Olongapo City

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Coordinates: 14°50′N, 120°17′E

City of Olongapo
Landmarks
[[Image:{{{landmarkfile}}}|250px]]
Seal
Location
Ph locator zambales olongapo.png
Government
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Province --
Barangays 17
Physical characteristics
Area 170.30 km²
Population
Total (2000) 194,260
Downtown Olongapo

The City of Olongapo (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Olongapo; Sambal: Syodad nin Olongapo) is an urbanized city formerly in the province of Zambales, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 194,260 people in 43,107 households.

Olongapo was originally governed as a part of the United States naval reservation. It was relinquished to the Philippine government and converted into a municipality on December 7, 1959. Six years later Olongapo was reconverted to a chartered city on June 1 1966.<ref name=tripod/> Olongapo City administers itself autonomously from Zambales province. Adjacent to the city is the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, which until 1992 was a United States naval base.

Contents

Name

According to popular legend, there once were a group of warring tribes who lived in the area in and around what is now the modern city. A wise, old man, seeing the perils of disunity, exerted great efford toward uniting the warring tribes. There were, however, some who bitterly opposed his idea and, one day, the old man just diappeared.

After a long search, the old man’s body was found, but with the head missing. It is said that the tribesmen launched search parties to locate the severed head of the man. (It should also be said that, to the Sambal, decapitation was the only permissible form of assassination.<ref>It was recorded as customary for the Sambal to execute those who have taken another person’s life, unless done by decapitation. Their manner of execution was to bore a hole at the top of the skull and then scrape out the brains.</ref>) These efforts, sadly, would prove to be futile, and the search was eventually called off. A boy, however, vowed to himself that he would not stop searching until he found the elder’s head. He searched for weeks, but found nothing. Then, one day, he chanced upon what appeared to be the old man’s head, resting on top of a bamboo pole. The boy, upon seeing the head, ran back to his people crying, “Olo nin apo! Olo nin apo!” (“head of the elder” in Sambal; translates as “ulo ng apo” in Tagalog), running hysterically from village to village.

The phrase stuck, and that, according to legend, is how the area got its name, Olongapo. To this day, the old man’s head acts as a symbol of the unity of the people of what is now a modern city.

Barangays

Olongapo City is politically subdivided into 17 barangays:

  • Asinan
  • Banicain
  • Barreto
  • East Bajac-bajac
  • East Tapinac
  • Gordon Heights
  • Kalaklan
  • Mabayuan
  • New Cabalan
  • New Ilalim
  • New Kababae
  • New Kalalake
  • Old Cabalan
  • Pag-asa
  • Santa Rita
  • West Bajac-bajac
  • West Tapinac

References

  • a b Olongapo City - Brief History
  • It was recorded as customary for the Sambal to execute those who have taken another person’s life, unless done by decapitation. Their manner of execution was to bore a hole at the top of the skull and then scrape out the brains.

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