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Candaba, Pampanga

Municipality of Candaba Location Map of Pampangashowing the location of Candaba Government RegionCentral Luzon(Region III) ProvincePampangaDistrict4th District of Pampanga Barangays33 Income Class: 1st class municipalityMayorJerry Pelayo (Kampi) Physical characteristics Area208.70 km²Population

     Total (2007)

86,066 Coordinates14°56'N 120°30'E

Candaba (formerly Candawe) is a 1st 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 Celsius, 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

Profile and Development

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

Current Barangay Chairmen and Sangguniang Kabataan Chairmen as of September, 2007

Bahay Pare: Valentino C. Palad, Mark Anthony Pangan; Barangca: Renato S. Dela Cruz, Christian C. Diaz; Bambang: Javier S. Timbang, Levinson H. Lapuz ; Barit: Domingo P. Cunanan, Shiela a. Reyes ; Buas: Venancio C. Gallardo, Michelle L. Magpayo ; Dalayap: Raymundo D. Trinidad ,Ruby Ann Bulaon ; Cuayang Bugtong: Feliciano A. Pelayo, Jayson Francisco ; Dulong Ilog: Romeo P. Deal Cruz, Christopher C. Laxamana ; Gulap: Antonio P. Vinuya, Charito Manalastas ; Lourdes: Nestor P. Sangalang, Jenny S. Manalastas ; Lanang: Honorato S. Martin, Ryan G. Tangcuangco ; Magumbali: Pedro L. Balingit, Francis Garcia ; Mandasig: Mariano M. Cunanan, Alvin Iganacio ; Mangga: Fortunato L. Giron, Catherine Eduardo ; Mandili: Lucio P. Pelayo, Jonathan Quilantang ; Mapanique: Jacinto G. Buco, Miguel O. David, Ronald Manalastas; Paligue: Wilfredo M. Manalili, Stanley Mananghaya ; Pansinao: Alejandro M. Yumul, Leny F. Yumul ; Pangclara: Saturnino S. Cuerpo, Maridie Liwag ; Paralaya: Jaime C. Gumabon, Ma. Cristina Macapagal ; Pasig: Esanislao M. Galang, Ralph C. Magpayo ; Pulong Gubat: Aquilino E. Santos, Vidal S. Mendoza; Pescadores: Severino M. Cano, Alvin Atencio ; Pulong Plazan: Jose M. Torres, Monette Canlas ; Salapungan: Edgardo S. Evangelista, Ryan Jay P. Quilantang ; Sto. Rosario: Conrado S. Matic, Milan Lapuz ; San Agustin: Rudy L. Dela Pena, Noel Laqui ; Tagulod: Sergio C. Manalastas, Joel D. Causo ; Talang: Almario C. Salas, Rizalyn Salas ; Tenejero: Alfredo R. Lajom, Andres Lagman ; Vizal San Pablo: Andres S. Liwag, Melody Liwag ; Vizal Sto. Cristo: Jesus C. Castro, none ; Vizal Sto. Nino: Apolonio T. Ortega, Jaycee L. Sanguyo .

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 where the town proper is; eight (8) for the Kapampangan region, which is separated from the town proper by the swamp and is closer to Cabiao, Nueva Ecija and San Miguel, Bulacan than to the Candaba town proper; and fourteen (14) for the Tagalog region that is adjacent to Baliuag, Bulacan.

7-Year Development Program Candaba, Pampanga for the Years 2004–2011


Candaba has 33 barangays with a total population that now exceeds 100,000. It has a total land area of 32,000 and 18,711 hectares of which are very fertile agricultural land with 5,433 farmers. Aside from rice, the other significant agricultural products are green corn involving some 332 hectares and 194 farmers and melon covering some 226 hectares with 105 farmers. About 60 hectares are used for commercial growing of various lowland vegetables. Candaba remains the top rice producer in Pampanga.

Candaba has 462 fishpond operators utilizing some 3,425 hectares of wetland. The rivers and their tributaries are inhabited by various species of fish that provide sources of income for marginal fishermen and trappers. Tilapia is the main produce of the fishponds contributing significantly to making Pampanga the top tilapia producer of the country. Laying duck population is already around 800,000 making Candaba the top producer of duck eggs in Pampanga.

A fledgling ornamental fish industry exists in Candaba offering good prospects for the highly lucrative Koi breeding industry. The Candaba Swamp, an Important Bird Area with assigned code IBA PH007, is home to more than 90 species of wildbirds half of which are migratory that arrive in big flocks yearly. It is fast becoming a favorite bird-watching site for local and foreign tourists.


With a prevailing peace and order situation and the full cooperation of the people, especially the farmers and the local entrepreneurs, the full development of Candaba’s potential as top food producer can be realized.

As general rule, Candaba’s distinct features require it to pursue development that always seeks a balance between the needs of the people and those of the environment in order to address both domestic and national concerns.


Infrastructure projects shall be planned and implemented for three main objectives: (1) bringing government closer to the people; (2) support for agriculture and food production and (3)linking the barangays for unity and progress.

Bringing Government Closer to the People

Municipal Extension Offices and more service facilities shall be built and established in the Tagalog and Kapampangan regions in order that government will be better felt in those remote areas. The Municipal Building and other public structures in the Poblacion shall be expanded, renovated and refurnished for the convenience of both government employees and the public.

Support for Agriculture and Food Production

Farm-to-market roads, irrigation canals, protective dikes and post-harvest facilities will have to be rehabilitated, improved or constructed to boost agriculture and food production.

Linking Barangays for Unity and Progress

The main roads linking the Poblacion to the Kapampangan region (San Miguel – Candaba Road) and the Poblacion to the Tagalog region (Baliwag – Candaba Road) shall be given attention at every opportunity because the success of uniting the 3 distinctive regions of Candaba into one productive entity depends on them.

At the same time farm-to-market roads that connect different barangays shall also be given priority for this purpose.


While the emphasis is on making Candaba a top producer of food, support services and assistance for the people shall not be ignored for they are the most important component of development.

Livelihood and Employement

Alternative and additional livelihood shall be promoted in order to utilize the idle hours of the agricultural community, especially during the rainy days. Main targets of livelihood projects shall be the mothers and unemployed women who shall be taught how to produce sellable products that they can make at home.


The facilities needed to deliver health and medical services to the people shall be improved especially the health centers in the Poblacion, Bahay Pare and Salapungan. They shall be equipped and supplied sufficiently to effectively extend assistance to the needy. Provisions of lying-in clinics for those giving birth shall be provided. Basic medicines shall be made available and displayed prominently for everyone to see.


Support services and facilities for the senior citizens shall be provided in order that they may be made more active for health reasons and for community services that they can still perform.

Children at the nursery level shall be given special attention by improving, constructing and equipping nursery schools. Playgrounds and libraries for them shall be constructed.

The out-of-school youth shall benefit from special programs for sports activities and livelihood training.


The special concerns are about the need for new and innovative programs and projects that shall address the demands brought about by the unique characteristics of Candaba as a potential agricultural growth center and alternative water source for Central Luzon and Metro Manila. Add to that, Candaba is emerging as a leading swamp and wildlife conservation area.


The Candaba Swamp, being a catch basin of flood water coming from Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, is now being considered the next best source of raw water for agriculture in Pampanga and Bulacan and for residential and commercial use in Metro Manila in view of the impending fresh water crisis in these areas in not so distant future.

Comprehensive studies and planning shall be undertaken so that the great volume of water that yearly passes perennially through Candaba on the way to Manila Bay can be tapped and made to contribute to the overall development of Candaba without prejudice to the effort to conserve the swamp and its wildlife for future generations.


Markets for Candaba products shall be developed both in the country and outside the country. At the same time new technology shall be introduced to upgrade the quality of Candaba products in terms of methods of production and packaging. Facilities for this purpose shall be established in and out of Candaba in cooperation with government agencies and the private sector. One cooperative per major product shall be promoted in order to develop effective marketing that will benefit the farmers and producers and not the middlemen and traders alone.


Candaba faces a tough job of managing its solid waste considering its being a flood catch basin without any area that can easily be approved for holding and processing collected garbage. Because the lifeblood of Candaba’s economy is totally dependent on water that flows freely along its waterways and keeping this water free of pollution is a paramount task, waste management shall be a major concern. While Candaba proposes town clustering in the province to jointly address waste problem, it shall embark on its own program of minimizing non-biogradable and toxic waste in the environment. This includes the institution of appropriate solid waste management at the barangay level.


The Candaba Swamp is home to more than ninety species of wild birds half of which are migratory. It has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA PH007) that needs protection and conservation according to law. The local dumara or Philippine Duck alone that now breeds in Candaba is strongly protected by law that imposes stiff penalties against those who will harm them. It is among the wildbirds that shall be made an attraction for local and foreign tourists in addition to interesting spots and local festivities.


For faster and more efficient services to the people computerization shall be instituted by phases. The first to be computerized is the Real Property Tax administration in Candaba that shall be followed by that of the Business Tax. The long term goal is to computerize tax mapping and the database of all major concerns for more effective planning, implementation and monitoring of program activities.

The Years 2004 -2007 in Review

The first 100 days of Mayor Jerry Pelayo

Reforms Initiated

Implemented cost-cutting measures that saved almost P8 Million for the municipality. Unnecessary casuals were removed. Over-spending on supplies was stopped. Unjustified travelling was disallowed. Attending unimportant seminars especially those held outside the province was discouraged.

Income losses of the municipal government were drastically cut. Illegal water and electric connections that accounted for the bulk of some P3 Million losses in operating the public market were removed. Market fees and dues were standardized. Collections for the market alone more than tripled.

Illegal structures within the market perimeter were removed without exemption. All vendors were moved inside the market to make enough room for traffic around the market. The market was cleaned, renovated and provided with newly installed comfort rooms for vendors and buyers. The Office of the Mayor was made more accessible by disallowing any cordon sanitaire and keeping the door literally open to anyone who wants to see the mayor.

Regular consultations and dialogues with the different sectors were held at the barangay level to keep abreast with the local situation and unify the people in solving various problems of the communities.

Strict discipline among the town’s policemen was imposed. Carrying of firearms when not in uniform, drinking or playing cards while on duty and sleeping on the job were firmly prohibited.

On Oct.1-2, 2004 the First Candaba Seminar-Workshop on Peace and Order was held right within Candaba at the Mayor’s compound. Intended to refresh and enhance the knowledge of policemen and their cooperating barangay personnel on law enforcement and strengthen their bonding, the activity was attended by all policemen, barangay captains and leaders of tanods of the municipality.

A program to encourage and enforce the registration of tricycles and their drivers with the municipal government and the LTO for security and control purposes was initiated in cooperation with the leaders of the different barangay TODAs setting a deadline for total compliance.


Environmental Advocacy

- Conservation of the Candaba Swamp and its wildlife. - Rehabilitation of the Pampanga River (Rio Grande).

Ecotourism Project: Candaba Swamp Wildlife Reserve (50 species of resident birds, 46 species of migratory birds) is now an internationally known Important Bird Area frequented by local and foreign tourists and enthusiasts. The Candaba birds were featured in a special front page layout of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Drive against waste-dumping in the Candaba swamp

Mayor Jerry Pelayo led the campaign against waste-dumping by big-time piggeries that have been polluting the Candaba swamp causing huge damage to agriculture and aquatic life. This attracted media and public attention prompting the DENR to act with dispatch. This campaign is linked with the long-term plan to make the Candaba swamp not only a leading source of agricultural and aquatic products but as destination for eco-tourism as well considering the migratory flocks that converge in the area yearly. At the same time, dumping garbage into rivers, creeks and canals was banned after these waterways were cleared of plastics that have been clogging them.

Rehabilitation of the Pampanga River

Mayor Pelayo also initiated the move among the municipalities along the Pampanga River to join forces in rehabilitating the said river and make it not only life-sustaining but a venue for ecotourism and alternative means of transportation as well. The Candaba swamp is seen as one of the three major natural landmarks of Pampanga that have to be preserved. The others are the Arayat Mountain and the Pampanga River. These particular concerns have eventually led to the proposal of Mayor Pelayo to create a Southeastern Pampanga Development Caucus/Group that will make the Pampanga River Delta a rallying point to tackle common concerns on environment, flood mitigation, agri and aquaculture and appropriate investments.

Transparency in governance

Mayor Pelayo initiated transparency in his administration. He has been reporting incomes and expenditures to pastoral councils, civic organizations and other sectors. Noting that this has given taxpayers more confidence and trust in the local government to the point that they have become more than willing to help by paying their right dues on time, he is now advocating that this practice be adopted by local executives and other government officials to help the country stamp out graft and corruption and increase tax collection. Under his term Candaba finally became a first class municipality.

Projects Accomplished in His First 100 Days : The Fast Pace of Work Needed in Candaba

For almost half of each year during the rainy days, implementation of infrastructure projects in Candaba practically comes to a halt when the place becomes muddy and the perennial flooding occurs. It is for this reason that a fast pace of work has to be established from the start. This was essentially the message of the first 100 days of Mayor Pelayo in office.

Accomplished were:

• Lighting of the main road from the Sta. Ana-Candaba boundary all the way to the town plaza. • Solving the perennial flooding of Pansol, the main access from Sta. Ana to Candaba, by building a diversion passage for floodwater into the Pampanga River and clearing of the main drainage canal. • Reconstruction of the municipal police headquarters and a police outpost guarding the entrance to the Poblacion. • Repair of the elementary school in Pulong Palazan that was long neglected. • Renovation and repainting of the public market. • Reconstruction of the town plaza and renovation of its surroundings. • Repair of municipal trucks, ambulance and backhoe and made them serviceable again. • Giving each policeman a monthly sack of rice and scholarship for a high school child.

Inspired, the local police with the cooperation of the people apprehended the main drug pushers in the municipality and effectively kept peace and order in Candaba.

On October 19, 2004 barely two months after the big flood, Candaba hosted some 73 international candidates of the Miss Earth 2004 Pageant that was shown via international cable distributors, a testimony to the Candabeños resiliency and determination to make a difference at this time. A Miss Earth Park now is being developed where the international beauties planted trees. The park is now part of a landmark project that includes a hall of justice, a multi-purpose evacuation center, children’s play center and soon a livelihood center and model resettlement for some families who have to be relocated from the banks of the Pampanga River. Going to the Second Year of Administration

Candaba Prepares to Become Food Basket for Metro Manila

Melons and watermelons are back in Candaba after 20 years. This is being made possible by the introduction of modern technology and better seeds with the full support of the local government unit and the Department of Agriculture.

Just 60 kilometers away from Metro Manila with an area of 32,000 hectares, Candaba is fast becoming the next food basket for Metro Manila and a potential major exporter of agricultural products, particularly melons and high value vegetables. The target foreign market includes Hongkong, Korea and Japan during the winter months of November to February. Already Candaba is a major if not the top producer of rice, tilapia and duck eggs in Pampanga. Corn is also produced in significant quantity in many areas. Various vegetables both for the local market and export show great prospect.

To give full support to the Candaba’s effort to make itself one of the top food producers in the country, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap paid a visit to the First Candaba Farmers Congress and Hybrid Rice Field Day held in Barangay Salapungan last April 14, 2005. Candaba subsequently garnered the Top Hybrid Rice Producer Award.

Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo believes that with the prevailing peace and order situation and the full cooperation of his constituents, especially the farmers and the local entrepreneurs, the full development of Candaba’s potential as top food producer can be realized.

Under the leadership of Mayor Jerry Pelayo, Candaba is trying its best to strike a balance between the needs of the people and those of the environment.

Candaba’s FARMFRESH 25 addresses the needs of the times: better income for local producers and cheaper products for consumers.

As conceived by Mayor Jerry Pelayo and supporters of the project, the target is to eliminate middlemen so producers can get better prices for their goods while consumers will be able to buy products cheaper by as much as 25%.

Clark Development Corporation has given full support and has allowed an idle warehouse in front of the DFA Building in Clark to be converted into a trading post for Candaba’s products. The Department of Agriculture has provided various forms of assistance.

FARMFRESH 25 only needs enough financial and technical support in order for the concept to materialize into a full-bloom food processing and trading center in Central Luzon that will cater to food producers and markets in Luzon. Being located in the Clark Special Economic Zone connected to a new superhighway that leads to Subic the project can eventually cater to foreign markets.

Bringing the Government Closer to the People

Candaba has 33 barangays distributed among three distinctive regions that are separated by the vastness of the Candaba Swamp. The Kapampangan Region, comprising of 8 barangays lies along the borders of San Miguel, Bulacan and Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. The Tagalog Region with its 14 barangays shares borders with Baliuag, Bulacan and San Luis, Pampanga. The Poblacion Region, the most flood-prone area contains the town center with its 11 barangays.

The rainy season usually renders the roads linking the Poblacion to the Tagalog and Kapampangan regions impassable to vehicles forcing residents there to take long and costly alternative routes to transact business with the municipal government. Because of this, trade and commerce in these areas have been more associated with the nearby towns of Baliuag and San Miguel.

People in the remote regions needed and demanded more presence of government. Mayor Jerry Pelayo's response to this is the establishment of Municipal Extension Offices at Barangay Bahay Pare for the Tagalog Region and Barangay Salapungan for the Kapampangan Region.

Now fully operational, the Municipal Extension Offices offer services for civil marriage, various license applications, payment of municipal fees and taxes, agricultural needs and livelihood training and projects among others.

The Sangguniang Bayan could hold session once in a while in each of the new Municipal Extension Offices. SB members could also hold office in them at certain days of the week to keep abreast with the people's needs and sentiments.

The Municipal Extension Offices are also designed to be used by local leaders for their meetings and important gatherings. They will be centers for people's activities.

Building the Municipal Extension Offices is also a matter of strategy.

The municipal government does not have enough funds to finance all the much-needed road repairs and improvement. Not even the national government can provide all of that at this time or in the near future. Candaba can only bank on its own program of raising local revenues and income. And this cannot be achieved if the local government will not be able to convince the people to pay the right taxes and dues at the right time.

In order to achieve this the people must feel the presence of government and they must feel that it is their government working for them.

Mayor Jerry Pelayo believes that government must make itself very accessible to the people and that government must go to the people and not the other way around. Only then can we inculcate in the minds of the people that helping government and obeying laws are in fact loving the country, its people and their own community.

The one in Salapungan will have a demo farm with green house and already has an agricultural trading post. This will attract more commercial activities that will mean more income for the local government and the barangays nearby.

The Municipal Extension Offices will, at the same time, be monuments of the Candabeños' determination to stay united and work for the common good. They are the starting points for the journey to effectively link the 3 distinct regions of Candaba for economic growth, social cohesiveness and political maturity.

Now that Candaba has attained the status of a first class municipality, the harder that its people and their leaders must now work so that the momentum to progress will not be lost. It is for this reason that Mayor Jerry Pelayo continuously calls for partisan politics to take a back seat. The overwhelming majority of the Candabeños have actually heeded that call and substantial changes in the political culture of the people are now becoming more apparent.

Mayor Jerry Pelayo believes that if it can be done in Candaba, maybe it can be done anywhere else in the country.

More Projects

More projects, completed or ongoing, include the expansion and complete renovation of the municipal building, construction of a new fire station, computerization of local collections, construction and improvement of farm-to-market roads, dikes, irrigation canals and day care centers and repair of schools.

Candaba under Mayor Jerry Pelayo just recently received a special citation from the Bureau of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture for its important and critical role in the country’s Bird Flu Prevention Program. Despite its meager resources, Candaba did its part in preventing the outbreak of bird flu in the country.


Candaba is bird flu-free and its people are determined to keep it that way. That is why it launched a people-based campaign to squarely face the challenge of the times and help the government prevent the entry of bird flu into the country.

Candaba Mayor Jerry held a series of meetings with duck raisers, barangay leaders and municipal officials in the presence of representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine National Police.

In a well-documented presentation at the National Disaster Coordinating Center in Camp Aguinaldo before representatives of the World Health Organization, concerned national agencies and local government units, Candaba showed that while Candaba is a potential “ground zero” for the outbreak of bird flu, the place and its people offer opportunities to show the world that it can contribute significantly in establishing people-based measures against the dreaded disease.

Candaba Swamp is host to the yearly migration of some 40 species of birds that come from as far as China in the North and Australia in the South.

At the same time, Candaba has a fast growing duck (itik) industry that is now worth more than P250 Million in terms of layers, infrastructure and potential income.

These two plus a sizeable population living in the built-up areas surrounding the swamp comprise the three components of a potential “ground zero.”

Candaba, with the help of various government agencies, has set up a system of structural and operational measures to keep the migratory birds away from farm animals and the people, to maintain a 24-hour vigilance while the migratory birds are around and to provide the necessary education and training to concerned groups for effective mobilization and proper response to contingencies.

Candaba’s municipal government has banned hunting of wild birds both as support for biodiversity and as a precautionary measure. The Wildlife Reserve in the Candaba Swamp has not only become a popular spot for eco-tourism but a very convenient venue as well to monitor migratory birds and undertake scientific study on them.

Candaba is distributing information package in CD to assist other local government units develop their own strategies and precautionary measures against the avian flu. This includes information on the characteristics and habits of various migratory birds that pass through Central Luzon.

While there is still no evidence that migratory birds reaching the country carry the deadly H5N1 virus, Candaba maintains vigilance over the matter.

Mayor Jerry received a special commendation from the Bureau of Animal Industry "for his leadership in implementing the Avian Influenza Protection Program in the Municipality of Candaba, Pampanga...that has ensured the safety of his constituents from the regular migratory birds in sanctuaries without sacrificing his ecotourism program.

Please visit for more information and photos for verification.


Brief History:

Iniâ ngéni kng Kandáuâ,

Méging ílug at pinak na,

Iti ing sadiang karinan na,

Níti nang bunduk Aláya.

A verse from the kurírû above narrates how the sun god Ápûng Sínukûan, who in his incarnation as Carguen-cargon, formed the 30,000 hectare Pinák when he transferred Bunduk Aláya from Candába to the nearby town of Aráyat. The inhabitants believed that Candába is as ancient as the gods portrayed in the kurírû.

Candába may have been the first and oldest settlement in the entire Kapampángan homeland, populated centuries before the formation of Luzon Empire (traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: lǚsòngguó). Ancient terrestrial navigation recognizes only two directions ~ paraláya or “going to Bunduk Aláya” and paráuâ (paróba) or “going to dáuâ or Kandáuâ” ~ suggesting that in the beginning, there was only Bunduk Aláya and Candába. Moreover, the oldest archaeological artifact ever found in the region was a 5000 year old stone tool used for building boats. Thousands of pottery shards dated before the existence of trade with China are scattered all over.

Candába may have originally been called Kandáua, where dáua was in ancient times a large earthen vessel used to catch rain water. The Spaniards originally wrote the name of the town as Candáva where the letter “v” was supposed to be read as “w” instead of “b”. Candába becomes exactly like a dáua during the rainy season. Some historians however, seeing themselves better off for being more westernized than the proudly indigenous Candabéño had suggested that Candába was derived from dáuâ, the Kapampángan word for millet ~ a grain they considered inferior to rice ~ and therefore suggesting that the people of Candába were as backward as they were ancient. But Candába has always proven itself very progressive economically, politically and culturally since ancient times.

According to folklore, the people of the port settlement of Mandásig once traced their ancestry to Malangdî, the wife of Malangsî, who was the son Balagtas, who was in turn said to be the son of Bulkiah, the ruler of Brunei who attacked Lŭsòng Guo before the turn of the 16th century. After the conquest of Lŭsòng Guo in 1571, the Spanish colonial administration awarded the vast territories of Candába as an encomienda or estate-grant to Royal Lieutenant Amador de Arriarán. One settlement so noted for its antiquity however was excluded from the encomienda. It was administered directly by the colonial government in Manila exclusively for the King of Spain and was given the name La Castillilla.

The evangelization of Candába was pioneered by the Jesuits who built a church and convent in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle in 1575. Three years later, the Jesuits were replaced by the Agustinian Order.

In 1585, Candába was the scene of the first organized revolt against Spanish rule since the conquest of Lŭsòng Guo in 1571. The uprising was organized by the displaced nobility of Lŭsòng Guo headed by Don Juan de Manila and Don Nicolas Mananguete of Candába. Originally, the organizers civilly petitioned the colonial authorities to limit their abuses and to respect their dignity as the traditional rulers of their region. Their protests led to violence and ended in much bloodshed when the colonial authorities ignored their petition. Three years later, a similar revolt was being organized by the displaced nobilities of Tondo. Among the leaders was Dionisio Capúlong, son of Lakandúla of Tondo and former ruler of Candába.

In the 1590s, the greedy Spaniards discovered that the Candába nobility were secretly buying gold from the natives living along the headwaters of the Indûng Kapampángan River. Candába immediately became the staging point for the conquest of the Cagayan Valley and the Northeast Frontier.

In 1640, Nicolas Alónso, a young Kapampángan nobleman from Candába, was listed as one of the few privileged sons of the Kapampángan nobility allowed to study at the Jesuit College of San Felipe de Asturias in Manila. The college was founded by Governor General Hurtado de Corcuera for the purpose of Hispanizing the native Kapampángan nobility.

In 1784, the colonial authorities decided to resettle 200 Christian Chinese along the Pinác de Candába. Evidence of their presence can be seen in the last three Chinese tombstones found right on the doorstep of the Church of Saint Andrew. One has the name “Jose Tecson”(好西徳孫) clearly written in Chinese characters. His tombstone indicates that he died in the Bing Chen Era (1796-1820) during the reign of Qing Emperor Renzong(清仁宗).

The Pinák or Candába Swamp, with its fertile soil and abundant fish and game, had always been a haven for various rebel groups throughout history. During the Philippine Revolution, it was the haunt of rebel-messiah Ápûng Ipê Salvador and his armed pro-Utopian and anti-Foreign peasant religious army, the Santa Iglesia or Colorum. In 1898, Ápûng Ipê and his Colorum army marched triumphantly into Candába town after chasing away the last of the Spanish colonial militia. A year later, they would return to the Pinák from which to harass the new invaders, the Americans. Their fight against American Imperialist Rule continued up to the 1930s and their movement attracted other peasants in nearby towns and provinces. The establishment of the Socialist Movement in the 1930s attracted most of the members of the Colorum. The Socialist Movement formed the core of the Hukbalahap during the Japanese occupation. The Pinák served as their impenetrable stronghold against the Japanese. Dayangdáyang (Felipa Culálâ), a daughter of Candába and Chief of General Welfare of the Hukbalahap led a series of successful raids against the Japanese Forces in 1943. After the war, the Pinák once again served as a haven for the Peoples Liberation Army (HMB) who fought against the American-sponsored Philippine Republic.

Author: Michael Raymon Tayag-Manaloto Pangilinan[1]


1. Gaspar de San Agustin, Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas; 1565-1615, 1st Bilingual Edition, Intramuros: 1998.

2. Virginia Benitez Licuanan and Jose Llavador Mira, The Philippines Under Spain: A Compilation and Translation of Original Documents, Quezon City: 1993.

3. Manuel Gatbonton, Ing Candawe, excerpts, 1933.

4. Mariano A. Henson, Pampanga and Its Towns (AD 1300-1965), Angeles: 1965.

5. The Historical Data Papers, Candaba, Bureau of Public Scools, 1953

6. The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (Chinese-English Edition), Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing 2002.

Candaba, as also 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.

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

Bird sanctuary

On January, 2008, a Philippine record of 17,000 birds (in the 24-hour census) visited the 32,000-hectare Candaba Swamp, sanctuary for migratory birds. Michael Lu, president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), stated that 80 species of migratory birds were sighted at the 100-hectare fishpond of Mayor Jerry Pelayo in Barangay Doña Simang and in Barangay Paralaya. The rare birds spotted were: the Shrenck’s Bittern, Great Bittern, Gadwall, Coot, Philippine Mallard or ducks, and Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). Robert S. Kennedy’s book “A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines” lists endemic and migratory birds which visit the Philippines. Pelayo organized the Ibon-Ebon Festival (“birds and eggs”) on February 1-2. The WBCP recorded 3 rare species in Candaba swamp: the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) and the Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).[2]


  1. ^ Siuálâ ding Meángûbié
  2. ^, 17,000 birds sighted in Candaba swamp

External links

Citiesand Municipalitiesof PampangaCities: Angeles| San FernandoMunicipalities: Apalit| Arayat| Bacolor| Candaba | Floridablanca| Guagua| Lubao| Mabalacat| Macabebe| Magalang| Masantol| Mexico| Minalin| Porac| San Luis| San Simon| Santa Ana| Santa Rita| Santo Tomas| Sasmuan
Categories: Municipalities of Pampanga

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