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|City of Cabanatuan|
|Nickname(s): Tricycle Capital of the Philippines|
|Motto: Pagbabago, Progreso, Disiplina|
Map of Nueva Ecija showing the location of Cabanatuan City
|Region||Central Luzon (Region III)|
|Cityhood||June 15, 1950|
|• Mayor||Julius Cesar V. Vergara (Liberal Party)|
|• Vice Mayor||Marius Adriane Garcia (Liberal Party)|
|• Component City||192.29 km2 (74.24 sq mi)|
|• Metro||750.78 km2 (289.88 sq mi)|
|Elevation||44 m (144 ft)|
|• Component City||272,676|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||698/km2 (1,810/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|Income Class||1st Class; urban|
Cabanatuan, officially the City of Cabanatuan (Filipino: Lungsod ng Cabanatuan; Ilokano: Ciudad ti Cabanatuan; Kapampangan: Lakanbalen ning Cabanatuan), is a city in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. It is the largest city in Nueva Ecija, and 5th in Central Luzon with a population of 272,676 in 2010.
The city is popular for being home to more than 30,000 tricycles. It prides itself as the "Tricycle Capital of the Philippines" and its strategic location along the Cagayan Valley Road has made the city a major economic, educational, medical, entertainment and transportation center in Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces in the region such as Aurora and Bulacan. It has earned the moniker "Gateway to the North".
Cabanatuan remained as Nueva Ecija's capital until 1965 when the government created 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.
Cabanatuan was founded as 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 ambushed on his way to Palanan. 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.
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 marched 30 miles (48 km) 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 and American troops of the U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion 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 Infantry Regiment, and the United States Army here in Cabanatuan from February 1945 to June 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, 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.
Cabanatuan was the epicenter of a massive earthquake at roughly 3 p.m. on July 16, 1990. The earthquake leveled some buildings, including the Christian College of the Philippines (Liwag Colleges) in the midst of class time. At 7.7 on the Richter scale, it killed 1,653 people.
Cabanatuan became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 526, approved on June 16, 1950. 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. 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. 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. The province-wide plebiscite was rescheduled for November 8, 2014, but cancelled again because the Cabanatuan City government couldn't provide the funds needed for the plebiscite. No new date has been set until city government certifies that P101 million is available for the holding of the plebiscite.
Cabanatuan City is administratively subdivided into 89 barangays.
|Population census of Cabanatuan City|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Roman Catholicism has been the predominant religion in the city, being host to a major cathedral - the St. Nicholas of Tolentine 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 remarkable presence in Cabanatuan with its large house of worship in Brgy. Zulueta with a 5,000 persons seating inside. Jesus Miracle Crusade and The United Methodist Church also have a large number of congregation within the city. Other Christian denominations also exist. The Islamic faith also has a remarkable 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.
Cabanatuan City is located in the rolling central plains of Luzon drained by the Pampanga River. The city is seated about 13 km west-southwest of the provincial capital Palayan City and 117 km 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.
|Climate data for Cabanatuan|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.3
|Average low °C (°F)||20.1
|Precipitation mm (inches)||8
Cabanatuan City is the economic heart of Nueva Ecija and is the focus of a metropolitan area of more than 500,000 people. It is a vital financial center, being home to 60 banks and 74 non-bank financial institutions, corporate headquarters of some of the largest rural banks in Central Luzon, huge finance companies and a branch of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It ranks as one of the most livable cities in the Philippines together with Makati City in terms of banking. The city is also a distribution center of different commodities, including agricultural produce, for the surrounding communities. Warehouses are a common sight around the city. Although Cabanatuan does not have significant manufacturing industries, its dynamic service sector together with the thriving agriculture drives the economy forward.
Many feats show the economic achievements of Cabanatuan in the past few years. Subdivisions and residential buildings have sprouted like mushroom with more than 100 of these around the city. Residential development continues unabated with the presence of big land developers such as Sta. Lucia Realty, Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. and Ayala Land. Commercial buildings are also proliferating, that 75 of these were constructed in 2012 alone. Telecommunications infrastructure is highly developed as Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Sun Cellular, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Digitel maintain their business offices in the city. A number of TV and radio stations are also present. Car dealerships abound, making Cabanatuan among the cities with the most number of car dealerships in the country. Existing dealerships are Toyota (Toyota Cabanatuan Inc. being the 709th largest Philippine corporation), Kia, Isuzu, Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, and Suzuki. The city has its own power plant, the 26.5-MW FCVC Diesel Power Plant, and its own power company, the Cabanatuan Electric Corporation (CELCOR), which is 879th in the list of top 1000 corporations in the Philippines. The homegrown NE Group of Companies is a now relatively large retail and land development company.
To further explore its vibrant economic potentials, Cabanatuan is building a reputation of becoming the IT hub of Central Luzon by using the thousands-strong available InfoTech workforce in and around the city. The first call center in Nueva Ecija was established in the city in 2008. The provincial government has plans of converting the 15-hectare old capitol site into an IT-BPO zone complete with office buildings and green spaces. The city government meanwhile is keen on attracting “green manufacturing”  into the city by providing prospective investors fast business applications processing, low business taxes, income tax holidays and other similar incentives.
The city today is fast-becoming a major investment hub and is considered as one of the most competitive cities for doing business in the country. Big-time investors in banking, real estate, retail and other business and industrial enterprises were similarly drawn to the city because of its adequate infrastructure and support facilities. Its continuing urbanization is luring investors not only into the city but also to the suburban municipalities as well.
Many Novo Ecijanos choose to resettle in Cabanatuan for proximity to job and other necessities. With the influx of people, residential developments followed and now more than a hundred subdivisions for A to D markets decimate the city.
Large-scale residential developments are already present in the name of Lakewood City and Avida Sta. Arcadia Estates. Sta. Lucia Realty's Lakewood City is a medium to high-end project encompassing more than 400 hectares. Its centerpiece is a 64-hectare championship golf course, the largest in Central Luzon. Ayala Land's 87-hectare Avida Sta. Arcadia Estates is masterplanned to become a mixed-use development that will include the Avida Sta. Arcadia Residences, Avida Settings, and Avida Town Center. Also included in the roster of large residential districts are the Kapitan Pepe Subdivision, Grand Victoria Estates, and Acropolis North by Sta. Lucia Realty.
At present, prime lands in Cabanatuan are becoming pricier by the day with the recent entry of more Manila-based land developers. Established players are being challenged by new developers like Robinsons Land, Vista Land, SM Prime, Filinvest and DMCI.
Cabanatuan is currently home to four shopping malls: NE Mall, the pioneer mall in the city; NE Pacific Mall, the city's most popular mall; Robinsons Cabanatuan, a three-storey mall located beside NE Pacific; and SM MegaCenter a 5-storey mall (the city's largest) located at the city's downtown. Other shopping centers include Savemore, Puregold, NE Crossing, NE Circumferential, and Melanio's.
Upcoming shopping malls in Cabanatuan include SM City Cabanatuan and Waltermart Cabanatuan. Waltermart Cabanatuan is now under construction.SM City Cabanatuan, soon to be biggest SM mall in Luzon outside Metro Manila ( 172, 000 sqm GFA),  is now under construction and is set to open on the second half of 2015. It will be fitted with a sky garden, a feature which is only found in two other SM malls.
The city is a major hub of transportation services in Central Luzon. Cabanatuan City has a large number of 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, Aurora 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 way back in the 1900s through the Balagtas - Cabanatuan line and was later abandoned after the war when scavengers have looted pieces of the rail tracks. Rail service was later resumed in 1969 after the rehabilitation of the rail tracks as mandated by a government order, the service was again abandoned in the 1980s when the route didn't fare much to the commuters. The old Cabanatuan Railway Station is located at Barangay General Luna and is converted to a day care center with the original structure remaining.
Infrastructure improvements are ongoing with projects done by administration. All key intersections in the city are already signalized. Bicycle and tricycle lanes are currently being built while road widening of the Maharlika Highway from the present four lanes to eight lanes is on the drawing board. Road widening of all city and arterial roads from one/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 to San Jose City).
Bus Companies Going to Cabanatuan City
Historical sites found in the city include:
Cabanatuan is the one of the region's educational center being home to 3 universities, more than 30 higher education institutions, 1 science high school, more than 50 public and private high schools, and more than 100 public and private primary schools. Most of the students of the province go to Cabanatuan to study and build their career in the city.
Many hospitals 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 within the city.
List of hospitals in Cabanatuan
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||Talavera / Gen. Mamerto Natividad||Palayan|