Type: Municipality
Island group: Luzon
Region: Bicol Region (Region V)
Province: Camarines Sur
Barangay: count 38
Postal code: 4433
Coastal/Landlocked: Landlocked
Marine water bodies: none (landlocked)
Philippine major island(s): Luzon
Area (2007): 246.65 km2 (95.23 sq mi)
Population (2015): 77,143
Density (2015): 313 / km2 (810 / sq mi)
Coordinates: 13° 26′ North, 123° 31′ East (13.4342, 123.5165)
Estimated elevation above sea level: 90.1 meters (295.5 feet)

Buhi is a landlocked municipality in the coastal province of Camarines Sur.

The municipality has a land area of 246.65 square kilometers or 95.23 square miles which constitutes 4.49% of Camarines Sur’s total area. Its population as determined by the 2015 Census was 77,143. This represented 3.95% of the total population of Camarines Sur province, or 1.33% of the overall population of the Bicol Region. Based on these figures, the population density is computed at 313 inhabitants per square kilometer or 810 inhabitants per square mile.

History of buhi

Available historical references and chronicles of friars and native historians recorded that, on April 14, 1578, Captain Pedro de Chavez and Father Tomas Francisco and some members of a Spanish exploring party discovered and founded Buhi. Its inhabitants that time were small number of dark skinned pagans scattered in different settlements. Pre-Hispanic settlement in Buhi already existed. Along shores of the lake were small huts of the Aetas who lived by fishing and hunting.

The Buhi tribe was probably the smallest migratory barangay and peaceful by force of circumstances. They must have sailed to Bicol Peninsula, landing at a point near Camalig, Albay as some words of the dialect of Camalig is akin to Buhinon. Due to raids of Chinese and Moro Pirates of coastal settlements, the Buhi tribe sought refuge in the hinterlands near Mt. Malinao, evading also the active Mayon Volcano. Along their exodus, the tribe rested at what is now Labawon. From this promotory, they saw Lake Buhi. Thus, the laketown of Buhi was settled. In short, this small tribe practically escaped from pirate raids or is pushed back into safer sanctums but stronger succeeding waves of migrants – bigger groups of Indonesians speaking the Rinconada dialect and in turn by stronger Malayan tribe speaking the Bicol dialect. The term “Nakabuhi”, shortened by Spanish Chroniclers to “Buhi” means “able to escape”. The Vice-President Fernando Lopez came to Buhi in 1950 and said that Buhi in Capiz, Panay means “Buhay” of Life. Either translation points to a strong and logical probability of how the people of Buhi left their place of origin and came to Lake Buhi and live a life of peace.
Year 1951 was the earliest information of settlement in Buhi under the Spanish colonization where there is an existing Encomienda system and that the main features of development consist of a church, a school, a market place and the municipio with grid system in the cebecca typical of Spanish urban planning.

Although roads were already in existence in this town which linked it to nearby towns of the district now called Rinconada, Buhi remained isolated from the rest of the district due to its abundant nature resources which makes the town self-reliant. However, continuous progress made it possible for the town not to trade or engage in commerce with its neighbors.

The advent of American rule in the town saw many changes in the area. Infrastructures were introduced to the economic life of the people. These years became prosperous one for Buhi until the outbreak of the Pacific war in Year 1941-1945.

After the Philippines was granted independence in July 1946 and on the following year the first election of the Republic was held, Buhi’s first elected Mayor Agustin Villadares, Sr. and there were succession of elected Municipal Mayors, the incumbent of which now is Mayor Margarita M. Aguinillo, each of whom contributed to the development of the municipality.