is one of the 16regionsof thePhilippinesoccupying theBicol Peninsulaat the southeastern end of Luzonisland and some other islands.It consists of sixprovinces, namely,Albay,Camarines Norte,Camarines Sur,Catanduanes,Masbate, andSorsogon. It has oneindependent charteredcity,Naga City, and six componentcities,Iriga City,Legazpi City,Ligao City,Masbate City,Sorsogon City, andTabaco City. The regional centers areLegazpi City, the region'spolitical Center, andNaga City, the region's most progressive cityand it's commercial, educational,financial, religious, and culturalcenter.Inhabitants, called “Bicolanos,” speak any one of severaldialects, including Bikol Rinconada (Iriga-Buhi area), Bikol Albay(Albay Province), Bikol Sorsogon (Sorsogon), Bikol Catanduanes andBikol Partido (municipalities surrounding Lagonoy Gulf). StandardBikol is Bikol Naga, and it is generally understood by other Bikolspeakers.The Bicol region is often seen as the epicenter of thecountercultureandliberal politicsin the Philippines. As many of itsinhabitants seem to oppose manyright-winggovernments andideology in which they blame forcorruption. The region has apolitical reputation of voting always for the opposition. It is alsowidely seen as a stronghold for theNational Democratic Front.Albay's archaeology shows concrete evidence of trade withChina and Malaya/Indonesia going back two thousand years. Thefirst Spanish contact was in 1565, when a treasure-galleon returningto Cebu from Acapulco, Mexico, was swept off course and thecaptain recorded his awe at the sight of Mt. Mayon erupting. Mt.Mayon is the most prominent of the several volcanoes in theprovince, and one of the most famous jewels of the Pacific Ring of Fire; its eruptions have repeatedly inflicted disaster on the province,and enriched the survivors. When at peace, it is a particularlybeautiful mountain. Albay has a large amount of rich flat land, and
agriculture is the largest component of the provincial economy.Coconuts, rice, abaca, and maize are the chief crops. Handicraftsbolster rural incomes. Commercial fishing is also important, and theprovince has several thousand manufacturing enterprises. There areplenty of places to visit, offering opportunities to swim at beautifulbeaches, scuba-dive to wrecked galleons, explore caves, climbvolcanoes, admire waterfalls, lush vegetation, Baroque architecture,etc. Gold-mining and jewelry manufacture continue to distinguishthe province. Agriculture and fishing are major factors in theprovince's economy, and several handicrafts and small-scaleindustries are widely practiced. Tourism is insignificant, though Daethas become a destination for surfers.Bicol is composed of sixprovincesand 7cities.