Welcome to the City of Ligao 2011


Welcome to the City Government of Ligao, a fluorishing and developing city in the province of Albay, Philippines

City Profile

Ligao City - City Profile

City Profile
City of Ligao, Albay
A Young City on the Go

A Young City on the Go

Ligao City is a newly created city being born only last March 24, 2001 during a plebiscite with an overwhelming Yes vote of 17,754 as against 1,387 No votes. It was created by virtue of R.A. No. 9008, signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last February 21, 2001, known as an Act Converting the Municipality of Ligao into a Component City of the Province of Albay, the third city of the province and the sixth city in the Bicol Region.

Ligao City is located 502 kilometers south of Manila. Centrally located in the 3rd District of Albay, it is bounded on the north by the municipality of Oas; on the south by the municipality of Guinobatan, Tabaco on the east and Pioduran on the West. It is 27 kilometers from the Provincial Capitol of Albay and approximately 30 kilometers from Legazpi City.

Ligao City Hall


City Profile - Ligao City, Albay
Historical Background

There are three versions of how the name Ligao came to be. One legend says that Ligao is a corruption of the word "Tigau", a tree found abundant in the locality whose poisonous leaves were used to catch fish in rivers or creeks. The legend goes that a group of Spaniards passing by a tigau tree asked for the name of the place. The natives, thinking they were asking for the name of the tree, answered "Tigau". The Spaniards mispronounced the word as Ligao and since then the place was known as Ligao.

Another version is that the name Ligao came from the Tagalog word "Ligaw" which means to court or win a lady's love, since the place was well-known for its beautiful maidens. Many young and eligible men from far and near would come a-courting hopeful to win their maiden's love. A group of young men was once accosted by Spanish soldiers who asked for the name of the place. The young men, because they did not understand what the Spaniards were saying, thought that the latter were asking where they were going and so they answered, "Manliligaw" (to go a-courting). The Spaniards thought the name of the place "Maliligaw" so for a while it was known as "Manliligaw" until it was shortened to Ligao.

The most popular version was that the name Ligao comes from the Bicol term "Licaw" which means detour or to go around by deviating from the usual or ordinary route. Ligao started as a small settlement known as Cavasi in the 16th century. Trade and commerce already flourished between Cavasi and the neighboring towns of Polangui and Oas and other places. During the rainy season the usual route to Cavasi is easily inundated by floods. The merchants or "viajeros" as they were called during those times had to make a detour. The place of detour was known as "Likaw". Eventually "Likaw" or the detour became more progressive as the population increased rapidly than Cavasi until such time that Licaw was more well known than Cavasi. Eventually, Licaw became Ligao.

Early Establishment

The city traces its history from the 16th century when a small settlement known as Cavasi existed without a ruler or leader. Every resident was peaceful in his endeavor. This trait enabled the settlement to grow and even attracted other natives from nearby settlements. Along with increasing population, ambitious and aggressive leaders emerged causing friction and creating factions endangering the general peace in the settlement. Five divisions were formed led by maginoos (chieftains): Pagkilatan, Maaban, Sanpongan, Makabongay and Hokoman. Chieftain Hokoman considered himself the supreme leader over the whole settlement. Even then, rivalry and strife persisted and the once peaceful inhabitants lived in constant fear. According to accounts by Father Felix de Huerta, a Spanish Corporal endowed with the ability to settle jurisdictional disputes mediated among the ruling Maginoos. With the approval of the other chieftains, Pagkilatan was chosen the Supreme Chieftain over the entire settlement and peace and tranquility returned to the place.

The town was founded as a barrio of Polangui in 1606, was ceded to Oas in 1665, and finally became an independent municipality in 1666. Since then, the once minor settlement called Cavasi prospered economically, socially and politically.


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