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Not to be confused with Pagsanghan, one of the municipalities of the province of Western Samar in the Philippines.
Municipality of Pagsanjan
Downtown area
Downtown area
Official seal of Pagsanjan
  • Tourist Capital of Laguna
  • Athens of Laguna
  • Home of Our Lady of Guadalupe de Filipinas
Mula sa DIYOS, Para sa TAO, Serbisyong TOTOo
Map of Laguna with Pagsanjan highlighted
Map of Laguna with Pagsanjan highlighted
Pagsanjan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°16′N 121°27′E / 14.27°N 121.45°E / 14.27; 121.45Coordinates: 14°16′N 121°27′E / 14.27°N 121.45°E / 14.27; 121.45
Country Philippines
RegionCalabarzon (Region IV-A)
District4th District
FoundedDecember 12, 1668
Barangays16 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorPeter Casius "Toto" M. Trinidad (PDP–Laban)
 • Vice MayorGirlie "Maita" J. Ejercito
 • CongressmanBenjamin C. Agarao Jr.
 • Total26.36 km2 (10.18 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total42,164
 • Density1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)49
Climate typetropical monsoon climate
Income class3rd municipal income class
Revenue (₱)114,806,855.88 (2016)
Native languagesTagalog

Pagsanjan, (pronounced Pag-sang-han), officially the Municipality of Pagsanjan, (Tagalog: Bayan ng Pagsanjan), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 42,164 people.[3]

Situated about 92 kilometres (57 mi) southeast of Manila, Pagsanjan is the tourist capital of Laguna and the home of the Bangkero Festival. The bangkeros are tour guides, who steer the tourists' boats. They are the boatmen who shoot the 14 rapids between rocks and boulders all the way to the Pagsanjan Falls (or Magdapio Falls), for which the town is well known but are actually located in the neighboring municipality of Cavinti. The Bangkero Festival is celebrated in the month of March.

For 170 years (1688–1858), Pagsanjan was the capital of the province of Laguna. During this long period, the town prospered as the commercial, cultural and learning center of the province, and was called the "Athens of Laguna".[4]


Pagsanjan is located in the riparian delta formed by the confluence of the Balanac and Bumbungan rivers. Originally named Pinagsangahan, meaning "branching" or "juncture", the town was given renamed Pagsanjan by early Spanish colonists, because they found it extremely difficult to pronounce its polysyllabic name.


Pagsanjan has a land area of 26.4 square kilometres. It is located about 92 kilometres (57 mi) southeast of Manila. It is bounded on the east by the Balubad Mountain; on the west by the capital town of Santa Cruz; on the north by the San Isidro Hill and Laguna de Bay; on the north-east by the town of Lumban; on the southeast by the towns of Cavinti and Luisiana; on the south by Mount Banahaw; and on the south-west by the town of Magdalena.


Pagsanjan is politically subdivided into 16 barangays.[2]

  • Anibong
  • Biñan
  • Buboy
  • Cabanbanan
  • Calusiche
  • Dingin
  • Lambac
  • Layugan
  • Magdapio
  • Maulawin
  • Pinagsaŋjan
  • Barangay I (Poblacion)
  • Barangay II (Poblacion)
  • Sabang
  • Sampaloc
  • San Isidro


Old Town Gate

Pagsanjan was originally a barrio of Lumban. In 1668, eight Japanese and Chinese traders who were highly impressed by the strategic location of the barrio at the juncture of Balanac and Bumbungan rivers founded the town. They established a trading settlement and engaged in the betelnut industry. In time, the barrio became the flourishing trading center of eastern Laguna and attracted families from the surrounding communities of Cavinti and Pila. On December 12, 1668, the then Governor, General Juan Manuel de la Peña Bonifaz, issued a gubernatorial decree elevating its status from barrio to a town. In 1688, Pagsanjan replaced Bay as the capital of the province. It remained such until 1858, during which it bloomed as the cultural and commercial center of the province.

Pagsanjan residents[edit]

Like all people in the world, the Pagsanjeños are hospitable and friendly to all visitors, especially the foreigners. They are warmhearted, fiesta-loving and witty. In time of peace, they are amiably peaceful, civic-spirited, and cheerful; in time of war, however, they are brave, intensely patriotic, and fight with fury. They are loyal and proud of their beloved town and ancestral heritage.

The people of Pagsanjan are also fortunate to have a resplendent cultural heritage. This culture is a harmonious blending of the Asian, Hispanic, Mexican, and American civilization influences. It is revealed in their rich folklore, customs and traditions, and colorful fiestas. During colonial times Pagsanjan was a center of culture. Her people, according to Fray Felix de la Huerta, Franciscan friar-chronicler, were "muy culto" (highly cultured). The Pagsanjeños then cherished good education. They sent their children to the elementary school to learn the fours R's (reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion). Children of the rich families studied in the homes of private teachers. After acquiring the fundamentals of Spanish and Latin languages, they were sent to Manila to obtain higher education at the Ateneo de Manila, College of San Juan de Letran, and in the University of Santo Tomas. It is a fact that during the Spanish regime Pagsanjan among all towns in Laguna had the highest percentage of illustrados (intellectuals).

This old tradition of acquiring a good education still exists among present-day Pagsanjeños. To them, a college diploma is a status symbol. Today numerous Pagsanjeños study law, medicine, education, nursing, engineering, and other college courses in the colleges and universities in Manila and in foreign countries.

The Pagsanjeños take pride in their homes, furniture, oil paintings, pianos, and rugs;[original research?] in their well-groomed lawns, and flower gardens; in their clean, streets, and sidewalks; and in their attire and personal appearance.[citation needed][tone] Because of the destruction of their ancestral homes in Pagsanjan and the threat of the Huk movement in the towns and barrios of Laguna province, many Pagsanjeño families evacuated their native town and moved permanently to the Greater Manila area. This exodus of Pagsanjeño families mostly represented the elite of the local population, including rich landlords and the talented intellectuals. A few prominent families noted for their lineage and inherited wealth, however, remained in town and cooperated with the common people in the rebuilding of their ruined town.

The rich Pagsanjeño families who left the town resided in Manila, Pasay, Makati, Caloocan City, and San Juan, where they built their homes and reared their families. Some of them sold their ancestral residential lots in Pagsanjan, for they had no intention of restoring their old homes in town. They became absentee landlords, for they simply employed some persons called encargados to manage their family rice farms and coconut plantations.


Population census of Pagsanjan
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 6,361—    
1918 7,538+1.14%
1939 8,865+0.78%
1948 9,282+0.51%
1960 10,691+1.18%
1970 14,556+3.13%
1975 16,188+2.15%
1980 19,489+3.78%
1990 25,024+2.53%
1995 28,999+2.80%
2000 32,622+2.56%
2007 35,944+1.35%
2010 39,313+3.31%
2015 42,164+1.34%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][5][6][7]

In the 2015 census, the population of Pagsanjan was 42,164 people,[3] with a density of 1,600 inhabitants per square kilometre or 4,100 inhabitants per square mile.

Notable Pagsanjeños[edit]

Pagsanjan March[edit]

The official song of the Municipality of Pagsanjan and its people is Pagsanjan March. The anthem was composed by Rogel Taiño, a native of Pagsanjan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Province: Laguna". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ Pagsanjan Official Site Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  6. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  7. ^ "Province of Laguna". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Capital of Laguna
Succeeded by
Santa Cruz