Masbate Founding Anniversary

Masbate Founding Anniversary is celebrated in Masbate, Philippines every March 18. The date may be declared a special non working holiday in the province through presidential issuance such as Proclamation No. 1307 in 2022.

The province also holds the annual Rodeo Masbateño Festival every April.

History of Masbate

Masbate is part of the Bicol Region which is also composed of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon. It was settled by the natives who engaged in trading with other islands for centuries.

Artifacts unearthed from archeological excavations revealed that it was inhabited by communities of fisher folks and an outpost for sailors and traders plying in Luzon and Visayas.

The Spaniards led by the friars and then later Luis Enriquez de Guzman explored the island towards the end of the 16th century. Ship-building rose in Mobo, participating in the thriving Manila-Alcapulco Galleon trade. Friars also recorded the mining of gold deposits as early as 1569.

For the most part of the colonial era, it was part of Bicol and Cebu, and it was not until much later that it was annexed to Albay in 1700.

It was in 1846 that it was made independent as a district. Its population in the coastlines diminished as they were exposed to destructive Moro raids. Communities were found inland and the seat of government had been moved numerous times.

More people settled in its lands towards the 19th century with the rise of industry and mining and suppression of sea piracy.

Masbate was created as an independent province by virtue of Act No. 105, otherwise known as An Act Extending the Provisions of the Provincial Government Act to the Province of Masbate, that was passed on March 18, 1901. This is the date that the province’s founding anniversary remembers annually.

The founding anniversary celebration every March 18 was instituted by virtue of Provincial Ordinance No. 002-2002 that was authored by Antonio Licup Pigon.

However, Masbate was absorbed to the province of Sorsogon by virtue of Commission Act No. 1413 that was approved on November 22, 1905. Its status as a sub-province lasted until 1922 when it became an independent province once again through Act No. 2934 approved December 15, 1920.

Masbate Founding Anniversary Activities

In 2023, the duration of the calendar for Masbate Founding Anniversary activities was a week with opening activities occuring in March 13. Events include motorcade, Laro ng Lahi (indigenous games), thanksgiving mass, awards and recognition, founding anniversary program, competitions, parade, etc.

How to reach Masbate

Flights can be booked from Metro Manila or Cebu to Masbate Airport, which is the most convenient. Sea-based travels are also available from Sorsogon and Cebu.


Masbate Founding Anniversary Summary

NameMasbate Founding Anniversary
CelebrationFounding anniversary
Contact0946 591 6228
DateMarch 18
Duration1 week
Historical eventFounding of the province of Masbate
OrganizerProvincial Government of Masbate