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) is an island province in the Philippines located near the middle of the nation's archipelago. The province consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.Masbate is at the crossroads of two island groups: Visayas and Luzon. However, from a bio-geographic and sociolinguistic perspective, Masbate has a stronger affiliation/connection with Visayas.By 1575, Masbate had become a priority in the Augustinian Missionary Memoranda.
Other later documents such as Artieda‟s Relacion (1573) and Andres de Mirandaola‟s letter (1574) refer to a place called Masbat or Masbad.The administration of Masbate was given back to the Mitra after the Recollects left Masbate in 1794.All in all, over 60 Recollect missionaries were assigned in Masbate for a period of more than 100 years.The jurisdiction of Nueva Caceres embraced the entire provinces of Camarines and Albay, as far as and including the islands of Ticao, Masbate, Burias, and Catanduanes; the province of Tayabas, as far as and including Lucban; and in the opposite coast of Maobàn, to Binangonan, Polo, Baler, and Casiguran.At one time, it was governed by his very illustrious Lordship Doctor Don Ysidoro de Arevalo, who was the bishop-elect.