Map of Oriental Mindoro showing the location of Calapan
|Region||MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)|
|District||1st district of Oriental Mindoro|
|Founded||January 2, 1917|
|Cityhood||March 21, 1998|
|• Mayor||Arnan C. Panaligan|
|• Total||250.06 km2 (96.55 sq mi)|
|• Density||500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|Income class||3rd class city|
Calapan, a component city, is the capital of the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2010 Census, this coastal community has a population of 124,173 people. Its citizens are called Calapeños.
The city serves as the gateway to the Oriental Mindoro province with the implementation of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) an integrated ferry project of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that extends further to the southern part of the Philippines. The Calapan City Seaport is the largest and busiest seaport on Mindoro Island, which is just 45 minutes away by ferry boats and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships to-and-fro Batangas City International Seaport.
Calapan is currently one of the only two cities in Region 4-B (MIMAROPA Region) the other being Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. Calapan serves as the region's administrative center. It is also the center of commerce, industry, transport, communication, religious activities and education in the entire province of Oriental Mindoro.
Calapan is bounded to the north and northeast by the Calapan Bay, south and southeast by the Municipality of Naujan, and to the west by the Municipality of Baco. The city lies at the quadrangle bounded by 13°12.6 and 13°27’ north latitudes and 121°17’ east longitudes. It is approximately 28 nautical miles (52 km; 32 mi) from the nearest point of Batangas Province, 45 km (28 mi) south of Batangas City and 130 km (81 mi) south of Manila.
The city has an area of 250.06 km2 (96.55 sq mi) and is composed of 62 barangays of which 22 are classified as urban and 40, rural. The city also has jurisdiction over the three Baco-Chico Islets and the two Silonay Islets on Calapan Bay.
The overall land characteristic is a wide plain with rivers, interspersed with wetlands at the seacoast periphery. The highest elevation is 187 m (614 ft) above sea level at Bulusan Hill, a 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) long landform east of the city, which interrupts the mostly flat terrain northeast of the Halcon-Baco Mountain Range.
San Vicente Central is one of Calapan's barangays and serves as the commercial and financial center of the city. It is divided by J.P. Rizal Avenue, the major thoroughfare in the city lined by several commercial establishments.
Some of the big establishments in San Vicente Central are the Hotel Mayi, Citimart Island Mall and Cinema, the Calapan City Public Market, GE Mart (Golden Eagle Mart), Caballero Marketing; People's Arcade; Good Morning Enterprises and Juanita Mart while some of the popular chains that can be seen here include Puregold, Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Mcdonald's, Max's Restaurant, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications Wireless Center. Among the national banking companies that have branches in the city center are Banco de Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Metrobank, Philippine National Bank (PNB), United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Chinabank and EastWest Bank to name a few.
Calapan's climate is described as mild. It is relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. February and March have the least rainfall while October and November are the months of greatest rainfall. Average yearly rainfall is 2,500 to 4,500 millimetres (98 to 177 in) at the City’s southwest portion. The average daily temperature is 22.9 to 28.3 °C (73.2 to 82.9 °F).
Wind direction throughout the year is variable; Northeast monsoons prevail from August, November, December and January to March; East to Northeast on April; Southeast to South on May and June; Northeast to South on July and September, and Easterly on October.
Calapan was formerly a small village before the establishment of the first Religious District in Baco. The District convent was transferred to Calapan in 1733 and began its jurisdiction over the Northern Mindoro Ecclesiastical Area.
In the early 18th century, the town only occupied a strip of land stretching from Ibaba to Ilaya in a cross-shape facing the present church and cut off by the river. Later on, succeeding barrios were founded.
In 1837, the capital of the province was moved from Puerto Galera to Calapan. When Mindoro became a part of Marinduque on June 13, 1902, the provincial capital was once again moved to Puerto Galera. On November 10, 1902, Mindoro was detached from Marinduque. In 1903, Calapan once again became the provincial capital.
When Mindoro was detached from Marinduque on November 10, 1902, Baco, Puerto Galera and San Teodoro were annexed to Calapan in 1905 under Act. 1280, adding a total area of 843 square kilometres (325 sq mi). of land. In 1902, under Act 2824, the three municipalities gained their independence.
In 1919, the boundary dispute between Calapan and Naujan was adjudicated by Presidentes (Mayors) Agustin Quijano of Calapan and Agustin Garong of Naujan over a portion of the territory of what is now known as the present boundary. The portion of agricultural area was awarded to Naujan, thus, making the area of Calapan much smaller as compared to that of Naujan which is now considered as the biggest municipality of the province.
In the year 1998, Calapan was converted from a municipality into a component city by virtue of Republic Act No. 8475. The law was authored in Congress by Rep. Renato V. Leviste and was signed by President Fidel Ramos on February 2, 1998. On March 21, 1998, the people of Calapan ratified the creation of the City of Calapan in a plebiscite marking the same day as the city’s foundation day. Incumbent Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan became the last Municipal Mayor and the first City Mayor of Calapan. To date, it is the first and only city in the whole island of Mindoro.
Since attaining cityhood, Calapan has witnessed significant improvements in commerce and industry, infrastructure and social services. New commercial establishments were opened providing employment and income opportunities for the residents An expanded program on social services delivery, particularly in health care and education, were undertaken. The city’s physical infrastructure was upgraded, which includes the construction of new roads and drainage facilities, as well as a new City Government Center. Tourism was boosted with the opening of inland resorts and new hotels. Malls had also started rising in the city to cater more to the shopping needs of its people. Sports and events tourism were also strengthened as was seen with the large influx of tourists in the city during the MIMAROPARAA, ALCULYMPICS and Ms. Earth Long Gown Competition all in 2011, proofs that indeed the city is capable of handling regional and national activities.
Calapan boasts of many notable accolades and recognitions that it had garnered under its belt over the past years ever since becoming a city all of which serve as proofs of the city's continuing efforts to improve its standing and cement its reputation as one of the most livable cities in the country.
Calapan was reclassified from a 4th class city in 2007 to a 2nd class city in 2010, on account of its innovations in public service, modernization programs, increased revenue collection, and overall economic improvement.
The derivation of the name of Calapan cannot be traced with certainty. Some opined that it came from the word “Kalap” which means to gather logs. Thus “Kalapan” was supposed to be a place where logs were gathered. In the old records, however, there was never a mention of Calapan as a place where logs were produced or exported. Furthermore, huge forest trees where logs were produced certainly did not grow near the town, which was swampy. Another theory holds that Calapan was originally pronounced as “Kalapang” which, according to an old Tagalog dictionary, was a synonym for “sanga” or branch. It could then refer to the settlement of Kalapang as a branch of its mother town of Baco, an adjoining town. The name was later hispanized as Calapan.
|Population census of Calapan City|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
The city's economy is dependent on agriculture and fishing. However, a growing industry in machinery and tourism has contributed well to the city's annual income making it one of the fastest growing new cities in the country for the last 10 years.
Since 1998, the city has experienced rapid development. The establishment of a special development area, particularly an eco-zone for light industries located at the Urban Development Area (Lumangbayan and Guinobatan), has been promoted and now serves as growth area which generates employment and spurs economic opportunities. Such industries focus on agro-industrial based activities such as food processing, handicraft making, furniture making and other related activities.
Calapan City plays a major role in the Philippine economy as one of the major food suppliers in the country. The city is also a major exporter of rice supplying to Metro Manila and major parts of Luzon making it both an agriculturally-progressive and urbanized city. The five major crops are rice, citrus, banana, rambutan and lanzones. The top five industries in Calapan City are trading, tourism, services, marine and aquatic, and food processing.
Calapan City serves as the province’s industrial hub. It plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the province and its adjacent areas.
Trading and commercial activities are mainly confined in wholesale and retail trade. Other thriving industries are manufacturing, financing, tourism, food and beverages and services. In recent years, the city has witnessed the influx of private investments that increase income and employment opportunities. The City Investment Code encourages new and existing entrepreneurs to increase their investments. All business establishments are also required to employ bonafide residents of the city to at least 70% of the job opportunities that they will generate.
Majority of the vast agricultural lands of Calapan City is devoted to rice production. Visitors and local residents are amazed to witness how green fields turn into fields of golden grains every cropping season. Modernized farming techniques are now practiced by local farmers to increase their production and income.
Located 130 km (81 mi) south of Manila, Calapan is accessible via land transportation to the Port of Batangas City and then by water transportation to Mindoro Island. Travelers can drive or take a bus ride from Manila to Batangas via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and then Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR). Several ferry boats transport passengers from Batangas Port to Calapan 24/7. They can board the 2Go Fast Ferry (travel time is 1 hour). Passengers who wish to bring their vehicles can board the Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) cargo ferries. With an approximate travel time of two and a half hours, passengers of Ro-Ro ferries could enjoy sights while crossing the Verde Island Passage. Discounts are given to senior citizens, students, children and group passengers.
Upon arrival at the Port of Calapan City, travelers can opt from a variety of transportation services to their place of destinations within the city or to the farthest part of the province. Almost all places in the city are virtually accessible by auto rickshaws, locally called as tricycless. All fourteen towns of the province are accessible by jeepneys and vans that align themselves at the city port. The fare depends on the place of destination.
All major road networks in the city are properly paved and well-maintained. The city is linked to all the towns in the province via a mostly concreted provincial road with few parts that are rough and dusty and are under construction.
The city also has an airport, the Calapan Airport, classified as a secondary airport and is used for general aviation handling mostly small planes and choppers with regular trips from Manila Domestic Airport.
In the One Town-One Product (OTOP) of the National Government, Calapan is touted as the "Golden Grains City of the South" possessing picturesque natural attractions, culture-rich historical sites, eco and agri-tourism sites, beach and farm resorts, fully developed hotels, inns and pension houses. Enhancement of already breath-taking scenery through the tasteful addition of classic resort facilities, quality and high standards of accommodation facilities and services create an environment conducive to the development of tourism as OTOP of the city. Long beach front in Calapan Bay, the vast potentials of the city as a major agricultural producer, its tropical rainforest and other environmental conservation area lead to a more vibrant and diversified agri-eco tourism investment and development.
To further boost tourism in the city and to effectively place Calapan in the country's festival map, the local government established many colorful festivities and glamorous santacruzan celebrations.
Celebrated every 21 March is the city's official festival, the Kalap Fest. Launched only in 2009, the Kalap Festival is a celebration of culture and history. Participated by various sectors of Calapan's broad citizenry, the people walk the city streets moving as one. It is intended to be a yearly celebration packed with performances, colorful floats, and most significant of all, history. Along the main streets, floats detail the defining moments of the city's past, an insight into the Calapan of today.
For religious tourism, the city holds the Sto. Nino de Calapan Festival at the start of every year, January 1. It is a month-long celebration starting as early as December until it reaches its pinnacle through a series of different religious activities to honor the city's patron, the young child Sto. Nino and to reflect the people's religiosity. The celebration extends towards the Christmas season laced with nightly cultural presentation, yuletide activities topped by the lighting of the giant Christmas tree and fireworks, as well as agro-industrial and tourism fairs.
The Harvest Festival, was conceptualized by the city government council in recognition of Calapan City's achievement as one of the major exporter of rice in the Philippines. The city was once an importer of rice but now rice is the most important export of Calapan. According to city statistics, the increase in palay production is attributed to the improvement of the city’s agricultural programs. Thus Calapan is also dubbed as "The City of the Golden Grains".
The Sinkaw Festival derives its name from “sining kalabaw" or carabao arts, a creative artistic painting competition with no less than the carabaos as “canvasses.” This festival honors the city's native “beasts of the burden” as an eternally indispensable partner in farming and, essentially, a special tribute to the farmers’ industry.
Mardigras are held on many different occasions (fiesta, summer, Foundation Day, Halloween) that add more color to the already vibrant city. It is the ultimate street party that takes place along the entire stretch of J. P. Rizal Street. The hypnotic lights and upbeat music, together with various fun-filled activities, will bring together a bevy of party-goers to party the night away.
The annual celebration of Pandanggitab Festival, Oriental Mindoro's official festival and MaHalTa Festival, a showcase of various festivals from each of the 15 towns of Oriental Mindoro also take place here in the city.
The city and provincial governments also maintain separate libraries and museums. Moreover, the Calapan City Plaza which is located in front of the old city hall in San Vicente East is one of the city's famed attractions because of its unique features that includes a statue of a Mangyan man standing beside a tamaraw. The statue has now become the most famous landmark of the city.
The city is host to numerous higher educational institutions. The Divine Word College of Calapan, a Catholic college run by the Divine Word Missionaries is currently the largest institution of higher learning in the city and the province of Oriental Mindoro. Other private institutions of higher learning include the St. Anthony College Calapan City (Information Technology, Nursing and Tourism), Luna Goco Colleges (Nursing), Southwestern Luzon Maritime Institute Foundation and Filipino Academy of Scientific Trades (Maritime Studies), AMA Computer Learning Center (Information Technology), and CLCC Institute of Computer Arts and Technology (Information Technology).
There are currently two public institutions of higher learning in the city. One is the Mindoro State University (Calapan Campus) while the other is the City College of Calapan which was opened last June 2008 through the initiative of City Mayor Salvador Leachon.
Calapan City has nine national high schools (NHS), one of which is the Oriental Mindoro National High School (OMNHS) the flagship campus and the largest Public High School in Oriental Mindoro. Other public high schools include the Mamerta Gargullo Tolentino Memorial National High School (former Parang NHS), Ceriaco A. Abes Memorial MNHS, Canubing NHS, Managpi NHS, Pedro V. Panaligan MNHS, the Community Vocational High School, the LEMNAHIS Bucayao Annex and the Nag-iba National High School(former LEMNAHIS Annex Nag-iba).
The Catholic Church also runs the Holy Infant Academy, while DWCC also maintains a Basic Education Department.
Public elementary schools meanwhile are organized into three districts. They are the Calapan West, Calapan South(Pedro Tolentino Memorial School(PTMS) and Calapan East Districts.
The city is served primarily by the Oriental Mindoro Medical Center which is also the largest hospital in the province. There are also numerous private hospitals in the city such as the Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative which is the only tertiary level hospital in the region, Maria Estrella General Hospital, Sta. Maria Village Hospital, Hospital of the Holy Cross and the Luna-Goco Medical Center.
In addition, the city has well-equipped public health centers providing free health check-ups and basic medicine supplies to all residents. These public centers are being funded and supported by the City Health and Sanitation Department.
The hospitality industry in Calapan is diverse. Visitors in the city can choose from various hotels, lodges, inns, seaside and inland resort and transient rooms. Services may vary from simple to luxurious accommodations. The Filipiniana Resorts Complex, a four-star hotel, is the biggest in the city.
Several popular fast food corporations have put up businesses in the city. Jolibee, McDonalds, Chowking and Mang Inasal are just few of them. There are also fine -dining restaurants to choose from such as Max's, Wills Diner and L&V Restaurant. The presence of some coffee shops are also notable.
Shopping in Calapan is never a hassle as the city offers various shopping malls and souvenir shops.
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||Isla Verde Passage|