Candaba, Pampanga

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Municipality of Candaba
Candaba logo.PNG
Ph locator pampanga candaba.png
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Province Pampanga
Mayor Hon. Jerry Pelayo
Barangays 33
Physical characteristics
Area 208.70 km²
Total (2000) 86,066

Candaba (formerly Candawe) is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. Candaba represents the lowest point in Central Luzon. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 86,066 people in 15,541 households.

Candaba is noted for its wide and scenic swamps, the habitat of mudfish and catfish. The popular "burong isda", a distinct Kapampangan fermented delicacy, is made from catfish or mudfish produced in Candaba.



Candaba is noted for its farmlands which produce watermelons.

The swamps are communal fishing grounds encompassing some 430 km² of highly arable land. Here the province's best produce, watermelon, muskmelon, which find their way to world markets, are produced.

Candaba swamps are very fertile due to its sustained deposits of humus and decaying vegetable residues. Migrant wild ducks and various bird wildlife escape winter winds from China and Siberia making Candaba their yearly sanctuary. Hunting birds in the swamp are a tourist attraction.


There are two seasons, the wet and dry, wet during the months of May to October and dry, the rest of the year. During the months July to August, the temperature is between 25.8 degrees centigrade, the months of January and February are the coldest

Candaba has a very high economic potential but the lack of good infrastructures such as paved roads especially the long delayed Candaba Road stretching from the highly urbanized municipality of Baliuag Bulacan to the town proper of Candaba, due to the fact that it is the lowest point in Central Luzon, floods frequent this area causing many planted farmland along the Candaba road to submerged during rainy season, this leads to inability of the local folks to transport their goods to the town proper and in other areas. Trade between the people of kapampangan and tagalog region is rare as access between their goods is hampered and challenged by this infrastructure, environmental challenges and to some extent the linguistic differences among them. The tagalog folks are often trading and spending more outside, most in the town of Baliuag which is more proximate than the town proper.

Way back in the late 90's there was a proposal to divide the area in to two municipalities of Candaba for the kapampangan region, and Bahay Pare for the tagalog, the later's name is derived from the largest barangay in terms of population named Bahay Pare


Candaba is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.

  • Bahay Pare
  • Bambang
  • Barangca
  • Barit
  • Buas (Pob.)
  • Cuayang Bugtong
  • Dalayap
  • Dulong Ilog
  • Gulap
  • Lanang
  • Lourdes
  • Magumbali
  • Mandasig
  • Mandili
  • Mangga
  • Mapaniqui
  • Paligui
  • Pangclara
  • Pansinao
  • Paralaya (Pob.)
  • Pasig
  • Pescadores (Pob.)
  • Pulong Gubat
  • Pulong Palazan
  • Salapungan
  • San Agustin (Pob.)
  • Santo Rosario
  • Tagulod
  • Talang
  • Tenejero
  • Vizal San Pablo
  • Vizal Santo Cristo
  • Vizal Santo Niño

It is subdivided into 33 political units called barangays. It is inhabited by 91,940 (CY 2001) people which are distributed in the different barangays regionally designated as: poblacion riverside region; kapampangan region and Tagalog region. There are eleven (11) barangays which compose the riverside region; eight (8) for the kapampangan region, which is separated from the town proper by the swamp and is closer to Nueva Ecija than to Cadaba town proper; and fourteen (14) for the Tagalog region and this is separated from the town proper and is adjacent to Baliuag and San Miguel Bulacan.

Ironically the municipality of Candaba is divided in to two regions the Kapampangan region whose inhabitants use Pampango (Kapampangan) as their daily lingua franca even in school as a medium of speech. The Tagalog region mostly located on the boundaries of Bulacan province's municipalities, Kapampangan is rarely used by the majority of the population, especially the younger generation who prefer to use the national language as their medium of speech when communicating with each other.


Candaba was formerly known as Candawe. It is one of the oldest settlements during the pre-Hispanic time, long before the encomenderos took hold of the town in 1593.

One of the oldest settlements during pre-Hispanic time, long before the "Encomenderos" took hold of the town in 1593, is what is known as Candaba

Not much is known before that period except the extant proofs that the Candabenos had their own culture, commerce and industries which were basically farming and fishing.

Candaba, as told by Dr. Juan P. Gatbonton, one of the more knowledge chroniclers of the town, derived its name from Candawe, a name of a place close to sitio Culumanas in Candaba. Candawe was later corrupted to Candaba. Another school of thought, based on lore perpetuated by word of mouth thru the years , tracing origin of the word Candaba from "Cang Daba" or Brother Dana, (Daba is a term used for a big earthen jar and obese people are teased by likening them t a Daba) thus, it came to pass that every out-of-towner buying fish and famed "bur" (pickled fish) were almost invariably referred to Cang Daba. The town, later on, came to be called Candaba.

The rest of the account by Gatbonton follows.

"A Franciscan Priest, Father Placencia, wrote that even as early as 1577, the administrations of the towns in the country was in the hands of Filipinos called "datus". The Spaniards arrived in Pampanga in 1572 with the Augustinian missionaries. Candaba even then was already recognized as their settlement. Candawe was a sitio where the first church in Candaba was constructed because it represented the highest, uninundated part of Candaba, near what is sitio Culumanas today. Candaba lies at latitude 15 degreed 05 and longitude 120 degrees 49 and its boundaries are: Arayat (Pampanga) and Cabiao (Nueva Ecija) to the south; San Miguel and San Ildefonso to the east; Baliwag to the north and San Luis and Sta. Ana to the West.

Most of comfort women concentrated on the barrios of Mapaniqui, are to be found on this area,

Basically a fishing and farming community, the place was administered by datus as early as 1577.

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