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Calapan, Oriental Mindoro


Calapan, Oriental Mindoro

Calapan City
Lungsod ng Calapan
Component City
City of Calapan
Official seal of Calapan City

Map of Oriental Mindoro showing the location of Calapan
Calapan City
Calapan City
Location within the Philippines

Coordinates: 13°24′N 121°11′E / 13.400°N 121.183°E / 13.400; 121.183Coordinates: 13°24′N 121°11′E / 13.400°N 121.183°E / 13.400; 121.183

Country  Philippines
Region MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)
Province Oriental Mindoro
District 1st district of Oriental Mindoro
Founded January 2, 1917
Cityhood March 21, 1998
Barangays 62
 • Mayor Doy C. Leachon (LP)
 • Total 250.06 km2 (96.55 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 124,173
 • Density 500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP Code 5200
Dialing code 43
Income class 2nd class city

Calapan City is a component city in the First Congressional District of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines and is the provincial capital. It is known as the "Gateway to the Golden Isle" but is also referred to with other different titles such as "The Discipline City", "The City of the Golden Grains", "The Agropolis of the South", and "The Provincial Capitol" . According to the 2010 Census, it has a population of 124,173 people.[2] Its citizens are called Calapeños.

Calapan City serves as the gateway to the Oriental Mindoro province with the implementation of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, an integrated roll-on/roll-off 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 the Mindoro Island with ships that travel to and from the Batangas City International Seaport. Calapan City is 45 minutes away from Batangas City and is accessible by ferry boat and RORO ships.

Calapan City is currently one of the only two cities (the other being Puerto Princesa City) in the MIMAROPA region (Region 4-B) and serves as the region's administrative center. It is also the center of commerce and industry, the center of transport and communication, the center of religious activities and the center of education in the entire province of Oriental Mindoro.


Calapan is bounded on the north and northeast by the Calapan Bay. South and southeast of it is the Municipality of Naujan and on the west is the Municipality of Baco. The city lies in the quadrangle bounded by 13°12.6 and 13°27’ north latitudes and 121°17’ east longitudes. It is approximately 28 nautical miles from the nearest point of Batangas Province and 45 kilometers south of Batangas City and 130 kilometers south of Manila.

It has an area of 250.06 sq. km. It has also jurisdiction over the three Baco-Chico Islets and the two Silonay Islets on the Calapan Bay and is composed of 62 Barangays (22 urban, 40 rural).

The overall land characteristic is a wide plain with rivers, interspersed with wetlands at the seacoast periphery. The highest elevation of 187 meters above sea level which is Bulusan Hill, interrupts the flat terrain at the northeast towards the coast and the rise at the southwest which is part of the Halcon-Baco Mountain Range.


Calapan City is best 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.

Climate is favorable for vegetation throughout the year under the type abcD climate characterization of PAGASA with relative humidity at 81%.


San Vicente Central is one of Calapan City's barangays and serves as the commercial and financial center of the city. Some of the big establishments in San Vicente Central are the Hotel Mayi, CitimartIsland 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, trusted names that can be seen here include Puregold , Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Mcdonald's, Max's Restaurant, Lotsa Pizza, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications Wireless Center. Among the big banking companies that house themselves in this 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.

San Vicente Central is divided by J.P. Rizal Avenue, the major thoroughfare in the city lined by several commercial establishments.

The City of Calapan is politically subdivided into 62 barangays.

  • Balingayan
  • Balite
  • Baruyan
  • Batino
  • Bayanan I
  • Bayanan II
  • Biga
  • Bondoc
  • Bucayao
  • Buhuan
  • Bulusan
  • Sta. Rita
  • Calero
  • Camansihan
  • Camilmil
  • Canubing I
  • Canubing II
  • Comunal
  • Guinobatan
  • Gulod
  • Gutad
  • Ibaba East
  • Ibaba West
  • Ilaya
  • Lalud
  • Lazareto
  • Libis
  • Lumangbayan
  • Mahal Na Pangalan
  • Maidlang
  • Malad
  • Malamig
  • Managpi
  • Masipit
  • Nag-Iba I
  • Navotas
  • Pachoca
  • Palhi
  • Panggalaan
  • Parang
  • Patas
  • Personas
  • Puting Tubig
  • San Raphael (formerly Salong)
  • San Antonio
  • San Vicente Central
  • San Vicente East
  • San Vicente North
  • San Vicente South
  • San Vicente West
  • Sta. Cruz
  • Sta. Isabel
  • Sto. Niño (formerly Nacoco)
  • Sapul
  • Silonay
  • Sta. Maria Village
  • Suqui
  • Tawagan
  • Tawiran
  • Tibag
  • Wawa
  • Nag-Iba II
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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.[3]

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.[3]

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 (3) municipalities gained their independence.

In 1919, the boundary dispute between Calapan and Naujan was adjudicated by Presidentes 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.

At present, Calapan has an area of only 250.06 square kilometres (96.55 sq mi) (according to LMB). It has also jurisdiction over the three Baco-Chico Islets and the two Silonay Islets on the Calapan Bay

The year 1998 was a landmark event for Calapan when it was converted from a municipality into a component city by virtue of

Since its creation as a city, Calapan has witnessed significant strides 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 in 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.

In a breath-taking sweep, Calapan was promoted 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.

Origin of the name "Calapan"

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 trend:[2]

  • Population in 2010: 124,173
  • Population in 2007: 116,976
  • Population in 2000: 105,910


Institutions of Higher Learning

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.[4]

Basic Education

Calapan City has seven 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, and the LEMNAHIS Bucayao Annex.

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 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 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.

Trade and Commerce

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.

Golden Grains City

Majority of the vast agricultural lands of Calapan City is devoted to palay 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.

Trees and Orchards

The City of Calapan is known for its bountiful harvest of calamansi (Philippine lemon) and other citrus fruits. Other crops in the area are banana, lanzones, rambutan, mango, coconut and vegetables. Visit an orchard and watch the harvesters at work, or bring home a basketful of your favorite fruits.


Located 130 kilometers south of Manila, Calapan is accessible via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Southern Tagalog Access Road (STAR). Travelers can drive or take a bus ride from Manila to Batangas. 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 the Ro-Ro ferries could enjoy the panoramic view of the Verde Island Passage with several islets, sailboats and sometimes – a pod of diving dolphins. Discounts are given to senior citizens, students, children and group passengers.

Upon arrival at the Calapan City port, travelers can choose from a variety of transportation services to their chosen place of destinations within the city and even at the farthest part of the province. All fourteen towns of the province are accessible through the many jeepneys and vans that align themselves in the city port. Almost all places in the city are virtually accessible via tricycle. The fare varies depending to the place of destination.

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.

All major road networks in the city are properly paved and concreted and are 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.


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.

Eco-Tourism Sites

  • Calapan City Zoological and Recreational Park - already an existing park used by locals to savor nature, this area was improved to become a zoo to make its landscape more ideal for tourist use. Zip-lines and wall climbing were added for more recreational activities.
  • Verde Islands
  • Baco-Chico Islets - these islets are located in Calapan Bay. The reefs surrounding the islands has a potential for scuba diving.
  • Aganhao Islet - located next to Silonay Islet, Aganhao has a small strip of white sand beach frequented by local excursionists.
  • Silonay Islet -
  • Harka Piloto Marine Sanctuary- a marine sanctuary located in Silonay Islet in the eastern part of the city, the sanctuary is actively protected by the local government. Given its protected status, Harka Piloto is now an ideal site for diving and snorkeling.
  • Bulusan Mountain Trail
  • Caluangan Lake - A wide lake that that is surprisingly still unclogged by fish pens. With Baruyan River as the connecting attraction, tourists can have leisurely cruises or kayaking activities in Caluangan Lake.
  • Baruyan River - this is a long river that ends at Caluangan Lake. Highly ideal for river cruising (or kayaking). What makes the river more interesting is that it is not clogged by any man-made development such as fish pens. Together with the lake, the sites still possess the character of a rural ambiance most attractive to tourists seeking such kind of an experience.
  • Pachoca-Balite Beach - offers a long stretch of fine gray-sand beach
  • Lazareto-Suqui-Parang Beach - offers a long stretch of fine gray-sand beach
  • Silonay, Navotas, Maidlang marshes - perfect for boating, bird watching and educational trekking

Notable Landmarks

  • Neo-Calapan, Neo-Calapan Mall
  • Calapan City Hall - reminiscent of Greek-Corinthian architecture, it is a favorite destination for study tours, excursions, local gatherings and occasions.
  • Calapan City Plaza - A place where families and friends can hang around and have a picnic. It has a map of Oriental Mindoro smack in the middle of a small pond and a monument of Jose Rizal, a rare depiction, one where he is seated, writing one of his novels.
  • Calapan City Public Market (awarded Outstanding Infrastructure Project in Asia)
  • Sto. Niño Cathedral - Constructed in 1959, visitors will be amazed with its grandiose altar, magnificent pipe organ and stained glasses that depict the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, Beatitudes, Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Apostle’s Creed.
  • Calapan City Museum - The museum is a repository of Calapan’s history in photographs and memorabilia. It serves as a memorial marker as a perennial remembrance to the founders and great men of Calapan. It is an interesting showcase of the customs and way of life of Calapenos.
  • Casa Real Ruins

Cultural Activities and Festivities


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.

  • Kalap Festival

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.

  • Sto. Niño de Calapan Festival

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.

  • Harvest Festival

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".

  • Sinkaw Festival

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

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.

Arts and Culture

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 hospitality industry in Calapan is diverse. Visitors in the city can choose from various hotels, lodges, inns, seaside and inlands 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 coffe shops are also notable.

Shopping Centers

Shopping in Calapan is never a hassle as the city offers various shopping malls and souvenir shops.

  • Citimart Island Mall - the first in the city to actually offer popular brands, housed in a four-storey building located at the city center along J.P Rizal St., .Soon to construct a bigger branch just opposite the provincial capitol.
  • Neo-Calapan Mall - considered to be Calapan's first-class mall featuring Robinsons Department Store, Supermarket, Appliance Center, and Handyman Do-it Best Home Center. It is located at Brgy. Lumangbayan.
  • Gaisano Capital Calapan - the first Gaisano Mall in Luzon, located at Brgy. Tawiran.
  • Puregold Calapan - located at Brgy. Camilmil
  • NOVO Jeans and Shirts - a retail store located at the city center just in front of the public market
  • G.E. Mart - a retail store located adjacent to the right of the public market
  • People's Arcade - retail store and appliance center at J.P. Rizal St.
  • VPR Marketing - appliance center at J.P. Rizal St.
  • Good Morning Trading - a retail store located along J.P. Rizal St.
  • Kalap Product Display Center - located in the City Public Market offering the best of Calapan's produce from souvenir items to native delicacies
  • Cybertek Enterprises - located at San Vicente East, this store offers a wider array of choices as it not only sells items that are from Calapan but the whole Oriental Mindoro Island itself
  • Small Creations Souvenir Shop - best souvenir items to bring home with you as it also sells authentic mangyan products

Sister City

Notable Calapeños

  • Salvador "Doy" Leachon - 2011 awardee as one of "The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines" for the field of Community Development and one of the "Nine Outstanding Young Filipino Leaders in Asia"
  • Macario G. Adriatico - liberator of Mindoro, first representative of Mindoro to the Philippine Assembly, journalist, orator, writer and director of the National Museum and Library
  • Ricardo G. Paras, Sr. - delegate to Malolos Revolutionary Congress
  • Néstor Vicente Madali González - Internationally acclaimed writer and educator
  • Jason Francisco - 3rd Placer, Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up
  • Karen Reyes - second Big Placer of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition 4
  • Charo Santos-Concio - President, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation
  • Bianca Nerizza A. Infantado - Chief Girl Scout Medal Scheme of the Philippines awardee; grand winner of the 6th Pambansang Gawad sa Ulirang Kabataan June 11, 2010.[5]
  • Marielle Infantado - National Filipino swimmer; 1st ASEAN Games; 2nd POF Championship; 27th, 29th and 31st SEA Games; Nestle MILO product endorser
  • Jireh Ibañez - Basketball Player, PBA
  • Joey Antonio - Chess Grandmaster
  • Antonio "Nikoy" Lining - International Billard Champion
  • Diana Arevalo - Top 10 Semi-Finalist - Binibining Pilipinas 2009, Miss Or. Mindoro 2008, Top 15 Finalist - Binibining Pilipinas 2011
  • Edzen Dinglasan - National Filipino Swimmer; 29th and 30th SEA Games
  • Edson Dinglasan - National Filipino Swimmer, 30th SEA Games; Philippine National Swimmer


External links

  • Calapan City Official Site
  • Calapan City Community Website
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • 2000 Philippine Census Information
  • 2007 Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
  • Oriental Mindoro Investment Page
  • - govph-phl-28dec.pdf
  • - PHfl15120502.pdf
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