Brief History:

Iniâ ngéni kng Kandáuâ,

Méging ílug at pinak na,

Iti ing sadiang karinan na,

Níti nang bunduk Aláya.

A verse from the kurírû above narrates how the sun god Ápûng Sínukûan, who in his incarnation as Carguen-cargon, formed the 30,000 hectare Pinák when he transferred Bunduk Aláya from Candába to the nearby town of Aráyat. The inhabitants believed that Candába is as ancient as the gods portrayed in the kurírû.

Candába may have been the first and oldest settlement in the entire Kapampángan homeland, populated centuries before the formation of L?sòng Guo (Luzón: circa 13th century AD – 1572 AD). Ancient terrestrial navigation recognizes only two directions ~ paraláya or “going to Bunduk Aláya” and paráuâ (paróba) or “going to dáuâ or Kandáuâ” ~ suggesting that in the beginning, there was only Bunduk Aláya and Candába. Moreover, the oldest archaeological artifact ever found in the region was a 5000 year old stone tool used for building boats. Thousands of pottery shards dated before the existence of trade with China are scattered all over.

Candába may have originally been called Kandáua, where dáua was in ancient times a large earthen vessel used to catch rain water. The Spaniards originally wrote the name of the town as Candáva where the letter “v” was supposed to be read as “w” instead of “b”. Candába becomes exactly like a dáua during the rainy season. Some historians however, seeing themselves better off for being more westernized than the proudly indigenous Candabéño had suggested that Candába was derived from dáuâ, the Kapampángan word for millet ~ a grain they considered inferior to rice ~ and therefore suggesting that the people of Candába were as backward as they were ancient. But Candába has always proven itself very progressive economically, politically and culturally since ancient times.

According to folklore, the people of the port settlement of Mandásig once traced their ancestry to Malangdî, the wife of Malangsî, who was the son Balagtas, who was in turn said to be the son of Bulkiah, the ruler of Brunei who attacked L?sòng Guo before the turn of the 16th century. After the conquest of L?sòng Guo in 1571, the Spanish colonial administration awarded the vast territories of Candába as an encomienda or estate-grant to Royal Lieutenant Amador de Arriarán. One settlement so noted for its antiquity however was excluded from the encomienda. It was administered directly by the colonial government in Manila exclusively for the King of Spain and was given the name La Castillilla.

The evangelization of Candába was pioneered by the Jesuits who built a church and convent in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle in 1575. Three years later, the Jesuits were replaced by the Agustinian Order.

In 1585, Candába was the scene of the first organized revolt against Spanish rule since the conquest of L?sòng Guo in 1571. The uprising was organized by the displaced nobility of L?sòng Guo headed by Don Juan de Manila and Don Nicolas Mananguete of Candába. Originally, the organizers civilly petitioned the colonial authorities to limit their abuses and to respect their dignity as the traditional rulers of their region. Their protests led to violence and ended in much bloodshed when the colonial authorities ignored their petition. Three years later, a similar revolt was being organized by the displaced nobilities of Tondo. Among the leaders was Dionisio Capúlong, son of Lakandúla of Tondo and former ruler of Candába.

In the 1590s, the greedy Spaniards discovered that the Candába nobility were secretly buying gold from the natives living along the headwaters of the Indûng Kapampángan River. Candába immediately became the staging point for the conquest of the Cagayan Valley and the Northeast Frontier.

In 1640, Nicolas Alónso, a young Kapampángan nobleman from Candába, was listed as one of the few privileged sons of the Kapampángan nobility allowed to study at the Jesuit College of San Felipe de Asturias in Manila. The college was founded by Governor General Hurtado de Corcuera for the purpose of Hispanizing the native Kapampángan nobility.

In 1784, the colonial authorities decided to resettle 200 Christian Chinese along the Pinác de Candába. Evidence of their presence can be seen in the last three Chinese tombstones found right on the doorstep of the Church of Saint Andrew. One has the name “Jose Tecson” clearly written in Chinese characters. His tombstone indicates that he died in the Bing Chen Era (1796-1820) during the reign of Qing Emperor Renzong.

The Pinák or Candába Swamp, with its fertile soil and abundant fish and game, had always been a haven for various rebel groups throughout history. During the Philippine Revolution, it was the haunt of rebel-messiah Ápûng Ipê Salvador and his armed pro-Utopian and anti-Foreign peasant religious army, the Santa Iglesia or Colorum. In 1898, Ápûng Ipê and his Colorum army marched triumphantly into Candába town after chasing away the last of the Spanish colonial militia. A year later, they would return to the Pinák from which to harass the new invaders, the Americans. Their fight against American Imperialist Rule continued up to the 1930s and their movement attracted other peasants in nearby towns and provinces. The establishment of the Socialist Movement in the 1930s attracted most of the members of the Colorum. The Socialist Movement formed the core of the HUKBALAHAP during the Japanese occupation. The Pinák served as their impenetrable stronghold against the Japanese. Dayangdáyang (Felipa Culálâ), a daughter of Candába and Chief of General Welfare of the HUKBALAHAP led a series of successful raids against the Japanese Forces in 1943. After the war, the Pinák once again served as a haven for the Peoples Liberation Army (HMB) who fought against the American-sponsored Philippine Republic.


Author: Michael Raymon Tayag-Manaloto Pangilinan (Siuálâ ding Meángûbié)


1. Gaspar de San Agustin, Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas; 1565-1615, 1st Bilingual Edition, Intramuros: 1998.

2. Virginia Benitez Licuanan and Jose Llavador Mira, The Philippines Under Spain: A Compilation and Translation of Original Documents, Quezon City: 1993.

3. Manuel Gatbonton, Ing Candawe, excerpts, 1933.

4. Mariano A. Henson, Pampanga and Its Towns (AD 1300-1965), Angeles: 1965.

5. The Historical Data Papers, Candaba, Bureau of Public Scools, 1953

6. The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (Chinese-English Edition), Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing 2002.

Barangays (34): Bahay Pare, Bambang, Barangca, Barit, Buas, Cuayang Bugtong, Dalayap, Dulong, Gulap, Ilog, Lanang, Lourdes, Magumbali, Mandasig, Mandili, Mangga, Mapaniqui, Paligui, Pangclara, Pansinao, Paralaya, Pasig, Pescadores, Pulong Gubat, Pulong Palazan, Salapungan, San Agustin, Santo Rosario, Tagulod, Talang, Tenejero, Vizal San Pablo, Vizal Santo Cristo, Vizal Santo Niño [Source: DOT]

Total Population (2000): 86,066; Household Population: 86,066; Number of Households: 15,541 [Source: NSO]

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