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Municipality of Canaman
Ph locator camarines sur canaman.png
Region Bicol Region
Province Municipality in Camarines Sur
Mayor Joel David S. Abante
Barangays 24
Website LGU-Canaman
Physical characteristics
Area 43.27 km²
Total (2000) 27,719

Canaman is a landlocked 4th class municipality centrally located in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is bounded on the North by Magarao, on the South by Camaligan, on the East by Naga City, and on the Southwest by the broad Bicol River. It is shaped like an ocarina or a turtle, and is within 123°-04’-00” and 123°-11’-00” latitudes and 12°-36’-40” to 13°-36’-40”-00 longitudes. From North to South it is 6 km. and 14 km. from East to West. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 27,719 people in 5,215 households.

The municipality which battle cry is "Abante Canaman!" ("Forward Canaman!") is known as the Home of Purest Bicol, Citadel of Bicol Culture and Birthplace of Tancong Vaca Guerilla Movement.

Residents of Canaman are called Canamanons.



Origin of the town's name

It is now part of the collective memory of Canamanons that ages before the place first entered western consciousness and recorded annals, the area that is now Canaman was very thickly forested. According to Fr. Frank Lynch, S.J., who said that Canaman is the purest among Bicol dialects: “The name Canaman is locally said to be derived from the root /kana'/ meaning ‘building materials’. The suffix /-man/ is taken as a locative, the name thus, indicating “place where there are building materials”.

Christianity Reaches Canaman

Local history says that the Cross was first implanted in Canaman soil around 1580’s when some Nueva Caceres-based missionaries apparently on their way back from gospel work in either the visita of Quipayo (now Calabanga) or of San Gabriel (now a barangay of Pamplona), got their bearings confused and, thinking they were turning eastward from the Bicol River to its Naga tributary, instead entered the Canaman creek which at the time was still a deep and fast flowing stream. Paddling deeper into the interiors of the unfamiliar territory, the men of God ended up in the timeless ambiance of a largish ancient native settlement in what is now the barangay of Poro.

In 1599, Canaman became an independent parish and was administered by Fray Pedro Matias de Andrade, a Franciscan who later became the fifth Bishop of Diocese of Caceres. The patron saint at that time was San Roque, whose image, said to have come all the way from Spain was met at its arrival by the people of Canaman in the shores of Pasacao.

Philippine-American War
Front and back view of classical ocarinas. The map of Canaman appears like an ocarina.

In 1900, after militant Canamanons heard that the Americans are closing in, burned to the ground their own “beautiful and richly decorated church, in an act of self-immolation and in effort to save the town’s most concrete embodiment of its Catholic faith from desecration at the hands of the new imperialists. The burning was a deliberate and intentional act: the heavy-hearted arsonists even gathered and piled on top of the church’s expensive organ dry grass and big tree branches to which they touched the match, to make certain that the fire consumed all combustible parts of the 231-year-old building and its interiors.

In 1902, during the provincial governorship of Captain George Curry, the Municipality of Canaman and its office of the presidente municipal both disappeared from legal cognizance and lost its independent existence. Canaman was annexed to Nueva Caceres (now Naga City), though some barrio were attached to Magarao and Canaman’s top position of presidente municipal was downgraded to concejal encargado. Appropriately enough, all of Canaman’s concejal enacrgados were residents of the place.

In the year 1909, Canaman regained its status as an independent municipality, when it was separated from Nueva Caceres by an act of the First Philippine Legislature. This was mainly due to the efforts of Tomas Arejola, the representative of the first district of Ambos Camarines to the first legislature.

Public Education System

Public educational system reached Canaman in 1903 with the arrival of a certain Miss Long, an American schoolteacher. She opened the first school now known as Canaman Central School in Dinaga, at the house of Don Basilio Severo (at the spot where the Facoma building stands at present) which the government rented.

WW II - The Birth of TVGU

On March 8, 1942, three months after Japanese Imperial Forces landed in Legaspi and Naga City, the famous Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit (TVGU) was organized in Barangay San Nicolas, with Juan Miranda as the Commanding Officer, Leon Aureus as the Executive Officer and Elias Madrid as the Finance Officer. Among the numerous taga-Canaman who joined-up soon afterwards either in the unit’s intelligence or combat components were Jose and Antonio Madrid, Mamerto Sibulo, Andres Fortaleza, Marcos Severo, Damaso Avenilla, Federico Crescini, Nicolas Vargas, Venancio Begino, Eugenio Ragodon, Juan Pachica, Santiago Amaro, Jose Gervas, Pedro Angeles, Aproniano Lopez, Andres Alzate, Modesto Sanchez, Blas Alcantara, Andres Aguilar, Florencio Frondozo, Alfredo de la Torre and Flaviano Estrada.

Socio-Economic Profile

Farming, fishing, employment and small business are the primary sources of most household income.

Two agro-industrial establishments are found in Canaman: the poultry feeds and palay.

Various types of cottage industries like handicraft, furniture, fan making (made of anahaw), ragiwdiw and nipa shingles are conducted in this town.

In 1998, it was recorded that agricultural workers reached only 27.3% while 70.8% were engaged in non-agricultural activities.

Trade and Commerce

Presence of Canaman Public Market and a privately owned "talipapa" Most of the people?s marketing activities are done in Naga City.

Agricultural Sector

88.38% of the total land area

Local Tourism

Lagaylay Festival - A May celebration in Canaman, Camarines Sur to honor the Sta. Cruz tradition. Women dance on the streets while chanting prayers to find the real cross.

Transportation Facilities

Most of the roads and main streets in the poblacion (urban barangays) are concrete with few earth and gravel roads, 4 can be reached only through water transportation while 11 can be reached either through water transportation and/or by land transportation.


Canaman is politically subdivided into 24 barangays.

  • Baras (Pob.)
  • Del Rosario
  • Dinaga (Pob.)
  • Fundado
  • Haring
  • Iquin
  • Linaga
  • Mangayawan
  • Palo
  • Pangpang (Pob.)
  • Poro
  • San Agustin
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose East
  • San Jose West
  • San Juan
  • San Nicolas
  • San Roque
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Cruz (Pob.)
  • Santa Teresita
  • Sua
  • Talidtid
  • Tibgao (Pob.)

Notable Canamanons or notable people born in Canaman

  • Danilo Gerona - historian
  • Rez Cortez, Rosanna Roces - celebrities

External links

Original Source

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