Calapan City Foundation Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: March 21, 2024

Calapan City Foundation Day in the Philippines Calapan City Foundation Day (Araw ng Pagkakatatag ng Syudad ng Calapan) is a special non-working holiday in Calapan, Philippines celebrated annually on March 21. It commemorates the day when Calapan was granted cityhood.

Calapan is a 3rd class component city and the provincial capital of Oriental Mindoro in the Luzon region of the Philippines. Like most towns and cities in the Philippines, it used to be a small village before the arrival of Europeans.

The origin of the name “Calapan” is unclear. According to one theory, it derives from the word kalap, which means “to gather logs”, because Calapan allegedly used to be a place where locals gathered wood. However, there is no evidence that trees that could be used for logs even grew in the area. On the contrary, the location is thought to have been swampy.

Another theory claims that Calapan derives from kalapang, which means “branch”. It could be a reference to the settlement being a branch of the adjoining town of Baco. When the Spanish came to the region, the name Kalapang was hispanicized as Calapan. However, this theory lacks concrete proof just like the first one.

In 1679, the Order of Augustinian Recollects founded a church and parish mission in Calapan. The convent of the first Religious District was transferred to Calapan from Baco in 1733, and the town began to grow. In 1837, Calapan was designated as the capital of the province of Mindoro instead of Puerto Galera. However, after the defeat of the Philippines in the Philippine-American War the American administration integrated Mindoro into the province of Marinduque in 1902, and Puerto Galera once again became the provincial capital.

Five months later, Mindoro was split from Marinduque, and the provincial capital was moved back to Calapan in 1903 because its geographical location was more convenient as far as transportation infrastructure was concerned. In 1919, the presidents (mayors) of Calapan and Naujan settled the boundary dispute between the two cities; a portion of agricultural area that once belonged to Calapan was awarded to Najuan. Since then, Najuan has been the biggest municipality in Oriental Mindoro by land area (however, Calapan has a bigger population).

Calapan was officially converted from municipality into a city in 1998, becoming the first and only city in Oriental Mindoro and on the whole island of Mindoro. The law granting Calapan its cityhood was signed by President Fidel Ramos on February 2, 1998. On March 21, the creation of the City of Calapan was ratified in a plebiscite where the majority of Calapeños voted in favor of Calapan’s conversion into a city.

The anniversary of the plebiscite is celebrated in the city as Calapan City Foundation Day. It is a special non-working holiday that involves various events and activities, such as parades, community gatherings, cultural performances, educational programs, sporting events, and food festivals. The annual parade is one of the main highlights of the celebration; it features lavishly decorated floats showcasing the city’s cultural and artistic traditions.

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Calapan City Foundation Day in the Philippines, observances in the Philippines, local holidays, special non-working holiday