Earlier than 1847, Irosin was a far inland valley unspoiled by human settlers and covered by vast forest expanse teeming with wild animals. Irosin was among the last places in the Philippines to be populated. Most of the natives during the early 19th century lived along the coastal areas where it was more accessible to commercial, travel and communication activities at the time. The place have been an undisturbed sanctuary for wildlife until settlers from Bulusan in search of wild quarry and rattan came. These pioneers, using the slash-and-burn method, cleared a settlement beside a river which gave birth to a clearing called Hin-ay, an Albayanon word which denotes the arrangement of the abaca yarn or tupos into a zigzagging pattern (hinan-ay) in preparation for its actual weaving. Accordingly, the hin-ay or the pattern was the image drawn to connote the waving rivers crisscrossing from the mountains down the valley. In yet another account, the word hin-ay was purported to have been derived from the term an-hay which means gradually ascending. The original settlement which is now called San Agustin is located east of the town proper at a higher elevation, thus the gradual ascent from the lower villages to the then barrio center of San Agustin.
It was in 1847 when Hin-ay was declared a barrio of Bulusan. Deeply influenced by Catholicism brought by the Spanishfriars the native of Hin-ay constructed a makeshift chapel and dedicated it to their patron, Saint Michael of Archangel. As years passed, the original clearing has grown into a bustling community and eventually the native Irosanons requested the church authorities to bestow upon San Miguel a status independent and separate from that of Bulusan. The petition was granted and Holy Masses on Sundays and holidays of obligations were held regularly.
In 1876, the Parish of San Miguel was officially recognized with Father Mariano Miranda as its parish priest. Town fiesta, in honor of San Miguel, was celebrated every 29 September and consequently, the name Hin-ay was changed to San Miguel. On the 12 December 1879, through a Royal Decree executed by the Governor General Domingo Moriones y Murillo, San Miguel became a duly constituted town and in 1880, it flourished as an independent political unit under the Province of Albay when Sorsogon, until the 10 October 1894 was not yet separated from its mother province.
It was during the incumbency of Father Esteban Rivera in 1887 when the name San Miguel was again changed to Irosin. The word was derived from the local term iros which means to cut-off a part. The word was traced to have come from an old tailor's term synonymous with tabas as in "irosi an hiniro" or cut a part of the cloth. Iros was the image most probably drawn to connote the gush or flow of floodwaters eroding riverbanks and cutting through lands to eventually form another river or river route.Tourism and Historical Spots
Irosin has many potential tourist spots varying from natural parks, hot and cold springs, inland waters, viewing areas and historical landmarks. The popular tourist attraction in the municipality are the Mateo Hot and Cold Springs Resort, St. Michael Archangel Roman Catholic Church built on top of a hill and the newly operated Guest World Resort and Tourist Inn. The Bolos Crystal Spring and the Valley View Park where eateries, kiosks and parking spaces are in place are rest areas for truckers and travelers plying the Maharlika Highway from the north of Luzon to destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao Islands or vice versa.
Irosin is an ideal site for mountaineering and ecological trek that is now becoming popular among tourists. The municipality is an entry and exit area to Bulusan Volcano Natural Park one of the remaining tropical forests in the Bicol Region and declared as a protected area due to its rich biological diversity. Mount Jormajan and the mountain ranges in barangay Cawayan and Tabon-tabon are also mountaineering and ecological trek sites.
A number of tourist accommodations and facilities are present namely the Mateo Hot and Cold Springs Resort, Guest World Resort and Tourist Inn, Villa Lim Condominium and Saint Michael Lodging House. Several restaurants, snack bars and eateries and fast food stalls are available and found along the main thoroughfares in the Central Business District and in the Irosin Public Market.
The most common and popular cultural activities and festivals in Irosin are the Santacruzan, village fiestas and the feast day of Saint Michael Archangel the town’s patron saint. During the annual celebration of the feast day a series of activities are held starting in the month of August until the end of September among which are amateur singing contests, sports league, agro-industrial trade fair, search for Mutya ng Hin-ay, parade, dancing in the public auditorium and novena, procession of the patron saint and masses at the Catholic church. The Paray Festival a demonstration of thanksgiving by the people of Irosin for the good harvest and the graces that the God almighty provided is also held during this period.
From Manila, take a bus ride (Philtranco, Penafrancia Tours, AMA Trans, BLTB, and other bus lines) and enjoy the rural scenery in a 12-hour trip. Night and day trips are available from Ali Mall-Cubao and Pasay stations. You can also take a plane ride at the Manila Domestic Airport to Legazpi, then catch a bus ride from Legazpi to Irosin or the connecting bus/jeepney ride from Legazpi to Sorsogon, and then Sorsogon to Irosin.
Irosin economy is basically agricultural, the major products is farm based composed mainly of crops, livestock and poultry. Rice, the staple food of many Filipinos and Asians, is the primary crop produced constituting 63.7% of the estimated peso value of the entire agricultural crops produced in the municipality. The supply of rice is sufficient enough to meet the demand of the local population. Generated rice surplus is shipped and sold to neighboring municipalities and as far as the Islands of Masbate and Samar. Coconut and abaca, the local commercial export crops are secondary, coconut has a share of 23.8% while abaca covers 10.8% in the estimated peso value of the entire agricultural crops produced. Citrus, vegetables, root crops and fruits are minor crops produced in the municipality with a combined value of only 1.7%.
Poultry and livestock are the secondary sources of income of most families in Irosin. Swine and chicken whether native or hybrid is raised by more families compared to other kind of livestock and fowls. Swine are usually grown in the backyard and there are only a few small-scale commercial animal raisers with breeding stock from 2 to 7 breeders.
Handicrafts from abaca and buri strips and wild vines are produced locally for export but the market had become scarce and further abaca production has declined due to the disease that greatly damaged local abaca plantations forcing entrepreneurs engaged in handicraft to close shop. There is also the coconut fiber extractor and coconut fiber twine maker that produces half finished products used in making mattresses, beds and furniture upholstery. Metal fabricators making grills, tricycle body, farm hand tractors and threshers and metal crafts are also present.Potential Products for Export
The local major export products are abaca hemp and copra. Handicrafts made of abaca and buri strips and wild vines are also being exported. The promising new local product for export is the coconut fiber and twine made as major component in upholstery of beds, mattresses and furniture and in the production of soil stabilizer for riverbank and irrigation canal protection to prevent erosion and collapse. Another potential export product is pili nut made into sweets and candies.Investment Potential
The investment potentials in Irosin that are agriculture based are agri-business ventures like rice, coconut and commercial crops production as well as hog and poultry farms. Tree farming are also encouraged in mountainous areas and steep slopes 18% and above. Agricultural products processing namely rice milling, cereal processing, meat processing, vegetable and fruit processing, coconut processing including its by-products and organic fertilizer production are investment priority areas. Miscellaneous manufacturing like garments, handicrafts, metal crafts, assemblers of jeepney and tricycle body, hand tractors and threshers and building components are encouraged.
Subdivision and housing development, memorial parks and resorts and ecological tourism facilities development are feasible ventures. Investments in the establishment and operation of slaughterhouse, bonded and other kinds of warehouse, integrated public transport terminal and recreation and amusement centers are promising.Vision and Mission Statement
"We envision Irosin to be peaceful and globally competitive community in a life-sustaining environment with God-loving people who are gender-sensitive, productive and participative in a just, responsive, efficient, transparent and accountable governance. The municipality of Irosin is committed to promote the general welfare of Irosinians and develop all human resources through comprehensive and integrated delivery of basic services, enhancement of multi-sectoral participation and mustering of resources towards sustainable development."Barangays
Irosin is politically subdivided into 28 barangays.