Calasiao is a municipality in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 77,039 people with 15,020 households. In the Pangasinan language, the town is called "Baley na Calasiao" which means "town of Calasiao" in English.
The original town hall was razed by fire last September of 2008 together with some part of the Shrine of Senor Divino Tesoro. Both structures were now renovated and are currently infront of the Saints Peter and Paul Church. The current mayor is Mayor Mark Roy Q. Macanlalay, the son of the former mayor and the current Vice Mayor Roy T. Macanlalay. He was a former municipal councilor and won the 2010 Elections against the former Mayor Celso de Vera and then Vice Mayor Ferdinand Galang.
The people of Calasiao speak the Pangasinan language, the dominant language in central Pangasinan, but most of the people of Calasiao also speak Tagalog, the official national language of the Philippines; Ilocano, a neighboring language; and English, a global language.
The indigenous people of Calasiao are descended from the Austronesian-speaking people who settled in the Malay archipelago at least 5,000 years ago. Calasiao was settled by a Pangasinan speaking people whose language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages family.
In 1571, the Spanish conquest of Pangasinan began. The Spanish conquistadors were accompanied by Roman Catholic missionaries who introduced Roman Catholicism to the indigenous peoples of Pangasinan. Around 1592, the small settlement of Calasiao was united with the other neighboring small settlements of Nalsian and Dinalaoan to form the new town of Calasiao. The much larger settlement of Gabon and other settlements also became part of the new town of Calasiao. The town of Calasiao became part of the Pangasinan encomendia of Labaya, designated as belonging to the King of Spain, Juan Ximenez del Pino, and a son of Alonso Hernandez de Sandoval for whom tributes were collected.
Augustinian and Dominican missionaries converted most of the indigenous people of Calasiao to Roman Catholicism. In 1596, the Roman Catholic convent in Calasiao was built and named San Pablo de Calasiao. In 1621, the convent was renamed San Pedro y San Pablo de Calasiao. The convent is located in the town center or poblacion.
Today, Calasiao is a progressive town. Calasiao may soon become a city or join with Dagupan City and San Carlos City to be a metropolis.
Many people from Calasiao have emigrated to the United States and other countries to seek better opportunities.
Calasiao is centrally located in located in Pangasinan, between Dagupan City and San Carlos City. A major highway connects Calasiao to Dagupan City, San Carlos City, and Urdaneta City, which then connects to Baguio City and Metropolitan Manila. Calasiao is only a few minutes ride to the Bonuan Blue Beach and the Hundred Islands on the Lingayen Gulf. Calasiao is about an hour ride to Baguio City and a four hour ride to Manila.
Calasiao is known for its sweet mangoes; bocayo, a coconut candy; puto, a soft rice cake; suman, a sweet coconut and sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves; and bagoong, a salted shrimp or fish sauce. Calasiao puto is described as the town's "white gold." Calasiao puto is a bite-size, soft rice cake made from semi-glutinous rice that is fermented in earthen jars. It is produced mainly in barangay Dinalaoan.
Many pilgrims from neighbouring cities/towns and provinces visit Calasiao to pray at the Senor Divino Tesoro shrine. The statue of a crucified Jesus Christ is believed to grow in size and grant miracles.
Every May, Calasiao residents enjoy a "peryaan" ("fair" in English). Different rides and booths cover the grounds of Calasiao Central School in front of the church. Delicious hotcakes (pancakes) with cane sugar are served in plastic bags for "dua" or two pesos. Other treats such as balut (preserved duck egg), halo-halo, ice scramble, mais con yelo (corn with ice) and popcorn are also available at low prices.
As part of the May festivities, each participating barangay (see below) sends one participant for the annual "Ms. Calasiao" beauty pageant. The winner gets paraded around the town the next day together with her escort and pageant runner-ups in a decorated vehicle.
Calasiao has rich farmlands planted mainly with palay or rice, coconuts and mangoes. Calasiao also has a lot of fishponds along its rivers and wetlands where fish like bangus or milkfish, pantat or catfish, and tilapia are raised. A Coca-Cola Bottlers plant is located in Calasiao.
Because of Calasiao's great business potential, Jollibee, Chowking, Gerry's grill, Honda, Nissan and Toyota have opened branches in the town. Regency Hotel in Calasiao has become the biggest competitor of the Star Plaza Hotel in Dagupan City. Dagupena, a famous world-class restaurant in Dagupan City has also moved to Calasiao. And the Robinson's Mall will soon rise in the grounds of Calasiao.
The Calasiao Puto is a rice cake that is well known all over the Philippines for its melt-in-the-mouth feeling. It is locally sold along the streets going to Sr. Divino Tesoro. The puto industry helps many to earn a living.
Calasiao is politically subdivided into 24 barangays. Calasiao enjoys its success due to the central location and proximity to Dagupan City. Businesses have more potential for success since the town is traversed by the national highway (MacArthur).
- Municipality of Calasiao Official Website
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- Pasyalan Pangasinan
- 2000 Philippine Census Information
- Official Website of the Provincial Government of Pangasinan
- Pangasinan: Preservation and Revitalization of the Pangasinan Language and Literature
- Sunday Punch
- Sun Star Pangasinan
- Pangasinan Star Online
- Pangasinan Test Wikipedia