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Legaspi History, Philippines

The largest city in the Bicol Region (Region 5), Legaspi City (also spelled as Legazpi) is highly urban and is not devoid of a rich history that is worth knowing.

It was named after the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi who came to the Philippines islands around 1565. He established the first Philippine colony during that time, which led him to be more widely known as the “father of the Spanish colony in the Philippines”. Furthermore, his surname came from a town in Guipozcoa, Spain, which is also Legazpi.

In addition to that, the town was founded during the domain of then ruler of Albay, Gat Ibal. It was founded by the ancient settlers of Sawangan, an old barangay of the province. This small settlement of the dwellers, generally consisting of small groups of nipa and rattan huts, occupied an area called Banuang-gurang or Binanuahan, the etymology of which came from the meaning “a place in which a town was built”. It was a formerly swampy and low land.

Japanese troops arrived and occupied the town in the early 1940’s, followed by the American forces. American and Filipino liberation forces and Bicolano guerrillas worked hand in hand to free Legaspi City from the Japanese forces during World War II.

Today, the city of Legaspi is home to friendly and hospitable residents who know how to strike a balance between metropolitan and rural lifestyle. Despite the highly built-up profile of the city, Bicolanos still give importance to their natural resources. It is no wonder that Mayon has maintained its splendor for many generations. Bicolanos are known for their hospitality, industriousness and thrift.

In addition, Legaspi is home to the famous pili nuts. One can enjoy the delectable taste of the nut, having it as “pulutan” or liquor partner, or a snack during leisure break. Others, too, enjoyably make it as a key chain and give it as birthday tokens or souvenirs. One thing is for sure, though, pili nuts are popular in the Bicol region and are quite expensive, yet first time visitors to the place make sure that they are able to bring some back to their respective hometowns. Pili nuts are also one reason why Legaspi, as well as other cities in the region, are often paid a visit.

Therefore, if you need one quick vacation in a fresh and whole new setting, let Legaspi city be your stop. You will never be disappointed.

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