Gonzaga, Cagayan

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Municipality of Gonzaga
Official seal of Gonzaga
Map of Cagayan with Gonzaga highlighted
Map of Cagayan with Gonzaga highlighted
Gonzaga is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 18°16′N 122°00′E / 18.27°N 122°E / 18.27; 122Coordinates: 18°16′N 122°00′E / 18.27°N 122°E / 18.27; 122
Country  Philippines
Region Cagayan Valley (Region II)
Province Cagayan
District 1st District
Barangays 25 (see Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Rene Salvanera
 • Electorate 22,624 voters (2016)
 • Total 567.43 km2 (219.09 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 38,892
 • Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3513
PSGC 021514000
IDD:area code +63 (0)78
Climate type Tropical monsoon climate
Income class 1st municipal income class
Revenue (₱) 160,724,948.02 (2016)
Website www.sbgonzaga.ph

Gonzaga, officially the Municipality of Gonzaga, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 38,892 people.[3]

The 2012 film The Mistress, starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, was partly shot in the town.


Gonzaga is located at the north-eastern tip of the province of Cagayan, bordered by the municipality of Santa Ana to the north-east, the municipality of Santa Teresita to the west, and the municipality of Lal-lo to the south. It is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Aparri, the nearest commercial center, 125 kilometres (78 mi) from the provincial capital of Tuguegarao City, and 607 kilometres (377 mi) from Manila.

Gonzaga has a total land area of 56,743 hectares (140,220 acres), the majority of which remains undeveloped. It has large stretches of virgin forests, especially throughout the mountainous areas of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The highest elevation in the municipality is 1,130 metres (3,710 ft) above sea level, located at Mount Cagua in Barangay Magrafil.

The majority of the municipality's 40 kilometres (25 mi) coastline is mostly along the Babuyan Channel to the north, although it is also bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the southeast. The eleven coastal barangays contain a total of 139 hectares (340 acres) of beaches, 69 hectares (170 acres) of mangrove forests, and 348 hectares (860 acres) of coral reefs.[4]


Gonzaga is politically subdivided into 25 Barangays, including four urban barangays which constitute the Poblacion area.

  • Amunitan
  • Batangan
  • Baua
  • Cabanbanan Norte
  • Cabanbanan Sur
  • Cabiraoan
  • Callao
  • Calayan
  • Caroan
  • Casitan
  • Flourishing (Poblacion)
  • Ipil
  • Isca
  • Magrafil
  • Minanga
  • Rebecca (Nagbabacalan)
  • Paradise (Poblacion)
  • Pateng
  • Progressive (Poblacion)
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Maria
  • Smart (Poblacion)
  • Tapel


The original inhabitants of Gonzaga were Negritos, especially members of Aeta tribes. The first recorded name of the area was Gampao, an Aeta word meaning 'mountainous,' later changed to Wangag, ('river'). In the eighteenth century, groups of Ilocano-speaking immigrants arrived in several waves by sea and land, gradually displacing the Aeta in the lowland areas.

Wangag was given ecclesiastical recognition on 23 February 1869, as a barrio of the Municipality of Buguey. In 1917 it was renamed Rumang-ay (Ilocano for 'to be progressive'). The following year, it was renamed after the first Filipino Governor of Cagayan, Gracio P. Gonzaga. The town was officially partitioned from Buguey on 1 January 1918 via Executive Order of Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison.[5]


Population census of Gonzaga
YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 3,339—    
1939 8,682+4.66%
1948 10,811+2.47%
1960 12,519+1.23%
1970 17,686+3.51%
1975 19,316+1.78%
1980 22,467+3.07%
1990 26,536+1.68%
1995 27,997+1.01%
2000 32,079+2.96%
2007 35,424+1.38%
2010 36,303+0.90%
2015 38,892+1.32%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][6][7][8]

In the 2015 census, the population of Gonzaga, Cagayan, was 38,892 people,[3] with a density of 69 inhabitants per square kilometre or 180 inhabitants per square mile.


Gonzaga is primarily an agricultural municipality, with more than half of the workforce employed primarily as either farmers or fishers. Approximately 5,500 hectares (14,000 acres) of agricultural land are currently under production, the majority of which are dedicated to rice farming.[9]

List of former mayors[edit]

Name Years
Francis Torres 1918-1921
Leandro Zuniega 1922-1924
Teodoro Castro 1925-1927
Francisco Torres 1928-1931
Cesario Peralta 1932-1940, 1945–1946
Frederico Navarro 1941
Cayatano de la Cruz 1942-1945, 1948–1951, 1960–1967
Delfin Baltazar 1952-1955
Claro P. Nuñez 1956-1959
Romarico Salvanera 1967-1968
Francisco T. Baclig 1968-1986
Hermogenes T. Baclig 1986-1987
Juan B. Naval 1987
Ricardo M. Paddayuman 1988-1990
Atty. Arsenio P. Gonzales 1990-1998
Elpifanio G. Gaspar 1998-2007
Rosendo P. Abad 2007-2010
Engr. Carlito F. Pentecostes, Jr. 2010–2014

Rene Salvanera 2014-2016

Notable natives of Gonzaga[edit]

  • Former Senate President and Defense Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile is a native of Gonzaga.
  • Lilia Cuntapay, a Filipino actress, was dubbed the "Queen of Philippine Horror Movies" was born in the Cabiraoan village of Gonzaga, Cagayan, on September 16, 1935


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Province: Cagayan". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Municipal Coastal Environmental Profile 2005
  5. ^ Physico-Socio-Economic and Political Profile 2007
  6. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO. 
  8. ^ "Province of Cagayan". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Physico-Socio-Economic and Political Profile

External links[edit]