According to Father Cayetano Sanchez, OFM who made
researches on Bicol History at the Franciscan Archives on Pastrona, Spain. In
1569, a Spanish galleon led by Capt. Luis Enriquez de Guzman came to Bicol
Region accidentally as they were scouting the neighboring islands in search for
food supplies badly needed by Legazpi's soldiers stationed in Panay. From
Sorsogon, de Guzman ventured northward inland and went as far as Camalig where
they came upon a thriving and prosperous agricultural settlement (rancheria)
whose inhabitants kept their farm products in little hut grass roofs without
walls called “KAMALIG” in the local language. De Guzman and his men stayed then
for a brief rest and the friars started civilizing the natives.
So it is easy to deduce that Camalig got
its name from this native hut used for storing harvest or crops. It is also
noted that its hispanization from camarin especially the plural camarines was
soon used by the Spanish forces in referring to the subsequent areas they
explored and conquered a year later, the present Camarines Sur and Camarines
Norte. This led to a plausible though still unverified conjective that Camalig
in fact comprised the entire Bicol mainland in the minds of the Spanish
colonizer in the early part of 1570.
Camalig was founded as a town in 1579 by
the Franciscan missionaries, Father Pablo de Jesus and Father Bartolome Ruiz,
who continued the catholicization drive by the Augustinian Chaplain during the
early Spanish expedition to the region.