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The Franciscan friars, who sat foot
on the Bicol peninsula, saw in the
evangelization. They soon called it
“Iraga”, which means there is land.
Iraga developed in size and wealth.
Soon thereafter, foundation work had
been laid down by proclaiming it as
visita of Nabua. More and more
people from Nabua came to the place
for settlement.
In 1682, with a population of 8,909, I-raga was converted into
Pueblo de la Provincia de Ambos Camarines. Later on, the Spanish
authorities changed the name from I-raga to Iriga and In 1710
Don Bonifacio de los Angeles organized the first four barrios of
Iriga – San Agustin, San Isidro, San Nicolas and San Antonio
In 1901, under the American colonization, the first public
school in Iriga was established, the Iriga Central School. In
1913 the Manila Railroad Company Station and the public market
was established at its present site . With the establishment of
the train station and the public market, Iriga rapidly grew and
became the center of trade and commerce in the Rinconada area.
The American colonial period temporarily ended in 1942 when
World War II broke out. The Japanese Imperial Army established a
garrisoned at Kalbaryo hill overlooking the city proper. Iriga
Central School became a concentration camp; those who could not
be accommodated were brought to the Ateneo de Naga.
Like in many other places, Bicolano guerilla units spring up in
Iriga after the formal American colonialist resistance has
ended. Mt. Iriga became the base of the resistance attracting
recruits not only from Iriga but even as far as Albay. With the
help of the Agtas who were very familiar with the terrain, the
Japanese army could penetrate the interiors of the mountain.
With the end of the Japanese occupation in May 15, 1945, the
Iriga Central was reopened and rehabilitation began. In 1948,
the first college in Iriga City, the Mabini Memorial College was
established by Atty. Felix O. Alfelor. A year later, Atty.
Ortega also established the Saint Anthony College.
The establishment of these centers for higher learning,
including the La Consolacion Academy further spurred the growth
and development of the municipality as it attracts students from
all over the region.
In 1960s, Iriga saw tremendous economic and social progress. On
July 8, 1968, the city was converted into a city through
Republic act 5261. However, it was only on September 3 of the
same year that the City was formally organized and inaugurated
as the third city
Ferdinand Marcos.
Naga City derives its name from the
tough and robust narra trees that
was abundant in the area before the
local Filipino settlers established
a trading village here. The place
was well known for trade and the
community’s advanced weaponry and
technology at the time.
In 1573 Juan de Salcedo led the
Spanish expedition to what we know now as Naga City. Captain
Salcedo and the Spanish troops were quite surprised to find this
flourishing village with such technology of the day. The culture
of the village was quite different and a bit sophisticated and
About two years later, in 1575, a new city was founded in the
said location. Captain Pedro de Chaves of Spain and commander of
the Spanish garrison in Naga named the city as Ciudad de
Caceres. It is presently located on Naga City’s business center.
The name of the city was in honor of the current governor
general who was a native of Caceres City in Spain. It held the
name for quite some time and was even mentioned at the 1595
papal bull.
Life went on and the city and the town that the locals
established became one community. The name Nueva Caceres was
used to identify the now merged community and became a city
under Spanish law and became one of the first few Spanish cities
in the Philippines.
In 1898 Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo led a successful revolt
which resulted in the Spanish forces retreating to Iloilo
Province. This little victory wasn’t meant to last long however.
A couple of years later, American forces invaded Camarines Sur
in 1900 and entered Naga City. The revolutionary soldiers of the
Philippines in the area of Naga City were forced to surrender in
1901 due to sickness among their forces.
In 1941 Naga City was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army. But
the Japanese occupation of Naga City didn’t last long. In 1945
the Japanese forces in Naga City was defeated by the American
troops and the local guerilla fighters. Naga City was officially
declared as a city in 1948.
Naga City today remains as a great place to visit. Naga City has
survived a lot of difficult times and will still remain a bright
monument of the early beginnings of the Philippines.
Legazpi City was named after
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the
conquered the Philippines in
1565. The place was named as
such by the Spaniards as such
to Legazpi was named after
Miguel López de Legazpi, the
islands in 1565, and whose
family name came from Legazpi, a town in Guipuzcoa, Spain.
Historically, the city 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
Legazpi first became a city under the Bercerra Law of 1892. It
constituted the municipalities of Legazpi, Albay Nuevo and
Daraga into the Ayuntamiento de Albay. The first set of
officials – Alcalde, Teniente de Alcalde, Sindico, Secretario,
and Regidores (councilor) – took office in 1898. With the
American occupation in 1940, 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 of Albay. In 1922, the town of Daraga was separated
from the capital. Legazpi became a city for the second time on
July 18, 1948 when Daraga and Legazpi were combined to
constitute its territory under Republic Act No. 306. With the
re-creation of the two municipalities, the city was dissolved
on June 8, 1954.
Finally, on June 12, 1959, Legazpi became a city for the third
time under RA 2234. Amendments were introduced under RA 5525.
Presidential Decree 125 issued on February 23, 1973 declared
the town of Daraga as part of the territorial jurisdiction of
the city. This decree however, was not implemented with the
onset of the Integrated Reorganization Plan, which involved
the restructuring of local governments.