Pagadian City Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: June 21, 2024

Pagadian City Day in the Philippines Pagadian City Day (Araw ng Pagadian), also known as Pagadian City Charter Anniversary, is a special non-working holiday celebrated in the Philippine city of Pagadian on June 21 every year. It commemorates the day when Pagadian was granted cityhood.

Pagadian is a first-class component city in the Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur. It is the second-largest city in the province and Zamboanga Peninsula, the provincial capital of Zamboanga del Sur, and the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula.

The first inhabitants of the area were the Subanon people, native to Zamboanga Peninsula. Later came the Iranun and the Maguindanao people, who converted many locals to Islam. Those who refused to convert eventually moved to the highlands and settled there. The territorial boundaries of Pagadian were first established by Datu Macaumbang.

When the Spanish arrived in the region, they were not particularly interested in settling in or near Pagadian due to its hilly terrain. The settlement mostly served as a stop-over for traders traveling from the Spanish fort of Zamboanga (now Zamboanga City) to other bigger towns in the north of the province of Zamboanga. The first Christian settlers started to arrive in Pagadian in the early 20th century, mostly from Cebu.

In 1927, Pagadian was made a barrio of the municipality of Labangan. Ten years later, it became a municipality in its own right, with Labangan becoming a district under its former barrio. During World War II Pagadian, along with the rest of the Philippines, was occupied by the Japanese Empire. It was liberated by the combined American and Filipino troops in 1945, after a failed liberation attempt in November 1944.

In 1952, the province of Zamboanga was divided into two new provinces, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Zur. The municipality of Pagadian was designated as the provincial capital of Zamboanga del Sur. On June 21, 1969, Pagadian was elevated to city status, becoming the third city in Western Mindanao after Zamboanga City and Dapitan.

In 1976, Pagadian was hit by the Moro Gul earthquake and tsunami, sustaining a great number of casualties and extensive damage. It was one of the cities in the area affected by both the earthquake and tsunami. In the years that followed, it was rebuilt and grew into one of the major cities in Zamboanga Peninsula.

In October 1990, President Corazon Aquino designated Pagadian as the regional center for Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX). However, his decision was challenged by Zamboanga City, the former regional center, and it wasn’t until 2004 when Pagadian officially became the regional center. In 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a decree recognizing Pagadian as a highly urbanized city.

Being the regional center, Pagadian has a diverse economy comprising the production of raw materials like cassava and seaweeds, small-scale manufacturing of furniture and décor items, traditional handicrafts, fishing, mining (copper, gold and molybdenum), the service sector, and tourism.

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Pagadian City Day, holidays in the Philippines, special non-working holidays, regional observances