Calapan City is currently one of the only two cities (the other being Puerto Princesa City) in the MIMAROPA region of the Philippines.
Calapan was formerly a small village before the establishment of the first Religious District in Baco. The District convent was transferred to Calapan in 1733 and began its jurisdiction over the Northern Mindoro Ecclesiastical Area.
In the early 18th century, the town only occupied a strip of land stretching from Ibaba to Ilaya in a cross-shape facing the present church and cut-off by the river. Later on, succeeding barrios were founded
In 1837, the capital of the province was moved from Puerto Galera to Calapan. When Mindoro became a part of Marinduque on June 13, 1902, the provincial capital was once again moved to Puerto Galera. In November 10, 1902, Mindoro was detached from Marinduque. In 1903, Calapan once again became the provincial capital.
When Mindoro was detached from Marinduque on November 10, 1902, Baco, Puerto Galera and San Teodoro were annexed to Calapan in 1905 under Act. 1280, adding a total area of 843 sq. km. of land. In 1902, under Act 2824, the three (3) municipalities gained their independence.
In 1919, the boundary dispute between Calapan and Naujan was adjudicated by Presidentes Agustin Quijano of Calapan and Agustin Garong of Naujan over a portion of the territory of what is now known as the present boundary. The portion of agricultural area was awarded to Naujan, thus, making the area of Calapan much smaller as compared to that of Naujan which is now considered as the biggest municipality of the province.
At present, Calapan has an area of only 250.06 sq. km (according to LMB). It has also jurisdiction over the three (3) Baco Islets on the Calapan Bay and the two (2) Silonay Islets.
The City of Calapan has been transformed as a component city on March 21, 1998. Its conversion was based on Republic Act 8475, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on February 2, 1998. In a plebiscite held on March 21, 1998, majority of Calapeños ratified the conversion of Calapan into a city. It is the first and only city in the province of Oriental Mindoro.
Since its creation as a city, Calapan has witnessed significant strides in commerce and industry, infrastructure and social services. New commercial establishments were opened providing employment and income opportunities for the residents. An expanded program on social services delivery, particularly in health care and education, were undertaken. The city’s physical infrastructure was upgraded which includes the construction of new roads and drainage facilities, as well as a new City Government Center. Tourism was boosted with the opening of inland resorts and new hotels.
Calapan City was hit by tropical depression Quedan and heavy moonson rains on December 11, 2005 resulting in massive flooding all over the city and nearby municipalities. It was reported that 60 out of the 62 barangays were affected by floods due to the swelling of the Bucayao River, a river located at the southern part of the city that spans seven barangays, and a landslide occurrence in the Bucayao dike.
On December 18, 2005, PAGASA issued the final bulletin of TD Quedan. However, as it moved farther away from the country, eastern and southern Luzon still experienced continuous rains which resulted in renewed breaching of the temporary dike in Calapan City.
According to the website of the International Red Cross Federation and Red Crescent Society, 14,247 families or 85,446 people were affected in Calapan City and four other towns.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited Calapan City on December 7, 2005 to personally assess the situation and presided over the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) emergency meeting with concerned local government officials in Oriental Mindoro and turned over 200 sacks of rice to PDCC Oriental Mindoro and City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) Calapan City.
On December 8, 2005, Ms. Arroyo presided the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) emergency meeting at the National Disaster Management Center and gave instructions to fast track the restoration of electricity in the affected city and municipalities of Oriental Mindoro and issued a memorandum to all implementing agencies to maintain 24-hour operations in their respective operation centers in view of PAGASA's forecast of long period of rains induced by northeasterly wind.
In compliance with the above instructions, the NDCC wrote a letter of request addressed to the General Manager of the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO) to fast track the full restoration of electric power supply of the affected areas particularly in Calapan City. In addition, Memorandum Circular No. 08 was issued to NDCC member agencies for the maintenance of round the clock manning of respective agency operations center for quick response in case flooding and other similar disaster situations.
The NDCC Operations Center coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the availability of all aircraft for the conduct of ocular inspection, damage assessment, search, rescue and relief operations in the flood-stricken areas in Mindoro and Palawan. With the cooperation of the Department of Transportation and Communications (Philippines) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), trips from Calapan City to southern Mindoro were suspended.
On the other hand, the National Food Authority (Philippines) (NFA) released 1,000 sacks of rice (300 to PDCC Oriental Mindoro, 200 to Calapan City and 500 to PDCC Palawan) while the Department of Health (Philippines) (DOH) provided assorted medicines worth of P1,788,287.00 that were divided to Mindoro and Palawan provinces. The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine National Red Cross provided assorted relief goods (food and non-food items) to familied affected by flood.
Senator Manny Villar also donated 1000 boxes of repacked rice and 1000 boxes of used clothing on December 11, 2005.
The City Government established a community kitchen at Jose J. Leido Jr. Memorial National High School evacuation and provided assorted relief goods to more than 100 affected families.
Calapan City also declared a State of Calamity to utilize its 5% local Calamity Fund for emergency relief operations.
The city is host to numerous higher education institutions. The Divine Word College of Calapan (DWCC), a Catholic college run by the Divine Word Missionaries is currently the largest institution of higher learning in the city and the province of Oriental Mindoro. Other private institutions of higher learning include the Luna Goco Medical Center and Colleges (Nursing and Medicine), St. Anthony College of Science and Technology (Information Technology), Filipino Academy of Scientific Trades (Maritime Studies), AMA Computer Learning Center (Information Technology), and CLCC Institute of Computer Arts and Technology (Information Technology).
There are currently two public higher educational institutions in the city. One is the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology. The other is the City College Of Calapan which was opened last June 2008 through the initiative of City Mayor Salvador Leachon.
Calapan City has seven national high schools (NHS), the largest of which is the LEMNAHIS. Other public high schools include the Ceriaco Abes Memorial National High School (MNHS), Parang NHS, Canubing NHS, Managpi NHS, Pedro V. Panaligan MNHS, the Community Vocational High School, and the LEMNAHIS Bucayao Annex.
The Catholic Church also runs the Holy Infant Academy,while DWCC also maintains a Basic Education Department
Public elementary schools are organized into three districts. They are the Calapan West, Calapan South and Calapan East Districts.
The city is served primarily by the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital which is also the largest hospital in the province. There are also numerous private hospitals in the city such as the Maria Estrella General Hospital,Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative, Sta. Maria Village Clinic and the Luna-Goco Medical Center.
In addition, the city has well-equipped public health centers providing free health check-ups and basic medicine supplies to all residents. These public centers are being funded and supported by the City Health and Sanitation Department.
Arts and Culture
Calapan City has a diverse culture due to its mixed population. The city is known for its colorful local festivities and glamorous santacruzan celebration. Two of the city's recognized festivals are the Harvest Festival and the Sinkaw Festival.
The Harvest Festival, celebrated on March 21 along with the city's founding day was conceptualized by the city government council in recognition of Calapan City's achievement as one of the major exporter of rice in the Philippines. The city was once an importer of rice but now rice is the most important export of Calapan. According to city statistics, the increase in palay production is attributed to the improvement of the city’s agricultural programs.
The Sinkaw Festival derives its name from “sining kalabaw' or carabao arts, a creative artistic painting competition with no less than the carabaos as “canvasses.” This festival honors the city's native “beasts of the burden” as an eternally indispensable partner in farming and, essentially, a special tribute to the farmers’ industry.
The city and provincial governments also maintain separate libraries and museums. Moreover, the Calapan City Plaza which is located in front of the old city hall in San Vicente East is one of the city's famed attractions because of its unique features that includes a statue of a Mangyan man standing beside a tamaraw. The statue has now become the most famous landmark of the city.
Economy and Agriculture
Since 1998, the city has experienced rapid development. The establishment of a special development area, particularly an eco-zone for light industries located at the Urban Development Area (Lumangbayan and Guinobatan), has been promoted and now serves as growth area which generates employment and spurs economic opportunities. Such industries focus on agro-industrial based activities such as food processing, handicraft making, furniture making and other related activities.
Calapan City plays a major role in the Philippine economy as one of the major food suppliers in the country. The city is also a major exporter of rice supplying to Metro Manila and major parts of Luzon making it both an agriculturally-progressive and urbanized city. The five major crops are rice, citrus, banana, rambutan and lanzones. The top five industries in Calapan City are trading, tourism, services, marine and aquatic, and food processing.
San Vicente Central
San Vicente Central is one of Calapan City's barangays and serves as the commercial and financial center of the city. Some of the big establishments in San Vicente Central are the Hotel Mayi, the tallest building in Oriental Mindoro; the Citimart Island Mall and Cinema; the Calapan City Public Market; GE Mart (Golden Eagle Mart); Globe Telecom; Smart Communications Wireless Center; Caballero Marketing; People's Arcade; Good Morning Enterprises and Juanita Mart.
Major Philippine banking institutions have established their local branches here including the Philippine National Bank, Metrobank, Chinabank, Bank of Commerce, Banco De Oro, Landbank of the Philippines, Allied Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank, The Country Bank, and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
San Vicente Central is divided by J.P. Rizal Avenue which is lined by several commercial establishments.
Chinese Calapenos make up the majority of the vendors. On the other hand, a growing number of Muslim merchants from the southern Philippines also constitutes a minority group.
City of Calapan is politically subdivided into 62 barangays: Balingayan, Balite, Baruyan, Batino, Bayanan I, Bayanan II, Biga, Bondoc, Bucayao, Buhuan, Bulusan, Sta. Rita, Calero, Camansihan, Camilmil, Canubing I, Canubing II, Comunal, Guinobatan, Gulod, Gutad, Ibaba East, Ibaba West, Ilaya, Lalud, Lazareto, Libis, Lumangbayan, Mahal Na Pangalan, Maidlang, Malad, Malamig, Managpi, Masipit, Nag-Iba I, Navotas, Pachoca, Palhi, Panggalaan, Parang, Patas, Personas, Puting Tubig, San Raphael (formerly Salong), San Antonio, San Vicente Central, San Vicente East, San Vicente North, San Vicente South, San Vicente West, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Isabel, Sto. Niño (formerly Nacoco), Sapul, Silonay, Sta. Maria Village, Suqui, Tawagan, Tawiran, Tibag, Wawa, Nag-Iba II
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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