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Albay P is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders the Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf leading to the Philippine Sea, and to the southwest is Burias Pass.

Province of Albay
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Ph locator map albay.png
Region Bicol Region (Region V)
Governor Fernando Gonzales [2004-2007]
Barangays 720
Physical characteristics
Area 2,552.6 km²
(26th smallest)
Total (2000) 1,090,907
(22nd largest)
Density 427/km²
(10th highest)

Mayon Volcano is the symbol most associated with the province. This nearly perfectly-shaped active volcano forms a scenic backdrop to the capital city of Legazpi 15 kilometers to the south.


People and culture

Population. Based on the May 2000 census, Albay has a total population of 1,090,907, which makes it the 22nd most populous province in the country. There are 208,640 households in the province with an average size of 5.22 persons, significantly higher than the national average of 4.99.

Languages. Bikol is the primary language spoken in Albay, being a part of the Bicol Region. There are other dialects spoken in the province, however, such as Bicolano Viejo, Daragueño, Legazpeño or Albayanon, Oasnon and others. The dialects spoken in the coastal areas of the province are similar to that spoken in Camarines Sur while those further inland are similar to each other but differs significantly from the coastal dialect. Majority of the inhabitants also understand Tagalog and English.


Traditional industries. Agriculture is the main industry in Albay, which produces such crops as coconut, rice, sugar, and abacá. Handicrafts is the major source of rural income. It continuous to provide fairly large share in the small-scale industries of the province. Forestry and papermaking are another source of livelihood. The manufacture of abacá products such as Manila hemp, hats, bags, mats, and slippers is one of the main sources of income in the rural areas. Fishing is also done along both shores of the province. Tourism, primarily because of Mayon Volcano, also draws income for Albay.

Heavy manufacturing industries. Of the total 6,369 manufacturing establishments of varied sizes in the Bicol Region, 48.6% are located in Albay. Bicol's largest industrial sites are in Albay: Tiwi and Manito boast geothermal energy plants, Camalig has the Goodfound Cement Factory, Daraga has its Isarog Pulp and Paper Company, Legazpi City has Bicol Hair, and Legaspi Oil Company and two other large coconut oil milling plants, making Albay top foreign currency earner this part of Luzon. [1]

Transportation. Albay is also the region's principal transshipment point with its ports: Tabaco International, Legazpi National, Pio Duran Provincial, and the Pantao Regional Port (under construction in 2003). Legazpi City also has its own domestic airport which hopes to serve international flights in the near future. Legazpi Airport serves as Bicol's gateway to Manila and the Visayas.


Pre Spanish Colonialism

Albay and its surrounding areas were known as Ibalon when Juan de Salcedo and 120 soldiers explored it in 1573. Sawangan, a small settlement by a mangrove swamp, became a town called Albay bay (which means “by the bay”) in 1616. The town was first renamed Albay, then Legazpi, as Albay went on to refer to the province.

Spanish Colonialism

In 1846, the islands of Masbate, Ticao, and Burias were separated from Albay to form the comandancia of Masbate. Albay was then divided into four districts: Iraya, Cordillera or Tobacco, Sorsogon, and Catanduanes. In 1894, Sorsogon became a separate province and Catanduanes in 1945. The province of Albay itself was created on March 10, 1917.

In 1649, the natives rebelled against their recruitment to Cavite to build galleons. In 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted, killing 1,200 people and burying the town of Cagsawa. During the early 19th century, abacá hemp for shipping rope became a source of wealth.

Filipino-American war period

In the surrounding mountains of Albay, Simeon Ola led a group of revolutionaries in fighting the American colonizers and its local puppets.

Ola later surrendered to the Americans almost a year after General Malvar of batangas surrendered to the Americans.Pmcalara 10:57, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)

Period under the American Colonialism

The Americans was in control of public administration.

Period under the Japanese Occupation

The Japanese colonialist landed in Bicol near Legaspi City a few weeks after it Bomb Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Post World War II

Martial Law

A few months after assasination of Ninoy Aquino in 21 August 1986, thousands of Bicolanos gathered in Legaspi City to protest the US-backed Marcos regime. The protest rally was the biggest in Albay after the Declaration of Martial Law. This one one of the many people's militant protest in the Philippines that lead to the downfall of Marcos, considered by many as a dictator, in February of 1986.Pmcalara 10:55, 2 September 2007 (Taipei Standard Time)

Post 1986 people power revolution

Post 2001 people power revolution



Albay is subdivided into 15 municipalities and 3 cities. Three of them, Tiwi, Daraga, and Legazpi City are classified as 1st class cities/municipalities. Before being converted into a city in March 2001, Tabaco City used to be a first class municipality.




Albay has a total land area of 2,552.6 square kilometers, which makes it the 26th smallest province. Most of Albay is located on mainland Bicol Peninsula and it has four major islands to the east: Rapu-Rapu, Batan (part of Rapu-Rapu), Cagraray (part of Bacacay), and San Miguel (part of Tabaco City).

Lagonoy Gulf borders the province to the northeast, separating it from the province of Catanduanes. Burias Island in the province Masbate can be found to the southwest across Burias Pass.

The province is generally mountainous with scattered fertile plains and valleys. Mayon Volcano, standing at around 2460 meters, is the most famous landform in Albay, and in the whole of Bicol, in fact. This active volcano is nearly perfectly-shaped and is considered by many to be more beautiful than Mt. Fuji in Japan. Other mountains and volcanoes in the province are Catburawan, Masaraga, Malinao, and Pantao.

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