No. of Towns: 35
Land Area: 5,267 sq. km.
Telephone Area Code: 054
dubbed as the rice granary (Sp. caramines) of the south (Sp. sur),
has been taken for granted as a largely agricultural province.
The fertile soil of its planes, however, is but one of this
province’s riches. She is also blessed with breathtaking
sceneries and lush landscapes. The province is home to two
extinct volcanoes, Mts. Isarog and Iriga, which offer prime
opportunities for nature lovers and adventurers alike. In
addition, being partially bounded on three sides by gulfs and
the Pacific Ocean on the north, she boasts of stretches of
pristine beaches like Gota in the Caramoan Peninsula and those
in the Atulayan Islands in Sagnay.
The province of
Camarines Sur actually first came into existence only in 1829.
Prior to the edict, which brought this about, the province was
part of the region Tierra de Ibalon, later named Los Camarines,
which was "discovered" in 1569 by the Spanish expedition led by
Capt. Luis de Guzman and Augustinian Friar Alonso Jimenez. Said
Spanish expedition was merely exploratory, thus, the serious
work of evangelizing the natives became the responsibility of
the Franciscan missionaries whose efforts were capped by the
founding of the Diocese of Caceres in 1595.
The centuries of Spanish occupation in the region was relatively
uneventful. Events worth noting are the establishment of the
devotion to the Virgin of Pe๑afrancia by the Spanish secular
priest Miguel Robles de Cubarrubias in 1710; and the development
of the abaca export industry in 1818 when the Bikol mainland saw
the last of the Muslim raiders who had been looting the area for
over two centuries.
September 17, 1898 saw the end of Spanish rule in Bikol region.
This one-day revolt was staged in Nueva Caceres under the
leadership of Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo. Within a year and a
half, Camarines Sur, then joined with Camarines Norte under the
name Ambos (both) Camarines, was once again made subject of
foreign rule - this time American - despite the resistance led
by Gen. Ludovico Arejola. In this period of forty years, Fr.
Jorge Barlin of Baao served as the first Filipino bishop
(1905-1909); Ambos Camarines was finally divided into Norte and
Sur (1919); agricultural productivity surpassed records under
the Spanish regime; and local culture was enriched with the
establishment of the public school system, the propagation of
the English language, and the thriving of "indigenous and
locally adapted foreign arts, music, literature and sciences."
This progress was cut off shortly by the Japanese invasion from
1941 to 1945 when engagements between guerillas and the invading
army were frequent. Shortly after the liberation of Camarines
Sur from the Japanese, Philippine independence from the
Americans was declared.
Camarines Sur is one of the six provinces comprising the Bicol
Region. She lies in the center of the Bicol Peninsula bounded by
the province of Albay and Ragay Gulf on the south; Camarines
Norte, San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean on the north;
Lagonoy Gulf on the east; and the province of Quezon and Ragay
Gulf on the west.