Gapan, Philippines

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Gapan, Philippines

Region: Nueva Ecija


Geographic Coordinates: 15.312200, 120.949000
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F)
Population: 122968
Language: Tagalog

Gapan is a city located in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. It is situated at the foot of Sierra Madre mountain range and has a population of approximately 110, 000 people. The city is known for its rich history, Scenic landscapes and vibrant culture. One of the main attractions in Gapan is the Shrine of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila. This church was built in honor of the Virgin Mary and serves as a pilgrimage site for many devotees from all over the country. The church’s architecture features intricate details that are reminiscent of Spanish colonial times.

Another popular destination in Gapan is Minalungao National Park. This park boasts a stunning river canyon that stretches for miles along with crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or kayaking. Visitors can also enjoy hiking through lush forests or simply relaxing on one of the park’s many picnic areas. Gapan’s rich cultural heritage can be seen throughout its various festivals and events held throughout the year. One such event is Taong Putik Festival which takes place every June 24th to celebrate St John’s Day.

Participants cover themselves with mud to commemorate how farmers used to hide from Japanese soldiers during World War II. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural significance, Gapan also offers delicious local cuisine such as longganisa (sausage), Adobo (meat marinated in vinegar) and sinigang (sour soup). These dishes are made using locally sourced ingredients which add an authentic touch to their flavor profiles. Gapan boasts modern amenities such as shopping centers, Hotels, Restaurants, Hospitals and schools making it an ideal destination not only for tourists but also for those looking to settle down permanently.

Overall, Gapan offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture and natural beauty making it an unforgettable destination worth exploring!



Important Landmarks

  1. Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish Church – a 400-year-old church that features a unique architecture and beautiful interior design.
  2. Gapan City Hall – a historical building built during the American period that showcases neoclassical architecture.
  3. San Roque Dam – a massive hydroelectric dam located in Barangay San Roque that provides electricity to several provinces in Central Luzon.
  4. Minalungao National Park – a stunning natural park with clear waters and towering limestone cliffs perfect for swimming, kayaking, and hiking activities.
  5. Pinagrealan Cave – an underground cave system located in Barangay Pinagrealan that features stalactites and stalagmites formations.
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto – a pilgrimage site located at Barangay Pambuan where devotees can pray to the Virgin Mary.
  7. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga Parish Church – another historical church built during Spanish colonization known for its Baroque-style architecture.
  8. Mount Olivete Cemetery- one of the largest cemeteries in Central Luzon with beautiful tombs and mausoleums depicting various architectural styles from different eras.

Note: Some attractions may be temporarily closed or have limited access due to COVID-19 restrictions so it’s best to check beforehand before planning your trip to these places.


Primary Industries

  • Agriculture (rice, corn, vegetables)
  • Poultry farming
  • Livestock raising
  • Food processing (meat products)
  • Retail trade (sari-sari stores)
  • Small-scale manufacturing
  • Growing tourism industry due to historical landmarks and natural attractions such as:
    • Mt. Olivete Shrine
    • Candaba Swamp

    Noteable History

    1. The Battle of Gapan – a significant battle during the Philippine-American War in 1899.
    2. Gregorio del Pilar – a Filipino general who fought during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War, was born in nearby San Jose but had connections to Gapan.
    3. Apolinario Mabini – a Filipino revolutionary leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the Philippines under Emilio Aguinaldo’s First Republic, spent some time in exile in Gapan.
    4. The Nueva Ecija Agricultural School (NEAS) – established in 1902 by American colonial authorities, NEAS was one of the earliest agricultural schools in Asia and played an important role in developing modern farming techniques throughout Nueva Ecija province.
    5. The Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish Church – a historic church built during Spanish colonial times that features beautiful Baroque-style architecture and artwork.
    6. Manuel L. Quezon – while not directly associated with Gapan itself, Quezon was born in nearby Baler and played an instrumental role as one of the leaders of the Philippine independence movement that eventually led to full independence from American colonial rule on July 4th, 1946 (which is now celebrated as Independence Day).

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Gapan City Museum showcases the history and culture of Gapan City, from pre-colonial times to the present day.
    2. Shrine of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila is a historic church and popular pilgrimage site known for its beautiful architecture and religious significance.
    3. San Vicente Ferrer Church is one of the oldest churches in Nueva Ecija province, with a rich history and stunning architecture.
    4. Gapan Bridge spans over the Pampanga River, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is a popular spot for photography.
    5. Mount Olivet Memorial Park is known for its beautiful gardens and peaceful atmosphere, providing a serene place to pay respects to loved ones.
    6. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) offers interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about rice production in the Philippines.
    7. Minalungao National Park features towering limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery perfect for outdoor adventures like hiking or river tubing located just outside Gapan City.
    8. The Monumento ng Bayani ng 1896 (Monument to Heroes of 1896) is dedicated to Filipino heroes who fought against Spanish colonialism in 1896 during Philippine Revolution.
    9. St John Nepomucene Parish Church is a Baroque-style church built-in honor of St John Nepomucene that features intricate carvings on its facade.
    10. The Chapel on Wheels allows visitors to ride an old train carriage converted into a chapel that travels around Nueva Ecija province- A unique attraction indeed!


    Sports Teams

    1. Gapan City FC is a football club located in Gapan City that participates in various local tournaments and leagues.
    2. Nueva Ecija Braves is a professional basketball team that played during the 2018-2019 season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
    3. The Gapan City Volleyball Team consists of local players from Gapan City who participate in regional and national tournaments.
    4. Nueva Ecija Runners Club is a running club based in Nueva Ecija that organizes running events and competitions for its members.
    5. The Gapan City Chess Club has been active since 2007 and has produced several notable players who have won awards at local and national competitions.


    Cultural Events

    1. Gapan City Fiesta is a week-long celebration held every January in honor of the patron saint of Gapan, St. Nicholas of Tolentino.
    2. Taong Putik Festival is a unique festival held every June 24th where locals cover themselves in mud and banana leaves to commemorate the feast day of St. John the Baptist.
    3. Binabayani Festival is an annual cultural event held every March that showcases the local heritage and traditions through street dances, parades, and other performances.
    4. Buntal Hat Festival is a celebration of the town’s hat-making industry held every April that features a parade showcasing various designs made from buntal fiber.
    5. Feast Day of San Roque is celebrated every August 16th, this festival honors San Roque with religious processions and street dancing.
    6. Niyogyugan Festival is a province-wide event that is hosted by Gapan City every August that highlights Nueva Ecija’s coconut industry through various activities such as food fairs, exhibits, and cultural shows.
    7. Kawayan Festival is an annual festival held in November to promote bamboo as an eco-friendly material for various products such as furniture and handicrafts through exhibits, trade fairs, and other activities.
    8. Christmas Lantern Parade – A parade showcasing different lanterns made by different barangays (villages) in Gapan usually held on December 23rd or 24th before Christmas Day

    Cuisine

    • Ado’s Panciteria – known for their pancit (noodle dish) and other Filipino dishes.
    • Lety’s Buko Pie – famous for their buko (coconut) pie, which is a must-try when visiting Gapan.
    • Kambingan sa Gapan – offers dishes made from goat meat, such as kaldereta (stewed meat), sinampalukan (sour soup), and papaitan (bitter soup).
    • Baka-Rina Grill – serves grilled meats like beef, pork, chicken, and fish.
    • Jollibee – a popular fast-food chain in the Philippines that serves Filipino-style fried chicken and burgers.
    • Mang Inasal – another fast-food chain that specializes in grilled chicken with unlimited rice.
    • Max’s Restaurant – known for their crispy fried chicken and other Filipino dishes like kare-kare (peanut stew) and sinigang na hipon (sour shrimp soup).
    • Gerry’s Grill – offers a variety of Filipino comfort food like sisig (pork dish), adobo (meat stew), and seafood dishes cooked with garlic butter sauce.
    • Sabroso Lechon House – famous for their lechon baboy or roasted pig served during special occasions but also available daily at the restaurant.
    • Bulalo Point Restaurant – serves bulalo or beef shank soup cooked with vegetables perfect to warm you up on cold nights.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Bayanihan Park is a public park located in the center of Gapan. It offers jogging paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy.
      2. Bucana Eco Park is a nature park situated in Barangay Bucana that features hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and camping facilities.
      3. Nueva Ecija Convention Center is a multi-purpose complex that hosts various events such as sports tournaments and concerts.
      4. San Roque Dam is a popular spot for fishing and boating activities located just outside Gapan.
      5. Gapan City Plaza is another public park situated in the heart of the city that provides open spaces for leisure activities like picnics and sports games.
      6. Mount Olivete Memorial Park is a cemetery with scenic views that locals also use for jogging or walking exercises.
      7. Villa Florencia Resort & Restaurant offers swimming pools, cottages for rent, restaurants serving Filipino cuisine as well as function rooms for events like weddings or birthday celebrations.
      8. Gapan Municipal Sports Complex has basketball courts where local leagues are held regularly throughout the year.

      Note: Please note COVID-19 restrictions may apply to these locations so it’s best to double-check before visiting them personally if they are open to visitors during this time period.


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