IN THE KNOW: Masbate is 11th largest PH island
Masbate is the 11th largest island in the country, located at the southernmost tip of the Bicol Peninsula. Its three major islands—Masbate, Ticao and Burias—host 20 municipalities and the capital city of Masbate. Sprinkled around these are 65 smaller islands.
The province is home to 892,000 people (2015 census) who speak Minasbate or Bisakol, a mix of Bisaya and Bicol languages. Only 9 percent of the population is in the urban areas.
Scientists in the 1950s documented prehistoric pottery and metallurgy in the Kalanay Cave of Aroroy town and Bat-ongan Cave of Mandaon town, including a scene depicted in one of the dioramas of Ayala Museum in Makati City.
Recently, more ancient artifacts were discovered in the caves of Monreal town on Ticao Island.
Spanish colonial records first mentioned Masbate in 1569, noting the rich gold deposits in Aroroy.
Accounts followed of the old provincial capital of Mobo, then a galleon shipyard, and San Jacinto town in Ticao, which was also a stopover for galleons.