The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) under the leadership of Gov. Al Francis C. Bichara together with the Provincial Tourism Culture and Arts Office (PTCAO) convened in a meeting. This is pursuant to Executive Order No. 10 series of 2021 and order amending the Albay Tourism Council to strengthen and empower the tourism-oriented private sectors to take part in the planning and setting the directions of the Tourism Industry amidst the New Normal.

Executive Order plays a vital role in realizing the significance of the Tourism Development Plan of Albay. The team believes that Synergizing Government Efforts as well as the Private Stakeholders is primordial in attaining sustainable development.

 

 

Of all the artifacts, tools, and objects of art found in Bicol Region, Mataas Shell Scoop stands out for its priceless cultural value and was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum, the only object from the region which has been given designation to date.  Mataas Shell Scoop is classified as a shell spoon, a concave utensil made from green turban shell (Turbo marmoratus), which is known for its mother-of-pearl luster.

Archaeologists Robert Fox and Alfredo Evangelista found it in 1957 among other prehistoric artifacts on a rock sheltered at Barangay Mataas in Cagraray Island, Bacacay, Albay. At present, it was kept at the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila. The Mataas Shell Scoop is one of the shell spoons found in a dozen Philippine sites from Batanes to Southern Mindanao dated from 0 to 300 AD, and then from 1600 BC to 370 AD this time frame largely falls within the Neolithic Period of Philippine prehistory, when metal tools were not yet extensively used. It was also discovered that shell spoons have also appeared within the larger Western Pacific area, and were found in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Mataas Shell Scoop differs from other shell spoons in terms of its carved figure in its handle. Its shape and presence appears to be an anthropomorphic (human-shaped) figure wherein its handle are linked to the soul boat figure in the famous Manunggul Jar and other depictions of the soul boat in Southeast Asian art. Soul boats are found at the heart of the animist beliefs of many indigenous cultures in the Philippines and its neighbors. It shows how our ancestors visualized themselves as they move into present.

Apart from its artistic and religious value, the Mataas Shell Scoop also highlights an aspect of the everyday life of ancient Bicolanos that still remains up to the present. At present Bikol term for spoon may have been derived from Spanish cuchara, but as the Mataas Shell Scoop shows, our ancestors have been using spoons as a basic dining utensil since the Neolithic times. In fact, there are two native Bikol terms for spoon: kuhit and sidok. There is also a specialized spoon for scooping rice called luwag. Hence we say, “Luwag na” when we ask someone to prepare rice for the dining table.

Photo and Text: Provincial Tourism Culture and Arts Office (PTCAO)

Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church is a Roman Catholic Church in Daraga, Albay. Located on a hilltop with a commanding view of Mayon Volcano, it is one of the most visited churches in Albay. The Daraga Church, as it is popularly known, began to be built in 1773 after the people of Cagsawa were allowed to transfer their town center to avoid the disasters brought by the eruptions of Mt. Mayon and the flooding of Yawa River. However, it was only in 1815 that the transfer was fully materialized, one year after the volcanic eruption that destroyed the old Cagsawa.

Daraga Church is a rare and outstanding example of the Churrigueresque style in the Philippines.

Developed at the height of Spanish Baroque from the late 17th to the early 18th century, the Churrigueresque style is often described as “Baroque on steroids” because of its florid and detailed ornamentation. This is reflected in Daraga Church with the use of Solomonic or ‘twisted” columns, floral motifs, various Biblical emblems, and even local geometric motifs that add a Bicolano touch to the dialogue of artistic traditions. Although this style was popular in Mexico, it was introduced rather late in the Philippines, which explains its rarity in Philippine architecture.

The idea behind the unique design of the Daraga Church is in its representation as gateway to heaven and refuge of salvation, perhaps owing to the catastrophes experienced by the locals at Cagsawa. This idea is conveyed in many ways, as for example the use of Our Lady of the Gate of Heaven as patroness, the retablo-style facade that emphasizes heaven as communion of saints, and the use of floral motifs in reference to the Garden of Eden. The use of Solomonic columns also connects the church to the Temple of Solomon because of the long-standing belief that those columns were used in this temple, which was similarly built to represent the Garden of Eden.

For these exceptional features, the Daraga Church was declared as National Cultural Treasure in 2007, the country’s highest designation for a cultural property.

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In celebration of the month of May as National Heritage Month, the Provincial Government of Albay launches Albay Heritage Month, a virtual program highlighting the significant heritage properties that have given Albay and the Albayanos their unique identity.

One heritage property will be featured on social media daily. Every Albayano is enjoined to participate in the celebration by taking efforts to learn, appreciate, and promote their heritage.

 

Credits; PTCAO

Saint John the Baptist Parish Church is a Roman Catholic Church in Tabaco City, Albay. It was built in 1864 by Fr. Fermin Llorente, a former engineer and soldier turned priest. The structure was finished in 1879, replacing the old stone church in Brgy. Cormidal, which was built in 1723 and was reportedly destroyed in the 1814 Mt. Mayon eruption.

The church design reflects its builder’s engineering and military background. A fine example of the so-called Earthquake Baroque, its fortress-like structure emphasizes horizontal rather than vertical dimensions.

The bell tower stands apart from the main church building, the only one of its kind in Albay during that period. It was originally built with a tower clock and also served as baluarte (watchtower) for defense against raiders from the sea.

The church is perhaps best known for the mason’s marks on its volcanic stone blocks, a rare feature in Philippine-Spanish architecture. Mason’s marks were commonly used in the Medieval Period to identify a particular mason’s work or aid in the correct installation of the blocks. You can still see these mark if you look closely at the church building, especially its outer wall. For this reason, St. John the Baptist Church was declared in 2012 as a National Cultural Treasure, the country’s highest designation for a cultural property.

In celebration of the month of May as National Heritage Month, the Provincial Government of Albay launches Albay Heritage Month, a virtual program highlighting the significant heritage properties that have given Albay and the Albayanos their unique identity.

One heritage property will be featured on social media daily. Every Albayano is enjoined to participate in the celebration by taking efforts to learn, appreciate, and promote their heritage.

The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) is one with the nation in celebrating the month of May as National Heritage Month, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 439. This year’s theme is “Victory and Humanity: Upholding Filipino Heritage and Identity” in solidarity with the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, and the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world. The 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines is also celebrated this year.
For its own heritage-related activity, PGA launches Albay Heritage Month, a virtual program highlighting the significant heritage properties that have given Albay and the Albayanos their unique identity. One heritage property will be featured on social media everyday for the whole month of May. Every Albayano is enjoined in the celebration by taking efforts to learn, appreciate, and promote their heritage.
CAGSAWA RUINS
Cagsawa Ruins is a ruined church and parish house (casa parroquial) that marks the once-thriving town center of Cagsawa, now in Barangay. Busay, Daraga, Albay. The church was built by the Franciscan priest Fr. Francisco Blanco in 1724 under the patronage of St. James the Great, more popularly known as Santiago Matamoros.
Beginning as a pre-colonial settlement, the town of Cagsawa was founded by St. Pedro Bautista, a Franciscan martyr. On February 1, 1814, it was destroyed in a strong eruption of Mayon Volcano. The survivors went on to resettle in the village of Daraga where a newer stone church was already in place. Over time, volcanic debris accumulated in Cagsawa’s abandoned church, covering around one-third of the structure. The other ruins in the town that are still visible are the casa real (town hall) located to the left of the church, and the escuela (school house) located in its front.
Cagsawa is one of the few sites in the Philippines that has preserved the old Spanish town plaza complex and its structures as it was in the early 19th century. Its famous lone-standing bell tower, often viewed against the backdrop of Mayon Volcano, has become an iconic heritage structure of Bicol Region, and one of the most recognizable heritage sites in the Philippines.
Cagsawa Ruins is a Level II Historic Structure (structure with NHCP marker). In 2015, it was declared by the National Museum as National Cultural Treasure, the country’s highest designation for a cultural property.
Credits; govalbichara

The Albay Provincial Health Office (APHO) administered its pick up and transport of COVID-19 vaccines for the Province of Albay today (Monday) May 3, 2021.

A total of 13,160 vials of Sinovac from the DOH Vaccine Storage facility in Legazpi City to PHO Cold Storage for vaccination of the remaining medical healthcare workers, senior citizens and adults with comorbidities

 

Last April 27, the Albay Agricultural Office (APAO) had visited 5 barangays upland area of Ligao City for the Final Validation of the Albay for Beautification Clean and Green Program.

The top five (5) barangays from the upland area of Ligao City displayed their creativity using recyclable materials and colorful lushes to beautify and to sustain the cleanliness along major roads by planting edible and non-edible flowering plants that provide clean air to make a relaxing environment for the community amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

AFBCGP, is a priority project of the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) through Albay Provincial Agricultural Office conceptualized by Gov. Al Francis Bichara to be able to motivate and encourage the 2, 160 Clustered Puroks, 720 brgys, and 18 LGUs to conduct clean-up simultaneously and prohibit littering along the streets of barangays, municipalities and cities to make Albay the as one of the most beautiful, cleanest and greenest province in the Philippines.

The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA), Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO), together with the Fisheries Division Staff, Marwin Cambare and Sonny B. Perez, the Albay Provincial Inland Fisheries Coordinators assisted the City Agriculture Office- Fisheries Section of Tabaco City in the conduct of Fishpond Operators RSBSA Registration, Fisher folks Registration and Site Validation of fishponds yesterday April 29, 2021 at barangay San Isidro, Tabaco City, Albay.

The Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) distributed a sack of rice to each rice farmer whose crops were affected by the Rice Tungro Disease in the Municipality of Polangui and Libon yesterday, April 28, 2021.

The farmers also received insecticides and knapsack sprayers from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 (DARFO-V) headed by RED Rodel P. Tornilla.

Rice Tungro Disease is caused by the combination of two viruses, which are transmitted by leafhoppers. It causes leaf discoloration, stunted growth, reduced tiller numbers and sterile or partly filled grains. Tungro infects cultivated rice, some wild rice relatives and other grassy weeds commonly found in rice paddies.

 

 

Group of community facilitators from the Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) carries out their simultaneous monitoring of basic prime commodities at different public markets all over the province to ensure that all vendors are following the standard pricing for varieties of products.

The said Price Monitoring of different Commodities and Agri-fisheries was conducted last April 28, 2021 at Libon Public Market.

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