Candaba, Pampanga
Candaba is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. According to the latest census, it has a population of 96,589 people in 15,541 households.

Candaba represents the lowest point in Central Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

. It is noted for its wide and scenic swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

s, the habitat of mudfish and catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

. The popular "burong isda", a distinct Kapampangan fermented
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 delicacy, is made from catfish or mudfish produced in Candaba.

List of Barangays

Candaba is politically subdivided into 33 barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...

  • 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

  • Introduction

    Candaba is noted for its farmlands which produce watermelon
    Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...


    The swamps are communal fishing grounds encompassing some 430 km² of highly arable land. Here the province's best produce, watermelon, muskmelon
    Muskmelon is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varieties such as honeydew, crenshaw and casaba, and different netted cultivars...

    , 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
    Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

     wildlife escape winter winds from China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     and Siberia
    Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

     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.


    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
    Mount Arayat
    Mount Arayat is an extinct stratovolcano on Luzon Island, Philippines, rising to a height of There is no recorded eruption of the volcano, and its last activity probably dates to the Holocene era.The volcano is located in a flat agricultural region at...

     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. 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, however more findings have suggested that the original name was Kandawe 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
    Tondo, Manila
    Tondo is a district of Manila, Philippines. The locale has existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish, referred to as "Tundun" in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription. One of the most densely populated areas of land in the world, Tondo is located in the northwest portion of the city and is primarily...

     and former ruler of Candába.

    In the 1590s, the 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”(扶西徳孫), who died in 1728, is clearly written in Chinese characters. Another tomb stone with the surname Chan or Tan (陳) tells that he died in the Bing Chen Era (1736–1820) during the reign of Qing
    Qing Dynasty
    The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

     Emperors Gaozong
    Qianlong Emperor
    The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796...

     (清高宗) and Renzong
    Jiaqing Emperor
    The Jiaqing Emperor was the seventh emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fifth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1796 to 1820....


    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
    Philippine Revolution
    The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

    , 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
    The Hukbalahap , was the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines , formed in 1942 to fight the Japanese Empire's occupation of the Philippines during World War II. It fought a second war from 1946 to 1954 against the pro-Western leaders of their newly independent country...

     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. In 1945, the Philippine Commonwealth troops entered in the town of Candaba, Pampanga with other Kapampangan guerrillas against the Japanese forces at the end in World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    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 folklore 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 to 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 degrees 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
    Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

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


    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 municipality of Baliuag Bulacan to the town proper of Candaba. Because it is the lowest point in Central Luzon, floods frequent this area causing many planted farmland along the Candaba road to submerge 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
    Kapampangan people
    The Kapampangans or Capampan͠gans are the sixth largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group, numbering about 2,890,000. The original Kapampangans may have descended from Austronesian-speaking immigrants to Luzon during the Iron Age.The province of Pampanga is traditional homeland of the Kapampangans...

     and tagalogs
    Tagalog people
    The Tagalog people are an ethnic group in the Philippines. The name Tagalog comes from either the native term tagá-ilog, meaning 'people living along the river', or another native term, tagá-alog, meaning 'people living along the ford', a ford being a shallow part of a river or stream where people,...

     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
    Tagalog people
    The Tagalog people are an ethnic group in the Philippines. The name Tagalog comes from either the native term tagá-ilog, meaning 'people living along the river', or another native term, tagá-alog, meaning 'people living along the ford', a ford being a shallow part of a river or stream where people,...

     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 1990s, there was a proposal to divide the area into two municipalities of Candaba: for the kapampangan region, and Bahay Pare for the Tagalog. The latter's name is derived from the largest barangay in terms of population named Bahay Pare


    Roman Catholic 91%, Members Church of God,International 1.5%, Evangelicals 2%, Iglesia ni Cristo 3%, Others (Includes Islam, Buddhism, Other Religionist) 2.5%.

    One of the most famous religious sites of this town is to be found in a small farming barangay called Pulong Gubat. Every year, especially during the Holy Week, a lot of pilgrims and devotees flock to this small village believing that Nuestra Señor dela Pacencia (Apo), its venerated statue of Christ, will cure their illness or grant their wishes. Apo shares many features with the Black Nazarene of Quiapo They are both the image of the dark-skinned Christ, share the same annual feast day which is the 9th of January and both have miraculous attributes. The most striking contrast though is that the latter one carries a cross while the other one features Christ seated at His throne in Heaven, ready to judge the living and the dead.

    Bird sanctuary

    On January 2008, a Philippine record of 17,000 birds (in the 24-hour census) visited the 32,000-hectare
    The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

     Candaba Swamp, sanctuary for migratory birds. Michael Lu, president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), stated that 80 species of migratory
    Bird migration
    Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

     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
    Great Bittern
    The Eurasian Bittern or Great Bittern is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae. It is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.-Etymology:...

    , Gadwall
    The Gadwall is a common and widespread duck of the family Anatidae.- Description :The Gadwall is 46–56 cm long with a 78–90 cm wingspan. The male is slightly larger than the female, weighing on average 990 g against her 850 g...

    , Coot
    Coots are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family Rallidae. They constitute the genus Fulica. Coots have predominantly black plumage, and, unlike many of the rails, they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water...

    , Philippine Mallard
    The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

     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
    A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

    : the Purple Swamphen
    Purple Swamphen
    The Purple Swamphen , also known as the African Purple Swamphen, Purple Moorhen, Purple Gallinule, Pūkeko or Purple Coot, is a large bird in the family Rallidae . From its name in French, talève sultane, it is also known as the Sultana Bird...

     (Porphyrio porphyrio), Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) and the Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).

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