Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
The people of Masbate were formerly called "Visaya" but when the province was transferred to Bicol region during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, they were called "Bicolanos" or "Masbatenos". Many of its people are immigrants from several provinces such as Romblon and Panay Island provinces. The people of Masbate are known as best in agriculture, history, politics and geography means. Major institutions of higher learning in the province include the Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) in Mandaon and in Masbate City, Osmeña College, Masbate Colleges, Liceo de Masbate and Southern Bicol College.
The province of Masbate is designated as a fourth class province.
Physically, Masbate lies exactly in the center of the Philippine archipelago north of the Visayas region. The main island looks like an arrowhead with its tip pointing north. Its southern portion encloses the Asid Gulf, while the Jintotolo Channel separates it from Panay Island. The Masbate Pass separates the two islands of Burias and Ticao from the main island of Masbate.
Ethnically, as well as geographically, the province is part of the Sibuyan Sea group of islands which includes Romblon, Marinduque, Sibuyan and many other small islands. There is an admixture of Visayan and Bicolano cultures in the area, and their language, Masbateño, is a Bisakol blend of Capiznon, Hiligaynon, Bikol, Waray-Waray, Cebuano, Romblomanon and Tagalog. Most of Masbate Island speaks Masbateño, but the peninsula which points towards Cebu speaks Cebuano and the peninsula which points towards Panay speaks Hiligaynon. All of Ticao Island and half of Burias Island speak Masbateño, but northern Burias speaks Central Bikol.
The islands of the Sibuyan Sea were well known to the Spanish explorers of the sixteenth century. Legazpi, from Cebu, had made exploratory trips to the islands of Masbate, Burias and Ticao. In later centuries Masbate had shipyards that built ships for the Manila-Acapulco trade. Other than this, there was not much development in the area during the Spanish regime. Names of places scattered over Masbate's 121 islands are reminders of the missionary journeys and church foundations that were made by the Spanish soldiers and missionaries long ago: San Pascual and Claveria in Burias, San Jacinto and Monreal in Ticao, Esperanza and Aroroy in mainland. Masbate town is the most important foundation however, and is now the seat of the diocese as well as the civil capital of the province.
Pre-Spanish Period During the pre-Spanish period, the province was part of the province of Sorsogon. The province is administrated by the Diocese of Sorsogon during the Spanish times.  Masbate as an Independent Province During the year 1917, the province became an independent province from its mother province, Sorsogon. Pio V. Corpuz (now a municipality of the province) became its founding governor since the American times. The governor's name, Pio V. Corpuz was adopted as a name of a municipality of the province in honor of his name.