A model community-based tourism destination in the region with a vibrant economy supporting empowered, safe and secured Casiguranin who are sustainably utilizing resources and developing well-planned and resilient communities under competent, transparent, and participative leadership.
The Municipality shall pursue vigorous efforts towards a safe, productive, and healthy community.
Chapter I – History
It was June 13, 1609 when the Spanish missionaries formally founded the town of Casiguran. This was driven by a mission to convert the headhunting natives or ‘Agta’ of the Sierra Madre mountains to Christianity. The mission was ordered by the ecclesiastical administration of the Bishophric of the Nueva Caceres based in Camarines province and was led by Franciscan Fr. Blas Palomino. However, challenged by the rugged and dangerous terrain, the Franciscan friars ceased the mission and were replaced by Augustinian Recollect missionaries who took over for forty-five (45) years. Franciscan friars returned soon after and resumed their mission in 1703.
The ‘Agta’ are Casiguran’s earliest settlers since the pre-colonial area. Migration eventually led people groups from different parts of the country to the municipality, bringing in a special mix of peoples and dialects (i.e. Ilocano, Visayan, Bicolano, Pampango, Gadang Itawis, Ibanag, Tagalog, etc.) that ultimately combined and gave birth to the unique ‘Casiguranin’ dialect today. Oral tradition and early forklore says that the name of the municipality comes from the word ‘kasiguruhan’ which means ‘safety’ or ‘assurance’. ‘Safety’ may be associated to the Casiguran sound which served as a sanctuary for sailing ships and boats during stormy weather. ‘Assurance’, on the other hand, may be associated to the early migration of local people groups in the town when unmarried strangers fall in love and eventually get married there.
Bartering was the early method of commerce when traders would come to Casiguran to exchange commodities for palay and other agricultural products. Casiguran also suffered Moro invasions up to the end of the Spanish rule. In 1798 a fleet of twentyfive (25) boats landed in Casiguran, Baler and Palanan and took 450 captives. To deal with this threat, a watch tower was built in Sitio Dipalale. Whenever Muslim vintas would enter the Casiguran Sound, the guards at the watch tower would warn the residents through smoke signal. When this happens, the church bell will ring to warn the people to take refuge at Ermita Hill. Here the people use the stockpile of rocks and logs which they throw and roll down the hill to discourage the Moros from coming up. Today, the stone rubbles at the watch tower stand as reminders to the threat of Moro invasions that the people of Casiguran had to then constantly face.
Casiguran also took part in an important part of history during the Philippine-American war. The USS Vicksburg landed in Casiguran Sound with Colonel Frederick Funston and his men, en route to Palanan, where they intended to capture General Emilio Aguinaldo. When the American commander marched through the town with Macabebes and some renegade Filipino officials of Aguinaldo, the local official of Casiguran and the town folks thought that they were prisoners of the local insurgents. As such, they were welcomed and were even fed. Unaware of the plot and the conspiracy, the municipal Vice President, who was loyal to Aguinaldo, sent couriers to him, who carried forged messages. Col. Funston also sent to Palanan disguised Macabebes and four Americans who acted as prisoners of war to penetrate the place where Aguinaldo was hiding. He was captured on March 23, 1901.
Casiguran used to be part of the province of Nueva Ecija, but became a component of the district called El Distrito del Principe governed by the Comandante Politico-Militar in 1856. On June 12, 1902, the boundaries of the province of Tayabas was extended northward to include Casiguran. On June 14, 1951, Casiguran became part of the newly established Aurora province in Central Luzon (Region III) by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 648 and is one of the two original towns of Aurora province.
Chapter II – Geophysical Environment
2.1 Geographical Location
Casiguran is situated 121 kilometers (kms) northeast of Baler, the provincial capital of Aurora, and about 353 kms from Manila. It is bounded in the north by the Municipality of Dilasag, at the southwest by the Municipality of Dinalungan, at the northwest by the province of Quirino and at the southeast by the Philippine Sea. It is geographically located at 16°17’ N 122°07’ E and lies between 16°01’15” and 16°28’55” north latitudes and 121°51’36’’ and 122°15’07” east longitudes. (See Figure 2-1).
Travel to Casiguran used to be quite a feat due to the rough and winding roads and the absence of bridges. However, road improvement and infrastructure development over the last five years have drastically reduced travel time and made it more comfortable and safer. Travel by land now takes approximately three to three-and-a-half (3 to 3.5) hours. To get there, one can take air-conditioned bus from Manila to Baler, and then hop on a commuter van to Casiguran. For a more direct route, however, one may opt to take the ordinary non-aircon bus from Cabanatuan, or the commuter vans that travel from Manila to Casiguran and vice versa.
Casiguran may also be reached by a four to five-hour boat ride from Baler. Travel time is highly dependent on water conditions, however. On the other hand, if one is coming from somewhere near Nueva Viscaya, the Cordon-Diffun-Maddela-Aurora road provides access. Travel time takes approximately five hours. Other land routes from Manila include: 1) Bongabon-Villa-Aurora road via Cabanatuan; and 2) San Luis-Maria AuroraCanili-Pantabangan road. (See Figures 1 and 2.)
2.2 Municipal Setting
Casiguran is one of the eight municipalities in Aurora province. It belongs to one of three development zones in Aurora – DICADI – which stands for Dilasag, Casiguran and Dinalungan. The two neighboring towns used to be part of Casiguran, up until 1959 and 1966, when Dilasag and Dinalungan were created as separate municipalities, respectively.
2.2.1 Land Area and Political Subdivision
The municipality of Casiguran has a total land area of 71,543 hectares or 276.23 sq. miles and is divided into twenty-four (24) Barangays. Eight of these Barangays are located at the Poblacion which is also considered as the Central Business District (CBD), i.e. Barangays 01 to 08. Its three largest barangays are located outside the Poblacion, namely: Barangay Ditinagyan, which constitutes 16.69% of the total land area, followed by Barangays Tinib and Dibet which comprise 16.49% and and 15.76% of the land area, respectively. (See Table 1 and
2.2.2 Land Classification
The municipal Forest Land Use Plan (2014 draft) notes that Casiguran is dominated with forestlands covering 61,620 hectares or about 86.13% of the total municipal land area. The remaining 13.87% (9,923 hectares) of the total area is classified as Alienable and Disposable lands. Based on the 2008-2018 general land use plan of the municipality, 81.30% or 8,067.87 hectares of these Alienable & Disposable lands are agricultural areas while 18.70% are allotted to settlements, economic zone and other uses (i.e. tourism, road, etc.). (See Table 2 and Figure 4.)
Table 2. Alienable & Disposable Land And Forestland,
Municipality of Casiguran, Province of Aurora, 2008 Table 2
|Land Classification||Land Area (Hectares)||% to Total Land Area|
|Alienable & Disposable Land (A&D)||9,923.00||13.87|
|Total Land Area||71,543.00||100.00|
Source: Casiguran CLUP, 2008
Directory of Municipal Officials and Department Heads
Casiguran is famous for its Holy Week celebration which begins on Palm Sunday. Tourists and locals of Aurora visit and pray in the chapel of Nuestra Senora dela Ermita situated on top of a hill in the heart of the town. Casiguran is also known for its Penitensya (Penitence). Men and women dressed in skirts made out of dried banana leaves offer their sacrifice to the Lord in exchange of something they wished that was granted. Penitensya and devotees are seen on Holy Thursday until the Paglilibing on Good Friday.
ANTHONY DE PADUA PATRONAL TOWN FIESTA (June 12-13)
Feast of St. Anthony de Padua
Every 13th of June, a religious procession starts from the church and goes around the Poblacion, eventually returning to the church. The Festivity is isually accompanied by dancing and other activities at the Agricula Multi-purpose Hall. As with most fiestas there is a lot of marry-making and handaan for feasts where households prepare food to be shared with their town mates or visitors. Many Casiguranin who are now residing in Manilaor elsewhere come to visit Casiguran during this time of year.
Every 13th of June, same day as the town fiesta, Casiguran celebrates it’s Foundation Day. This is in commemoration of the time that the town was officially established by the Franciscan friars that first set foot in Casiguran to evangelize the Agta of the Sierra Madre mountain. The celebration actually last for a week because several activities, including street parades, Bb. Casiguran, and an agricultural fair are held. The latter highlights the local produce and products of the Agta, the farmers, the fisher folks, the craftsmen and business of Casiguran. During the street parade, the church, the schools, the local government and other organizations, including Knights of Columbus participate.
MAMA MARY’S BIRTHDAY (September 8)
Casiguranins are well-known for their devotion to the Nuestra Senora dela Ermita and one of its proofs is the celebration of Mama Mary’s birthday. The highlight of this event is the procession of the image of the Virgin Mary around the town attended by locals and tourists.
Turumba may be considered a fertility festival that ties to both religion and harvest. According to Mrs. Barrera, a local historian, the Turumba is a supplication for crops fertility to yield a good harvest and for infertile couples to have children. During the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, all townsfolk would go out to attend mass followed by a gathering at the plaza for procession. The men would dress in vestida or women’s clothing during procession and everytime the townsfolk would arrive at a street corner everyonewill jump and shout “La Purisima!” Over the years, variations have limited the procession to just the men and children and included a water “blessing” where onlookers would douse the men and children in procession with water. The Turumba is a joyous occation that the residents look forward to it every December 7. This tradition may have evolved from the Turumba Festival celebrated in Pakil, Laguna and the Tromba Festival in Baras, Rizal in honor of the Nuestra Señora de (los Dolores de) Turumba.
Casiguran celebrates the abundant blessings of nature and the hard work of our fisherfolks and farmers thru Agri-Fishery Trade Fair on June 7, 2019. The Ribbon Cutting of the event also signals the grand opening of Casiguran’s 410th Foundation Anniversary and Patronal Town Fiesta. The event was attended by provincial leaders and regional officials namely: Gov. Gerardo A. Noveras, Atty. Christian M. Noveras, Hon. Lordan Roxas, BFAR3- Regional Director Lilian C. Garcia, CLAARDEC- Director Dr. Fe L. Porciuncula, PCIC- Chief Marketing and Sales Division and the guest speaker Regional Technical Director, Department of Agriculture Region III Mr. Nelson M. Bautista. Barangays and organizations had the chance to showcase their artistic ability and products thru the best booth contest. The efforts of Brgy. Tinib was rewarded as they bagged the Best Booth for this year followed the Goat Racer Association on the 2nd Place and the High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP) on the 3rd Place.
Celebrating Casiguran’s History, Culture and Resiliency through Sinabengan Festival with the three competing schools namely; Casiguran National High School, Lual National High School and Tinib-Calangcuasan Integrated School last June 10, 2019 at Casiguran Central School.
The word “Sinabengan” is a Casiguranin word means foods that can get from the sea. The street dance competition expresses the richness of Casiguran’s seafoods. The three schools compete for the title on the event. The school who won the first place in the Street Dance competition is Lual National High School with the awards on Best in Choreography, Best in Props, and Best in Street Dance. The second place was won by Tiinib-Calangcuasan Integrated School with the awards on Best in Costume, Best in Performance and Best in Adviser by their own Ms. Carla Joy Palaris. Last but not the least the third place was won by Casiguran National High School with the award of Best in Music.
Casiguran is declaired as Drug_Cleared Municipality on June 26, 2019.
The municipality of Casiguran proclaimed as Drug-Cleared municipality status, 4th in the province and 15th in Central Luzon. By the relentless effort of the personnel of Casiguran MPS led by PCPT Ricky J. Rabor, Municipal Mayor Ricardo A. Bitong , LGU, COP, MLGOO’s Ruth S. Babilonia and Jesus Vizconde Jr., Religious Sectors, and other Sectors. The awarding was attended by Atty. Gil T. Pabilona, Regional Director PDEA RO3, Juancho L. Esteban, Provincial Officer PDEA Aurorato.
The Casiguran MPS promise to uphold the status and continue their unyielding service to the people.
Philippine Rise Commemoration 2019
The Philippine Rise Anniversary was celebrated on May 16, 2019, held on board of BRP Davao del Sur (LD602) by the Area Task Force – North (ATF –North) at the Casiguran Bay, Casiguran, Aurora together with The National Task Force –West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) and Local Government officials of the Aurora Province.
The commemoration celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of renaming the 13-million-hectare Benham Rise to Philippine Rise last May 16, 2017 by the Executive Order No. 25 signed by the President Rodrigo Duterte. A portion of the Philippine Rise was declared as Marine Resource Reserve. Based on the Proclamation of the President 50,000 hectares are to be Strict Protection Zone limited only for scientific studies, and 300,000 hectares for Special Fisheries Management Area.
The NOLCOM held a Maritime Forum for the fisherfolks of Casiguran and nearby Town to address their concerns regarding maritime safety. The ceremony begins with the welcome message of our Municipal Mayor, Dr. Ricardo A. Bitong. Addressing and thanking the people who work hard for the celebration to come true, and tackle the importance of protecting our maritime area not only for our constituent but also for the fishermen who rely through fishing.
LTGEN Emmanuel B. Salamat, Commander of NOLCOM, head of ATF-North, said that they will do their best to protect and preserve our maritime area with the collaboration and cooperation of other maritime agencies such as Coast Guard and BFAR.
|Mailing Address||Liwayway St., Brgy. 04 Poblacion 3204 Casiguran, Philippines|
|Email Address||Tourism: [email protected]|
LGU: [email protected]
|Contact Number||LGU: 0935-108-9999 | 0977-803-6966|
MDRRMO – Casiguran : 0921-760-1240 | 0917-809-4299
PNP Casiguran: 0919-310-7353