Map of the Philippines with Albay highlighted
|Region||Bicol (Region V)|
|• Type||Province of the Philippines|
|• Governor||Joey Salceda (Liberal)|
|• Vice Governor||Harold Imperial (Liberal)|
|• Total||2,554.06 km2(986.13 sq mi)|
|Area rank||34th out of 80|
|• Rank||20th out of 80|
|• Density||480/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||10th out of 80|
|• Independent cities||0|
|• Component cities||3|
|• Districts||1st to 4th districts of Albay|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|ISO 3166 code||PH-ALB|
|Spoken languages||Bikol, Albayano, Tagalog|
|Website||Albay Tourism Website|
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in southeastern Luzon Island. The capital of the province is Legazpi City, the regional administrative center of Bicol region, which is located in the southern foothill of Mayon Volcano, the symbol most associated with the province. This nearly perfectly shaped active volcano forms a scenic backdrop to the city of Legazpi and is visible throughout the municipalities and cities of Albay including the surrounding provinces.
Long before the Spaniards arrived, Albay had a thriving civilization. Formerly called Ibat, and then Libog, Albay was once ruled by Gat Ibal, an old chief who also founded the old barangay of Sawangan, now the district of Albay and part of the city of Legazpi.
In July 1569, Luis Enriquez de Guzman, a member of the expedition led by Maestro de Campo Mateo de Saz and Captain Martin de Goiti, led a group which crossed from Burias and Ticao islands and landed on a coastal settlement called Ibalon in what is now the province of Sorsogon. From this point another expedition was sent to explore the interior and founded the town of Camalig.
In 1573, Juan de Salcedo penetrated the Bicol Peninsula from the north as far south as Libon, establishing the settlement of Santiago de Libon. Jose Maria Peñaranda, a military engineer, was made “corregidor” of the province on May 14, 1834. He constructed public buildings and built roads and bridges.
The entire Bicol Peninsula was organized as one province with two divisions, Camarines in the northwest and Ibalon in the southeast. In 1636, the two partidos were separated, and Ibalon became a separate province with Sorsogon as capital. In the 17th century, Moro slave raiders from southern Philippines ravaged the northeastern coastal areas of the province of Albay.
Mayon Volcano, in one of its most violent eruptions, destroyed the five towns surrounding its base on February 1, 1814. This eruption forced the town of Cagsawa to relocate to its present site, Legazpi.
A decree was issued by Governor-General Narciso Claveria in 1846 separating Masbate, Ticao and Burias from Albay to form the comandancia of Masbate. Albay was then divided into four districts: Iraya, Cordillera or Tabaco, Sorsogon and Catanduanes.
Glicerio Delgado, a condemned insurecto (insurgent), started revolutionary activities in the province. With a headquarters in the mountain of Guinobatan town, he joined the revolutionary government of Albay as a lieutenant in the infantry.
A unit of the Philippine Militia was then organized by the Spanish military authorities. Mariano Riosa was appointed major of the Tabaco Zone, which comprised all the towns along the seacoast from Albay to Tiwi, while Anacieto Solano was appointed major for the Iraya Zone, which was made up of the towns from Daraga to Libon. Each town was organized into sections of fifty men under the command of a lieutenant.
During the Philippine Revolution on September 22, 1898, the provisional revolutionary government of Albay was formed with Anacieto Solano as provisional president. Major General Vito Belarmino, the appointed military commander, reorganized the Filipino Army in the province.
Albay has a total land area of 2,554.06 square kilometres (986.13 sq mi), which makes it the 26th smallest province. The province is bordered by the provinces of Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. To the northeast, the province lies along Lagonoy Gulf, which separates it from the province of Catanduanes. To the southwest of the province is Burias Pass with the island of Burias, Masbate located about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) offshore.
Agriculture is the main industry in Albay, which produces crops like coconut, rice, sugar, and abacá. Handicrafts are the major source of rural income and comprises a fairly large share in the small-scale industries of the province. Forestry, cement production and paper-making are other sources of livelihood. The manufacture of abacá products such as Manila hemp, hats, bags, mats, furniture, home decors, and slippers is one of the main sources of income in the rural areas. Production of abaca fiber experienced a boom from the late 1800s until the American period. Fishing is the main livelihood along both shores of the province. Tourism, especially related to Mayon Volcano, also creates income for Albay. For the year 2013, Albay had a total of 339,445 foreign tourist arrivals.