Buhi, (Rinconada Bikol: Banwāan ka Buhi; Tagalog: Bayan ng Buhi), officially the Municipality of Buhi, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 77,143 people.
Buhi is not just known for Lake Buhi but it is likewise the home to the world’s smallest commercial fish locally known as the sinarapan (Mystychtis luzonensis).
Buhi is located in the south-eastern part of the province of Camarines Sur. It is bound on the east by Mount Malinao, on the west by Mount Asog and Iriga City, on the north by Sagñay-Buhi mountain ranges and on the south by the low-lying ranges of Polangui, Albay, with the following coordinates: 13 degrees 25’ 32.4″ north latitude and 123 degrees 30’ 49.1″ east longitude. It is 75 kilometres (47 mi) north-east of Legaspi City and 53 kilometres (33 mi) and south of Naga City.
The municipality has been divided into five sectors, namely:
The Lake/Mt. Asog Sector
The Road/Cross road Sector
The Mountain Sector
The Malangkaw Sector
Buhi has generally mountainous and hilly surface, with 50% of its area having a slope of around 25%. The Poblacion located on the south shore of Lake Buhi, has gently rolling topography.
Mt. Malinao and Mt. Asog dominate the town’s surface terrain whose highest elevations are 1,548 metres (5,079 ft) and 1,196 metres (3,924 ft) above main sea level respectively.
Buhi has a warm, humid climate. During the warmest months from March to June, temperatures reach 29.2 °C (84.6 °F). The weather cools off during the rainy season which last from August to February with an average temperature of 24.7 °C (76.5 °F).
|Climate data for Buhi Cam Sur|
|Average high °C (°F)||31|
|Average low °C (°F)||26|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||64.54|
|Average rainy days||22||26||18||19||24||30||31||29||29||29||27||30||314|
|Source: World Weather Online|
A total area of 24,665 hectares (60,950 acres) is occupied by the municipality, about 13,000 hectares of which are part of the watershed in Rinconada. 18,378 hectares (45,410 acres) of its land area are within the watershed declared as protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 573 and Executive Order no. 224. All other areas are cultivated for agriculture, quarry and human settlement. Higher slopes east and north of Lake Buhi are predominantly forests and secondary brushland. Total area utilized as built-up areas is 448 hectares (1,110 acres).
Farmlands make up about 7,500 hectares (19,000 acres) of which about 2,375 hectares (5,870 acres) have access to irrigation, while 600 hectares (1,500 acres) are non-irrigated. About 2,811 hectares (6,950 acres) are open water spaces of Lake Buhi, and other lakes and streams.
Buhi is politically subdivided into 38 barangays.
• Sta. Cruz
• Monte Calvario
• Divino Rostro
• Amlongan (del Rosario)
• San Vicente
• San Antonio
• Sta. Lourdes
• Sta. Isabel
• Delos Angeles
• Sta. Justina
• San Ramon
• Dela Fe
• San Jose Salay
• San Isidro
• San Francisco Parada
• San Rafael
• Sta. Clara
• San Pedro
• San Pascual
• San Buena
• Sta. Elena
• San Roque
• San Jose Baybayon
In the 2020 census, the population of Buhi, Camarines Sur, was 81,306 people,  with a density of 330 inhabitants per square kilometre or 850 inhabitants per square mile.
The total population was 70,756 in 2007, with a growth rate of about 2.1%. The total number of households was 13,238 and with an average household size of 5 persons. At the 2010 census, the population has increased to 73,809 persons. The local language is Buhinon, a dialect of Bikolano.
Literacy rate of Buhi is about 99%. The labor force is about 24,000 people strong, or 63% of economically productive people age 15 to 64 years old.
8 out of 10 persons are Roman Catholics; Iglesia ni Cristo makes up about 2% of the total population which is the largest minority religion in the municipality.
Buhinon is the mother tongue of the majority of the population especially those residing around the lake area with Rinconada Bikol as its second language especially the folks residing on the eastern part of the municipality near Iriga City. Buhinon is classified as a lone language, and the only one used in the province of Camarines Sur. Buhinon, the Albay Bikol languages, and Rinconada Bikol are members of Inland Bikol group of languages and share common vocabulary.
- Two thirds of the population depend on agriculture.
- More than one-fifth of the total land area is devoted to agriculture primary crops are rice, corn, coconut, and abaca.
- Rice grows in the vast field of Road sector while corn and abaca are being grown at Mountain Sector.
- Three major road networks that link the town to the adjacent province of Albay, Partido District and Iriga City. Most of its roads are gravel, especially those in the lake, road and mountain sectors.
- Presence of tricycles and jeepneys
- Presence of non-aircon and aircon buses
- Presence of motorized boats and bancas
- Presence of motorcycles called door-to-door
- Rural Waterworks Multi-Purpose
- Cooperative provides the potable drinking water to at least 1,683 households in 7 suburban areas
- Pongol Hot Spring
- Balerite Resort
- Lologon Resort
- Burabod ririgusan- tubog Lourdes Buhi Camarines sur
Power and electricity:
- CASURECO III delivers electricity to 63% of households and business establishments and 97% of barangays
- Host to a 1.2 MW mini hydro-electric power plant of the National Power Corporation
Presence of 1 public hospital; 3 private medical clinics; 38 health stations/centers; 3 pharmacies
- Buhi Community Hospital (temporarily closed by DOH)
- Claveria Clinic
- Portugal Clinic
- Sabio-Valenciano Clinic
- No. of pre-schools: 33 public and 4 private schools
- No. of elementary schools: 33 public and 4 private schools
- No. of high schools: 3 private and 6 public schools
- No. of colleges: 1 state college
- No. of universities: 1 state university
- Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges
Public High Schools:
- Sta. Justina National High School
- Tambo Barangay National High School
- San Vicente Barangay National High School
- Lourdes High School (New Open Public High school)
- Iraya High School (New Open Public High School)
- Salvacion High School (New Open Public High School)
- Sta. Isabel High School (Soon to Operate)
- John Mark Memorial High School
Private High Schools:
- Buhi St. Joseph’s Academy Inc. (formerly St. Joseph’s Academy)
- Buhi Lyceum
- St. Bridget School
Private Elementary Schools:
- Buhi Institute Foundation
- Holy Child Educational Center (Buhi Branch)
- Buhi Lyceum
• Buhi Online: www.buhi.com
• Buhi Forum : @buhiforum
• Banwaang Mauyay : @BanwaangMauyay
• 88.5 DWLF-FM Barita 88.5 (relay of Barita 97/7 FM Goa – Rural Airwaves Media Service (RAMS) – Inactive
• 97.7 DWEA FM – Buhi (Radyo Buhi, Numero Uno) Celebrates its 7th year anniversary (September 11, 2010)
• 100.1 Radyo Natin-Buhi (Sa Buhi Ika Sana)
• 102.9 DWLR – Lauyay Radio (closed)
Buhi has a lot of beautiful spots to offer to local and foreign tourists. Among the tourist spots are: Lake Buhi, which is the habitat of the world’s smallest commercial edible fish known as Sinarapan scientifically named Mistichtys luzonensis and adjudged as the 1996 as the Cleanest Lake in the Philippines in the National Clean and Green Program. The Lake is 1,800 hectares inland body of water, 300 feet above sea level, surrounded by hills and mountains, and maintained by water coming from the mountain springs and streams. It is likewise use for irrigating some 13,000 hectares of Riceland in Rinconada and for power generation by People’s Energy Co. Inc.
Tourist spots in Buhi:
- Sinarapan Sanctuaries – Lakes Manapao and Katugday are mountain lakelets in San Ramon, Buhi where the repopulation project for the sinarapan is being undertaken. These are about 120 meters above mean sea level and located 3 kilometers west of Lake Buhi.
- Itbog Twin Falls – Located in Bgy. Santa Cruz, on the south-eastern side of Lake Buhi, is 60 feet twin waterfalls. It could be reached by means of a motorized boat ride from the town proper, then a 30-minute trek.
- Baybay Falls in Ipil, can be reached either on foot or by boat. Both are idyllic hplaces to visit to refresh weary bodies and to lift up drooping spirits. Soak in the scenery and savor the serenity.
- Magindara Resort – it is sprawling resort overlooking Lake Buhi in barangay Salvacion, a favorite place for picnics and outings. Several vantage points offer expansive vistas of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Stroll through the area, see the beauty of Lake Buhi and experience its charm. Owned by the local government, its further development is now under contract with the Provincial Government, giving the right of usufruct over the said resort. Watch for its new look as a tourist destination in the near future.
- Buhi Forest – it is home to some wildlife and at least 25 bird species, 5 of which are endemic: Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Philippine Hanging Parrot, Elegant Tit, Black Napped Monarch, and White Eared Brown Dove.
- Nakabuhi Park – It memorializes in sculpture an important event in Buhi’s history: the escape of a group of Albayanos from the wrath of Mt. Mayon’s eruption. Those “escapees” or “nakabuhi” formed the first settlement at Marayag, a place by the lake in present-day Barangay San Buenaventura. “Buhi”, the town’s name and said to have been derived from the said catastrophic occurrence, is written in various forms in Spanish records as Bui, Buy, Buhy, Buji, and Finally, Buhi.
- Sarikaw Statue – The mythical ” Sarikaw”, a peerless and generous game hunter who once roamed the primeval forest and mountains, is part of Buhi folklore. His extraordinary exploits have endured in legend, passed on in stories by town’s early native inhabitants. His imposing statue now stands like a sentinel guarding the gateway to Buhi.
- St. Francis of Assissi Church and Belfry – The evangelization of Buhi began with the arrival of the Franciscan missionaries in 1578 which paves the way for the foundation of the parish in 1605. The present church made of stone built in the 1870’s has one of the highest belfries in the Bicol Region. In its side altar is the venerated image of the Blessed Virgin of Mary under her title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. This miraculous Image is the only one of its kind in the entire Philippines, continuously drawing devotees, pilgrims and believers from all walks of life from far and near. Come, she awaits you.
- Lake Buhi Resort – a resort of triple “A” standard in a 2-hectare site in Cabatuan, has a three storey building with 154 superior guest rooms and an attic with a balcony providing a panoramic view of Lake Buhi, the surrounding mountain ranges and he majestic Mayon Volcano.
- Lodging and Dining – Cozy places such as Bistro Antonio Hotel, Restaurant and Videoke Bar, Villa Florencia, Rachelles’s Diners, and Narabel Tourist Inn offer accommodation and dining at affordable rates.
- Swimming – experience the cool, clear and clean running waters amidst the lush green at Pongol Spring, and La Fresca Resort in barangay Antipolo and Sinagpan Spring Resort in barangay Sta. Justina.
- Other recreational activities – Mountaineering, trekking, boating and hiking maybe pre-arranged with the local tourism office.