Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf.
Mayon Volcano is the symbol most associated with the province. This nearly perfectly-shaped active volcano forms a scenic backdrop to the capital city of Legazpi 15 kilometers to the south.
People and culture
Population Based on the August 2007 census, Albay has a total population of 1,190,823, which makes it the 20th most populous province in the country. There are 208,640 households in the province with an average size of 5.22 persons, significantly higher than the national average of 4.99.
Languages Bikol is the primary language spoken in Albay, being a part of the Bicol Region. There are other dialects spoken in the province, however, such as Bicolano Viejo, Daragueño, Legazpeño or Albayanon, Oasnon and others. The dialects spoken in the coastal areas of the province are similar to that spoken in Camarines Sur while those further inland are similar to each other but differs significantly from the coastal dialect. Majority of the inhabitants also understand Tagalog and English.
Long before the Spaniards arrived, Albay had a thriving civilization. This was evident in the archeological finds dating to the middle Pleistocene age between 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. During those times, Albay was called Ibat ruled by Gat Ibal, a very old chief.
In July 1569, Luis Enriquez de Guzman, a member of the expedition led by Maestro de Cam-po Mateo de Saz and Captain Martin de Goiti, led a group who crossed from Burias and Ticao islands and landed on a coastal settlement called Ibalon in what is presently the province of Sorsogon. From this point another expedition was sent to explore the interior and founded the town of Camalig.
In 1573, Juan de Salcedo penetrated the Bicol peninsula from the north as far south as Libon and established the settlement of Santiago de Libon. Jose Maria Peñaranda, a military engineer, was made “coregidor” of the province on May 14, 1834. He constructed public buildings and built roads and bridges.
The entire Bicol peninsula was organized as one province with two divisions, Camarines in the northwest, and Ibalon in the southeast. In 1636, the two partidos were separated, and Ibalon became a separate province with Sorsogon as capital. In the 17th century the Moro slave raiders ravaged the coastal areas of the province of Albay on the northeastern coast.
Mayon Volcano, in one of the most violent eruptions, destroyed five towns surrounding its base in 1814. This eruption forced the town of Cagsawa to relocate its present site to Legazpi.
A decree was issued by Governor and Captain General Narciso de Claveria in 1846 separating Masbate, Ticao and Burias from Albay to form the comandancia of Masbate. Albay was then divided into four districts: Iraya, Cordillera or Tabaco, Sorsogon and Catanduanes.
Glicerio Delgado, a condemned “insurecto” started the revolutionary activities in the province. With headquarters in the mountain of Guinobatan, he joined the revolutionary government of Albay as lieutenant of the infantry.
A unit of the Philippine Militia was then organized by the Spanish military authorities. Mariano Riosa was appointed major of the Tabaco Zone which comprised all the towns along the seacoast from Albay to Tiwi, while Anacieto Solano was also appointed as major for the Iraya Zone which was made up of the towns from Daraga to Libon. Each town was organized into sections of fifty men under the command of a lieutenant.
On September 22, 1898, the provisional revolutionary government of Albay was formed with Anacieto Solano as provisional president. Major General Vito Belarmino, appointed military commander, reorganized the Filipinos Army in the province.
During the Filipno-American War, Brigadier General William Kobbe headed the expedition that landed on the ports of Sorsogon, Bulan and Donsol. From there, the American marched to Legazpi and captured the place.
Although, a civil government was established in Albay on April 26, 1901, Colonel Harry H. Bandhortz, Commanding Officer of the Constabulary in the Bicol Region, attested that Simeon Ola, with a thousand of men, continued to defy American authority after the capture of Belarmino in 1901. Ola was later captured with about six hundred men.
During the Second World War, the Kimura Detachment of the Japanese Imeprial Forces occupied Legazpi on December 12, 1941. The region was defended only by the Philippine Constabulary unit under Major Francisco Sandico. 
Traditional industries. Agriculture is the main industry in Albay, which produces such crops as coconut, rice, sugar, and abacá. Handicrafts are the major source of rural income. It continuous to provide fairly large share in the small-scale industries of the province. Forestry and papermaking are another source of livelihood. The manufacture of abacá products such as Manila hemp,hats,bags,mats,and slippers is one of the main sources of income in the rural areas. Fishing is also done along both shores of the province. Tourism, primarily because of Mayon Volcano, also draws income for Albay.
Transportation. Albay is also the region’s principal trans-shipment point with its ports: Tabaco International, Legazpi National, Pio Duran Provincial, and the Pantao Regional Port.Legazpi City also has its own domestic airport which hopes to serve international flights in the near future.Legazpi Airport serves as Bicol’s gateway to Manila and the Visayas.
The nearly perfectly-shaped Mt. Mayon, serves as the backdrop for the city of Legazpi, Albay.
Albay has a total land area of 2,552.6 square kilometers, which makes it the 26th smallest province. Most of Albay is located on mainland Bicol Peninsula and it has four major islands to the east: Rapu-Rapu, Batan (part of Rapu-Rapu), Cagraray (largely part of Bacacay, with small area as part of Malilipot), and San Miguel (part of Tabaco City).
Lagonoy Gulf borders the province to the northeast, separating it from the province of Catanduanes. Burias Island in the province Masbate can be found to the southwest across Burias Pass.
The province is generally mountainous with scattered fertile plains and valleys. Mayon Volcano, standing at around 2460 meters, is the most famous landform in Albay, and in the whole of Bicol, in fact. This active volcano is nearly perfectly-shaped and is considered by many to be more beautiful thanMt. Fuji in Japan. Other mountains and volcanoes in the province are Catburawan, Masaraga, Malinao, and Pantao.
On January 18, 2008, Albay Governor Joey Salceda and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Estrella Alabastro relaunched one of the country’s 4th upper-air receiving equipment in Albay worth P 18-million. The other upper-air receiving stations are in Laoag, Cebu, and Tanay, Rizal.
Joey Salceda, Governor of Albay Province
Albay is subdivided into 15 municipalities and 3 cities namely Legazpi, Ligao, Tabaco. Seven of them, Polangui, Daraga, Guinobatan, Camalig, Oas, Libon, andTiwi are classified as 1st class municipalities and it has 3 congressional districts.
||Carlos Irwin G. Baldo
||Juan M. Garcia II
||Agnes P. Dycoco
||Linda P. Gonzales
||Avelino C. Ceriola
||Cesar S. Daep
||Gregorio H. Ricarte
||Dante R. Arandia
||Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro
||Jaime C. Villanueva