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Bicolanos and their Uniqueness

From Within

By: Alyssa Salcedo


Have you ever visited the lovely region of Bicol? It is located in the southern part of Luzon which has six provinces namely, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Masbate. Apart from being rich in tourist attractions and delicious cuisines, Bicolanos have an authentic characteristic you can differentiate from others. Here are some facts and traits of Bicolanos.



1. Bicolanos main language is referred to as Bikol yet there are lots of Bicolano languages such as Central Bikol, Albay Bikol, Rinconada Bikol, Pandan Bikol, and Inland Bikol. Central Bikol is the widely used language. It has the largest coverage relative to the others. It is the majority language spoken in Camarines Sur and some part of the other towns in the whole province. Amusingly, it includes a few vocabularies that are nothing similar to any of the other Bikol languages but is similar to some Kapampangan words.

bicol tourism.jpg

Source: Bicol Tourism

2. Bicolanos are famous for their way of cooking. They are primarily noted for the prominent use of chili peppers and gata (coconut milk)on their food. A classic example of this is the Bicol Express, a well-loved dish using siling labuyo (native small chillies) and the aforementioned gata. Bicolanos surely have the taste bud of a talented cook! Their dishes speak so much of them too. They have the perfect mix of toughness and composure to face whatever challenges that may come their way.


Source: Donsol Eco Tour

3. Bicolanos are also known for being religious, the most distinctive and visible evidence of their faith is through their devotion to the Lady of Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bicolandia whom every Bicolano affectionately regards as their celestial mother and addresses as "Ina". This religiosity explains their resilient attitude towards natural calamities such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The faith they possess is one of their strengths that helps them overcome all the storms of life. 


Source: ABS-CBN News

4. Bicolanos are also friendly and sweet. This is manifested during social celebrations and local fiestas. One way of their means to socialization is through drinking which establishes discussions with lesser inhibitions and formality. This earned them the reputation of being hospitable.


These characteristics are also manifested in their social and cultural practices. They have a folk dance called "pantomina" which depicts Bicolanos’ sweetness and sincerity in courting their loved ones. Bicolano’s extreme friendliness comes with their love to talk. They seem to never run out of topics to discuss which makes them the easiest to vibe with.


Source: Good News Pinas

5. Bicolanos have close family ties. Many Bicolanos live near their families for most of their lives, even as independent adults.  The setup of co-housing in the province is also widely practiced. The grown-up children still live with their parents even after getting married or starting their own family. But over time, some practically choose to have their own space but still not somewhere far from their aged parents.  Most reconsidered residing in progressive nearby cities and towns that are accessible and conveniently located for them.


Camarines Sur and Sorsogon, just to name a few, are the best potential places for most Bicolanos searching for a place to start anew. With the respective developments of the national and their local government units, only one thing is promised- progress.


Source: Via Times

These are just a few of the noticeable authentic characteristics of Bicolanos. Partly, these are the reasons why Bicolanos are called “Oragon”, which means a person of excellence” or the “very best” in their language. Many times, these characteristics will be put to test but the tough Bicolanos with their remarkable fighting spirit will resurface again and again. There is no chance they can be brought down! Not even by a natural phenomenon or a calamity.

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