The Bicol Region
The region in Southern Luzon which
includes the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay and Sorsogon
is called Bikol.
The people who live in these provinces are called the Bikolanos.
The language they speak is alternately referred to as Bikol or Bikolano.
Spanish colonizers used the name Vicor for the Bikol region. The
ancient name for Southern Bikol was Ibalon, which meant people of the
Early Bikolanos used polished stone
tools and made pottery. They had instruments for fishing and household utensils made of
bamboo and weeds.
Hunting, growing of root
crops, and fishing were the principal ways early Bikolanos gathered food. They used a
method of dry agriculture called kaingin.
They cooked their food in bamboo tubes
and used leaves for plates and cups. In the settlements, corn, and camote were planted
between coconut rows, and cattle grazed beneath the trees.
Mt. Mayon, one of the
active volcanoes in the Philippines,
is found in Tiwi, Albay in Bicol
Lava flows from Mt.
one of its eruptions in recent years
Laing, a native Bicolano dish,
is basically a mix of taro leaves,
coconut milk, spices, and seafood.
Coconut fields in
a staple food for the Bikolanos.
Seafood, such as crabs,fish, shrimp, and a wide variety of shellfish abound in the
surrounding waters, making it a major part of the Bikolano diet.
Gata (coconut milk) is a very popular ingredient, used in the
preparation of appetizers, main dishes, desserts and afternoon snacks.
Bikolanos are noted for their preference for hot and spicy food. Red chili,
therefore, is a very important spice ever present in a Bikolano's kitchen.
Pili nut sweets are peculiar to the Bikol region.
Anahaw leaves are
used for making palm fans, mats, and nipa shingles for roofing by the Bikolanos.
Clay is used
to make al kinds of earthenware.
Shells that abound in
the seashores of Bikol are turned into lampshades and other decorative articles.
Coconut shells are
shaped into buttons, decorative pins, and reticules. The abaca plant, which grows
abundantly in the region supplies raw materials for many exportable products, like the
world-famous Manila hemp.
Out of abaca, high-quality drapes,
slippers, handbags, place mats, ropes, brooms, rugs, and doormats are also produced.
Seashells are abundant on
the shores Bicol
Abaca, a banana family plant
is the main sourceof materials
for export goods from Bicol
Other Bicolano Links
Back to Top
Back to Regional Cultures
known for its near perfect cone shape