicolano guerrilla groups invaded around the
Albay during the Japanese Insurgencies between 1942 and
1944, and were supported by local Filipino troops under the Philippine
Commonwealth Army and pre-war
Philippine Constabulary 5th Infantry
Regiments attacking the enemy soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army.
In the aftermath of three years of siege and conflicts, many Bicolano
guerrillas were forced to retreat by the Japanese around the province
before liberation in 1945 by Allied forces.
Albay has a total land area of 2,575.77 square kilometres
(994.51 sq mi), which makes it the 53rd biggest province.
The province is bordered by the provinces of
Camarines Sur to the
Sorsogon to the south. To the northeast lies the Lagonoy
Gulf, which separates the province from Catanduanes. To the southwest
of the province is the
Burias Pass with the island of Burias of
Masbate province located about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) offshore.
In 2016, an area of 250,000 hectares (620,000 acres) was declared a
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The
Albay Biosphere Reserve is home to 182
terrestrial plant species, of which 46 are endemic to the Philippines.
Its marine waters and coastal area also provide habitat to five of the
world's seven marine turtle species, as well as mangrove, seagrass and
Mayon Volcano dominates the geography of Albay.
The province is generally mountainous with scattered fertile plains
and valleys. On the eastern part of the province is a line of volcanic
mountains starting with the northernmost Malinao in Tiwi, followed by
Mount Masaraga and the free-standing
Mayon Volcano. Separated by the
Poliqui Bay is the
Pocdol Mountains in the town of Manito.
The stratovolcano of
Mayon standing at around 2,462 metres
(8,077 ft), is the highest point of the province. It is the most
famous landform in
Albay and in the whole Bicol Region. This active
volcano falls under the jurisdiction of eight municipalities and
cities of Albay: Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Legazpi City, Ligao
City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo, and
The western coast of the province is mountainous but not as prominent
as the eastern range with the highest elevation at around 490 metres
(1,610 ft). Among these mountains are Mount Catburawan in
Ligao and Mount Pantao in Oas.
Albay comprises 18 municipalities/towns and three component cities
Ligao and Tabaco).
City or municipality [i][ii]
13°17′33″N 123°47′28″E / 13.2926°N 123.7912°E /
13.2926; 123.7912 (Bacacay)
13°10′53″N 123°39′19″E / 13.1815°N 123.6552°E /
13.1815; 123.6552 (Camalig)
13°08′52″N 123°42′47″E / 13.1478°N 123.7131°E /
13.1478; 123.7131 (Daraga)
13°11′29″N 123°35′59″E / 13.1914°N 123.5997°E /
13.1914; 123.5997 (Guinobatan)
13°04′08″N 123°36′01″E / 13.0688°N 123.6002°E /
13.0688; 123.6002 (Jovellar)
13°08′20″N 123°44′03″E / 13.1388°N 123.7343°E /
13.1388; 123.7343 (Legazpi)
13°17′59″N 123°26′18″E / 13.2998°N 123.4384°E /
13.2998; 123.4384 (Libon)
13°14′28″N 123°32′14″E / 13.2411°N 123.5373°E /
13.2411; 123.5373 (Ligao)
13°19′08″N 123°44′21″E / 13.3190°N 123.7393°E /
13.3190; 123.7393 (Malilipot)
13°23′51″N 123°42′18″E / 13.3974°N 123.7049°E /
13.3974; 123.7049 (Malinao)
13°07′28″N 123°52′11″E / 13.1244°N 123.8697°E /
13.1244; 123.8697 (Manito)
13°15′27″N 123°30′01″E / 13.2575°N 123.5002°E /
13.2575; 123.5002 (Oas)
13°02′34″N 123°27′13″E / 13.0429°N 123.4536°E /
13.0429; 123.4536 (Pio Duran)
13°17′37″N 123°29′03″E / 13.2937°N 123.4843°E /
13.2937; 123.4843 (Polangui)
13°11′10″N 124°07′33″E / 13.1862°N 124.1258°E /
13.1862; 124.1258 (Rapu-Rapu)
13°14′14″N 123°46′39″E / 13.2371°N 123.7774°E /
13.2371; 123.7774 (Santo Domingo)
Santo Domingo (Libog)
13°21′33″N 123°43′47″E / 13.3592°N 123.7298°E /
13.3592; 123.7298 (Tabaco)
13°27′25″N 123°40′47″E / 13.4569°N 123.6796°E /
13.4569; 123.6796 (Tiwi)
† Provincial capital and component city
∗ Component city
^ The globe icon marks the city/town center.
^ Former names are italicized.
Political map of Albay
Population census of
The population of
Albay in the 2015 census was 1,314,826 people,,
making it the 20th most populous province in the country. It had a
density of 510 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,300 inhabitants
per square mile. Based on the 2007 census, there were 208,640
households in the province with an average size of 5.22 persons,
significantly higher than the national average of 4.99.
Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Church in Daraga, built in 1773
Catholicism is the predominant religion in the province affiliated by
97% of the
Albay population. Each town has its own
fiesta for their patrons and patronesses. Other religious
denominations are the
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), other Protestant
churches such as the Baptist Church, Methodist, other Evangelical
Christians, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons,
Jehovah's Witnesses as
well as Islam.
Albay is home to several languages and host to different native
languages of Bicol Region. Out of seven Bikol languages (except
Bisakol, which is half-Visayan), only Pandan Bikol of northern
Catanduanes is not used or which the origin is not from Albay. The
languages in the province is very diverse which includes the languages
Albay Bikol group which comprises the languages of West Miraya,
East Miraya, Libon and Buhinon. Of the four
Albay Bikol languages,
Buhinon is the only one not used in
Albay but rather in Buhi,
Rinconada Bikol is a minority language in the province and used by
people in barangays of Libon and Polangui that are near the boundary
of Bato and
Iriga City in
Camarines Sur. Another primary language used
in the province is
Central Bikol which is the native-tongue of the
population on the eastern coast of the Bicol Peninsula. Both Albay
Bikol languages and Rinconada Bikol are members of Inland Bikol group
of languages while
Central Bikol is a language member of Coastal
Bikol. The Tabaco-Legazpi-
Sorsogon dialect of
Central Bikol is spoken
in Legazpi City,
Tabaco City and neighboring municipalities on the
east side of Albay, and some parts of northern
Sorsogon (especially in
The majority of the inhabitants also understand English and Filipino
as second languages.
Agriculture is the main industry in Albay, which produces crops like
coconut, rice, sugar and abacá. Handicrafts are the major source of
rural income and comprises a fairly large share in the small-scale
industries of the province. Forestry, cement production and
paper-making are other sources of livelihood. The manufacture of
abacá products such as
Manila hemp, hats, bags, mats, furniture, home
decors, and slippers is one of the main sources of income in the
rural areas. Production of abaca fiber experienced a boom from the
late 1800s until the American period. Fishing is the main
livelihood along both shores of the province. Tourism, especially
Mayon Volcano, also creates income for Albay. For the year
Albay had a total of 339,445 foreign tourist arrivals.
Albay has three congressional districts encompassing its 18
municipalities and 3 component cities.
City or municipality
District population (2015)
1st (Coastal District)
Edcel C. Lagman
Santo Domingo (Libog)
2nd (Capital District)
Joey Sarte Salceda
3rd (Miraya District)
Fernando V. Gonzalez
Albay has 383.22 kilometers (238.12 mi) of national roads, mostly
paved with asphalt, with 5.25 kilometers (3.26 mi) remaining
Maharlika Highway (N1/AH26) serves as the principal road
connection between other provinces. Most of the province are served by
secondary national roads, assigned route numbers of the 630 and 640
series. Almost all of the cities and municipalities are connected by
national roads, except for Jovellar and Rapu-Rapu.
Albay is the region's principal trans-shipment point with its ports:
Tabaco International Port, Legazpi National Port, Pio Duran Provincial
Port, and the Pantao Regional Port.
Traveling to the province by air is served by the Legazpi Airport, the
province's gateway from
Cebu City in the Visayas. The
Bicol International Airport
Bicol International Airport is under construction in the
municipality of Daraga, adjacent municipality of Legazpi City.
Albay is served by the mainline of the Philippine National Railways
(PNR), and has commuter service between Naga in
Camarines Sur. Trains
Manila (Tutuban), the
Mayon Limited, is suspended from November
2012. Four stations serve Polangui, Ligao, Guinobatan, and Legaspi,
The runway of Legazpi Airport
A PNR train in
Ligao railway station
Biosphere reserves of the Philippines
^ "The province of Albay". Overview of the Region. Makati City,
Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from
the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region V (Bicol Region)".
Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA.
Retrieved 20 June 2016.
^ Facts about
Mayon Volcano" Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback
Albay Tourism. Retrieved on 2012-05-27.
^ "20 sites added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserve".
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
2016-03-19. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
^ McKinley, William (1898). "The Acquisition of the
Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs". Vincent Ferraro, Mount Holyoke
College. Retrieved on 2012-05-18.
^ "History of Albay" Archived 2010-08-19 at the Wayback Machine..
Royal quest Tour.
^ a b "Province: Albay". PSGC Interactive.
Quezon City, Philippines:
Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
UNESCO Press (19 March 2016). "20 sites added to UNESCO's World
Network of Biosphere Reserves". United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
^ "Mount Pantao, Oas". Google Maps. Retrieved on 2012-05-27.
^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region V (Bicol
Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and
Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). Population and Annual
Growth Rates for The
Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and
Highly Urbanized Cities (PDF). NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
^ Censuses of Population (1903 – 2007). "Region V (Bicol Region)".
Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly
Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
^ "Census 2000; Population and Housing; Region V" (PDF). Philippine
Statistics Authority (
Philippine Statistics Authority
Philippine Statistics Authority - Region V).
Retrieved 29 June 2016.
^ Valmero, Anna (15 September 2011). "Bicolano entrepreneur finds
success in abaca furniture". loQal.ph. Archived from the original on 2
May 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
^ Prosperity Without Progress:
Manila Hemp and Material Life in the
Colonial Philippines, p. 108, at Google Books
^ "House Members; 17th Congress". House of Representatives of the
Philippines. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
^ Figures tabulated from data by the Department of Public Works and
Highways district engineering offices in Albay. See 2015 DPWH Atlas
for Region V
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Albay.
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
Media related to
Albay at Wikimedia Commons
Geographic data related to
Albay at OpenStreetMap
Albay Tourism Promotion Website
Albay Official Website
Places adjacent to Albay
Lagonoy Gulf / Catanduanes
Masbate / Burias Pass
Province of Albay
Articles related to Albay
Bicol Region (Region V)
Independent Component City
Pio V. Corpuz
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