Cabanatuan City

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Template:PH wikidata, officially the Template:PH wikidata (Template:Lang-tl; Template:Lang-ilo; Template:Lang-pam; Template:Lang-pag), is a Template:PH wikidata [[Cities of the Philippines#Legal classification|Template:PH wikidata]] in the province of Template:PH wikidata, Template:PH wikidata. According to the Template:PH wikidata, it has a population of Template:PH wikidata people,Template:PH census making it the most populous city in Nueva Ecija and the fifth-most populous in Central Luzon.

The city is popular for being home to more than 30,000 motorized tricycles, thus priding itself as the "Tricycle Capital of the Philippines"[1] and its strategic location along the Cagayan Valley Road has made the city a major economic, educational, medical, entertainment shopping and transportation center in Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces in the region such as Aurora and Bulacan. It has also earned the moniker "Gateway to the North".

Cabanatuan remained as Nueva Ecija's capital until 1965, when the government created nearby Palayan City as the new provincial capital. Nueva Ecija's old capitol and other government offices are still used and maintained by the provincial administration.

After the campaign to become Highly Urbanized City has failed there is now a moved to convert the city into lone district instead which is more feasible.


Marker of Gen. Antonio Luna's Death Place

Cabanatuan was founded as a Barrio of Gapan in 1750 and became a Municipality and capital of La Provincia de Nueva Ecija in 1780. Cabanatuan is the site of the historical "Plaza Lucero" and the Cabanatuan Cathedral, where General Antonio Luna was assassinated by Captain Pedro Janolino and members of the Kawit battalion. Cabanatuan lost the title of provincial capital in 1850 when the capital of Nueva Ecija was moved to San Isidro, another historic town. It was only in 1917, when the Administrative code was enacted, that Cabanatuan was restored as capital of the Province. However, in 1965, Congress created Palayan City, which has been the capital ever since.

Map of the routes taken by the US Rangers in their Raid at Cabanatuan

During World War II, the occupying Japanese built Cabanatuan Prison Camp, where many American soldiers were imprisoned, some of whom had been forced to endure the infamous Bataan Death March. In January 1945, elements of the U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion and two teams of Alamo Scouts marched Template:Convert behind enemy lines to rescue the prisoners in what became known as the Raid at Cabanatuan. As a result of the raid on January 30, 1945, victorious Filipino guerrillas, American troops of the U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion and Alamo Scouts celebrated having obtained the freedom of 500 American POWs. Soon thereafter, Philippine and American forces re-established the presence of military general headquarters and military camp bases of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, Philippine Constabulary 2nd Constabulary Regiment, and the United States Army in Cabanatuan from February 1, 1945 to June 30, 1946 during the Allied Liberation. Before long, the combined Philippine Commonwealth and American armed forces, in cooperation with local guerrilla resistance fighters and Hukbalahap Communist guerrillas,Template:Citation needed had liberated Central Luzon from Japanese Imperial forces, a campaign that lasted from January until August 1945.

In 1957, the barrios of Mataas na Kahoy, Balangkare Norte, Balangkare Sur, Sapang Kawayan, Magasawang Sampaloc, Talabutab Norte, Talabutab Sur, Platero, Belen, Pecaleon, Piñahan, Kabulihan, Pasong-Hari, Balaring, Pulong Singkamas, Panaksak, Bravo, Sapang Bato, Burol, Miller, Tila Patio, Pula, Carinay, and Acacia were separated from Cabanatuan and constituted into a separate and independent municipality known as General Mamerto Natividad.[2]

Cabanatuan was the epicenter of a very strong earthquake, 7.8 on the surface wave magnitude scale, at roughly 3 pm on July 16, 1990. It leveled some buildings, including the Christian College of the Philippines (Liwag Colleges) in the midst of class time, and killed 1,653 people.

Conversion from town, component city to highly urbanized city

Cabanatuan became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 526, approved on June 16, 1950.[3] In 1998, Cabanatuan was declared by then-president Fidel V. Ramos as a highly urbanized city however it failed ratification after the majority of votes in the plebiscite was negative.

Cabanatuan was declared as highly urbanized city by President Benigno S. Aquino III under Presidential Proclamation No. 418 on July 14, 2012.[4] A plebiscite scheduled on December 2012 was moved by the Commission on Elections to January 25, 2014 so as not to burden the poll body during its preparation for the 2013 local elections in the province. Incumbent Governor Aurelio Matias Umali, who had a strong voter base in the city, opposed the conversion and submitted a petition to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on January 24, 2014.[5] On April 23, 2014, voting 9-5-1, the Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari filed by Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali and declared as null and void Comelec Minute Resolution No. 12-0797 dated September 11, 2012 and Minute Resolution No. 12-0925 dated October 16, 2012 setting a date for the conduct of a plebiscite in which only registered voters of Cabanatuan would be allowed to vote.[6] The province-wide plebiscite was rescheduled for November 8, 2014, but cancelled again because the Cabanatuan City government could not provide the necessary funds. No new date is to be set until the city government certifies that Template:Philippine peso101 million is available for the holding of the plebiscite.[7]


Cabanatuan City is located in the rolling central plains of Luzon drained by the Pampanga River. The city stands Template:Convert southwest of the provincial capital Palayan City and Template:Convert north of Manila. The geographic coordinates of Cabanatuan City are 15° 29' 22 N, 120° 58' 14 E.


Cabanatuan has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen climate classification: Aw), with year-round warm weather and distinct dry and wet seasons. It is touted as one of the hottest cities in the country; in the summer season of 2011 Cabanatuan reached its hottest temperature at 39.8 °C, also the hottest in the Philippines in that same year, and on June 4, 2015 PAGASA reported a Template:Convert heat index for the city, which is the hottest yet recorded.

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Cabanatuan City is administratively subdivided into 89 barangays.[8]

  • Aduas Centro (Aduas)
  • Aduas Norte
  • Aduas Sur
  • Bagong Sikat
  • Bagong Buhay
  • Bakero
  • Bakod Bayan
  • Balite
  • Bangad
  • Bantug Bulalo
  • Bantug Norte
  • Barlis
  • Barrera District (Poblacion)
  • Bernardo District (Poblacion)
  • Bitas
  • Bonifacio District (Poblacion)
  • Buliran
  • Cabu
  • Caudillo
  • Calawagan (Kalawagan)
  • Caalibangbangan
  • Campo Tinio (Camp Tinio)
  • Caridad Village
  • Cinco-Cinco
  • City Supermarket/Bayan (Poblacion)
  • Communal
  • Cruz Roja
  • Daan Sarile
  • Dalampang
  • Dicarma (Poblacion)
  • Dimasalang (Poblacion)
  • Dionisio S. Garcia
  • Fatima (Poblacion)
  • General Luna (Poblacion)
  • Hermogenes C. Concepcion, Sr.
  • Ibabao-Bana
  • Imelda District
  • Isla (Poblacion)
  • Kalikid Norte
  • Kalikid Sur
  • Kapitan Pepe Subdivision (Poblacion)
  • Lagare
  • Lourdes (Matungal-Tungal)
  • M. S. Garcia
  • Mabini Extension
  • Mabini Homesite
  • Macatbong
  • Magsaysay North
  • Magsaysay South
  • Maria Theresa
  • Matadero (Poblacion)
  • Mayapyap Norte
  • Mayapyap Sur
  • Melojavilla (Poblacion)
  • Nabao (Poblacion)
  • Obrero
  • Padre Burgos (Poblacion)
  • Padre Crisostomo
  • Pagas
  • Palagay
  • Pamaldan
  • Pangatian
  • Patalac
  • Polilio
  • Pula
  • Quezon District (Poblacion)
  • Rizdelis (Poblacion)
  • Samon
  • San Isidro
  • San Josef Norte
  • San Josef Sur
  • San Juan Accfa (San Juan Poblacion)
  • San Roque Norte
  • San Roque Sur
  • Sanbermecristi (Poblacion)
  • Sangitan East
  • Sangitan
  • Santa Arcadia
  • Santo Niño
  • Sapang
  • Sumacab Este
  • Sumacab Norte
  • Sumacab South
  • Talipapa
  • Valdefuente
  • Valle Cruz
  • Vijandre District (Poblacion)
  • Villa Ofelia Subdivision (Villa Ofelia-Caridad)
  • Zulueta District (Poblacion)


Template:Philippine Census


Roman Catholicism has been the predominant religion in the city, being host to a major cathedral – the St. Nicholas of Tolentino Cathedral which serves as the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Cabanatuan. There are three major Catholic structures located within the city, these are the Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, the Carmelite Sisters Convent and the Maria Assumpta Seminary. Local chapels/parishes are also present in most barangays.

Iglesia ni Cristo also maintains a sizable presence in Cabanatuan with its large house of worship in Barangay Zulueta with a 5,000 persons seating inside. Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry (acronym as JMCIM) is an Apostolic Pentecostal religious group in the Philippines which believes particularly in the promotion of miracles and faith in God for healing. Jesus is Lord Church (JIL Church) is located at the circumferential road.

The United Methodist Church also has many local churches with a large congregation within the city. The United Methodist Church owns the Wesleyan University Philippines and the WUP-CMC Hospital.

Other Christian denominations also exist.

The Islamic faith also has a presence in Cabanatuan, specifically within the districts of Imelda and Isla. Two large mosques exist in the city, with the largest located at Imelda District.


Circumferential Road-Maharlika Highway junction

Cabanatuan is the economic heart of Nueva Ecija. More than 640,000 people live in its metropolitan area comprising the city and its adjacent municipalities. As a hub, many people in Nueva Ecija commute to the city during the day. This causes the city's daytime population to swell to about a million.[9] Although Cabanatuan does not have significant manufacturing industries, its dynamic service and agricultural sectors drive the economy forward.

The city is a vital financial center housing a good number of banks, non-bank financial institutions, and headquarters of some of the largest rural banks in Central Luzon. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) maintains a branch in the city that performs cash operations and cash administration. Template:As of, approximately 43 billion pesos in deposit liabilities is kept in the city's 65 banks.[10] This amount constitutes more than half of the province's deposits. In terms of banking convenience, the city ranks as one of the most livable in the country together with Makati City.[11]

Cabanatuan Electric Corporation (CELCOR) distributes electricity to the city. Power generation companies like FCVC and FCRV operate a 12-8 MW diesel power plant and a 10-MW solar power plant, respectively.

Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular also have their business offices located in the city. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) have their business office at General Tinio St., while Digitel is in Mabini Extension. TV and Radio Stations are also present in the city.

The motor vehicle industry is a notable part of the city economy. Popular global automotive companies has established dealerships in the city's metropolitan area. Existing car/truck dealerships include Mitsubishi, Kia, Isuzu, Mazda, Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Hyundai Trucks and Buses, Suzuki, and Mahindra, all in Cabanatuan; Toyota, Foton and Honda in Santa Rosa town; Chevrolet and Hino in San Leonardo town. Motorcycle dealerships are common like in most Philippine mid-sized cities.

The city is also a distribution and logistics center for goods and commodities; a number of distribution warehouses and sales offices of various companies serve the whole of Nueva Ecija and parts of neighboring provinces. The NFA warehouses in the city play an important role in regulating Nueva Ecija's burgeoning rice industry. The city acts as a trading place or bagsakan of agricultural produce from the surrounding farming communities.

Income of Cabanatuan LGU (2003-2015)

Indicators reflect Cabanatuan's economic achievements in the past few years.[12] Annual business registrations in the city grew 31.7% last 2015[13] while locally sourced taxes grew 14.81% annually in the five years to 2015.[14] Residential buildings and subdivisions, numbering more than a hundred, are taking up lands on the fringes of the downtown.

The presence of big land developers such as Santa Lucia Realty, Vista Land, and Ayala Land ensures competition and quality in the new suburban homes. New commercial buildings are springing up in the CBD and along Maharlika Highway on the average of seventy-five per year.

Cabanatuan nowadays is gradually becoming a major investment hub and is considered as one of the most competitive cities for doing business in the country. Investors in banking, real estate, retail and other business and industrial enterprises are similarly drawn to the city because of its adequate infrastructure and investor support services. Its continuing urbanization is also luring investors into its suburban municipalities as well.

To further explore its economic potentials, Cabanatuan is seeking to have a share of the IT-BPO boom. The first call center in Nueva Ecija was successfully established in the city in 2008. The city government is providing prospective investors with fast business applications processing, low business taxes, and other incentives to attract big-ticket projects.[14]

In 2015, the city's total assets amounted to PHP 3.719 billion and the total income reached PHP 1.696 billion,.[15]

Shopping centers

Robinsons Townville Cabanatuan

Cabanatuan City serves as a major shopping hub in the province and other nearby localities. Major Philippine mall chains such as Robinsons Malls, SM Supermalls, Walter Mart, and Puregold Price Club, Inc. have established their presence in the city. Currently, major shopping centers in the city include: Walter Mart Cabanatuan; SM Megacenter; NE Pacific Mall; Robinsons Townville; and SM City Cabanatuan which is built as a regional SM supermall with amenities such as a roof park, an indoor park, and a large-screen cinema.[16] Cabanatuan has multiple grocery and department stores including a chain of Savemore Supermarkets, Puregold Supermarkets, NE Supermarkets, and the warehouse club store, S&R.

Robinsons Land Corp. expressed plans for a future mall development in the city,[17] while Vista Mall is currently under construction.

Hotels and restaurants

The city has numerous accommodation and lodging establishments such as hotels, motels, inns, and resorts. In recent years, the local food scene in the city has experienced growth. A number of restaurants, fast-food chains, bars, coffee shops, and nightclubs are also located in the city. The local food scene offers a variety of culinary choices such as local delicacies, Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine, etc. Food joints have been established in Kapitan Pepe Subdivision, such as Banatu Box Food Park which is billed as one of the city's top food destinations.


Unloading area at the Cabanatuan City Central Terminal
Cabanatuan City Central Terminal

The city is a major hub of transportation services in Central Luzon. Cabanatuan City has many bus companies operating provincial and regional routes, with the Cabanatuan Central Transport Terminal serving as the terminus. Jeepney operators serve routes within the province with some reaching as far to Dingalan, Baler, and Dilasag in Aurora, Olongapo City, San Fernando, and Dau in Pampanga, Mariveles and Balanga in Bataan, Baguio City in Benguet, Dagupan City, and Tarlac City. Much of the city's population rely on public transportation such as tricycles and jeeps to get around the city.

Maharlika Highway (or Pan-Philippine Highway) is the main highway traversing the city where most vehicles going to Cagayan Valley pass through. Nueva Ecija - Aurora Road links Cabanatuan to Baler, Aurora, passing through rural towns in eastern Nueva Ecija. Burgos Avenue and Del Pilar Street serve as the city's main thoroughfare inside the downtown area. Other major roads include the General Tinio and Rizal Streets which run through the city proper in an east-west direction; Mabini Street, where two of the city's three universities are situated and the Circumferential Road that connects the downtown area to the Kapitan Pepe residential district. Two bypass roads were constructed during the early 2000s to decongest the Maharlika Highway and to spur new developments outside the downtown area. The 10.3-kilometer Felipe Vergara Highway provides a direct route to Cagayan Valley, while Emilio Vergara Highway links Santa Rosa to Nueva Ecija - Aurora Road, avoiding traffic bottleneck along Maharlika Highway.

Cabanatuan was served by the Manila Railroad Company in 1905 through the Balagtas–Cabanatuan line which was abandoned after the war because scavengers looted pieces of the rail tracks. Rail service was resumed in 1969 after the rehabilitation of the rail tracks as mandated by a government order. The service was again abandoned in the 1980s. The old Cabanatuan Railway Station is located at Barangay General Luna and is converted to a daycare center with the original structure remaining.

Infrastructure improvements by the administration are ongoing. A Unified Command Center for the traffic lights to be installed at 25 major intersections is currently under construction. Separate tricycle lanes are also present within the perimeter of the Public Market. Road widening of the Emilio Vergara Highway from two to six lanes is already proceeding, while the widening of all city and arterial roads from one- to two-lane highway to three-lane highway is also being considered.

Two proposed expressways will pass through Cabanatuan City if built. These are the North Luzon East Expressway (Quezon City to Cabanatuan) and the Central Luzon Link Expressway (SCTEx-TPLEx to San Jose City).

Intercity and interprovincial buses from Manila serve the city, and are usually operated by Baliwag Transit, Inc., Five Star, Victory Liner, Genesis Transport Service Inc., GV Florida Transport, and Pangasinan Solid North.


Freedom Park
Gen. Antonio Luna Monument

Historical sites found in the city include:

  • Cabanatuan Railroad Station in Barangay General Luna, built in early 1927 as the terminus of the now-abandoned Balagtas-Cabanatuan line. The building has since been converted into a barangay civic center and day care center, with the original structure preserved.
  • Camp Pangatian (Prisoner of War Memorial Shrine)(Now Cabanatuan American Memorial), began as a military training camp for twenty years until converted into a concentration camp for allied prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation. A popular tourist destination among war veterans by way of the WWII Veteran's Homecoming Program. Camp Pangatian's liberation of World War II American prisoners of war held by the Japanese forces in January 1945 was the most successful rescue operation ever executed by the American military aided by the Filipino guerillas who were fighting the invaders. That tactical operation was immortalized in the movie The Great Raid.
  • Freedom Park is a provincial park located in front of the Old Provincial Capitol of Nueva Ecija, civic spaces as well as various monuments and memorials can be found inside the park which includes a monument dedicated to General Antonio Luna who was assassinated in the nearby Cathedral of San Nicolas de Tolentino.
  • Gen. Antonio Luna Statue and Marker in Plaza Lucero, a statue of Philippine hero General Antonio Luna astride a horse stands at the plaza in front of the cathedral on the exact spot where the brave general was assassinated in 1899 in the city that adopted him subsequently.
  • Old Provincial Capitol of Nueva Ecija located along Burgos Avenue, the old provincial capitol was designed by prominent American architect William E. Parsons who also designed government buildings in Manila, Cebu and Laguna during the American Colonial Period. The old edifice has since been renovated and expanded.

Festivals and celebrations:

  • Banatu Festival celebrates its founding anniversary as a chartered city. From its humble beginning in 2015, "Banatu Festival" aims to showcase the history, culture, talent, beauty and craftsmanship of Cabanatueños.
  • Longganisa Festival one of the activities in "Banatu Festival" and is held in the vicinity of the public market along Paco Roman Street. Apart from the local meat traders and customers, tourists from nearby towns also join the celebration. Highlights of this festival are the cooking contests and the different preparations for longanisa (native sausage like "batutay", "longanisang bawang" and "longanisang matamis"), including spaghetti and “binagoongan”.

Local government

Cabanatuan City's seat of government, the city hall, is located at Barangay San Josef Sur. The local government structure is composed of one mayor, one vice mayor, and ten councilors. Each official is elected publicly to a 3-year term and can be re-elected up to 3 terms in succession. The day-to-day administration of the city is handled by the city administrator.


Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology
Wesleyan University (Philippines)

Cabanatuan is a regional educational hub. The city more than forty higher education institutions including four universities, a science high school, more than fifty public and private high schools, and more than a hundred public and private primary schools.

Schools, Universities and Colleges:

Health services

Many hospitals and clinics can be found in the city, most are private and with modern facilities which made Cabanatuan City the center for medical operations and research in the province. Most residents of the province go to Cabanatuan for their check-ups and appointments in hospitals and clinics within the city.

Nueva Ecija Doctors' Hospital

List of Hospitals: (3) Public and (5) Private

  • Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center
  • Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital (Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital)
  • M. V. Gallego Cabanatuan City General Hospital
  • Immaculate Concepcion Medical Center of Central Luzon
  • Nueva Ecija Doctors' Hospital
  • Nueva Ecija Good Samaritan General Hospital
  • Premiere Medical Center
  • Wesleyan University General Hospital and Cardiovascular Center

Notable people from Cabanatuan

Sister cities

Cabanatuan has the following sister cities:


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External links

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