Historical Development of the
CITY of CAUAYAN
Province of Isabela
Troy Alexander Gozum Miano, DPA
Hon. Mayor Bernard Faustino La Madrid Dy
Philippine Copyright 2014 September 8
In the beginning, the land now known as Cauayan City in the mid-southern part of the Province of Isabela in Cagayan Valley Region in Northern Philippines, was first roamed and settled by dark skinned and kinky haired pygmies who arrived in the island of Luzon during the Stone Age about 25,999 years ago. The Negrito Atta (Aeta) peoples of modern times were relatives of the first settlers of northeast Luzon.
Between 200 B.C. and 300 A.D., colonizing expeditions of Indo-Malay peoples, the forefathers of the founders of Cauayan, arrived along the northern coast of Luzon. The Gaddang people were one of the many Indo-Malay tribes. They found the Cagayan River watershed sparsely occupied by long-established Aeta, while the hills were already populated by the more-recently arrived Igorot (thought to originate from Taiwan as late as 500 B.C.). The Indo-Malay colonists practiced swidden (slash-and-burn based shifting cultivation) farming, and developed successful littoral and riparian societies as well; all economies which demand low population density. Whenever there were population increases following economic success or continued in-migration, the Indo-Malays were forced to move. Over many generations they spread inland along the Cagayan River and its tributaries. As Gaddangs occupy lands further away from the mouth of the river than most Indo-Malay groups, they may be considered likely to have been among the earliest to arrive.
The Gaddangs were the founding citizens in the City of Cauayan including the towns of Angadanan, Luna, Alicia, Santiago and parts of Aurora, Gamu (Dalig), Reina Mercedes, Naguilian, and Tumauini. The name derives from a combination of the words ga which means “heat” and dang which means “burned” referring to their much darker complexion compared to other peoples of the Cordilleras and Cagayan valley.
On February 13, 1565, the fifth Spanish expedition led by Miguel…
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Cauayan City, Isabela
Oh, Cauayan sweet home in thee I live
I dedicate to thee my heart where’r I roam
With mind and soul to serve thee and my God
I shall render my best at work however hard
When’er thy call resound be it night of day
What’er the weather be I must obey
Yes, Cauayan I vow to serve thee well
Thy sons and daughters all
The stars with me foretell
Shall march onward to the goals set for thee
I shall never falter to thy call to duty
The City Fiesta and the Feast of Our lady of the Pillar are celebrated annually on April 10-13 and October 10-12 respectively. Since its conversion into a component city on March 30, 2001, the City Government started to celebrate its founding anniversary with the conduct of “Gawagaway-yan Festival aimed to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the city. It is highlighted by street dancing, beauty contest, trade fair, cultural parade, parlor games, free concert, band exhibition and other variety shows performed by local and Manila-based talents as well.
Transport facilities include a total aggregate length of 512.27 kms. of concrete and gravel roads accessible to all types of vehicles; The Cauayan Domestic Airport just recently undergone upgrading as it is envisioned to become an InternationalCargoPort by the RDC and BOT. A 50M-Central Transport Terminal likewise has just started operation and is easing traffic in the poblacion area.
The Cauayan City has three airline named Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and WCC Sky Pasada Costal Town and Baguio.
TRACES OF THE GADDANGS
Ethnologists classify the Ibanags, Yogads, Itawis and Gaddangs as the “naturales” of Cauayan. In the same manner, the Ilocanos are the naturals of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Abra.
The Ibanags are found all over Isabela but they are mostly found in the northern half of the province more particularly in the municipalities of San Pablo, Sta. Maria, Cabagan, Tumauini,Ilagan and Magsaysay. Most of the Yogads are found in the town of Echague. The Gaddangshowever are found in the municipalities of Angadanan, aurora, Gamu, Reina Mercedes, Santiago,Tumauini and Cauayan.
The GADDANGS are divided into two types, the Pagans and the Christian Gaddangs. The life of the Gaddangs from birth to death is a series of rituals and offering of sacrifices to their Gods and Goddesses.
The Pagan Gaddangs believe in the existence of supernatural being’s power. They believe that they are surrounded by these beings like the “CARAGAT”, the “MAINGALS” (ghost deities) and the “CARALUA NA PINATAY” (ghost). Fear of these Gods affects their every behavior, guides their way and every action and governs their every existence.
Although majority of the Gaddang and other naturals are now Christianized, there still exist the ancient custom of the Gaddang called “GAGANGAY NA MANANANACAMIRA”. To the Gaddangs, supernatural beings are like human beings. They have their own families, they need food, clothing, drinks and the like. Theirs is a kind of body which is invisible and impaliable or spiritual. They marry but in a spiritual manner. Their offerings inherit their spiritual qualities. They dwell in a fixed adobe, they cannot be seen but they can sometimes be heard. They can be touch by men but they cannot be felt. Then they eat, drink chew or smoke, they eat the “soul” of the pig or chicken and drink the “soul” of the liquor, chew the “soul” of the betel nut and smoke the “soul” of the tobacco and dress themselves with the “soul” of the cloth to cover their spiritual body. They are not only humanlike but they are also Gaddang like, since they are represented as having the same desire and taste, joys and sorrows as the Gaddangs. (Reprinted from Cagayan Valley Today, February 1977 issue)
There are various conflicting versions of the ethological curiosity, the pockets of Gaddangs inCauayan who developed their dialects, customs and tribal clannishness to the exclusion of neighboring towns such as the Ibanags of Gamu and Ilagan and the Yogads of Echague and theItawis in some section of Isabela. Gaddangs are ethologically associated with those of NuevaVizcaya while the Itawis are of Western Cagayan and Isabela and lastly, the Ibanags are of Cagayan origin.
Based on Church records, sometimes in 1622 a missionary priest Father Pedro de Sto. Tomas assigned to Calanusian in his eagerness to enlarge his flocks sailed up the Magat River until he reached that narrow valley now occupied by Solano and Bayombong people by the originalGaddangs. This tribe was distinctly differ from the native Kalingas and Igorots who inhabited the surrounding mountains who were worrying against the low-landers as early as that time.
Offering wider lands, richer forest and comparative place, the missionary friar convinced 300 families of Gaddangs of Nueva Vizcaya to return with him to Calanusian to settle in the lush valley of the Cagayan River and this the original Gaddangs of Cauayan are established here about, developing their own peculiar dialects, retaining their distinct customs and ways of life to the exclusion of their neighbors ways. Similarly, other priest and Siffu River and brought down Itawissettlers down, stream established pocket of settlement along the Cagayan River. Of course, theIbanags from downstream lured by the province better life upstream sailed up too, and secure themselves or intermingle with the inhabitants along the river deltas and remain to develop their ethnic peculiarities even up to the recent times.
The town was originally inhabited by a handful of Gaddang, Itawis and Ibanags but with the passing of the years in many settlers of different ethnic groupings migrated to the place. Today, the town can be truly said as a melting pot. (Reprinted from the “Town Fiesta Souvenir Program of Cauayan, 1985).