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Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in southeastern Luzon Island. The name Bikol first came to be known as the name of the biggest and longest river in the region. The river comes from the outflow of lakes and springs from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte and form a large stream that exits in the San Miguel Bay, off the shores of Camarines Sur.
The people of the region are called Bikolanos and the language is called Bikol. The citizens of Albay are called Albayanos. Albay is a province composed of 15 towns and 3 cities. The capital of the province is Legazpi City. It was named after Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquestador who came to the Philippines in 1565 and started the massive colonization. The country became the colony of Spain for the next 300 years.
As a result, the Albayanos became devout Catholics. The symbol most associated with Albay is Mayon Volcano, a near perfectly-shaped active volcano, 2,462 metres (8,077 ft) high, which could be seen throughout its 13 towns and 3 cities as well as in the surrounding provinces of Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes.
Albay has a total land area of 2,554.06 square kilometres (986.13 square miles). Aside from Mayon Volcano, it has two other major peaks: Mount Masaraga and Mount Malinao. The western coast of the province is mountainous but not as prominent as the eastern range with the highest elevation at around 490 metres (1,610 ft). Among these mountains are Mount Catburawan in Ligao and Mount Pantao in Oas & Libon.