|Region||Bicol Region (Region V)|
|Mayor||Noel E. Rosal (Lakas-CMD)|
|Area|| 204.20 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 157,010|
The City of Legazpi (Bikol: Ciudad nin Legazpi; Filipino: Lungsod ng Legazpi) is a first class city in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is the capital city of Albay, and the political center of Bicol Region.
Positioned in the geographical center of the peninsula and between the two island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate, Legazpi City is the southernmost terminus of the Philippine National Railways Main Line South. It also services sea-going vessels through its port.
According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 157,010 people in 30,612 households. The city is the ecclesiastical seat of the Diocese of Legazpi, and almost all practice the Roman Catholic religion.
Legazpi was founded by the ancient settlers of the old barangay of Sawangan in the domain of Gat Ibal, a chief who ruled Albay. Spread in small groups of huts made of nipa and rattan, the small settlement occupied a conscription of low and swampy land known as Banuang-gurang or Binanuahan, which means old town or place in which a town was built. The indigenous name Sawangan was a corruption of Sabang, signifying natural wharf formed by the waters of the sea.
The Ibalong Festival is among the renowned non-religious festivals in Bicol. It began in the early 1990s and is held every October to coincide with Legazpi Port District fiesta. Unfortunately, the Ibalong Festival is no longer celebrated mainly due to its cost. Legazpi is also home to the annual Magayon Festival of Albay which is held throughout the month of May.
Up until 2006, Legazpi City was the top tourist destination in Bicol as it lies just 15 kilometers southeast of Mayon Volcano, one of the Philippines' famous volcanoes. It is also a convenient jump-off point to other tourist destinations in the region through Legazpi Airport which accommodates Airbus A320, Boeing 737-400, and Boeing 727.
Other places to go to and sights to visit include:
- The Albay Park and Wildlife - This is a picnic grove and a park combined. It also serves as the home to 347 animals of 75 species.
- Liberty Bell - Installed in 1945 by the American liberation forces. It is made from bronze.
- Japanese Tunnel - Used as an arsenal during the second World War, it measures 40 meters long and around 7 feet deep.
- Magayon Art Gallery - Found at the lobby of the Albay Provincial Capitol and serves as the avenue for artists to show off their visual creations.
- Legazpi City Museum - Showcases the heritage and culture of the city. Also found here are collection of old photographs, religious items, pottery and other cultural objects donated by the city locals.
- Bicol Heritage Park - Located inside the Camp General Simeon Ola Headquarters. This is where you can find the statue of General Simeon A. Ola.
- Lignon Hill (also spelled as Liñon Hill) - Located behind Albay Park and Wildlife. PHIVOLCS is situated into this hill.
- Kapuntukan Hill (also known as the Sleeping Lion Hill) – This is the place to visit if you wish to have a view of the Legazpi Port District .
- regional government offices in Rawis - DepEd (Depatment of Education), DOT (Department of Tourism), RTC (Regional Trial Court), DAR (Department of Agrarian and Reform), DOST (Department of Science and Technology), and LTO (Land Transportation Office).
Legazpi Airport, with a runway of 2,280 meters, is capable of handling huge aircraft. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines (CEB) flies daily to and from Manila. CEB utilizes Airbus 319, while PAL uses Boeing 737. Air Philippines has three-flights weekly (Tue, Thu, and Sat).
Currently the largest mall in Bicol, Pacific Mall Legazpi serves as the centerpiece of Landco Business Park Legazpi. Recently, Pacific Mall has expanded its floor area to accommodate more tenants. Headquartered in nearby Tabaco City, and with its LCC Central Mall in Naga City, Liberty Commercial Center (LCC) Legazpi remains as Legazpi's original mall. Modernistic Bichara Silverscreen and Entertainment Center is a multi-story haven of shops, bistros, and cinemas.
The city hall and several provincial offices are located in what promises to be another progressive new downtown area known as Albay District (also Old Albay or simply Albay as this place was originally the capital town of Albay Province before it was merged with Legazpi) which has bistros that remain open till late at night although 24/7 shops are practically non-existent in the city. Legaspi has its share of popular fastfood restaurants such as Jollibee, McDonald's, Chowking restaurants, and Greenwich.
Legazpi City is connected nationwide and the rest of the world through up-to-date communication facilities. It has two cable TV operators, DCTV (Digital Cable Television) and ESTV, and cellular and landline phone operators, Digitel/Sun Cellular, Globe Telecom, Smart/PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication); and local MATELCO (Mayon Telephone Company), offering mobilephone, fax, data, and DSL Internet services.
A number of AM, FM, and TV stations including Manila Broadcasting Company's 99.5 LOVE RADIO, GMA (TV 12 and Campus Radio), ABC through its affiliate station TV 6 (ABC/PBN), and ABS-CBN TV 4 and M.O.R. FM broadcast local, national, and international news and shows. GMA TV 12 (10 kW), ABS-CBN TV 4 (10 kW), and MOR FM (5 kW) set up their transmission towers on top of Mt. Bariw, virtually expanding their broadcast reach not only provincewide, but into Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, and as far as Northern Samar.
Legazpi City has two air-conditioned arenas, including Albay Astrodome. These arenas served as venues of PBA games in the past.
A magnet of students, the city hosts two universities: Catholic Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL) --- sister school of University of Santo Tomas in Manila --- and state-run Bicol University (BU). Manila-based educational/training centers have also established branches: AMA Computer University is currently constructing its building along busy Rizal Street, while STI College is just a stone's throw away. The first school of medicine in Bicolandia is AMEC-BCCM in Albay District. Singapore-based Informatics is located at the second floor of GTS Building, Rizal Street.
US Auto Parts, one of the largest online retailers of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories in the U.S., has established its development arm, MBS Tek Corporation, in the city. MBS Tek provides back office support including software development, content development, Internet marketing, research and and customer care services. New York-based Innodata tapped the city's young population and put up a data conversion center that operates three shifts.
The city also boasts of a modern eye center, Legaspi Eye Center (LEC) which serves as a referral center for ophthalmologic care. The center has board certified ophthalmologists with subspecialty training in various fields. LEC is reportedly comparable to major eye centers in Metro Manila in terms of services, expertise, and equipment. Another hospital, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, is reportedly now capable of conducting open-heart surgery.
The second most important financial center in Bicol next to Naga City, Legazpi City has more or less 40 bank branches that offer traditional bank products and services such as deposits, loans, and automated tellering machines (ATM).
Legaspi has hosted important events in the past such as Miss Asia-Pacific pageant in 2001. In 2002, it hosted an international convention of the Free Masons. In 2003, about 4,000 members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) conducted their 57th annual national convention in the city.
Legazpi City is politically subdivided into 70 barangays.
Saint Raphael Church
- Radio Philippines Network: Channel 2
- ABS-CBN: Channel 4
- PBN Bicol: Channel 6
- National Broadcasting Network: Channel 8
- GMA Network: Channel 12
- Southern Broadcasting Network: Channel 21
- Quality TeleVision: Channel 27
- ACQ-Kingdom Broadcasting Network: Channel 35
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2000 Philippine Census Information
- Legazpi City Wikimap
- pictures of Legazpi City
- Bicol University, Legazpi City
- Aquinas University of Legazpi (Sister school of University of Sto Tomas)
- Divine Word College of Legazpi
- SL Technological College Foundation Inc.
- globalpinoy (accessed on September 17,2007)
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