Across the middle of Bicolandia is Camarines Sur. Only 9 hours either by train or bus and an hour flight by plane, landing at Pili Airport.
The province is dominated by rich and fertile ricelands. Historically, it is the seat of the Roman Catholic religion during the Spanish period. Today, it remains the pilgrimage center made prominent by the Peñafrancia Festival held every September in honor of the region's patronees, Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
The focus of the celebration is at Naga City, a trobbing commercial center, called the heart of Bicol where most of the the major Catholic churches were erected. The image of Virgin Mary is housed at Basilica Minore, a palatial structure replicating the Gothic architecture.
Thousands of devotees, pilgrims and visitors flock to this catheral and along the river edges to witness Our Lady's Fluvial Procession, the highlight of the festival, carries on a well decorated flotilla.
Camarines Sur is famous for the world's smallest fish, locally known as tabios (scientific name Mistichttys) abundantly found in the serene waters of the scenic lake Buhi. The other lake, Bato, is noted for its tilapia, (scientific name Tilapia Nituka) production.
Iriga City is known for the famous Tinagba Festival- a harvest offering held every February 11.
Orginally, Camarines was one political unit but in 1829, the province was divided into two, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. In 1854, the two provinces were again united to form the province were again united to from the province of Ambos Camarines . However, in 1857, they were again separated until 1893. But on March 10, 1917 , the province was divided into Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.
Naga City , the former capital, was founded in 1573 as Nueva Caceres, after Caceres in Spain
Among the great sons of Camarines Sur are Bishop Jorge Barlin, the first Filipino Catholic bishop, revolutionary leaders Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo, and the 15 Bicol Martyrs, led by Manel and Domingo abella, who died fighting against Spanish rule.
The population is a conglomeration of Bicolanos, Visayans and Ilocanos. The dominant dialect is Bicolano. Migrant dialects have also been brought in..
Cultural communities belgonging to the Agta-Tabangnon and Cimaron tribes can be found on the eastern part of the province.
Commerce and Industry
Camarines sur is basically agricultural. The major crops are cocnut, rice, abaca, banana, rootcrops and vegetables.
Mining is growing industry. There are deposits of gold, silver, chromite, copper and other metals in the eastern side. The province also has rich fishing grounds.
Cottage industries include bamboocraft in Nabua, embroidery in Baao and fibercraft in the other towns.
How to get there...
Bicol is served by three airlines: Philippine Airlines(PAL), the nation's flag carrier, Air Philippines and Asian Spirit. PAL flies to Legaspi City only; Air Philippines serves Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate; and Asian Spirit flies to Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Masbate.
By Land Major bus companies offering accomodation ply the Manila to Bicol-Visayas-Mindanao route, passing through picturesque roads via the Pan-Philippine Highway. Terminals are located at Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Pedro Gil St., Manila and EDSA, Pasay City. Bicol is also served by the Philippine National Railway, the only railway in the country, plying daily from Manila up to Legaspi City,Albay.
By Sea Shipping lines offer regular trips to the region's major port of entry from Manila to the island-province of Masbate and to the province..