»  Naga City

NAGA CITY is situated in the Bicol region, a cape on the southeastern tip of the island of Luzon. A first class city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. The place is 377 kilometers, southeast of Manila and 380 kilometers north of Cebu City. Naga City belongs to the Metro Naga Development Council, and is at the core of Metro Naga which is a fast-developing area composed of municipalities.

HISTORY
The name “Naga” was given by Conquistador Juan de Salcedo on his second expedition in the region, and the name was derived from narra trees which were in abundance at that time. Naga is said to already be a flourishing village with advanced weaponry and technology prior to the colonization of Spanish government. During the colony, Naga became a center of trade, education and culture, as well as governmental and religious jurisdiction. Thus, in 1573 the colonizers were astonished to find a community with fairly well advanced culture.

In 1574, Ciudad de Nueva Caceres was founded on the existing business site of naga by Captain Pedro de Chaves in honor of Don Francisco de Sande, governor in the native city of Caceres in Spain. Ciudad Nin Naga became a center of trade, education and culture, and the seat of governmental in accordance to Spanish law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction during the Spanish time. Nueva Caceres remained the capital of Camarines Sur province until an independent component city of Naga was created on December 15, 1948 by virtue of Republic Act No. 305.

The bishops of Caceres had a unique place in the Philippine Catholic hierarchy in the Spanish regime. Bishops of this land were delegates of the Pope and considered to be primates of the Church of the Philippines. Various controversies emerged then between the bishops of Caceres and archbishop of manila.

In 1919, Ciudad de Nueva Caceres was abolished and was officially known as Naga during the American occupation. The place was reduced to a municipality since then. December 15, 1948 the city government of Naga was inaugurated.

Naga is at the center of the Bicol peninsula and surrounded on all sides by rich agricultural, forest and fishing areas. It also converges in Naga and Bicol rivers. Thus, the place is ideal for trade, school centers, and church and government offices.

PROFILE

THE LAND
The total land area of Naga is 8,448 hectares. Primary land use is residential with 1,098.62 hectares or 13.01% of the total land area, commercial with 1.91%, Industrial covering 30.2 hectares of the land, agricultural with 6,325.28 or 74.87% of the total land area, institutional, parks, Forest Parks with 611.14 hectares of the land, dumpsite, and cemeteries, among others.

The land is fertile with agricultural abundance of Palay, corn, abaca, coffee, sugar, fruit, root crops and other vegetables. Soil fertile areas are Cararayan, Pacol, Carolina, Panicuason and San Isidro communities. Slopes are also visible running upward from west to east of the city proper up to the peak of Mt. Isarog.

THE PEOPLE
Naga has a population of 139,775 with 26,317 households. Residents of this city are called Nagueños. Languages used are of Indo-Malay, Chinese and Spanish ancestry, although the main dialects are Bikol. Other languages used are Filipino and English.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Naga’s investor-friendly economy has now boomed into full scale encouraging growth and development of various businesses and facilities.

Currently, Naga has a lifestyle center with three shopping malls (LCC Central Mall Naga, Robertson Mall and Nagaland eMall), plus a number of other homegrown malls such as Bichara Theater Mall, Emily Arcade and Paseo de Caceres scattered at the center of the city. The one and only lifestyle center in Bicol is the Avenue Square Lifestyle Center, which consists of seminar halls, bars, restaurants, drugstore, among other franchisee stores. There is also a possibility of putting up larger shopping complexes like Shoemart and Pacific Mall in the city.

In terms of food or dining in Naga, there are now quite a number of various restobars and bistros similar to “Malate” area in Manila; as well as popular fast-food chains outlet such as Jollibee, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, among others. Invariably, there are also other dining restaurants with Chinese, Indian, Japanese dishes. Coffee lovers can also enjoy famous coffee outlets in Naga City.

Transportation and communication in Naga City is also up-to-date. Several telephone and mobile phone companies are now operating in this city, such as BayanTel and Digitel. Calling stations are also available. Thus, calling locally and internationally is quite easy.

Relatively, television networks (ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network, ABC 5, and GMA Broadcasting Network), various radio stations, and local cable TV companies (Naga Cable TV, Caceres Cable TV, and SkyCable) are also available in the city. Naga is also a home of more than 50 banks and automated teller machines (ATM).

CLIMATE
Naga City’s climate is tropical with relatively abundant rainfall and sunny day weather. The average temperature ranges from 27.1 °C. The city has three seasons: Wet and rainy season from June to October, cool and start of dry season from November to February, and summer season from March to May.

ARTS & CULTURE
During the Spanish occupation, religion of the Naga natives has been influenced by Spain’s religious practice of Christianity. Peñafrancia Fiesta celebration is one of those activities influenced by the Spaniards.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the Patroness of the Bicol region, the city celebrates the feast of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia every second Friday of September yearly. A procession called Traslacion, symbolizes the start of the feast by transferring the centuries-old image of the Blessed Virgin Mary from its shrine at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore to the 400 years old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. After 9 days of novena, the city celebrates the festivity with parades, pageants, street parties, contests, exhibits, concerts and other activities in lieu of the celebration. Then, on the third Saturday of September, the image is returned by so-called Voyadores to its shrine via a procession on the Naga River.

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Rice, corn, Coconut, Sugarcane, Vegetables, Abaca, Fruit trees or Citrus, Legumes, and root crops.

FAMOUS FOODS
Food in Naga city has never been a problem. Scrumptious native, exotic, various cuisines and dishes are available here. Choose from a wide array of good food in a very affordable price from Filipino, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese dishes that would definitely satisfy every visitor’s palate.

Naga City is also known for its favorite chili hot Bicol Express or “gulay na sili”. Taste this, and you would want to have it again and again.

RELIGION
Naga City is said to be the center of Roman Catholicism in the region because it is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres whose jurisdiction covers five dioceses such as Legazpi, Daet, Masbate, Sorsogon, and Virac. The city has several old and influential Catholic institutions from Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Basilica Minore de Nuestra, Señora Peñafrancia Shrine, as well as university institutions.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Naga has 27 ‘barangays’ or communities in its vicinity:

  • Abella
  • Bagumbayan Norte
  • Bagumbayan Sur
  • Balatas
  • Calauag
  • Cararayan
  • Carolina
  • Concepcion Grande
  • Concepcion Pequeña
  • Dayangdang
  • Del Rosario
  • Dinaga
  • Igualdad Interior
  • Lerma
  • Liboton
  • Mabolo
  • Pacol
  • Panicuason
  • Peñafrancia
  • Sabang
  • San Felipe
  • San Francisco (City Center)
  • San Isidro
  • Santa Cruz
  • Tabuco
  • Tinago
  • Triagulo

MAJOR TOURIST SPOTS


HISTORICO-RELIGIOUS TOUR
Naga City is welcoming its tourists to marvel all the precious pre-historic and Spanish time archeological finds and religious collections at the Museo del Seminario Conciliar de Nueva Caceres. Inside the museum, one would find rare fossils of artifacts, historical documents and memorabilia. Origin of Bicolano’ s faith and devotion to the regional patroness can be seen in Our Lady of Peñafrancia Museum.

LAKE BUHI RESORT
Lake Buhi can be found at Cabanatuan, Buhi, Camarines Sur at the foot of Mount Iriga. The resort has its own helipad and world-class tourism amenities such as swimming pools, mini-golf, table tennis and mahjong. Fun-field activities are also provided where one can indulge in boating, trekking, fishing and mountain-climbing. The lake is also known for its world’s smallest edible fish, "sinarapan" (Mistichtys Luzonensis), approximately just 6 to 8 millimeters in length. Tourists may also see the twin falls in this mountain

MOUNT ISAROG
Mountain climbing enthusiasts may want to try trekking in this mountain together with a local tour guide. A stop-over at cascading waterfalls of Malabsay, Yabon and Nabontolan can be truly memorable, tourists may also engage in river canyoning, high altitude jumping and fishing.

PARTIDO ADVENTURE
Take a trip via Hanawan to Naga-Concepcion and be tempted to take a dip in the icy water of Bolalacao Falls. Picnickers can certainly enjoy Tumaguiti Falls and luxury trip to Kawa-Kawa Falls. Tourists may also enjoy white sand beaches in Atulayan Island, Sagñay which is ideal for diving and snorkeling, just a 15-minute boat ride from Nato, Sagñay community. Other white sand beaches are Rose Island (known as Aguirangan), Weinert’s Guesthouse Pacific & Beach Resort

HOW TO GET TO NAGA CITY

BY LAND
Manila to Naga buses has terminals and booking offices at the Araneta Center, Cubao Quezon City and EDSA Bus terminal in Pasay City. It is a 7 to 8 hours ride from Manila and 22 hours from Cebu with ferry transfers in Sorsogon, Bicol.

BY AIR
Manila-Naga route is served by the Philippine Airlines (PAL) from Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays only. Estimated travel time is 1 hour.

BY RAILWAY
Daily rail service from Manila to Naga is served daily. The train service stars at Tutuban Station in Manila and leaves 5 pm. Travel time approximately 8 to 9 hours.

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