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Welcome to My City of Legazpi

Welcome to My City of Legazpi

Mayon Volcano eruption in 1992

This is the History of my City of Legazpi and how it was Called Legazpi City?...Where the origin of my City came from? Let's pause for a little and know where it is originated and what it tells all about my beautiful City of Legazpi and the glimmering Mayon Volcano.

Myth of Mayon Volcano

Mount Mayon, which in tagalog means “ beautiful lady”, is found in the city of Legazpi on the island of Luzon. Towering above the surrounding landscape, the gigantic cone-like symmetric volcano emits cigar-like puffs of steam, which settles about the peak like the rings of Saturn at a height of more than a mile. The serene Lady Mayon is not only beautiful but dangerous: she is the most active volcano in the Philippines, having had 43 eruptions since the year 1615. The most violent eruption occurred in 1814 when three nearby villages were devastated. In the village of Cagsawa the people fled to the church in hope of reaching safety; but in vain, for it, too, was swiftly covered by ashes that combined with rain turned to heavy mud and brought the roof down. A part of the church spire is still visible, a fitting gravestone to the unfortunate ones who lie buried there. At a distance the Mayon Volcano is indeed charming, and because of its exceptional symmetry, probably the most "perfect" volcano in the world. But you may wish to approach the Mayon volcano in another manner, by taking a tropical constitutional in climbing to her summit. This is, assuredly, an unforgettable adventure. The climbing is not difficult but one should be in good physical condition. If the weather is favourable the climb can be made in two days (including the descent) with a nightly rest at nearly a mile's height. Your escort may be either Mr. Dee, or one of his assistants. Mr. Dee, himself, is more than 60 years old, truly a climber in the marathon class in spite of his age. He is so used to climbing the Mayon that he can easily exceed in performance many younger persons of good physical condition. Indeed, he claims that all his climbing up and down the Mayon also augmented his vitality in fathering nine children. Besides working as a guide for adventure -hungry tourists, he is active in the rescue service, which assists in times of volcanic eruption. Mr. Dee is very well informed about volcanoes, in particular, the Mayon. Of additional interest in the area are several caves for those interested in cave exploring.


Best Picture of Mayon Volcano Eruption in 2000
Photos Of Mayon

The City Called Legazpi

Legazpi City - to perpetuate the name of DON MIGUEL LOPEZ DE LEGAZPI, conquistador and first Spanish governor General in the Philippines.

When the Spaniards arrived in what is now known as Legaspi Port they found a small settlement of fishermen and farmers called Sawangan, corrupted to Sabang. It's site was the low swampy tide lands along the margin of the Macabolo River. It was located at the northwerst part of Legazpi.

In 1587, the Fraciscan friears of the Doctrine de Cagsawa began to convert this settlement to Chrsitianity and in 1616, they transferred it into separate town parish called Albay. Fr. Francisco de Sta. Ana was designed as its first ministro. He built a church made of bamboo and nipa. In 1636, under the advocacy of Fr. Martin del Espiritu Santo, a church made of stone and abode was constructed. In 1649, the town had already 300 tributes entered. For two centuries this town has been prosperous and progressive until it eventually became the capital or cabecera of the province. But it 1814, it was ravaged by a calamity. The eruption of Mayon Volcano which ruined the whole town and decided to transfer to Macalaya. Contrary to the degree of the Superior Gobierno dated October 5, 1892, disapproving said transfer and prohibiting the foundation of another town, the parish preist, Fr. Pedro Licup, moved the town to a sitio called, Taytay, then called Bagumbayan, and constructed a church therein. Hence Taytay became the capital or cabecera.

While there was no barrier against the on-slaught of nature, against the will of man, there was. thus after the town and patron saint was transferred bilitated their farms. They started from the scratch by beginning anew as barrio. They adopted St. Rafael the Archangel as their patron saint in liue of the former, St. Gregory the Great, which had been taken away from them. They transformed the small "ermita" into a church. In 1856, they obtained and regained their autonomy and called their place Binanwahan, which meant the former site of a town, much in the same way that in the district of Albay, there was Bagumbayan which meant a new town.

In September 22, 1856, Vice-Governor Paterno Real decreed that the name of the new town should be Legazpi and it was officially inaugurated as an independent town. Thus, the old town regained its autonomy and because of the rapid progress and prosperity it attained, Legazpi was declared by virtue of the Royal Cedula dated in Madrid, May 18, 1872 and published by the Gobierno Superior de Filipinas, December 22, 1873, opened to world trade and exported to Boston 214 thousand piculs of abaca ever produced and exported as revealed by the Bulletin of the Ministro de Fometo. Madrid, 1874.

Under the Becera Law of 1892, Legazpi was declared a city which constituted the municipalities of Legazpi, Albay and Daraga. It was known as the Ayuntamiento de Albay. In 1908, a law was enacted combining the towns of Daraga and Albay into what was called "Municipio de Albay", which concurrently became the capital of Albay.

Legazpi became a city for the second time on December 15, 1948. Daraga, Legazpi including Albay were again combined to constitute the territory defined by Republic Act 306.

On June 8, 1954, Legazpi comprising three districts ceased to be a city. Instead two municipalities were created: the municipality of Daraga and it was composed of Albay Distric and Legazpi Port District. Separate set of officials were appointed by the President of the Philippines. On June 12, 1959 another charter of Legazpi was approved and Legazpi became a city for the third time. This time the municipality of Daraga was no longer included in the territorial limits of Legazpi city.

Until lately, it was difficult to distinguish the two districts which the city is divided into the district of Albay is the set of the Cathedral and both the city and provincial governments while Leagzpi Port District is the port area and commercial center of Legazpi City. Old Albay or Pueblo Viejo refered to Legazpi Port District while Pueblo Nuevo refered to the district of Albay.

Albay Province, a group of 17 municipalities and the chartered city-Legazpi is 556 km. south of Manila. It has a total land of 20,420.40 hectares or 204,204 square lometers, representing about 8 percent of the total land area of the Province of Albay. It is composed of 70 barangays, 41 of which are urban and 29 rural. It's where the most beautiful volcano comes into full view in majestic splendor - Mayon Volcano, famous for its perfect natural cone.

Lying at the southern tip of Luzon, Albay is strategically the growth center of business and trade activities, mobility and travel to and from Luzon mainland in the north and Visayas and Mindanao in the south; and to the other provinces of Bicol region. Aptly, it deserve to be named Gateway to Bicol.

Albay abounds with home-grown industries ranging from small to large of various types. Bounded by the wide Pacific Ocean on the east, the serence Burias Pass on the west, the Lagonoy Gulf on the northwest and Sorsogon province in the south, it offers a variety of agricultural crops, nurtured by a pronounced maximum rainful throughtout the yeat and fertile slopes and plains.

Legapi City is the capital of the Province of Albay. It is like wise, the Administrative Center for Bicol Region. Legazpi offers high tech and modern communications facilities throughout the regions and to the world.

The volcano stands 2500 metres high and is famed for its almost perfectly symmetrical cone shape. The name Mayon is a derivation of the Bicol word 'magayon' which means beautiful. Beauty can also become dangerously active. Mayon is said to erupt about every 10 years - the last eruptions were in 1978 and 1984 when a series of eruptions shook towns and villages nearby and 70,000 people had to be evacuated. The most violent eruption of Mayon took place in 1814 and destroyed three towns and burried the Cagsawa Church.


1. Origin of Name

Historically, the place was named Legazpi, to perpetuate to the memory of Adelantado Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This was the agreement made between the original inhabitants of the place and the Spaniards during the former’s quest for autonomy. It took them 21 years, in which they sought the help and support of the Spaniards, then living in the town. As a sign of gratitude, the people readily accepted the name, which was also then proposed by the Spaniards upon fulfillment of their efforts.

On September 22, 1856, through a Royal Decree, the name Legazpi was officially adopted to include the visitas of Lamba, Rawis and Bigaa, and declaring it an independent town. It was formally inaugurated on October 23, 1856.

2. Foundation

It began as a barangay called Sawangan (now Legazpi Port) whose inhabitants were mostly fishermen and farmers. In 1587, Franciscan friars of the Doctrina of Cagsawa began to convert the settlement to Christianity and in 1616 they transformed it into a separate town and parish called Albay. Its first parish priest built a small chapel and established the “Mission de San Gregorio Magno de Sawangan.”

The progress of two centuries was razed to the ground in the eruption of Mayon Volcano on February 1, 1814. The people was evacuated to Makalaya (now Taysan) and on the decree of the Gobierno Superior on October 1, 1829, prohibiting the founding of another town they finally settled in Taytay (Bagumbayan). In 1818, Sawangan, then already known as the town of Albay, was separated from Cagsawa and was made the capital of Partido de Ibalon (the old name of Albay Province).

Some of the people, however, remained in the old town and began anew as a barrio. In lieu of their former patron saint, St. Gregory the Great, which had also been transferred to Albay, they adopted St. Raphael, the Archangel and transformed the ermita into a church. They finally regained their old status but never changed the name of the place as Albay Viejo or Banwang Daan. Even after their autonomy in 1856, they called it “Binanuahan”, meaning the former sit of a town.

Now autonomous, and with a fast paced progress and prosperity, Legazpi was declared a Royal Cedula in May 18, 1872, open to world trade. Legazpi first became a city under the Becerra Law of 1892, which constituted the municipalities of Legazpi, Albay Nuevo and Daraga, into the Ayutamiento de Albay. With the American occupation in 1900, the city was dissolved. Upon restoration of peace, the three towns were re-established and in 1908 became the Municipality of Albay, the provincial capital. In 1922, the town of Daraga was separated from the capital, realizing the merger was doing more harm than good to their interests. Legazpi became a city for the second time on July 18, 1948 when Daraga and Legazpi were combined again to constitute its territory, under Republic Act No. 306. With the re-creation of the two municipalities, the city was dissolved in June 8, 1954. Finally, on June 12, 1959, Legazpi became a city once more under Republic Act No. 2234. This was later amended by Republic Act No. 5525.

On February 27, 1973, the City of Legazpi was declared under Presidential Decree No. 125, to comprise its present territorial jurisdiction and the adjacent Municipality of Daraga. With the onset of the Integrated Reorganization Plan however, the decree was permanently mothballed. This plan also made the city as the regional administrative center of the Bicol Region (Presidential Decree No. 1).

Year Significant Events

1587 Franciscan Friars began conversion of Sawangan to Christianity. 1616 Franciscan Friars transferred the settlement into a separate "pueblo" called "Albay". The first Parish Priest built a small chapel and established the "Mision de San Gregorio Magno de Sawangan". Feb. 1, 1814 Eruption of Mayon Volcano destroyed half of the village. The people evacuated to Macalaya (now Barangay Taysan). 1818 Sawangan then known as the town of Albay was separated from Cagsawa and made the capital of "Partido de Ibalon" (the old name of Albay Province). Oct. 1, 1829 The "Govierno Superior" issued a decree prohibiting the founding of another town. The people formally settled in Taytay (now Bagumbayan), Albay district. 1834 St. Raphael de Archangel Church in Legazpi Port District was built through the generosity of Pedro Romero. Sept. 22, 1856 The name "Legazpi" was given the ancient village of Sawangan by Royal Decree. Oct. 23, 1856 Inaugurated Legazpi as independent town constituting the visitas of Lamba, Rawis, Bigaa. May 18, 1872 Legazpi was opened to world trade by Royal Cedula. 1892 Legazpi first became a city under the Becerra Law, constituting the municipalities of Legazpi (Legazpi Port), Albay Nuevo (Albay District), and Daraga into "Ayuntamiento de Albay". 1898 First set of officials took office. 1900 American occupation dissolved the AYUNTAMIENTO. 1908 Legazpi Port together with Albay District and Daraga became one "Municipality of Albay", the Provincial Capital. July 12, 1912 Academia de Sta. Ines (St. Agnes Academy) was founded by the Missionary Benedictine Sisters. 1922 The town of Daraga was separated from the Capital. July 18, 1948 Legazpi became a city for the second time. Daraga and Legazpi were recombined to constitute its territory under Republic Act No. 306. June 8, 1954 The city was dissolved for the third time with the re-creation of Legazpi and Daraga into municipalities. June 12, 1959 Legazpi became a city for the third time with a new charter under Republic Act No. 2234. Feb. 05, 1973 PD No. 125 issued by then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, declared Legazpi City anew to include the Municipality of Daraga. Under the decree Legazpi is to be divided into 3 districts: Daraga, Albay district and Legazpi Port District. PD 125 is held in abeyance with full implementation of the integrated Reorganization Plan which also involves restructuring of local governments. PD No. 1 - Legazpi City declared as Regional Administrative Center for the Bicol Region. Aug. 10, 1988 Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Department Order No. 81 created the Task Force on Bicol Regional Industrial Center. Important Dates January 23 - Battle of Legazpi

September 2-3 - Albay district fiesta (St. Gregory, the Great)

October 23-24 - Legazpi Port District Fiesta (St. Raphael, Archangel)

SP Res. # 32-94, House Res.#54-94, RDC Res. # 13-93 - Resolutions of the SP; SPanlalawigan RDC identifying 54 hectares in Homapon as site for the Bicol Regional Agri-Industrial Center (BRAIC)


The City of Legazpi is located at the midsection of the eastern portion of the Province of Albay as well as the Bicol Region, as a whole. It is about 556 kilometer south of Manila, seat of the National Government. It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Sto. Domingo; on the east by the Albay Gulf and the Municipality of Manito, Albay; on the west by the Municipalitiy of Daraga, Albay; and on the south by the Municipalities of Pilar and Castilla, Sorsogon.

The topography is generally plain at the central and northeastern side with slopes ranging from 5 to about 15 degrees. The southern part is ntly rolling to hilly. Coastal areas vary from plain (northern portion) and hilly terrain (southern portion).

Legazpi City is the capital of the Province of Albay. It is likewise, the Administrative Center for Bicol Region. It has a total land area of 20,420.40 hectares or 204.204 square kilometers, representing about 8 percent of the total land area of the Province of Albay. It is composed 70 barangays, 41 of which are urban and 29 rural.

Settlement areas in the City are dispersed. Population concentration, however, is noticeable within the Urban area. Rural barangays within the North, South and Southeast areas lie relatively close to each other. The north area barangays, numbering 11, however, are separated from the south and southeast area barangays by the urban area. Separated they may be, but the City is proud to say that all these barangays are connected to the City Proper by the existing City road network.

City population as of 1995 NSO count was 141,657 where 53% are in the urban area and the rest (47%) are scattered in the rural areas. Females outnumbered the males by a ratio of 1.005:1.

The City has a ential labor force of 79,894 in 1995. About 45,460 or 57% are economically active persons, and only about 28% of this are engaged in primary industries such as agriculture and fishing. Employment rate is at 91% with underemployment at .43%. Majority of these workers, though, belong to the wages and salary workers category.

Although the City’s economy is basically agriculture, local production on crops, livestock and poultry cannot meet the present demand. For this reason, the City continues to import these produce from neighboring municipalities.

To further boost the development of its economy, the City has embarked on industrialization, being the sites of the Bicol Regional Agro-Industrial Center (BRAIC) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and within the Legazpi-Iriga-Naga-Daet (LINDA) growth corridor. This however, is supported by social concerns, more evidently strated by the mass housing project of the City.

The City is endowed with beautiful natural and man-made spots that attract both local and foreign tourists. One of which, is the world famous Mayon Volcano because of its nearly-perfect cone. Another tourism attraction being promoted is the Ibalong Festival, a yearly event depicting the City’s rich historico-cultural heritage, among others.

The City Government of Legazpi is committed to its vision: To stand as a model of progressive community where governance draws strength from an active empowered citizenry and where development is tempered by an unwavering commitment to democracy, social justice, balanced ecology, and welfare of the future generation. And to get closer to this vision, the City has given priority to the Infrastructure, Agro-Industrial and Social areas of concern of development.

Climbing Mayon Volcano

- Adapted from Philippines Department of Tourism Brochure

The Legend of Magayon

Legend attempts to unravel the mystery of the origin of this magnificent chunk of earth. It seems that there once lived a very beautiful native princess who had an uncle named Magayon. He was so possessive of his niece that no man dared to challenge his wrath by courting the favors of the young maiden. One day, however, a brave and virile warrior was so smitten by the princess that he threw all cares to the wind, clambered up through the window of the royal chamber and enticed the to elope with him.

With Magayon at their heels, the couple prayed to the gods for assistance. Suddenly from out of nowhere, a landslide buried the raging uncle alive. Local folks now claim that it is Magayon's anger bursting forth in the form of eruptions.

Scaling Mayon, the Living Mountain

Experience the challenge of traversing different terrains with varying degrees of difficulty: part forest, part talahib grassland, part desert of rocks and boulders. MAYON VOLCANO -- one of the most mountains to climb in the Philippines; beautiful to behold at a distance yet behind the graceful symmetry of its slopes lurk hidden perils. Its rocky borders may be dislodged with a careless foot and turn into a dangerous avalanche.

The safest approach to this 2,421 meter giant of Albay province is from the northwestern slope, which starts at 762 m above sea level on a ledge where the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) research station and the Mayon Resthouse are located. A narrow 8-kilometer paved road links the place to the main highway.

From the Observatory, the trail creeps upwards through a tropical secondary forest, which is replete with a wide variety of flora and fauna. It then cuts across a talahib wilderness and swerves at approximately 1,220 m towards Buang Gully, a ravine formed by ancient molten lava flow. On the gully's floor are depressions containing rainwater.

At slightly above 1,524 m where water becomes scarce, Buang Gully branches out into two canals. The left fork leads to the transition line at 1,921 m where the grassland ends and the rocky slopes begin.

This spot is ideal for a campsite since it is near enough to the summit yet far enough from poisonous fumes which sometimes snakes down the slopes with a sudden shift in wind direction.

After scrambling over rocks and boulders, a cliff system is reached at 2,195 m. A 40-degree ascent on loose volcanic cinder and lava sand follows. And finally--the summit.

Typical Four-Day Schedule


  • 0700 Breakfast at hotel.
  • 0830 Make travel arrangements at hotel or take public bus from Legazpi to Mayon Resthouse.
  • 0930 Arrive at Tabaco. Proceed to Mayon Resthouse.
  • 1000 Make arrangements for accomodations at the resthouse.
  • 1030 Register at PHIVOLCS as a precautionary measure.
  • 1100 Spend the rest of the day picture taking.

    DAY 2

  • 0500 Breakfast. Final check of supplies and equipment.
  • 0600 Jump-off point at PHIVOLCS Station through tropical forest.
  • 0800 Wade through sea of undulating talahib grass with razor-sharp edges.
  • 1200 Arrive at Buang Gully. Gaze at magnificent panorama unfolding before you.
  • 1215 Take left fork of the gully to reach the transition line at 1,921 m.
  • 1315 Reach transition line, pitch camp and have lunch. Afternoon for rest, -taking and preparing for final ascent.

    DAY 3

  • 0600 Breakfast.
  • 0700 Start off on rock scrambling to reach cliffs girdling Mayon.
  • 0900 Scale cliff at 2,210 m and continue to summit over loose cinders and lava.
  • 1100 Reach summit.
  • 1130 Descend to camp.
  • 1300 Lunch at a convenient spot along the way.
  • 1330 Continue towards camp site.
  • 1500 At camp, rest after exhilirating conquest of Mayon.

    DAY 4

  • 0600 Breakfast.
  • 0700 Begin descent through Buang Gully and talahib area.
  • 1000 Re-enter forest portion.
  • 1100 Set foot on PHIVOLCS Station and report arrival.
  • 1200 Lunch at resthouse. Prepare for departure.
  • 1400 Return to Legazpi.

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