micro-profile of BUHI, Camarines Sur

Buhi is located at the island of Luzon in the Bicol Region, province of Camarines Sur.  It is bounded on the east by Mt. Malinao, on the west by Mt. Asog, on the north by Sangay-Buhi mountain ranges and on the south by low lying ranges of Polangui, Albay.  Buhi has a total land area of 22,851 hectares.  1,800 hectares of which comprise the lake and 8,463 hectares are timberlands.  The land area is subdivided in 38 barangays. 

TOURISMitbog falls 
Buhi has a lot of beautiful spots are Lake Buhi, which is the habitat of the world's smallest commercial fish known as Sinarapan, Itbog Falls, Baybay Falls, Binangcaan Falls, Buluang Spring Resort, Pongol Spring Resort, La Roca Encantada, Mt. Asog, Buhi Villa Resort, Buhi Magindara, Katugday and Manapao Lakelets, Parish church of Buhi, which prides of having the tallest belfry in Bicol and pleasant bell sound, and the Municipal Aquarium at the town hall where one can observe the wriggly swimming sinarapan closely.  

Because of the aforecited man made and natural scenic, world known and extra-ordinary features, Buhi has been chosen as a pilot tourism area by the Philippine Tourism Authority which is now constructing a lodging house, pavilion, docking area and other tourism facilities at Buhi Magindara.  

From the past writings of friars and native historians we learn that somewhere between what is barrio Sta. Cruz and the sitio of Sapa was a little lake called Buyok-Buyokan.  So called because of the faint circular motion of the water.  Along the shores of this lake were small huts of the Aetas who lived by fishing and hunting.  

On April 14, 1578, Captain Pedro de Chavez and a certain Fr. Tomas Francisco, a Franciscan and some members of the exploring party discovered and founded Buhi.  Its inhabitants at the time were estimated to be 5,645 pagans scattered in the different settlement.  In 1605, through the painstaking efforts of the Franciscan Fr. Antonio Mendez, they received their Catholic baptism in the jungles and denses forests where they lived.  

On January 4, 1641, at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon, all the well known volcanoes in the Bicol region erupted simultaneously.  The side of a high mountain in the Bicol valley blew up and in the subsequent earthquake that followed, the valley on the eastern side of this mountain sank and a fine lake come into existence.  

Apparently, the waters of the small lake Buyok-Buyokan joined the waters of the new lake because this small lake disappeared.  What only remained were the two sitios of Buyok-Buyokan and Sapa.  Many of the inhabitants perished in this volcanic upheavel.  The few of them who survived scampered to the northeastern highlands.  Thus another hamlet was developed.  

On February 1, 1814, Mayon volcano had its worst eruption.  The thriving community of Cagsawa at the foot of the volcano was buried under lava and ashes.  Only the upper portion of the frontage of the church and the belfry remained.  It still can be seen up to this day.  Many of the people living near the sides of the volcano fled to their lives.  

A story is told that two brothers who are survivors of a family that was exterminated by a venomous snake in a spring in Lingnion near old Albay and Cagsawa town trekked to Riquit.  This is a forest near a clear pond currently known as Maydanao in Polangui.  It was there that the refugees caught up with them.  Because they were familiar with the place, the two brothers became the leaders of the caravan.  They reached Macaangay and still pushed farther west until they reached Buraburan.  Feeling still insecure, because they could still feel the tremors of Mayon, they continued northward until they saw a lake.  Here on the shores of the lake they decided to stay because according to them it was "Maray na Raga" meaning "Good Earth".  As the years rolled by, the phrase "Maray na Raga" was abbreviated to "Marayag which is now the name of the place and a sitio of barangay San Buenaventura.  

After a few years the inhabitants of Marayag realized that the place has grown small for them.. So they migrated westward by crossing a river.  Here on the other side of the river they made a clearing for their homes in a dense forest.  Thus, the stage was set for the founding of Buhi.  For whenever the natives asked these migrants who they were, they would answer "nacabuhi" from Mayon, meaning that they were able to escape from the wrath of Mayon.  Incidentally, the word "Buhi" is either an Albay or Visayan origin which means "escape".  

        It is how BUHI got its name.