Dagupan was called before as Bacnotan. As early as 1583, Bacnotan was just a marshland covered with mangrove and nipa palm trees. Natives used to live near the shoreline and riverbanks where they got their foods. These natives also experienced attacks and visits from pirates of Japan and China and other traders.
In 17th century and onwards developments in the place took place with the opening of the docking station in Pantal (or what is now known as Pantalan Port) and eventually became a trading center. Bangus industry and fishponds also flourished, and Spaniards built roads connecting to Pangasinan and the Cagayan Valley. In 1891, Manila – Dagupan Railway was completed.
However, on March 7, 1898, the Dagupeños unveiled a coordinated attack on Spanish forces which was known as the the Battle of Dagupan that appears to have been planned months in advance. The revolutionary forces are armed only with bolos and lances and they attacked the Spanish with an ingenious rolling trench made of several banana tree trunks, wrapped in sheets of dried nipa palm leaves. The trenches were seven feet in diameter.
On June 20, 1947 after the World War II, Dagupan became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 170. It was signed into law by President Manuel Roxas on October 15, 1947. Since this time, commercial establishments grew rapidly, more roads were built, schools and public markets were constructed. On July 16, 1990, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck northern Luzon. The worst hit cities were Cabanatuan, Baguio and Dagupan. A lot of public and private structures were destroyed or damaged when river banks slid into the Pantal River and dry land into the swampy areas.
Population/ Language/ Area
Dagupan City has a total population of 163,676. The average annual growth rate of the city is 0.69% and having a population density of 2,931person/square kilometer.
The digitized cadastral maps reveal that the sum of the lands within Dagupan’s boundaries is 4,446 hectares, bounded by the Lingayen Gulf in the north, San Fabian in the northeast, Mangaldan in the east, Calasiao in the south and Binmaley in the west. Land use is primarily for Agriculture with 35.98% of the total land area, fishpond, cropland, residential with 22.88%; others are for commercial, industrial, institutional, government private, parks, and roads.
The city is bounded by the Lingayen Gulf in the north, San Fabian in the northeast, Mangaldan in the east, Calasiao in the south and Binmaley in the west.
Products and Services
Dagupan City’s economic investment comes from cropland or agriculture production such as rice, and livestock/Poultry of swine, cattle, carabao, and goat. Poultry population produces 15,000 heads. There is also the Fishery and Aquatic Resources with the production of Bangus – 2,440 metric tons yearly, Tilapia and Sugpo (prawns).
Dagupan City specializes in the production of sugarcane, corn, rice, copra, salt, and alcoholic liquor produced from the nipa palm. The city is also famous for all sorts of Bangus specialty such as boneless marinated, boneless plain and regular bangus. The City also sells bagoong alamang (composed of salted small shrimp), terong (composed of salted bonnet mouth), Siganids (malaga) and Ipon (goby).
- Remnants of Franklin Bridge – this bridge connects the Downtown area and Calmay and later on sank in Calmay River with San Alberto Magno College during the biggest flood in 1935.
- Dagupe Restaurant – this is the oldest establishment in the city located at Angel B. Fernandez Avenue.
Festivals and Celebrations
- Bangus Festival – this is celebrated every month of April. This is the city’s way of featuring their bangus products with its unique taste. During the festival there are dancers and performers parading the city streets, all wearing or handling a bangus image with them.
- Pigar-Pigar Festival – this festival promotes the city’s tasteful pigar-pigar made from local meat.
- Miss Dagupan – This event promotes beauty and honor of the city