Mabuhay! Welcome online to the land of the Bicolanos!
Located at the southern tip of Luzon Island of the Philippines, Bicol Region is the 9th largest region
in terms of land area (see comparison). It is bounded by the Philippine Sea on the north and
east, by the Sibuyan Sea and Quezon Province on the west, and by San Bernardino Strait on the south.
Mayon Volcano, with its perfect cone,
is the most widely known tourism spot associated with Bicol Region. The volcano, located in Albay Province, is also the
highest peak in the entire region with its 2,421 meters height. This is followed by Mt. Isarog in Camarines Sur with
a height of 1,996 meters and Mt. Iriga, also in Camarines Sur, with 1,195 meters. Flat lands can be found in the coastal areas
and in central Camarines Sur.
Bicol's climate is tropical with an average temperature of 27 degrees celcius. The provinces of Catanduanes,
Camarines Norte, and the eastern part of Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon
experience the Type II climate - no dry season with a very pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January.
The central part of the region experience the Type IV climate whereby rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the
year. The province of Masbate and the western part of
Camarines Sur and Albay has the Type III climate which is relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest
of the year. Being located in the typhoon belt, the region is often the victim of strong and powerful typhoons.
Bicolanos are the main cultural groups in Region V. There are, however, some small communities of Waray-Warays,
Tagalogs and Hiligaynons.
One of the least developed regions, Region V contributed a miniscule 2.78% to the national economy in 2007.
The economy is mainly agricultural and its chief products are rice, coconut, abaca, banana, poultry, meat from hog and
cattle. Fishing is an important alternative livelihood in coastal areas. Bicolanos are very skilled in the production of
handicraft products particularly those made from abaca. Except for a few oil mills and a paper factory, there are no
other large manufacturing plants in the region.
Geothermal power is generated in Tiwi, Albay and contributes much to satisfy the energy
needs of Luzon. Many parts of the region have ports servicing domestic shipping lines and the busiest of them are located in
Matnog, Sorsogon and in Legaspi City, Albay. Secondary airports can be found in each provincial capital except for Sorsogon
whose capital is near Legaspi City.
Tourism is one bright area that could be developed into a major source of income not only for the region
but also for the country. The Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur is being touted as the next Boracay. Donsol Town in Sorsogon
is fast gaining popularity as a place for whaleshark watching. And there is of course Mayon Volcano in Albay Province - one of
the most popular tourism site in the Philippines.
An industry to watch that can have the potential of propelling the region into the big league is information
technology. Already, a few but promising animation studios have been established in Naga City of Camarines Sur Province.
An economic zone for technology companies is on the drawing board of the local government.
Economic factsheet of Bicol Region, 2007
|Gross Regional Domestic Product (in billion pesos at current prices)|
| Total ||168.8||100%|
|Electricity, Gas, and Water||14.4||8.52%|
|Employment Data (figure in thousands)|
|Total Employed ||1,957|
|Unemployment Rate ||4.2%|
|Underemployment Rate ||34.8%|
Major tourist spots in Bicol Region
- Mayon Volcano and Misibis Bay in Albay
- Watersports Complex and Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur
- Pag-asa and Bagasbas Beaches in Camarines Norte
- Donsol Whale Watching and Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon
- Puraran Bay and Luyang Cave in Catanduanes
- Sombrero Island and Busay De Gracia Waterfall in Masbate
Mayon Volcano(DOST Photo)