Camarines Sur


No. of Towns: 35
Land Area: 5,267 sq. km.
Telephone Area Code: 054

Camarines Sur, 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.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Philippines.


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