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The Bicol Region or Bicolandia is one of the 17 regions of the Philippinesmarker. It occupies the Bicol Peninsula at the southeastern end of Luzonmarker island and some other islands.

It consists of six provinces, namely, Albaymarker, Camarines Nortemarker, Camarines Surmarker, Catanduanesmarker, Masbate, and Sorsogonmarker. It has one independent component city, Naga Citymarker, and six component cities, Irigamarker, Legazpimarker, Ligaomarker, Masbatemarker, Sorsogonmarker, and Tabacomarker. The regional centers are Legazpi Citymarker, the region's political and administrative center, Naga Citymarker, the region's cultural and religious center. Legazpi Citymarker, Naga Citymarker, and Sorsogon Citymarker are the leading cities in the region in terms of urbanization and also the hub of the region's economic activity.

Culture

The Bicol region is often seen as the epicenter of the counterculture and liberal politics in the Philippines because many of its inhabitants seem to oppose many right-wing governments and ideology which they blame for political corruption|corruption. The region has a political reputation for always voting for left-wing politicians. It is also widely seen as a stronghold for the National Democratic Front Philippines|National Democratic Front.

Language

Inhabitants, called Bicolanos, speak any one of the several varieties of Bikol language|Bikol, an Austronesian language closely related to other Central Philippine languages such as Cebuano and Tagalog. Bikol varieties include Bikol Rinconada (Iriga-Buhi area), the western Albay dialects (Oas, Daraga), Bikol Sorsogon (Sorsogon), Bikol Catanduanes and Bikol Partido (municipalities surrounding Lagonoy Gulf). Standard Bikol is based on the dialect of Naga City and is spoken in a wide area stretching from Camarines Norte, most of Camarines Sur, the entire east coast of Albay (including Legazpi and Tabaco) and northern Sorsogon. Standard Bikol is generally understood by other Bikol speakers and is the regional lingua franca.

The Bikol languages are the dominant languages of the region. The Filipino language (Tagalog) is also spoken in northern parts of Camarines Norte as well as in the municipality of Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. Two Visayan languages, Sorsoganon and Masbateño language|Masbateño or Minasbate, are spoken in Masbate and Sorsogon; they are collectively referred to as Bisakol.

Religion

Bicol is the one of the most secular out of the entire Philippines, as only 55% of Bicol Region inhabitants attend church weekly, compared to 68% nationwide.However, the region retains Roman Catholicism as the religion of the great majority. The Catholic religion has the highest number of followers than in any other area in the Philippines.Fiestas (festival of saints) are common occurence, from a simple barrio fiesta, which honors a patron associated for good harvest, to a town fiesta honoring a miraculous saint, or a regional one such as the Peñafrancia Fiesta, a one week long celebration to honor the Virgin Mary, dubbed as the "Queen Patron of Bicolandia".

History

Albaymarker's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade with Chinamarker, Malaya and Indonesiamarker going back two thousand years. The first Spanishmarker contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returning to Cebumarker from Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and the captain recorded his awe at the sight of Mt. Mayon erupting. Mount Mayon is the most prominent of the several volcanoes in the province, and one of the most famous jewels of the Pacific Ring of Fire; its eruptions have repeatedly inflicted disaster on the province, and enriched the survivors. When at peace, it is a particularly beautiful mountain. Albaymarker has a large amount of rich flat land, and agriculture is the largest component of the provincial economy. Coconuts, rice, abaca, and maize are the chief crops. Handicrafts bolster rural incomes. Commercial fishing is also important, and the province has several thousand manufacturing enterprises. There are plenty of places to visit, offering opportunities to swim at beautiful beaches, scuba-dive to wrecked galleons, explore caves, climb volcanoes, admire waterfalls, lush vegetation, Baroque architecture, etc.

Gold-mining and jewelry manufacture continue to distinguish the province. Agriculture and fishing are major factors in the province's economy, and several handicrafts and small-scale industries are widely practiced. The region has recently seen a revival in its tourism industry, due mainly to the popularity of the new CamSur Water Sports Complex, the Mayon Volcano and the whale shark spotting and an increase in the number of upscale resorts in the region. Daetmarker has long been a destination for surfers. It is hoped that the planned Southern Luzon International Airport will further boost tourism in the region.

Administrative divisions

Bicol is composed of 7 cities.
Political map of Bicol Region


Component Cities



Independent Component City




NOTED BICOLANO PERSONALITIES [OR WITH BICOL ROOTS]



External links




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