Quick Facts on Bacacay
- LAND AREA: 122.13 km2 (47.15 sq mi)
- POPULATION: 65,724 (As of 2010)
- NO. OF BARANGAYS: 58
- MAJOR INDUSTRY: Agriculture
Bacacay, Albay, Philippines is located in the eastern slope of the famous Mt. Mayon with a total area of 113.6 square kilometers or 11,360 hectares and comprising of 56 barangays. It is primarily an agricultural community and abundant in seafood. The town is composed of islands, shining seas, vast mainland possessed with evergreen and pollution-free surroundings and rich in mineral resources. The town is accessible by a first class road, which branches out eastward for a distance of 5 kilometers from Tabaco and Albay highway either at Bgy. San Jose, Malilipot or at Bgy. Bonga, Bacacay.
Legend has it that the name of the town was derived from “BAGACAY” a bamboo specie. It was said that the plant, “Bagacay” thrived luxuriantly in the place where Bacacay is right now. When a group of Spanish conquistadores arrived to survey the land, the leader inquired the natives as to what the name of the place is. The natives thought that they were asking about the plant, as such they replied, “Bagacay”. Thus, the Spaniards started to call the area, “Bagacay” after hearing the reply of the natives, and over time it became “Bacacay”.
Bacacay was found in 1649 as a barrio of Tabaco. By 1660, the barrio became independent and developed into a town or poblacion. It occupies the rolling terrain of the eastern slope of Mt. Mayon, descending to the low lands facing the open sea, Pacific Ocean. Under the watchful eyes and guidance of the beautiful St. Rose of Lima and the Lady of the Abandoned, the parish came into its spiritual being.
The poblacion was once a small settlement of Negrito farmers and fishermen, clustered along the coast of what is now only a small sitio in the Barrio of Pili that still retains the name, Bacacay. The increasing number of inhabitants spread out inland in search for more land till they reached the plains of San Pedro, which eventually became the first seat of Bacacay. Traces of old ruins are still alive to testify to the glory of San Pedro as the town seat. Descendants of the old negrito population may still be seen in Magsagisim, a sitio in the barrio of Manaet and in the barrio of San Pablo.
329 years passed before civil and political structures were introduced in the town. It was 1807 when the town gained a town captain, Don Justo del Rosario. The last town captain of Bacacay was Mariano Penaloza who served from 1895 to 1898.
In 1898, the town captain post was abolished in favor of the municipal president. Emigdio Matias was the first municipal president. He served from 1898 to 1900. The last municipal resident, who served from 1932 to 1937 was Juan B. Villar. The first recorded municipal mayor was Eulogio V. Lawenko. He served as Mayor from 1938 to 1945. Presently, the municipal mayor is Tobias B. Betito.