» Legazpi City

LIGAZPI CITY is called the “Queen City of Southern Luzon”. It is a first class city, capital city in the province of Albay, Philippines, and regional center of Bicol Region. The geographical strategic of the land has now become the main hub of trade, commerce and transportation. The city also has its own national port that handles export.

HISTORY
The city was named after Miguel López de Legazpi, the Spaniard who conquered the Philippine Islands in 1565. When the Spaniards arrived they found the Sawangan settlement of fishermen and farmers. The name of Sawangan (now Legazpi port) was altered from “Sabang” which signifies natural tide form by the low swamps along the Macabolo River.

In 1587, Doctrina of Cagsawa Franciscan friars converted the settlement to Christianity and in 1616 the settlement became a separate town called Albay. The first Parish Priest was Fr. Francisco de Sta. Ana, and he later built a small chapel. Then in 1649, the town became prosperous and progressive thus it eventually became a capital of the province. However in February 1, 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted and destroyed half of the village. Some of the people remained in the old town and began anew as a barrio and never changed the name of the place as Albay Viejo or Banwang Daan. Even after their autonomy in 1856, they called it “Binanuahan”, meaning the former sit of a town. The other residents evacuated to Macalaya (now Barangay Taysan). In 1818, Sawangan, then already known as the town of Albay, was separated from Cagsawa and was made the capital of Partido de Ibalon (the old name of Albay Province). Then upon the decree of the Gobierno Superior on October 1, 1829 which prohibits the founding of another town they finally settled in Taytay (Bagumbayan). Hence Taytay became the capital or cabecera.

The town was officially named Legazpi and became an independent town on September 22, 1856 upon the decree of Vice-Governor Paterno Real. And due to the progress and prosperity emergence of the town again, Legazpi was declared a Royal cedula on May 18, 1872 that opened its doors to world trade. Then under the Becera Law of 1892, the town became a city which constituted the municipalities of Legazpi, Albay Nuevo and Daraga. In 1900 during the American occupation, the city was dissolved. In 1908, the three towns were re-established and 1908 became the Municipality of Albay. In 1922, the town of Daraga was separated from the capital. Nevertheless, Legazpi became a city for the second time on July 18, 1948 when Daraga and Legazpi were combined again to constitute its territory, under Republic Act No. 306. Finally, on June 12, 1959, Legazpi became a city once more under Republic Act No. 2234. This was later amended by Republic Act No. 5525.

President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Legazpi City anew to include the Municipality of Daraga on Feb. 05, 1973. Under the decree Legazpi is to be divided into 3 districts: Daraga, Albay district and Legazpi Port District.

PROFILE

THE LAND
The city is located on the eastern portion of Albay Province approximately 534 kilometers south of Metro Manila. On the north, it is bounded by the Municipality of Sto. Domingo, on the west by the Municipality of Daraga, on the south by the Municipalities of Manito, Albay, Pilar and Castilla, Sorsogon, and on the east by the Albay Gulf and Poliqui Bay. Legazpi City has a total land area of 204.204 square kilometers or 20,420.40 hectares; this is about 8% and 1.15% of the total land area of the Province of Albay and Bicol Region.

THE PEOPLE
The current population census states that the city has 157,010 people in 30,612 households, with a growth rate of 2.63%. Bicol is the general language used in Legazpi. However, the people speak Tagalog fluently and can communicate in English with ease.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The economy of the city is now a mixture of commercial and service activities with trade and commerce dominating at 40.93% of the total economic activities followed by other service industries. Major establishments are also present now in Legazpi City with industries such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying; secondary activities in manufacturing; and tertiary industries such as banking and finance, real estate and related services. However, the total production of the city still comes from agriculture and handicrafts as the main source of rural income.

The city also houses the geothermal energy to the Luzon Grid with its Tiwi Geothermal Plant in Tiwi. There are also malls, arenas, banks, major offices, supermarkets and major food establishments expanded in the city; as well as cable, communication, television and radio networks stationed in the city.

CLIMATE
Legazpi City experiences no dry season, with a very pronounced maximum rain period from December to January. The city enjoys an average temperature of 270 C, coldest during the month of December at 250 C and warmest during the month of June at 280 C. The province averages 20 typhoons yearly, ranging from 60-180 kph.

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Legazpi is known for its fine crafted jars and pottery in Tiwi municipality, as well as the hand-made paper products in Sto. Domingo. Other important products of the city are hemp, coconut, sugar cane, pineapple, vegetable, and rice.

ARTS & CULTURE
The city welcomes various festivities, and the major festivals are:

  • Bicol Pastores – A festival of folk dance interpretation in lieu of Christmas celebration. The youth wears colorful costumes and sings folk songs related to Christmas celebration.
  • Feast of San Raphael Archangel – This feast lasts for about a week with the involvement of all the townsfolk of Legazpi.
  • Fluvial Procession – This is a procession in honor of Saint Nuestra Señora de Penafrancia.
  • Ibalong Festival – This month-long festival is celebrated every October of the year.
  • On-to-Mayon – This is an organized climb or activity for people who would like to trek Mount Mayon.
  • Sibidan Race – This is a race of ‘bancas’ with a use of a paddle during the month of October coinciding with the feast day of St. Raphael.
  • Tourism Month – This is a month long celebration of Tourism in Legazpi City.

RELIGION
Almost all of the residents of Legazpi practices Roman Catholic religion, and the city is the ecclesiastical seat of the Diocese of Legazpi which was created on June 21, 1951. The patrons of the city are Our Lady Mother of Salvation and St. Gregory the Great. Currently, the diocese has into 37 parishes, 18 of which are in town centers and 19 in rural villages.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The city of legazpi has 70 barangays or communities:

  • Arimbay
  • Bagacay
  • Bagong Abre
  • Banquerohan
  • EM's Barrio
  • Maoyod Pob.
  • Tula-tula
  • Ilawod West
  • Ilawod
  • Ilawod East
  • Kawit-East Washington Drive
  • Rizal Sreet., Ilawod
  • Cabagñan
  • EM's Barrio South
  • Cabagñan West
  • Binanuahan West
  • Binanuahan East
  • Imperial Court Subd
  • Cabagñan East
  • Lapu-lapu
  • Dinagaan
  • Victory Village South
  • Victory Village North
  • Sabang
  • EM's Barrio East
  • Kapantawan
  • Pigcale
  • Centro-Baybay
  • PNR-Peñaranda St.-Iraya
  • Oro Site-Magallanes St.
  • Tinago
  • Bitano
  • Bonot
  • Sagpon Pob.
  • Sagmin Pob.
  • Bañadero Pob.
  • Baño
  • Bagumbayan
  • Pinaric
  • Bariis
  • Bigaa
  • Bogtong
  • Bogña
  • Buenavista
  • Buyuan
  • Cagbacong
  • Cruzada
  • Dap-dap
  • Dita
  • Estanza
  • Gogon
  • Homapon
  • Imalnod
  • Mabinit
  • Mariawa
  • Maslog
  • Padang
  • Pawa
  • Puro
  • Rawis
  • San Francisco
  • San Joaquin
  • San Roque
  • Tamaoyan
  • Taysan
  • Matanag
  • Cabugao
  • Rizal Street
  • Buragwis
  • Lamba

MAJOR TOURIST SPOTS

The top tourist destination in Bicol is in Legazpi City and is situated just 15 kilometers southeast of Mayon Volcano. Other places to visit include:

ALBAY / BICOL TREKKING
This offers an exciting experience for mountain climbers who would like to conquer the slope of Mount Bulusan, Mount Isarog and the perfect cone of Mount Mayon.

BAGACAY BEACH
This beach is situated in Bagacay town and ideal for swimming, boating and fishing.

BICOL HERITAGE PARK
This park is located inside Camp General Simeon Ola Headquarters. A statue of the General can also be seen here.

CAGSAWA RUINS
This is one of the most visited sites by the tourists in Daraga Albay. The ruins of Cagsawa Church stand prominently which half of the Church was buried by molten lava when Mayon Volcano erupted on February 1, 1814 killing 1,200 people inside the Church.

FREEDOM PARK
The Church is built on a 4,000 square meter mango orchard and a well-maintained park and garden.

HEADLESS MONUMENT
This monument was built in commemoration of the unknown heroes who fought and died during the Japanese occupation in the city.  The monument is situated in Lapu-Lapu community.

JAPANESE TUNNEL
This tunnel is used as an arsenal during the World War II and is 40 meters long (L shaped) and 7 feet deep. The place can be found in EMs Barrio South of Legazpi.

JOSE MA. PEÑARANDA MONUMENT AND PARK
The monument is situated in Peñaranda Park, Albay District in honor of Jose Ma. Peñaranda who served as a Governor of Albay from 1834 to 1843 and the park features state-of-the-art architectural design.

LEGAZPI CITY MUSEUM
The museum can be found inside the City Hall Annex Building in Legazpi where artifacts and other antiques are displayed.

LEGAZPI HEROES MEMORIAL TRYLON
This is a 16 meter high trylon in the commercial district of Legazpi.

LIBERTY BELL
The bronze bell was installed by the American Liberation Forces in 1945 with the inscription that says: “whenever oppression knocks at your door feel free to ring this bell.” This bell is situated inside the Peñaranda Park.

LIÑON HILL
It is also called Lignon Hill that is located behind Albay Park and Wildlife. PHILVOCS has their monitoring station in this site.

LOCSIN PARK
This park is situated in Rizal Street, Old Albay District which recreational sports are constantly held here.

MAGAYON ART GALLERY
The gallery is found at the lobby of the Albay Provincial Capitol and showcases various visual creations and culture.

MAYON VOLCANO
This volcano is acclaimed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World with its nearly perfect cone-shape. The name of the volcano was derived from the word “Magayon” which means beautiful.

MAYON VOLCANO
This volcano is acclaimed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World with its nearly perfect cone-shape. The name of the volcano was derived from the word “Magayon” which means beautiful.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SHRINE
The shrine is situated in Barangay Buraguis, atop its hill. It features life-size images of the characters of 13 way of the cross stations.

PURO WHITE BEACH
The white sandy beach is situated in barangay Puro and ideal for picnic, swimming, boating and fishing.

RIZAL PARK AND MONUMENT
This monument is located within the city proper along Rizal Street and ideal for relaxation.

SLEEPING LION HILL
This place is also called Kapuntukan Hill, described as a lion hill due to its form and contour. Legazpi Port District can be best viewed here.

THE ALBAY PARK AND WILDLIFE
This place is a picnic grove and a park combines. It houses 347 animals belonging to 75 species. The youth can also enjoy boat and bike rides too.

THE REGIONAL SITE IN RAWIS
This is where one can find the Philippine Government regional offices such as Department of Education, Department of Tourism, Regional Trial Court, Department of Agrarian and Reform, Department of Science and Technology, and among many others.

HOW TO GET TO LIGAZPI CITY

BY AIR
Legazpi Airport is the region’s gateway airport. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flies daily to and from Manila.

BY LAND
Air-conditioned tourist buses ply the Manila-Legazpi route daily with an average travel time of 9 hours, passing through scenic roads. Terminals are located at the Araneta Center, Cubao, Pedro Gil St., Manila, and EDSA, Pasay City.

Another option is through railway station from Manila to Albay route which takes about 10 hours.