Iriga City: Wikis

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City of Iriga
—  City  —

Seal
Map of Camarines Sur showing the location of Iriga City.
Country  Philippines
Region Bicol Region (Region V)
Province Camarines Sur
District 4th district of Camarines Sur
Founded 1683
Cityhood September 3, 1968
Barangays 36
Government
 - Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen (LP)
Area
 - Total 174 km2 (67.2 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 - Total 97,983
 - Density 563.1/km2 (1,458.5/sq mi)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
Income class 4th class city, partially urban
Coordinates 13° 25' 1.2" N, 123° 25' 1.2" E
Website www.iriga.gov.ph

The City of Iriga (Bikol: Ciudad nin Iriga; Filipino: Lungsod ng Iriga) is a fourth class city in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is located about 400 kilometers south of Manila, 37 kilometers south of Naga, and about 61 kilometers north of Legazpi City. It is bounded by the town of Buhi in the east, by the municipalities of Baao, Nabua and Bato in the west, by the province of Albay in the south, and by the municipalities of Ocampo and Sangay in the north.

According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 97,983 people in 17,061 households.

Contents

History

Early History of Camarines Sur

Camarines Sur came out of an original geographic community which covers the present provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. According to the research conducted by historian Dr. Danilo Gerona, the word Camarines first came into print when Miguel Lopez de Lagaspi’s grandson Captain Juan de Salcedo, with 120 men, launched several expeditions to find and conquer the fabled mining village of Paracale and Mambulao in 1573. The Spaniards identified the area as Camarines referring to the entire stretch of the Bikol River.

After the conquest, on June 4, 1579, Governor-General Francisco de Sande ordered Captain Juan de Guzman to “take the two discalced fathers of the Franciscan Order and bring them to the Bikol River and to any place of that province they wish to go…churches must be built whenever the Fathers indicate, you must inform the Spaniards settled there the presence of the Fathers in the area…”

Further, the Governor-General decreed that the commander of the Spanish conquistadores encamped in the river area should “discuss with the religious present in the place to settle in that province of Bikol and Camarines and in such a site a villa should be raised and gives the name which you may deem appropriate and you should command all the encomenderos of the province to live and build their houses there and not elsewhere…” In response to this decree Villa de Caceres (Naga) was established, which was eventually elevated into an Ayuntamiento or city.

Nueva Caceres served as the civil and ecclesiastical center as other encomiendas were established within the river basin. Among those first established were Milanit (Milaor), Guas (Goa), Magarao, Minalva (Minalabac), Carvanga (Calabanga), Aliman (Libmanan), Lagonoy, Nabua, Bula, and Buy (Buhi)

Early Settlement in Iriga

Iriga, from a phrase in the language “I raga” which means there is land, grew from the settlement by the bank of the Bikol River called Bua (Nabua), who were looking for higher grounds due to the perennial and disastrous flooding of the town during the rainy season.

Bua was a low marshy terrain easily flooded during the rainy season. Because of this some people including some farmers, upon the advice Father Felix de Huertas, then parish priest of Nubua, moved to I-raga where they can plant their crops without fears of being flooded.

Taking the advice of the priest, people left Bua and settled to a higher land located at the foot of Sumagang , a mountain east of Bua. The foot of the mountain had large tracts of land available for cultivation suitable for settlement and unlike Bua; it does not suffer from severe flooding during the torrential rainy season. The settlement was then called Iraga, which means “there is land” in the local language.

Pacification And Conversion

The Franciscan friars, who set foot in the Bikol peninsula, saw in the new land a good ground for evangelization. As evangelization by the Franciscan friars progressed, Iraga developed in size and wealth. Soon therefore, foundation work had been laid down by proclaiming it a visita of Nabua. More and more people from Nabua came to Iraga to settle.

As population spread out and evangelization progressed, the settlement at the foot of Sumagang Mountain developed in size and wealth, slowly pushing the Agtas up to the thickness of the forests. And in 1578 the I-raga settlement was established as visita of Nabua and a church made of wood was constructed. Saint Anthony of Padua was the patron saint of the parish with Father Pedro de Jesus and Father Bartolome Ruiz serving as its religious heads. In 1583, five years after church was constructed, Agta warriors razed the church to the ground. A second one was constructed but it too was destroyed by a typhoon and razed to ashes again by fire.

January 4, 1641, Sumagang erupted, forming gully on Buhi side of the mountain leading to a steep ravine which is the crater of the volcano. According to stories, the Nuestra Senora de Angustia appeared at Inorogan and through miracle saved the Irigeños from the terrible eruption.

In 1682, with a population of 8,909, I-raga was converted into Pueblo de la Provincia de Ambos Camarines. Later on, the Spanish authorities changed the name from I-raga to Iriga and In 1710 Don Bonifacio de los Angeles organized the first four barrios of Iriga - San Agustin, San Isidro, San Nicolas and San Antonio Abad.

In 1727 after the second churched was destroyed, a new church was built, unfortunately it too was destroyed in a fire in 1841. Finally, shortly after the last church was destroyed, Fray Tomas de Alfafara finally led the construction of a new parish church, together with its two belfries made of bricks and stones. It was later on repaired in 1866, and in 1892 the tower was rebuilt with wood and iron.

In 1823, in the Memorias de la Provincia de Ambos Camarines shows that the number of Barangay in “pueblo de Iriga” was composed of San Roque, San Francisco de Asis, San Juan Bautista, Sto. Domingo de Guzman, San Miguel Arcangel, San Nicolas de Tolentino, San Agustin, San Antonio Abad, Sto. Nino and Santiago de Galicia with a population of 13,813. There were only four roads mentioned and they were coming from Nabua going to Bato, to Buhi and to Polangui, Albay and there was only one way going to Nueva Caceres (Naga) via Bicol River by boat.

Troubled Times

In 1846, during the term of Don Juan Lomaad, a great famine swept the Bikol area. Prices of rice soared up, the Spanish government ordered people to plant more staple food but it did not do much good as starvation ensued which took many lives.

More than a decade later, in 1857, a cholera epidemic broke out causing the death of thousands of inhabitants. As if that was not enough, an earthquake struck Iriga damaging the town church and several other buildings. In 1871, during the term of Don Lucas Caayao, a new epidemic, this time smallpox, took many lives. Aside from this, in the same year, a swarm of locust destroyed the crops in Iriga causing starvation among its inhabitants.

The Emerging Municipality

In 1902, as part of American colonialist strategy to pacify and attract the Filipinos, the first public school in Iriga, Iriga Central School, was established . In 1913 the Manila Railroad Company Station and the public market was established at its present site . With the establishment of the train station and the public market, Iriga rapidly grew and became the center of trade and commerce in the Rinconada area.

Home to the first bus company in the Philippines

The development of the municipality got another stimulus in July 1914 when Albert L. Ammen, a former American serviceman established the A.L. Ammen Transport Co., Inc (ALATCO). ALATCO with an initial fleet of one converted two-cylinder Grawbosky truck was the first bus company in the Philippines.

Its first route was Iriga-Naga; however, as the venture became more successful, the company expanded its fleet to service the other towns of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon, hence, opening remote villages of Bikol, to the mainstream of economic and social development.

Later on, in 1918 Max L. Blouse, one of ALATCO’s drivers would also start his own transportation company, the Batangas, Laguna, Tayabas Bus Company (BLTB).

The World War II Years

The American colonial period temporarily ended in 1942 when World War II broke out. The Japanese Imperial Army established a garrison at Kalbaryo hill overlooking the city proper. Iriga Central School became a concentration camp; those who could not be accommodated were brought to the Ateneo de Naga.

Like in many other places, Bicolano guerrilla units sprung up in Iriga after the formal American and Philippine colonialist resistance has ended. Mt. Iriga became the base of the resistance attracting recruits not only from Iriga but even as far as Albay. With the help of the Agtas who were very familiar with the terrain, the Japanese army could not penetrate the interiors of the mountain.

As a City

With the end of the Japanese occupation in May 15, 1945, the Japanese Imperial forces surrendered to the Philippine Commonwealth troops and Bicolano guerrillas in Iriga, the Iriga Central Business District was reopened and rehabilitation began. In 1948, the first college in Iriga City, the Mabini Memorial College (now University of Northeastern Philippines or UNEP) was established by Atty. Felix O. Alfelor. A year later, Dr. Santiago G. Ortega would also establish the Saint Anthony College (now University of Saint Anthony or USANT).

The establishment of these centers for higher learning, including the La Consolacion Academy further spurred the growth and development of the municipality as it attracts students from all over the region.

In 1960s, Iriga saw tremendous economic and social progress. On July 8, 1968, the municipality was converted into a city through Republic Act 5261. However, it was only on September 3 of the same year that the City was formally organized and inaugurated as the third city of the Bikol Region by then President Ferdinand Marcos

Barangays

Iriga City is politically subdivided into 36 barangays.

  • Antipolo
  • Cristo Rey
  • Del Rosario (Banao)
  • Francia
  • La Anunciacion
  • La Medalla
  • La Purisima
  • La Trinidad
  • Niño Jesus
  • Perpetual Help
  • Sagrada
  • Salvacion
  • San Agustin
  • San Andres
  • San Antonio
  • San Francisco (Pob.)
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • San Juan
  • San Miguel
  • San Nicolas
  • San Pedro
  • San Rafael
  • San Ramon
  • San Roque (Pob.)
  • San Vicente Norte
  • San Vicente Sur
  • Santa Cruz Norte
  • Santa Cruz Sur
  • Santa Elena
  • Santa Isabel
  • Santa Maria
  • Santa Teresita
  • Santiago
  • Santo Domingo
  • Santo Niño

External links


Coordinates: 13°25′N 123°25′E / 13.417°N 123.417°E / 13.417; 123.417

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Iriga City is a city in Philippines.

Get In

Visitors to Iriga City coming from Manila have 2 options:

By Air

Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and Zest Air have daily flights from Manila to Naga City airport. Travel time is 35 minutes.

From the Naga City airport, take a bus, van or a jeepney to take you to Iriga City. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes. Plane fare is about Php1,200, depending on passenger traffic and season.

You can also take a Cebu Pacific or PAL flight from Manila to Legazpi City instead. Travel time is 45 minutes. On a clear day you will see the majestic Mayon volcano near the airport. From there, you can take a bus or a van which will take you to Iriga City.

By Land

There are many provincial buses such as Philtranco, Penafrancia, Isarog, Executive Carrier that travel from Manila to Iriga City. The main bus terminal is located in Araneta Center,Cubao.

Day trips start at around 8 AM and the last trip is around 9 PM. Travel time is approximately 9 hours, with stopovers. Bus fare is about Php700.00. It can be a bumpy ride at times but the buses are fairly comfortable and you can sleep during night trips. If traveling during the day, you can enjoy great views as the bus will ply along mountain ranges.

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