In the beginning, a legend says that a long, long time ago, before the establishment of the municipality of Tiwi by the Spaniards,
the present poblacion, and the now barangays of Baybay, Libjo, Cararayan, and Naga were part of the Pacific Ocean, and the
hill shared together by barangays Bolo and Putsan was an islet. It was the ferocious volcanic eruption of the now extinct
Mount Malinao that filled up this part of the sea joining the hill of Bolo and Putsan with the mainland of Luzon. In late
1970s, during the start of energy exploration, a geothermal drilling in Brgy. Cale proved the truth of this legend for it
extracted sand and seashells at sea level.
Three hundred and forty-four years ago, Spanish Franciscan friars, 39 years after having established Christianity in Malinao
in 1619, planted the Cross on a virginal land near the shore north of Malinao. The land was luxuriant with a gabi-like plant
named Tigbi. Hence, the friars called the place Tigbi, which evolved into Tivi and, then, finally to its present name Tiwi.
This place began as a barrio of Malinao before it was formally organized as a politically independent pueblo in 1696.
As a pueblo, it was governed by a gobernadorcillo. As a Catholic parish, it was administered by a secular priest under the
then Diocese of Nueva Caceres, now an archdiocese. In its primeval stages, it had some 1,105 houses, a parish church, a community-funded
primary school, and a cemetery outside the town proper. The villagers ordinarily engaged in fishing, planting rice, corn,
sugarcane, indigo, fruit-bearing trees, and vegetables. Aside from agriculture, they also busied themselves weaving cotton
and abaca clothes, and in pottery.
In Kagnipa, known today as Barangay Baybay, the dilapidated Sinimbahan, the remnant of the first concrete house of worship
built by the Franciscans led by the pastor of Malinao, Fray Pedro de Brosas, remains to be the deaf witness of both the villagers'
ready acceptance of the Christian faith and their suffering of persecution at the hands of the Moslems; Christian missionaries
called them Moros. The parola by the shore of Sitio Nipa of the same barangay testifies to the people's paralyzing fear of
the Moros' capricious forays. The market site of the pueblo before these raids was located in the present location of Baybay
Elementary School. In order to sidetrack surprise attacks, at least temporarily, the market site was transferred to southernmost
part of now Brgy. Baybay; henceforth, it was called Binanwaan. The transfer, however, was useless. Finally, to have enough
time to escape and keep themselves safer from their enemies' easy attacks, they moved the market site and their settlement
to the present poblacion now named as Barangay Tigbi. Before the Moro's assaults, Brgy. Baybay was then the center of trade
and commerce because of its easy accessibility to marine transportation of goods from the islands of what are now known as
Catanduanes, San Miguel, Rapu-Rapu, and Batan, not to mention those from adjoining pueblos in the mainland of Ibalon, now
the province of Albay, and the Camarines.
In the extant records of the municipality, the first chief executive of the municipal government was Don Lorenzo Mancilla
installed in 1776.
After three centuries of sociopolitical, religious and economic evolution and of ups and downs through thick and thin, Tiwi
is now Albay's Center of Pilgrimage and Power House with promising prospects for domestic and foreign investments. The present
mayor, Patria C. Gutierrez, the 117th chief executive of Tiwi, in her stint at United Nations as Chairperson of the IULA (International
Union of Local Authorities) Task Force on Women in Local Government, is now making known to the world the little town of Tiwi
with its beauty and grandeur yet to be fully discovered even by its own people.