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Legazpi City


Legazpi started as a swampy coastal community called “SAWANGAN” (now Legazpi Port District) whose early inhabitants were mostly fisherfolks and farmers. From 1578 to 1616, the spiritual administrator of the town was under the Franciscan friars of the Doctrine de Cagsawa, which is present day Daraga. Officially, the name Legazpi was given to Sawangan by virtue of a Spanish Royal Decree in 1856 in memory of the conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Sawangan was elevated to visita regular in 1605, and established as an independent town in 1616. The town was made as the capital of the province of partido Ibalon, the name of which was later changed to Albaybay and shortened to Albay.

For two centuries the capital town was occasionally rocky the minor eruption of Mayon Volcano ans the attacks of Muslim pirates and Dutch. On February 1, 1814, the catastrophic eruption of Mayon Volcano buried Cagsaua, Budiao and Camalig and partially destroyed Sawangan.

Fr. Pedro Licup thus urged the residents of Sawangan to move to Makalaya (now Taysan). Several years later, Sawangan was restored and called Binanuahan (Banuang Gurang). It was made a “visita tributaria” of Taytay, and the combined town was named Albay Nuevo (Bagumbayan). The residents of Binanuahan, however, objected to the annexation.

On July 17, 1856, Ramon Montero of the Gobierno Superior de las Islas Filipinas signed a decree which created the visita of Pueblo Viejo, out of Binanuahan, with Lamba, Rawis and Bigaa. In another decree, Montero named the towns as Legazpi which was inaguarated on October 22 of the same year.

The port of Legazpi has served as anchorage of ships sailing to Nueva Espana (Mexico) in the later part of the 16th century. In 1873, it was made a port of entry by a Royal Decreee earlier issued in Madrid on May 18, 1872 and later promulgated by Governor Juan Alamenos y de Vivar on December 3, 1874.
In 1894, the Spanish Minister of Ultramar promulgated a decree creating an ayuntamiento composed of the towns of Legazpi, Albay and Daraga. This was resented by the residents of Daraga.

On September 22, 1898, the Civil Governor of Albay, Angel Bascaran y Federic and the Spanish residents evacuated Albay. Subsequently, a revolutionary junta was organized by Don Anacieto Solano who later turned over the command to General Vicente Lukban, General-in-chief of Operations of the revolutionary government in the southern region.

By January 23, 1900, the American forces arrived in Legazpi and defeated the Sandatabanes led by Generals Vito Belarmino and Jose Ignacio Paua at the battle of San Rafael Bridge.

The American military government reestablished Legazpi, Albay and Daraga as independent towns. In 1908, the Philippine Assembly merged the three towns to create the Municipio de Albay which became the capital of the province. Again bitterly opposed, the Philippine Assembly separated Daraga from the capital town in 1922.

On December 12, 1941, the Kimura Detachment of the Japanese Imperial Forces occupied Legazpi while the Philippine American troops were 150 miles away. The provisional military government of the Japanese was terminated upon the arrival of the American liberation forces on April 1, 1945.

On June 18, 1948, Republic Act No. 36 created the City of Legazpi and again incorporated Daraga as one of its districts, effective upon its proclamation on December 15, 1948. Bitter feelings again prevailed in Daraga, as on June 8, 1945, R.A. No. 993 was passed. The law repealed R.A. No. 306 and created the Municipalities of Legazpi and Daraga.

Finally, on June 12, 1959, Legazpi was again made a city under R.A. 2234. It became the capital of the Province of Albay and its seat of government.


Situated on the eastern portion of Albay approximately 534 kms. South of Manila and centrally located at the heart of Bicol Region.


• Urban Area: composed of 41 barangays with an approximate area of 1,382.55 hectares
• North Area: composed of 13 barangays with an approximate area of 3,772.31 hectares
• Near South Area: composed of 11 barangays with an approximate area of 8,340.95 hectares
• Southeast Area: composed of 5 barangays with an approximate area of 8,066.69 hectares


The city enjoys an average temperature of 27oC, coldest during the month of December and warmest during the month of June at 28oC.


Generally, the Bicol dialect spoken in Legazpi City and Albay District is the common tongue used. They also speak Tagalog fluently, English is not difficult for them to communicate with liberal stature.


• Number of persons– 157,010
• Population Density– 7.39
• Growth Rate (%)- 2.23
• Number of Households– 30,612


• Trade and Commerce (Large-Scale, Medium-Scale and Small-Scale Industry)
• Agriculture (Rice and Coconut)
• Fishing
• Cottage Industry (Handicrafts, Fibecrafts, Bamboo and Rattan Crafts, Wood Crafts, Metal Crafts
• Poultry and Livestock Raising


Air Transport

Philippine Airlines provides regular transport to and from Legazpi City. Sea Air will soon be opening its Legazpi-Cebu and vice-versa route. The Legazpi Airport, equipped with modern facilities, accommodates medium range jet planes and light planes for commercial, military and cargo operations.

Land Transport

Aside from air-condition and regular buses plying Metro Manila to Southern Philippines (Mindanao and the Visayas area), more than eight (8) bus companies have regular Legazpi-Manila and vice-versa route.

Sea Transport

Legazpi Port is classified as a national sub-port of entry with an approach length and width of 329 meters and 12 meters respectively. Commercial vessles regularly dock to load and unload cargos.

Rail Transport

The Philippine National Railway provides a regular trip to and from Manila.

(Distance from Manila: 530 kms.)

By Air

Travel time: 50 minutes

Philippine Airlines (Daily)
Manila-Legazpi ETD 7:30 am ETA 8:25 am
Legazpi-Manila ETD 9:05 am ETA 9:55 am

By Land

Travel time 8-9 hours

Aircon Buses (Daily)

Cagsawa, Philtranco, AM, Isarog, Peñafrancia (Air Condition Buses), Goldline, Superlines and several others departing from Pasay and Cubao regularly ply the Manila-Legazpi-Manila route.

By Sea

Several shipping lines have regular trips from Catanduanes and from the Visayas to the island province of Masbate, then to the port of Pilar which is 40 minutes by land to Legazpi.

Moving Around Legazpi and Nearby Areas

Taxis, jeepneys, motorcycles, motorized tricycles, pedicabs, and private cars for hire.


• Local dailies
• Telephone
• Telegraph
• Facsimile
• Cellular Phones
• Radio Cables
• Television Stations
• Internet Cafes
• Postal Stations
• Courier Services
• Internet Service Providers


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