Pili, Camarines Sur

Pili, officially the Municipality of Pili, (Central Bicolano: Banwaan kan Ocampo), Rinconada Bikol: Banwāan ka Ocampo, Tagalog: Bayan ng Ocampo) is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines.

Municipality of Pili
Capitol Building
Capitol Building
Capital of Camarines Sur
"Higos Pili"
Map of Camarines Sur with Pili highlighted
Map of Camarines Sur with Pili highlighted
Pili is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°33′15″N 123°16′31″E / 13.55417°N 123.27528°E / 13.55417; 123.27528Coordinates: 13°33′15″N 123°16′31″E / 13.55417°N 123.27528°E / 13.55417; 123.27528
Country Philippines
RegionBicol Region (Region V)
ProvinceCamarines Sur
District3rd district
Barangays26 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorTomas P. Bongalonta, Jr.
 • Vice MayorMarivic B. Solano
 • CongressmanGabriel H. Bordado Jr.
 • Electorate53,007 voters (2019)
 • Total126.25 km2 (48.75 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total89,545
 • Density710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Income class1st municipal income class
 • Poverty incidence29.29% (2015)[4]
 • Revenue (₱)230,657,834.85 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)54
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Native languagesCentral Bikol
Isarog Agta

The municipality was classified as 1st class in terms of income classification in 2007.[5]


The first recorded history of Pili started during the promulgation of Christianity in the early 1770s by the Spanish missionaries, when the town houses the “Cimarrones” or the “Remontados” who resisted the foreign rule of the neighboring Hispanic city of Nueva Caceres. The early center of settlement in the town is located in "Binanuaanan" (from "banwaan" which means town) until missionaries transferred it to the present site of the town proper where the St. Raphael Archangel Church is located.

The Americans established the town of Pili in 1901. The name of the town has many disputed etymologies, either it came from the Bicol Region's Pili nut (Canarium ovatum) or from the Bicol word “pili” or “to choose”. The latter is because the Americans wanted to make the town as the new provincial urban center due to the fact that Naga City which the Spaniards had developed was prone to major floods. The town is also a very strategic location for the Americans. Pili connects the major districts of the province: the Bikol Naga-speaking towns of the North, Partido Area, and the Rinconada Area. It was here where they build the current Naga Airport and the Camarines Sur Agricultural School in 1918 which is now the main campus of the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture. The town of Pili was formally established in 1919 as a municipality.

When the World War II broke out in 1941 the Japanese Imperial Army sent 3,000 soldiers to Pili due to the concentration of American developments in the town. They built tunnels, manmade caves, and foxholes all over the town which are still existent in the town today. The infrastructures of the war were mostly in the barangays of Cadlan, Curry, San Jose and even in the Centro area. When the Japanese started to lose, they flee to Mt. Isarog to hide. They created a lot of holes in Mt. Isarog and used the mountain as their last stand in the Bicol Region. In the present, the heroes of the war were remembered through Filipino-Japanese Friendship Historical Landmark in Sitio Bongcao, Curry at the foot of Mt. Isarog.

When Naga City was declared as a chartered city, there is a need to search for the next provincial capital. Former Governor Juan F. Trivino chooses the Municipality of Pili as the new home of the Provincial Capitol. Finally on June 6, 1955, Pili was declared as the Provincial Capital by virtue of R.A. 1336 replacing Naga City. The new site for the provincial capitol was the 150 hectare lot donation of Don Susano Rodriguez in the barangay of Cadlan.[6]


Pili is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.[5]

Name of Barangay Class 2015 Population Name of Barangay Class 2015 Population
Anayan Rural 3,029 Pawili Rural 2,236
Bagong Sirang Rural 2,602 Sagrada Rural 2,912
Binanuaanan Rural 4,258 Sagurong Rural 2,625
Binobong Rural 2,374 San Agustin Urban 4,827 (5th)
Cadlan (Provincial Center) Urban 4,930 (4th) San Antonio (Poblacion) Urban 1,402
Caroyroyan Rural 8,855 (3rd) San Isidro (Poblacion) Urban 2,470
Curry Rural 2,201 San Jose Rural 12,599 (1st)
Del Rosario Rural 3,872 San Juan (Poblacion) Urban 1,909
Himaao Rural 4,502 San Vicente (Poblacion) Urban 2,458
La Purisima Rural 2,940 Santiago (Poblacion) Urban 2,523
New San Roque Urban 3,605 Santo Niño Rural 1,044
Old San Roque (Poblacion) Urban 1,342 Tagbong Rural 3,196
Palestina Rural 6,096 (2nd) Tinangis Rural 2,738


YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 2,213—    
1918 6,342+7.27%
1939 18,225+5.16%
1948 25,300+3.71%
1960 22,934−0.81%
1970 29,521+2.55%
1975 36,676+4.45%
1980 43,181+3.32%
1990 52,481+1.97%
1995 61,520+3.02%
2000 67,393+1.97%
2007 76,496+1.76%
2010 82,307+2.70%
2015 89,545+1.62%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][7][8][9]

In the 2015 census, the population of Pili, Camarines Sur, was 89,545 people,[3] with a density of 710 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,800 inhabitants per square mile. While the Centro district which consists of six (6) barangays has a total population of 12,104 according to the 2015 Census.


There are two Bicol languages used all over the municipality, Central Bicolano on the northern part, and Riŋkonāda or Rinconada Bikol on the south. However, Central Bicolano is the lingua franca, used all throughout the town for communication. Tagalog and English language are also widely understood.


St. Raphael the Archangel Parish of Pili

Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in the municipality, where the town is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Caceres in Naga City. It is followed by Born-Again Christian denominations, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.


Aside from the feast of every barangay and sitios, there are two major festivals being celebrated in the town. The municipal government hosts the religious-based town fiesta in the Centro district, while the provincial government has its own festival for its foundation.

The Pili Town Fiesta is for the celebration of the feast of St. Raphael the Archangel, the patron saint of Pili. It is celebrated annually every October 23–24 since the foundation of the parish in 1819. The name of the festival will depend on the administration of the municipality, which is either “Cimarrones Festival” or “Pinili Festival”. It is celebrated by the six (6) barangays of the Pili Centro District.

The Provincial Government of Camarines Sur celebrates the Kaogma Festival for the foundation of the province of Camarines Sur. It is held annually every last week of the month of May at the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol Complex in Cadlan and Camarines Sur Freedom Sports Complex in San Jose.[10]But in the year 2019 of the term of Miguel Luis "Migz" Reyes Villafuerte, he decided to have it held in Iriga City. It was dubbed as the  "world's hottest festival."


Pili is the Bicolandia's Agro-Industrial Center, with its reputation as the Bicol region's burgeoning industrial town due to its giant warehouses and milling plants.[11] Urbanization is very rapid in the town with its high population growth due to its continuous progress and development.

Pili Municipal Hall located at the 'Centro' of the town.

Pili has been the third largest commercial center in Camarines Sur and the 10th largest commercial center in the Bicol Region. Its commercial and business center is in its town proper, which the locals called 'Pili Centro'. It is the densest part of the town. The "Daang Maharlika" or the national road is the main road of the town proper, where it stretches from San Isidro to Santiago. Below is the list of barangays of the district with its population and some notes.

Markets in the district includes the Pili Public Market, SM Savemore Market, and the LCC Supermarket. Multiple department stores also made their way to the town.

Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC), in the provincial capitol complex in Cadlan, is the top tourist destination in the town.

The barangays of Cadlan and San Jose, located at the northern part of the town, are the center of developments and activities of the provincial government of Camarines Sur. It also has a high concentration of provincial government institutions in the province of Camarines Sur, aside from the provincial government offices in Naga City.

Agricultural and agro-industrial developmentsEdit

The town of Pili has a “plain and elevated” geography, thus is very ideal for agriculture. Majority of the farmlands are in the area between the Uptown and Downtown Area. Rice, sugarcanes, and corn are the primary products.

Aside from being Bicolandia's Agro-Industrial Center, Pili is also the regional center of agricultural administration in the Bicol Region. At the barangay of San Agustin, the Department of Agriculture - Regional Office, the Central Bicol Experiment Station, and the Agricultural Training Institute are located.

Old agro-industrial zone

The old agro-industrial zone of the town is concentrated at the southwest portion of the town, and stretches along the Pili Diversion Road and south of the poblacion district (New San Roque, Anayan, etc.).

The Co Say and Company Inc. was the pioneer in the agro-industrial development of the town. It has an Oil Milling Plant which produces crude coconut oil at La Purisima near the Pili Diversion Road, and its former Rice Milling Plant at Tagbong. Now, the area also hosts the Partido Rice Mill, Bicol Biomass Energy Corporation (the first rice husk-fired power plant in Southern Luzon), B-Meg Plant - Southern Luzon Feedmill Inc. (SLFI), Penafrancia Sugar Mill (Pensumil), and giant warehouses of WL Foods Corporation, etc.

Santa Rita Industrial Park

The Santa Rita Industrial Park, developed by the Santa Rita Ecozone Corporation, is located in Barangay San Jose and Sagurong. It has a land area of 219 hectares.[12]

Isarog Heights Special Economic Zone

It is a planned new economic zone in the town. It will be developed by the Manubay Agro-Industrial and Development Corporation with an estimated project cost of 799.26 million pesos.[13] It has a land area of 124.3 hectares in the barangay of Cadlan, which has preferred industries in food processing and manufacturing.

Car sale and service centersEdit

Pili is now known for its giant warehouses and sale stores for cars and home furniture stretching along the Maharlika Highway in the barangay of San Jose, Cadlan, and Palestina. The developments are rapidly increasing since 2013.

San Jose houses the imposing car sales and service centers of Honda and Nissan, both conceded to be among the biggest in South Luzon. Foton, a China-based automaker, also open their own service center with Subaru Motors which is a near high-end car manufacturer. Home furniture sellers include the Uratex Foam, Union Galvasteel – Bicol Roll Forming Plant, FC Tile Center, and My Home Depot. The area also hosts the “Kakanon Bicol”, a restaurant for Bicol regions’ local delicacies. The barangay of Cadlan hosts the Toyota Camarines Sur, while Palestina hosts Mitsubishi and Isuzu.

Housing developmentsEdit

Just a neighboring town of Naga City, it is now the host of many housing developments ranging from middle to high class ones. Barangay Palestina is ideal for housing developments because it is the nearest barangay to the city. The advantage of Pili from the other neighboring towns of Naga City is its infrastructure developments like the Naga Airport and top tourist destinations like the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex. Housing developments in Palestina includes the Amaia Scapes, Lumina Homes, St. Paul Subdivision, Pamon Village, etc.

Filipino-Japanese Friendship Landmark located at Mt. Isarog, Sitio Boncao, Barangay Curry


The Mt. Isarog National Park is known for its rich biodiversity (Photo taken at Sitio Boncao, Curry)

At the foot of the mountain, the highland area of Mt. Isarog includes the barangays of Tinangis, Curry, and Santo Nino. Landmarks in this area includes the Filipino-Japanese Friendship Monument[14][15] declared as a National Historical Landmark in Sitio Boncao, Barangay Curry, White Cross at the entrance of Tinangis, and the Jose Velarde Race Track (Curry).

The Mt. Isarog National Park is not only known for its biodiversity and beauty; it is also famous for its clean and cold flowing water. The natural falls in Pili includes Tinagrawan Falls at Tinangis and the “Eight Waterfalls in One River of Sitio Boncao, Curry” which includes the Slide Falls and the Balang (Shower) Falls. One natural waterfall which is visible from the downtown especially during rainy weather is the Maati Falls. It came from the Bicol word "ati" or "loses a certain amount for a fluid", because the falls was perceived to vanish during a sunny weather and appear again during a rainy weather. However, it was believed that reaching the Maati Falls is very difficult. Also, multiple resorts in the area includes the Bongga Resort (Curry) and the Rokbee Resort (Tinangis). Mt. Isarog now serves as the source of drinking water throughout the town of Pili via the Pili Water District.


Climate data for Pili, Camarines Sur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33
Average low °C (°F) 27
Average precipitation mm (inches) 36.66
Average rainy days 18 23 16 17 25 28 31 26 27 29 24 29 293
Source: World Weather Online[16]



The Naga Airport is located inside the CBSUA Main Campus in San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur.

Pili is the site of Naga Airport.

The town is not coastal and thus depends mainly on land transportation. Major local transportation are either jeepneys or buses. Some barangays use motorcycles (habal-habal). The Philippine National Railways have a night train service from Manila called Mayon Limited. It arrives at Pili railway station at 5:58/5:59AM local time.


Water supplied by the established water system under the Pili Water District (PIWAD), which has a water source from Mt. Isarog. Power and electricity is supplied by the Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative II (CASURECO II).


There are two major “school belts” in the town: the San Jose (in the North) and the Pili Centro (in the South). The barangay of San Jose, which is considered as the provincial education hub, has the highest density in terms of number of learning institutions among the barangays in the town comparable to the whole of Centro district.

The “San Jose Belt” stretches along the Maharlika Highway from San Jose North Elementary School to San Jose South Elementary School. While, the “Pili Poblacion Belt” stretches also along the Maharlika Highway from the Universidad de Santa Isabel – Pili Campus up to Pili National High School. The two extremes of the Pili Poblacion Belt were not located but are nearby to the Poblacion district.

Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) a state university. Its main campus is located in the capital town of Pili and other campuses can also be found in the towns of Pasacao, Sipocot, and Calabanga, all in the province of Camarines Sur. The CBSUA is now SUC level IV and ISO 9001:2015 accredited, and celebrate its centennial year in 2018. The University continues to be a Center of Development first in Agricultural and then Education and Teaching Education in the country and is known as one of the National University/College of Agriculture (NUCA) in the Philippines.[17]


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: Camarines Sur". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2015). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Municipalities and Cities" Archived 2007-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. PSGC Interactive. Retrieved on 2012-05-23.
  6. ^ "The Capital Town: From Hinterlands to Bicolandia's Agro-Industrial Center". The Story of Pili, Camarines Sur. January 11, 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  7. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  8. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region V (Bicol Region)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  9. ^ "Province of Camarines Sur". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.bicolstandard.com/2019/05/kaogma-festival-2019-opens.html
  11. ^ ""Bicol's Boom Town: Bongat sees bullish Naga | Bicol Mail"".
  12. ^ "NSCB-RD5 - Updates >Investments Opportunity Areas". nap.psa.gov.ph. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  13. ^ "NSCB-RD5 - Updates >Investments Opportunity Areas". nap.psa.gov.ph. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  14. ^ "1996 Board Resolutions". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  15. ^ "NHI_res_6_1996.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  16. ^ "Pili, Camarines Sur: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". World Weather Online. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  17. ^ "CBSUA". www.cbsua.edu.ph. Retrieved 2019-05-15.

External linksEdit