Camarines Sur or also called CamSur is the largest among the six provinces in the Bicol region in Luzon both in terms of population and land area. The province is subdivided into 2 cities and 35 municipalities. Although the town of Pili is the provincial capital, Naga City is the commercial, educational, financial and cultural center of the province.
The province's name has been derived from "camaronchones" or "camarines", a Spanish word for “kamalig” referring to small nipa or bamboo-made huts by the natives.
Being in the Bicol Region, the main languages spoken in Camarines Sur is Bicol which has 3 types. The Bicol Central, also known as Bikol Naga, is the standard Bicol easily understood by all Bicolanos and is spoken in the area around Naga City. The Bicol Albay or Buhi-non is spoken in the southern part of the province around Lake Buhi and the Rinconada Bicol, also known as Bikol Nabua, which is used in the area around Nabua. Most inhabitants understand Tagalog and English.
The climate in Camarines Sur, like most of the rest of the country, is very tropical. It is dry from March to May and wet for the rest of the year. The province has an average temperature of 27.0 °C and a relative humidity of 25.8%.
The economy of Camarines Sur is agriculture based, producing rice, corn, feed meal, freshwater fish and livestock. Entrepreneurs engage in trading, often branching out towards neighboring provinces in the south.
In downtown Naga City, it is easy to roam around just by foot but if you don’t prefer to walk, other means of transportation are available such as tricycles, trisikad or manpowered tricycles and jeepneys. Taxis are also available since 2010 when SM City, a big chain of shopping malls in the country, opened in the city.
Camarines Sur is becoming a very famous tourist destination in the Philippines. There are a lot of things to do and sights to visit in this place which makes it popular to both local and foreign tourists. One of the destinations that probably made CamSur very popular is the Camsur Water Sports Complex. The park is located in the Provincial Capitol Complex of Cadlan and Pili. This is designed for wakeboarding and water skiing. If you enjoy this kind of extreme water sports, then you should not miss visiting this place. International and local wakeboarding competitions have been held here several times including the 2008 World Wakeboard Championship. The park also has BMX trail, motor cross and skateboarding.
Many would probably agree that the most beautiful place in CamSur is the Caramoan National Park. This place offers picturesque landscape and seascape with numerous islands and islets that are just a boat ride away. The place offers a totally untouched environment so do not expect hotels or restaurants. But one can enjoy a salt water lake and a stretch of sugary fine white beach comparable to that of Boracay. The area is usually hit by typhoons so plan your expedition between the quiet months of December and June.
If you want a religious experience, you may visit the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore in Naga. The church is home to the miraculous Virgin of Peñafrancia, the Patroness of the Bicol Region. The feast is celebrated during September of every year. You may also visit the biggest church in Bicol region, the Cathedral of Naga also known as Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John. The church was built in 1843 by the Franciscans.
Other interesting places to visit in CamSur are the Kalupnitan and Adiangao Caves. You’ll be amazed with its natural carved pillars and stalactites and stalagmites formations that are very magnificent in its interiors. The Mt. Isarog National Park is also a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of nature. There are a lot of waterfalls in the park and one of them is the Malabsay Waterfalls. It’s a spectacular waterfall with crystal clear waters.
The Concocep Falls can be found in Hanawan, Ocampo and the municipality of Libmanan has the Malinaw Nature Resort. In Del Gallego, in the Northwestern part of the province, there is the Kilbay Park. It is where President Manuel L. Quezon hammered the golden nail into a big rock, symbolizing the connection and link of the Philippine National Railways going to Manila in the year 1937.
The most populous cities and municipalities in Camarines Sur are: