Quick Facts on Malinao
- LAND AREA: 107.50 square kilometers
- POPULATION: 42,770 (As of 2010)
- NO. OF BARANGAYS: 29
- MAJOR INDUSTRY: Agriculture and Fisheries
The municipality of Malinao was founded in 1600, or 79 years after Magellan landed in Cebu and planted the first Christian Cross.
Between 1600 and 1616, Malinao was then part of the Diocese of Cagsawa (now Daraga). It became an independent bisita or sitio attached to Sawangan (now Legazpi City) until 1619, when separate religious administration was exercised with Rev. Francisco de Sta. Ana, OFM, as first pastor.
Local folklore speaks of a plant once rich in this town called "ALINAO." The prefix "MA," which denotes abundance of something in local dialect, was affixed by the natives in referring to the place abundant with Alinao, thus Ma-alinao and later corrupted to Malinao.
It was, however, in 1916 when, according to legendary account, Malinao got its name. A siege by Moros on town resulted in the abduction of seven women. Miraculously, the boat sank within the jurisdictional waters of Malinao and on that same spot in the sea across the island of natunawan because of the women's fervent prayer in canticles and "tarahades" or clear thoughts for the Blessed Virgin to sink the boat. From these "clear thoughts" of the seven women translated in Bicol dialect as "malinao na isip." The name of Malinao was given to the Municipality. It has since then the tradition among the residents particularly the women, to sing the canticles or tarahades in times of crisis or calamities or when they want to drive away epidemics and misfortunes.