Culture and cuisine were put to the fore when the Municipality of Camalig, Albay, recently marked the 450th anniversary of the arrival of Spanish explorers, led by Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzmán, in 1569.
Led by Mayor Maria Ahrdail Baldo and Vice Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr., the highlight of the celebration was the unveiling of the historical marker in the Municipal Hall as part of a yearlong observance.
Based on historical records, the area began as a prosperous agricultural settlement near the foot of Mayon Volcano, commonly known as kinamalig, referring to the huts with grass roofs where villagers kept their farm implements and harvest.
The town or pueblo, which was later placed under the patronate of Saint John the Baptist, is a thriving precolonial ancient civilization dating back to 200 B.C., evident in the archaeological finds unearthed in its caves. The relics are kept at a small museum within the Saint John the Baptist parish church, which was declared as an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum in 2017.
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