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Bicol Region (Region 5)
The Bicol Region is one of the 17 Regions of the Philippines, designated as Region V. Bicol (also spelled Bikol) comprises 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. The regional capital, political/administrative center, and largest city is Legazpi Legazpi City is also considered as the center of tourism, education, health services, commerce and transportation in the Bicol Region.
Bicol Region (Region 5) Geography
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 derived from the summation of provincial areas from the table below 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."Overview of Bicol Region". Department of Agriculture Web Site; retrieved 22 May 2012.
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, connecting the region to the rest of Luzon.
Bicol Region (Region 5) Political division
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 cities — Iriga, Legazpi, Ligao, Masbate City, Sorsogon City, and Tabaco City. Masbate and Sorsogon are cities in their eponymous 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.
The administrative center of the region is Legazpi
Bicol Region (Region 5) Festivals
A showcase of events highlighted by a street presentation participated in by the town’s different public and private schools and sectors gives a week of fun and merriment to visitors and locals. Held every third week of August in Tiwi, the religious package of devotion and prayer in honor of Albay’s patroness, Nuestra Señora de Salvacion (Our Lady of Salvation), is the peak event of the festival, colorfully drawing thousands of devotees and religious groups through a long maritime procession of different local sea vessels on the sea spray of the serene Pacific Ocean going to the quiet barangay of Joroan, the home of the miraculous image.
Is a non-religious festival in Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines and is held during August.
Formerly called the Bancathon race, the festival is a water sport activity participated in by fishermen from the different municipalities of Albay aimed to give recognition and at the same time provide a venue to the fishermen to show their strength, skills, and contributions to the socio-economic development of the region. Held in Bacacay every black Saturday.
Naga City celebrates the Kamundagan Festival every Christmas time. It begins with the lighting of the Christmas Village in the Plaza Quezon Grandstand. After the lighting of the Christmas Village, six locally handmaid stars, known locally as parols are lighted with different meanings. Love, progress, peace, happiness, prosperity, and joy symbolize the stars. The giant Christmas tree is lighted 2 weeks before Christmas. Every night, different fantasy-themed Christmas shows are held in the Plaza Quezon. A Grand Christmas Bazaar is also held near the Cathedral, exhibiting different talents in Magic, Trickery, Beauty, and Brains. The Bazaar also has some stores that sell locally made Christmas themed products for visitor.
The festivity retraces the valiant story of the virgins of the town who worked hard in making Libon as one of the earliest settlements in Albay. Featured activities are trade fairs, shows, and street dancing. Held every second week of July.
Naga City celebrates Kinalas Festival during its yearly anniversary of Chartership or Cityhood. It honors the most famous local delicacies, the Kinalas, and Siling Labuyo, with it having a food contest. Also known as Charter Day Festival, different organizations and schools, compete in Sports and Academics, as sponsored by the local government.
In admiration of the Majestic Mayon’s beauty and splendor, this festival is dubbed as Magayon, a Bikol term which means beautiful
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Festival
The feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol Philippines. All roads and routes will lead to Naga City in Camarines Sur where six million Bicolanos from here and abroad will flock to that progressive city to pay honor to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, miraculous patroness of the Bicol Region. Bicolanos from all walks of life will be in Naga City to meet their relatives and partidarios, share food, drinks, and prayers with them, and most of all, to pay homage and make thanksgiving to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, whom the Bicolanos fondly call Ina. Through the Franciscans, the annual feast of the Virgin of Peñafrancia, the Patroness of Bicolandia, was instituted. Fr. Miguel Robles asked a local artist to carve a replica of the statue of the Virgin in Salamanca; now, the statue is celebrated through an annual fluvial procession and regional feast in Naga City. The Regional Civic Parade, Regional Military Parade are also held on the feast.
The act of thanksgiving for Guinobatan’s growth, development, and progress, fitted in with the people’s gesture of offering for the bountiful harvest. Held every 9th-15 August.
Rodeo Masbateño Festival
Is an annual event which takes place in Masbate City which showcases skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer since 1993 in the province of Masbate, which is traditionally considered the “Cattle Country of the Philippines.”
Salingoy is a Bikol term that literally means looking back. A century of devotion (1901-2001) to one of Bacacay’s patron saints, Nuestra Señora de los Samparados, Salingoy Festival came into being, a centennial commemoration of unbroken reverence to God’s blessings and bounty. Salingoy looks back with humility by reminiscing into the richness of fidelity to Our Lady (Holy Mother Mary) and to relive Bacacay’s historical, socio-cultural, and religious heritage. Held every August 9 up to 15.
An annual fun-filled eight-day summer festivity immortalizing the timeless love song Sarung Banggi, and a tribute to its composer, Potenciano V. Gregorio. Held every 18th - 25 May in Sto. Domingo, the Sarung Banggi festival showcases a variety of cultural and religious activities. The entire colorful performance is shown at nighttime when the street parade routes are brightly lighted with large torches. The whole town becomes a true picture of rural life with the multitude of people occupying the streets to watch and join the nighttime merriment.
This festivity is in honor of the city’s patron saint, St. Stephen Protomartyr held every Christmas Day. Tinagbuan, from the term tagbuan, which means converging point, is exactly the essence of this festival as it enables Ligaoeños to come back to Ligao for a blessed reunion with their families and friends. The festival’s highlight is the street dance presentation.