The primitive province of Albay was formerly called ibalon, a name likewise given by the Spaniards to the island of Luzon. Albay was once a big province which comprised the territory of present Albay and those of the provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes. It took many years for theSpaniards to explore and occupy this territory. They came during different eras. (Bicol region)
In 1567, Master-de Camp Mateo del Saz and Captain Martin de Goitistayed in the islands of Masbad now called Masbate. In 1569, Luis Enriquede Guzman explored the islands of Tiago (Ticao) and Burias and crossedthe tiny strip of water to the mainland and landed in the coastal barangay called ibalon by the inhabitants. In 1570, Andres de Ibarra, a captain of the fleet of Legazpi at that time anchored in Panay, commanded a smallflotilla that followed the route to his predecessor, Enrique de Guzman, andhad made the people of the islands of Masbad and Ticao settle down intown then proceeded immediately to Ibalon where he erected a chapel of bamboo and nipa, the first to be built on the island of Luzon.
During the early day of the Spanish conquest, there was no distinctterritorial division that clearly delimited the province of Albay. CatainDiego de Artieda, in his report, cited: But, toward the north of Masbad,was the island of Ibalon or Luzon which has many river, abounding in goldmines.” Several years later, Ibalon was divided into two political divisionscalled Camarines and Partido de Ibalon. The towns in the Eastern part of the peninsula from Matnog to Caramoan belonged to Ibalon and those inthe Western part, belonged to Camarines.