Pagadian City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Pagadian; )
is located in the province of
Sur, Philippines. It houses the regional government seat of
Peninsula (Region 9) in the island of Mindanao.
An iconic symbol of Pagadian is its uniquely designed tricycle
built to adopt to the city's hilly terrain. The locals claim with
pride that it is the only place in the Philippines that one can see
a public transport inclined at about 25-40° angle.
Geography and Topography
on the northeastern side of the Western Mindanao region, Pagadian
is the capital city of Zamboanga del Sur province. It is bounded by the municipalities of
Tigbao and Dumalinao on the southwest, Lakewood
on the west, Labangan on the east
and northwest, and Midsalip on the
Pagadian City view from Rotonda
About 45% of the total city area is steeply sloping terrain of
hills and mountains on the northwestern portion that covers an
estimated 15,090 hectares. Mt. Palpalan, Mt. Begong, Mt. Pinokis,
and Mt. Sugar Loaf are the four tallest peaks. Areas in the direct
north as well as the central part, have gentle to moderate slopes,
making up 47% of the total. The remaining 8% is level or nearly
level, and makes up most of the eastern and the southern parts of
the city. The urban area covers about 845.48 hectares. Elevation of
the urban area of the city ranges from 1 MSL
near Pagadian Bay to about 100 MSL in the
area of Barangay San Jose.
The Tiguma, Bulatoc, Gatas, and Balangasan Rivers, drain to
Pagadian Bay and serve as natural drainage.
Due to its topography and elevation, most of the city's 54
barangays do not experience flooding. The low-lying southern and
eastern part of the city, though, do sometimes experience flooding
, most especially during heavy rains.
It is located within the tropics of the northern hemisphere which
has pronounced dry season from January to March and rainy season
from April to December. The region is generally not affected by
as it is located outside the Philippine
Typhoon Belt. Temperatures range from to . The prevailing winds are
the southwest wind that blow shot gust wind from over the sea
during dry seasons going northeast, and the trade winds brought
about by the mountain range. Rainfall distribution is moderate from
2,500 mm to 3,000 mm annually.
Origin of the Name
The city proper and surrounding areas of Muricay, Tawagan Sur and
White Beach was originally named "Talpokan,
" an indigenous
word that means "a place of numerous springs".
During the early part of the 20th century, the place was called
", a Visayan word that means,"a place to be
prayed for" because of a Malaria epidemic that nearly wiped out the
early christian population, majority of which came from the
Visayas. An alternative theory suggests that it was named after a
bird that the native inhabitants call "Gagadian
the officially accepted version on how it came to be called
" is derived from the Iranun language
" (wait) and "padian
" (market). The area
had been a trading post and market during the Maguindanao Sultanate
The first inhabitants were the Subanens, a tribe native to the
Western Mindanao Region. Then the Muslim settlers arrived sometime
in the 15th century, established a flourishing community and
introduced the Islam faith.
In the early part of the 20th century, the Muslim inhabitants were
under the leadership of Datu Akob, an Iranun
Datu whose daughter caught the fancy of Datu Macaumbang, also an
Iranun (Sultan of Taga Nonok) from the Municipalities of Malabang
and Tukuran. With the approval of Datu Akob, Datu Macaumbang
married the beautiful Bai Putri Panyawan Akob. At the same time the
1st cousin of Datu Macaumbang (Sultan of taga Nonok), Datu Mama
Lapat Jamerol an Maranao - Iranun Datu, married the second daughter
of Datu Akob, Bai Putri Concona Akob. Upon the death of Datu Akob,
his son-in-law, Datu Macaumbang assumed leadership and established
the territorial boundaries of the present city proper, from
Balangasan River in the West, to Tawagan Sur River in the East.
Because of the prevalent banditry and piracy in his settlements at
that time, Datu Macaumbang requested the assistance of the Philippine Constabulary
detachment led by Col. Tiburcio Ballesteros from Malangas stationed
themselves at Dumagoc Island.
The arrival of the soldiers
restored peace and order thereby attracting the influx of settlers
from far-flung regions of the Visayas and Luzon, and from the
neighboring places in Mindanao.
Spread of Christianity
Sto.Niño del Cebu
Christian settlers started arriving in the early part of the 20th
century, most of which came from Cebu, as evident on the veneration
of the Santo Niño de
. The increasing Christian population prompted the creation
of the Parish of Pagadian in 1938 and was administered jointly by
the Jesuits, Columban and Filipino priests. The original Sto. Niño
Church of Pagadian was right across the city plaza, built on the
site where the San Jose Parish church now stands; Fr. Sean
Nolan,SSC served as the first parish priest. The present Sto. Niño
Cathedral is now located in Santiago District and was built in
Pagadian Parish became a diocese on November 2, 1971 and is a
suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz. Msgr. Jesus B. Tuquib
served as the first bishop and was installed on February 24, 1973.
At that time, the Columban Fathers took care of the apostolic
services for the first 13 parishes in the newly-formed diocese.
They also took after the missions of the Jesuits.
Currently, the Diocese of Pagadian has 24 parishes and covers a
population of 711,244.The diocese covers the city and 21 other
municipalities in the northern and eastern parts of Zamboanga del
The city celebrates its Annual Fiesta every 3rd Sunday of January
in honor of its patron saint, the Holy Child Jesus (Sto.
Niño) which also coincides with the
feastday of Cebu
present-day Pagadian had its beginnings as a sitio of Margosatubig.
||It became a barrio under the Municipal District of Labangan,
Zamboanga upon the implementation of Executive Order no.70.
||Director Teofisto Guingona, Sr. was commissioned by Philippine Governor-General Leonard Wood to
find out the possibility of transferring the seat of government of
the Labangan municipality to another place; a conference was called
together with the Datus and the early christian settlers. The idea
of transferring the seat of the Labangan Government to Pagadian was
at first largely opposed by the Christians. Eventually, a consensus
was reached when the designated committee led by Datu Balimbingan
of Labangan and with the consent of Datu Macaumbang surveyed the
western part of the present area and found Talpokan, a
part of the barrio of Pagadian, deemed as a suitable place for such
transfer. At the same time, Datu Macaumbang donated 260 hectares of
land to Christians who were willing to transfer to the area.
|March 23, 1937
||Pagadian became a municipality through Executive Order 77. Its
ascendancy was due to the eager initiative of then Assemblyman Juan
S. Alano. The Hon. Jose Sanson was appointed as the acting mayor.
After his brief tenure, a regular election was held with the Hon.
Federico Jamisola as the first officially elected municipal mayor.
Municipality of Pagadian was formed by merging the municipal
districts of Labangan and Dinas, as a result, making Labangan a barangay under
its former barrio. The newly created town had 19
|June 6, 1952
||Congressman Roseller T. Lim authored R.A. 711 dividing
Zamboanga into two provinces - Norte (north) and
|September 17, 1952
||Pagadian became the capital town of the
newly-established province of Zamboanga del Sur.
|June 21, 1969
||It became a chartered city through R.A. 5478, becoming the
third city in the Zamboanga Peninsula .
|August 16, 1976
||The city was one of the hardest hit areas in the Moro Gulf earthquake and tsunami
of 1976, considered as the most devastating tsunami disaster in the
Philippines in recent times. Pagadian was the major city in the
area that was struck by both the earthquake and tsunami and
sustained the greatest number of casualties.
||Despite Zamboanga City government's opposition to the transfer, Pagadian
became the Regional Center for Region IX- Zamboanga
Peninsula. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's decision
to transfer the regional offices was based on Executive Order 429
issued by then President Corazon
Aquino in October 1990.
Languages and Dialects
Majority of Pagadianons speak the Cebuano language (part of the
Bisaya family of languages)
. The national language, Filipino (Tagalog)
understood and is the native tongue of a small percentage of the
population. Iranun, Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug, and Samal dialects are
used by the Muslim community, however, the dialect of the
indigenous Subanen people is in danger of
being lost as younger generations prefer to use Cebuano
Remaining percentage of the population are
classified as Ilonggo
speakers. As in the case with the rest of the Philippines, English
is understood by virtually everyone
and is used as the primary language for business and official
The city celebrates its fiesta every January, showcasing the
, fluvial parade (regatta
trade exhibits, the Mutya ng Pagadian
carnival shows as well as a civic military parade. On every 21st of
June, Pagadianons celebrate the Araw ng Pagadian
commemoration of its founding as a chartered city; and as Capital
of Zamboanga del Sur, the city hosts the annual provincial
celebration in September with agro-trade exhibits, a civic-military
parade, cultural presentations and sports competitions.
The Megayon Festival is a week-long celebration that coincides with
the Zamboanga del Sur anniversary in September. It honors the
tri-people settlers: the Subanens
BangsaMoro Muslims and Christians
. It was
officially established in August 3, 2006 as the celebration of the
founding of the province through Provincial Ordinance No. 016-2006.
A showcase of three distinctly different cultural heritage in
songs, dances, rituals of peace, foods and crafts, its main goal is
to foster unity and understanding among the three cultures.
Organized environment-related activities, peace and development
forum, and indigenous sports competitions are also being
In the Subanen tongue
means unity and solidarity.
Pagadian City also officially celebrates the Chinese New Year
. This was initiated
by the current Mayor Samuel S. Co who assumed office in 2004. It
honors the local Chinese community which had contributed
significantly to the local economy.
Urban Map of Pagadian
Pagadian City belongs to the 1st District of Zamboanga del Sur. The
local Sangguniang Panglungsod
(City Legislative Council)
is administered by the Mayor, with the assistance of the
Vice-Mayor. It has ten elected councilors and one representative
each from the Sangguniang
(Youth Council) and Association of Barangay Captains
It is politically subdivided into 54 barangays
of which 13 of these are classified as
- Balangasan (urban)
- Dumagoc (urban)
- Gatas (urban)
- Kawit (urban)
- La Suerte
- Lison Valley
- Lower Sibatang
- Lumbia (urban)
- San Francisco (urban)
- San Jose (urban)
- San Pedro (urban)
- Santa Lucia (urban)
- Santa Maria (urban)
- Santiago (urban)
- Santo Niño (urban)
- Tawagan Sur
- Tiguma (urban)
- Tuburan (urban)
- Upper Sibatang
- White Beach
is the primary economic
resource, with the production of rice, corn, coconut, fruit and
root crops. There are special programs like the Plant-now-Pay
and Grains Production Enhancement Program
are made available for the local farmers; the City Livelihood
Development Assistance Program
(CILDAP) also extends loans to
those who need financial assistance for their livelihood.
Production of livestock such as hogs, goats, cows and poultry is
also a growing local industry.
Bay and the outer Illana
Bay (Iranun Bay) abounds with a wide variety of fish
species and crustaceans; seaweed culture farming is flourishing in
waters off the bay while fishponds near or along the bay yields
milkfish, prawns and crabs. A number of large deep-sea fishing
vessels that venture into the Sulu Sea and farther off to South China Sea make Pagadian fishport their base of
Boats along the Pagadian
Another income-generating industry is mining. The mining area
located 1.5 km southeast of Barangay Lison Valley proper
approximately forty-nine kilometers from the city proper yields
gold, copper and molybdenum.
Production of raw materials like seaweeds, coco processing, cassava
constitute a large part of the local economy; small-scale
manufacturing of furniture and decors made out of wood, bamboo,
rattan, steel and plastic; handicrafts made out of bamboo, rattan,
coco shell, wood, marine shell, ceramics, and weaving.
To date, there are eight (8) privately-owned, two (2)
government-owned, five (6) rural banks, two(2) local thrift banks
and one (1) cooperative bank in the city. The Philippines biggest
, Banco de Oro
and Philippine National Bank
Hotels and Pension Houses
The move of the Regional Center from Zamboanga City prompted a need
for more hotels and pension houses in the city.
|Pagadian Bay Plaza Hotel
||Datoc Street cor. Cabrera St., Pagadian City
||J.Rizal Avenue, Pagadian City
||J.Ariosa St., Pagadian City
||J.Rizal Avenue, Pagadian City
|New Roxan Hotel
||F.S. Pajares Avenue, Pagadian City
|Springland Hotel and Resort
||Tuburan Dist., Pagadian City
||San. Pedro Dist., Pagadian City
|The Peninsula Hotel
||Santiago Dist., Pagadian City
|The Zamboanga Hotel
||Santiago Dist., Pagadian City
||Tuburan Dist., Pagadian City
|Anastasia Pension House
||Dao Road, Pagadian City
|Pensione de Yllana
||Rizal Avenue, Pagadian City
Pagadian City, as a regional capital, overtook Zamboanga City in
terms of the numbers and sizes of shopping malls. Gaisano Capital
Pagadian is the biggest mall in the city, recently opened in
December 12, 2008. It is owned by the Gaisano Group of Companies.
In terms of size, it is followed by Peoples Plaza, a big department
store owned by a local chinese businessman. The Best Emporium Mall
is owned by a chinese family based in Zamboanga City.
Homegrown mid-size stores such as D'bean Hypermart, Unit City
Central Pagadian, and aga Hypermart are flourishing. These stores
are the legacy of the local businessmen who had managed to build
this city from its beginnings as a trading settlement to what it is
now. The Pagadian Shopping Mall which is currently under
construction, is the site of the historic Shopping Center, where
the old market, transportation terminal were once located.
One of the most conspicuous feature of the city is the
Filipino-owned, fastfood chain Jollibee
which is located in Pajares Avenue. Popular foodchains like
, Mister Donut
Mang Inasal, McDonald's, Chicken Ati-Atihan, and Sunburst Fried
Chicken also have outlets in the city; most, if not all of them are
franchised. Fine dining is available in Cafe Ilang-Ilang, Alindahaw
Cafe and Guiller Cafe-Restaurant. Greenhouse Fishing Station and
Restaurant offers fresh seafood straight from its own fishponds
that surrounds the place.
City has a number of tourist attractions, though most of them are
not as well-known throughout the Philippines.
- Pagadian Rotonda - located on the upper
reaches of Pagadian City overlooking Pagadian Bay, it is a circular
park that intersects North Diversion Road. It is connected to
Pajares Avenue, one of two major road networks in the city (the
other being Rizal Avenue). A part of the Rotonda is landscaped.
There is horseback-riding and a refreshment store.
- Dao Dao Islands - are two islands,
Dako (big) and Gamay (small). The big island
covers 1.10 hectares and is a 7-10 minute ride by motorboat from
the seaport. It has artificial coral reefs; ideal for swimming,
boating and fishing. Dao Dao Gamay is a sandbar and is partially
submerged during high tide.
- Springland Resort - sourced from natural
springs in the district of Tuburan. It has swimming pools and a
fishpond. The resort also has a multifunction hall and a restaurant
designed in the Philippine Native Style.
- White Beach - a stretch of white sand beach
just five minutes via motorboat southeast of the city seaport.
Ideal for swimming and diving.
- Lourdes Hot and Cold Spring - natural hot
springs in barangay Lourdes, about 32 km. northwest from the
urban area. This is tapped by the Pagadian City Water District as a
piped water source for barangay Kagawasan.
- Lison Valley Waterfalls - located about
42 km. northwest of Pagadian proper, the falls has a height of
about 20-25 meters. Its spherical-shaped basin, 20 meters in
diameter, is ideal for picnic. Located in sitio Santa Lucia, about
18 km. from Lison Valley proper.
- Manga Falls and Twin Caves - located in
barangay Manga, just 7 km. from the city proper. This is a
two-layered cascading fall. The twin caves can be explored along
the two-layered waterfalls. Currently in the process of being
developed as a tourist spot.
- Mt. Palpalan - is the
promontory within the Pagadian City
limits on whose apex the transmitters of major commercial
communication systems are built on. With a height of 684 ft above sea
level, it has a sweeping vista of Pagadian City and Illana Bay.
- Mt. Susong Dalaga - located
in barangay Lourdes, 32 km. from Pagadian proper and
10 km. from the barangay center, Susong Dalaga is a
semi-perfect cone with good forest cover. It can be reached by
- Bulatoc Hill - situated at barangay Bogo, only
4 km. from Pagadian proper. The hill used to be an island but
is now linked to Pagadian through land reclamation. It offers a
panoramic view of Pagadian Bay.
The Local Government Units (LGUs) supports the education sector
through the Day Care Services (DCS) adopting Early Child Care &
Development (ECCD) that provides early education for 3-5 year olds.
These are established to make children better prepared for the
higher levels of learning. The quality of DCS and the available
resources vary widely across the geographical areas, with urban Day
Care Centers (DCC) generally faring better than those in rural
Pagadian is the center of education in the province of Zamboanga
del Sur. The two largest schools are Saint Columban elementary
and Southern Mindanao high school. The former is the
only private-Catholic tertiary school and largest in terms of
assets while the latter is privately-owned and the biggest in terms
of student population. Holy Child
, a private catholic institution and a sister school of
St. Columban College, offers preschool and high school courses. The
current demand and popularity of the Nursing and other medical
courses also boosted the student population of Medina
College-Pagadian and the Mendero School of Nursing. The Zamboanga
del Sur Maritime Institute of Technology is the only school in the
city that offers Maritime and MassCom courses, among others; it is
a branch of the Misamis Institute of Technology in Ozamis City.
There are also a number of small to mid-size technical schools that
offer mainly technology and vocational courses.
A branch of the Western Mindanao State
University External Studies
is located within the expansive
Zamboanga del Sur National High School compound. The Zamboanga del
Sur School of Arts and Trade provides vocational, technical
courses, and manpower development training. one national high
schools serve the city: Zamboanga del Sur National
, Pagadian City National Comprehension High
School, and Lala National High School. Pagadian City Pilot School
is the largest public elementary school in the city. Barangays Sta.
Lucia, Balangasan, Sto. Niño, Bag-ong Silang, Camp Abelon and Lala
also have their own publicity elementary schools to address the
ever deccreasing need for sex education.
Image:Pilot school.jpg|Pagadian City Pilot School
Transportation and Accessibility
. The city is served by a secondary airport
(Pagadian Airport) that can accommodate both commercial and private
aircrafts. It is located in Barangay Muricay and Barangay Tiguma,
five (5) kilometers from the city proper. The airport is currently
undergoing renovation and expansion.
. The port of Pagadian City is served by
seven (0) shipping lines operating for both passengers and cargoes.
call include Zamboanga
City, Jolo, Siasi, Bongao, Sitangkai and Cotabato
Land Transportation/Road Network
. The city has a
road network with a total length of 374.07 km of which
311.02 km are barangay roads, 43.26 km are city roads,
5.98 km are city alleys and 13.80 km are national roads.
A total of 235.22 km or 62.88% are concrete roads. The city
has a total of 289.81 lineal meters of bridges/spillway/box culvert
- 3 national bridges, 5 city bridges, 5 barangay bridges, 6
barangay spillways and 1 barangay box culvert.
companies regularly serve the city for Zamboanga, Cagayan de
Oro, Ozamiz and Dipolog while buses, minibuses and
jeepneys are the means of transportation in the neighboring
municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur. Tricycles
are the primary transport in the urban
center while jeepneys
are the usual
transportation for the city's rural barangays. Private vehicles
constitute the greatest number of registered vehicles in the
Television and Media
is a 24hour local information channel
based in Pagadian. ABS-CBN Pagadian
, TV-11 NBN
their private regional public broadcast service stations based in
the city. The city is served by two cable companies: PCTV Cable and
Long Distance Telephone Company
- Radio Stations
- Smile Radio
and Cruztelco are the two major
telecommunications providers. A project under the Department of
Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Pagadian City
Telephone Exchange (PACITELEX) serves the far-flung barangays that
other telephone companies are not yet able to give service. The
three major cellular phone service providers in the country such as
also serves the
Water and Power Supply
Pagadian City Water District (PCWD) provides the city with potable
water supply. Formed in 1976, the PCWD has over 14,000 active
service connections and sources its water from deep wells and
Electricity is supplied by the Zamboanga del
Sur Electric Cooperative, Incorporated (ZAMSURECO I) from the
National Power Corporation Hydro-Electric Plant in Iligan City, sourced from the Maria Cristina Falls.
About 77.70% or 42 barangays out of 54 total barangays in the
entire city area have 24-hr electricity.
city was an awardee of the Cleanest and Greenest City in Western
Mindanao consecutively, in CY 1998 and CY 1999.
- Pagadian City hosted the 13th Asia-Pacific Youth Conference
(APYC) in 2007. It is a project of the Initiatives of Change (IofC).