The history of Camarines Sur has been an amalgam of cross-sectoral developments and outside influences. Folklore and scientific researches have it that, thousands of years ago, there was a wandering tribe of Tabon men inhabiting a vast area of verdant, fertile plains and rolling hills. The gentle, cave-dwelling Tabon families who sub-sequently developed a common culture and called themselves Ibalon, and their land of bounty was called Tiera de Ibalon. The name could well refer to the entire Island of Luzon, but later been commonly adopted to refer specifically to the present Kabikolan region. The name Kabikolan was derived from the word biko, meaning bent, crooked or twisted, denoting the place along the Bicol River s meandering course.


         The first recoded account of the discovery of the place by the Spaniards was in 1569 when Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman and Fr. Alfonso Gimenez first explored the Province. In 1571,

the Spanish Conquistador Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, came to the Bicol Region from the North. Two years later, in 1573, Juan de Salcedo leading his troops, penetrated and explored the Peninsula as far as Santiago de Libon in search for spices, gold and other precious stones. Excavators in archaeological sites also have proven that early settlers in the Province bartered with Chinese, Arabs & Indians Traders. Although its culture is predominantly Malay in origin, three centuries of Spanish rule had left its mark in the peoples culture and way of life. Spanish colonizers later subjugated its people and denominated the area into two distinct aggrupations. The southern portion comprising the area south of the present town of Camalig (in Albay), Sorsogon, the islands of Masbate and Catanduanes, and the area, which is now Partido in present day, then called Partido de Ibalon. The northern, upper portion, which included from the present day Camalig town in Albay, and all towns of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, was called Partido de Camarines.


         After years of research initiated by Govenor Luis R. Villafuerte since his first term as Governor in local and national records and even up to the archives in Spain the official foundation date of the Province was finally confirmed to be May 27, 1579. Governor General Francisco Sande issued the Decree, which led t the establishment of a settlement in a place called Camarines where Spanish Colonists were urged to reside.

         In 1829, Parido de Camarines was divided into Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. In 1854, the two provinces were united to form the Province of Ambos Camarines , but again separated in 1857 until 1893. Record showed that the two provinces jointly called Ambos Camarines underwent several fusions, annexations and repartitions and were finally separated into Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte with their present day boundaries by virtue of the Philippine Legislative Act No. 2711 of March 10, 1917.

Naga City, the former capital of Camarines Sur, was founded in 1573 as Nueva Caceres namesake of the Province in Spain and among the original five royal cities of the colony. It was designated as the Province s Capital by virtue of Philippine Legislative Act No. 2711 approved on March 10, 1917 until June 6, 1955, when Pili, the adjoining town was declared the Provincial Capital by virtue of Republic Act 1336 up to the present time.


Bishop Jorge Barlin

the first Filipino Catholic Bishop in
the Philippines, from Baao
Camarines Sur

Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo

Revolutionary Leaders

Manuel, Domingo Abella and The 15 Bicol Martyrs

Bicol Martyrs who died fighting against the Spanish Rule


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