» Camarines Sur Province
THE PROVINCE OF CAMARINES SUR is located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili, bordered in the north side by Camarines Norte and Quezon provinces, Albay in the south side and Catanduanes in the east. Camarines Sur has the largest population and land area among the other provinces in Bicol.

HISTORY
In 1569, Augustinian friars came and saw a village in Camalig. They found settlements made out of thatched sheds or “Kamalig”. Thus, Camarines Sur was derived from the Spanish word “camarin” meaning rice granary.

During the Spanish colonization in 1574, the province was referred to as                       “Los Camarines”. Later on a garrison was built in Naga and the city was then called as “Nueva Caceres”. On May 27, 1579, a decree was issued establishing a settlement in Camarines where Spanish colonists were urged to reside. In the year 1636, the municipality of Ibalon was separated into two distinct areas: Partido de Ibalon and Partido de Camarines in towns of Camalig, Albay. Partido de Camarines was again divided into Camarines Sur and Norte in 1829. From 1864 until 1893, the two provinces were called “Ambos Camarines”.

In January 1900, American forces occupied the Bicol peninsula and a civil government was established in Ambos Camarines on April 1901. It was in the year 1919 the first Philippine Legislature settled the separation of the said provinces into two. At that time the capital city is Naga, until Pili was declared as the capital of Camarines Sur in June 6, 1955 by virtue of Republic Act 1336.


PROVINCE DEMOGRAPHICS
The province has the largest total land area with 526,682 or 29.87% of the total regional area and other provinces in Bicol. The existing land use of Camarines Sur is still predominantly agricultural covering 295,111 hectares, followed by Grazing or Pasture Land with 22,524 hectares, classified forest land covering 156,704 hectares and unclassified forest areas of 4,354 hectares; timberland with 127,325 hectares, residential, commercial, industrial, mineral reservation and wet land areas. The province is surrounded with mountains such as Mount Isarog and Mount Iriga.

Currently, Camarines Sur has a total population of 1,551,549 in 288,172 households. The annual growth rate is 1.86%. Majority of the population speaks Bikol dialect or also known as Bikol Naga; other dialects are Buhi-non, Rinconada Bikol or Bikol Iriga and Partido spoken in the eastern portion of the province around Lagonoy Gulf. However, most of the residents also speaks and understand Tagalog and English. On the other hand predominant religion is Catholic.

 In terms of weather, the province has a tropical climate with dry season from the months of March to May, and wet season during the rest of the year. Average temperature is 27.0 °C and a relative humidity of 25.8%.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN CAMARINES SUR
Economic revenue of the province comes from Agri-based production such as rice, corn, feed meal, freshwater fish and livestock. Entrepreneurs also engage in trading with neighboring provinces in the south.

ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN CAMARINES SUR
The lifestyle of the people of Camarines Sur is interlaced with picturesque festivals and traditions strengthening the people’s noted harmony. The festivities also have a blend of pagan and Christian practices and colorful features.

YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
BAMBOO FESTIVAL (Bula)
This is a colorful December celebration in abundance of bamboo plant in the said municipality.

BAYBAYON FESTIVAL (Sag-ay)
A summer festival held at the beach side.

BIKOL PASTORES FESTIVAL (Calabanga)
The festival features cultural and sports activities and competitions, Mardi Gras and the Senior's Citizen's Night.

BOA-BOAHAN FESTIVAL (Nabua)
This is a thanksgiving festival celebrated every May based on the legend that tells of how the early town folks survived the big floods before the coming of the Spaniards.

KAMUNDAGAN FESTIVAL (Naga)
A month-long activity during December in celebration of the Advent season, featuring contests, trade fairs, regatta, carabao race, beauty pageant and tricycle race.

KAOGMA FESTIVAL (Camarines)
This is celebrated every May marking the foundation day of Camarines Sur featuring colorful activities.
LAGAYLAY FESTIVAL (Canaman)
A May celebration in honor of a tradition where women dance on the streets while chanting prayers to find the real cross.

PEÑAFRANCIA FESTIVAL (Naga)
Every third Saturday of September and draws thousands of devotees.

SANTACRUZAN FESTIVAL (Camarines)
A May celebration with dazzling procession usually observed during nighttime. Beautiful and young Reynas in their glittered gowns parade around the town.

TINAGBA FESTIVAL (Iriga City)
This is a colorful parade of the ball-cart laden with harvested crops that wind up at the foot of the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes as a token of thanks for the year's bountiful harvest.

TUMATAROK FESTIVAL (Minalabac)
Considered as one of the most colorful and interesting fiestas in the Bikol region every May in honor of their two patron saints, Sts. Philip and James. Fluvial procession takes place in the Bikol River and religious dancing.  

VOAYADORES FESTIVAL (Naga)
The festival is similar to Ati-Atihan of Kalibo and the Sinulog Festival of Cebu.

CAMARINES SUR PRODUCTS
Best buys in the province are bamboo crafts, special embroideries and fiber crafts. Bicolanos are also noted for their chili-hot dishes such as Gulay Na Natong or Laing made out of finely shredded gabi leaves flavored with small shrimps or small crabs, pork and whole native pepper; Langkang Palusag or Bread fruit; Bikol Express made out of ground pork and siling labuyo; Pinangat made out of diced lobster meat mixed with the meat of young coconut, lemongrass, ground garlic and diced onions; Ginuygoy; Inon-on cooked with any saltwater fish, vinegar or lemon juice, garlic and onions and Ginaring which is an appetizing dish.

Other native delicacies made in the provinces are panutsa, pili nut, malagkit rice, and butse or tabog-tabog snacks made from sweet potato, among many others.

MUNICIPALITIES OF CAMARINES SUR
Camarines Sur is composed of 35 municipalities, 1,065 barangays, four congressional districts and two cities. Naga City is an independent component city and Iriga City is a component city:

1ST DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES & CITIES

 

Del Gallego
Lupi
Ragay
Libmanan
Sipocot
Cabusao
Pasacao
Minalabac
Pamplona
San Fernando
2ND DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES & CITIES

 

Naga City
Bombon
Calabanga
Camaligan
Canaman
Gainza
Magarao
Milaor
Ocampo
Pili
3RD DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES & CITIES

 

Caramoan
Tinambac
Siruma
4TH DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES & CITIES

 

Iriga City
Baao
Balatan
Bato
Buhi
Bula
Nabua
OTHER DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES & CITIES

 

Garchitorena
Goa
Lagonoy
Presentacion (Parubcan)

Sagñay
San Jose
Tigaon

CAMARINES SUR TOURIST DESTINATIONS

Consocep Resthouse
Located in Tigaon, it is at the midway of Mt. Isarog at an elevation of 1,800 feet above sea level.

Ladrillo Church of Quipayo
This was built in 1616 and rare artifacts were excavated in this church.

Leaning Tower Of Bombon
This is similar to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Rome. Only 15 minutes drive from Naga City to Bombon.

Peñafrancia Basilica Minore (Naga City)
It houses the miraculous Virgin of Peñafrancia, Patroness of the Bicol Region and Divino Rostro, Holy Face.

Provincial Capitol Complex (Pili)
The seat of the provincial government of Camarines Sur and provides recreational facilities and eco-tourism wonders.

Other places to visit:

HISTORICAL LANDMARKS AND  CHURCHES ANCESTRAL HOUSES /MUSEUMS / LIBRARIES
  • PNR Marker Park
  • Naga City Museum
ISLAND / CAVES / LAKES BEACH / RESORTS / FALLS
  • Adiangao Cave
  • Adiangao Caves (San Jose)
  • Aguirangan Island (Presentacion)
  • Animasola Island (Balatan)
  • Atulayan Island (Sangay)
  • Calapnitan Cave
  • Daruanak Island (Pasacao)
  • Kalupnitan Caves (llibmanan)
  • Lake Buhi
  • Omang Cave
  • Atulayan Island
  • Caramoan Beach
  • Caramoan Sea Kayaking
  • Gota Beach (Caramoan)
  • Itbog Falls
  • La Roca Encantada
  • Malacsay Falls
  • Mt. Iriga
  • Nato Beach
  • Sabang Beach

HOW TO GET TO CAMARINES SUR PROVINCE

BY LAND
Camarines Sur is accessible by all main modes of transportation with Naga City as the axis. Air-conditioned vans and cars-for-rent are also available. One may also take the 10-hour train ride via the Philippine National Railway.