Masbate, the Cattle Capital of the Philippines

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Known as the ranch capital of the Philippines where cowhands on horseback herd cattle across wide and beautiful landscapes, Masbate in the Bicol Region traces its industry’s roots to the Manila-Acapulco trade of the 16th to the 19th centuries.

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Back then cattle was imported from Mexico and taken to this center of the Philippine archipelago on the southwestern coast, alongside Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.

Highly suited for ranching due to its weather and terrain, Masbate’s livestock industry to this very day plays a huge role in the region’s economy. And among the provinces of Bicol, only this island shows increasing cattle production by an average of 3,790 heads per year. Fittingly, Masbate has earned the title “Cattle Capital of the Philippines,” and subsequently, “Home of Philippine Rodeo.”

In 1993, a group of ranchers collectively known as Rodeo Masbateño Inc. (RMI) institutionalized the Rodeo Masbateño. Now known simply as the province’s Rodeo Festival, it has become a major event for Filipino ranchers and ranchers, as well as the entire people of Masbate.

An annual event that takes place every summer in Masbate City, the Rodeo Festival showcases skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling and riding cattle. Also included in the event are a fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses.

Masbate is comprised of 22 municipalities including San Pascual. It has a total of 39 islands and islets with a land area roughly covering 23 percent of the Bicol Region, and over one percent of the national land area.

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