The Early Formation of Legazpi City
Legazpi City was named after Miguel Lopez de Legazpi a Spanish conquistador who conquered the island in the year 1565. The family name Legazpi came from a town in Guipizcoa, Spain. The city started as a small settlement known as Banuang-gurang or Binanuahan and a spread small huts that were made of nipa or rattan. This was considered the old town. On the other hand, Sawangan bordered by Sabang and was built in mangrove swamps was transformed into a small town called Albay.
Legazpi became a city because of Becerra Law where the municipalities of Legazpi, Daraga and Albay Nuevo were constituted into Ayuntamiento de Albay. When the Ayuntamiento was occupied by the Americans in the year of 1940, the city was dissolved. By virtue of the Republic Act No. 306, Daraga and Legazpi were united to comprise its region and that's why Legazpi became a city for a second time in 1948 and sadly was dissolved again on June 8, 1954 because of the re-creation of the 2 municipalities. Finally, Legazpi became a city for a third time on June 12, 1959 under R.A 2234 and amendments were established under R.A. 5525. Daraga was only declared a territorial boundary of the city by virtue of P.D. 125 issued in 1973.
Legazpi City's culture and traditions
Legazpi preserved its culture and tradition through the annual celebration of the Ibalong Festival, one of the popular and famous non-religious festivals in the Bicol region. This festival was celebrated every October which lead many tourists to this enticing city. It also coincides with the Octoberfest that is being celebrated worldwide, thus as if you are one with the world even when you are in Legasi City. The street parade portrayed by Bicolanos wearing magnificent masks and costumes to imitate the history of Bicol's heroes Baltong,
Handyong and Bantog is the most anticipated event during this month long festival. The festival also showcases the Legaspenos works, traditions and most of all hospitality to all especially the visitors and tourists. In addition, another festival in Bicol is also being held in Legaspi city yearly: the Magayon Festival. This festival is always participated by all towns in Albay and it also showcases the colorful culture and tradition of the people through the colorful and wonderful street parade. Magayon festival coincides with the summer month of May, thus nightlife during this time are exceptional. There are different entertainments performing in the plaza where you can enjoy while drinking your beers and other favorite beverages.
Legaspi city's pride
Moreover, Legazpi City was also as one of the major tourist destinations in Bicol Region because of the Mayon Volcano. This volcano is always visited by many travelers and tourists because of its display of a perfect cone shape which made it different and unique from other volcanoes around the world. There are also many places in Legazpi City that you can visit and see like:
* The Liberty Bell - Made from bronze material and was installed by the American Liberation in 1945 can be found in the Penaranda Park at the front of the Provincial Capitol building.
* Potpot Tunnel - Known to be a Japanese tunnel, it measured 7 feet deep and 40 meters long and served as an arsenal during World War II.
* Magayon Art Gallery - Located inside the Provincial Capitol building, showcases many paintings created a by well known artists in the Philippines. You can also find here antiques artifacts dated way back the Spanish era.
* Legazpi City Museum - The only the public museum in Legazpi City that showcased important materials about the Legazpi heritage and culture.
* Bicol Heritage Park - Located inside the PNP headquarters, Camp General Simeon Ola. Another pride of all Albayanos.
* Lignon Hill - This is one of the nice and best places to go if you like to get a good view of the Mayon Volcano. It is located near in Albay Park and Wildlife and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) which keeps track of Mayon's activities.
* The Sleeping Lion or the Kapuntukan Hill - The place was great to be to see the Albay Gulf and whole of Legazpi Port District.
* Embarcadero - the latest development in the city gives Legazpi City a new waterfront development. It is foreseen to be one of the tourist destinations in the coming years. Embarcadero is planned to contain business offices, restaurants, markets as well as a spa and hotel in the future.
* Regional Government Offices - Major regional government offices and facilities like DOST, RTC and the NTC are located in a compound in Rawis, Legazpi City.
* Pacific Mall - is considered one of the major malls in the Bicol region.
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