Cabanatuan was founded as Barrio of Gapan in 1750 and became a Municipality and capital of La Provincia de Nueva Ecija in 1780. Cabanatuan is the site of the historical “Plaza Lucero” and the Cabanatuan Cathedral, where General Antonio Luna was ambushed on his way to Palanan. Cabanatuan lost the title of provincial capital in 1850 when the capital of Nueva Ecija was moved to San Isidro, another historic town. It was only in 1917, when the Administrative code was enacted, that Cabanatuan was restored as capital of the Province. However, in 1965, Congress created Palayan City, which has been the capital ever since.
During World War II, the occupying Japanese built Cabanatuan Prison Camp, where many American soldiers were imprisoned, some of whom
had been forced to endure the infamous Bataan Death March. In January 1945, elements of the U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion marched 30 miles (48 km) behind enemy lines to rescue the prisoners in what became known as the Raid at Cabanatuan. As a result of the raid, on January 30, 1945, victorious Filipino guerrillas and American troops of the U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion celebrated having obtained the freedom of 500 American POWs.
Population/ Language/ Area
As of 2010, Cabanatuan City had a total population of 272,676, all living within the land area of 192.29 km2 (74.24 sq mi).
Products and Services
Cabanatuan City is credited for its good access to commercial banks making the city ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Philippines together with Makati City in terms of banking. There are 60 commercial banks in the city, including the major players and their multiple branches citywide. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has a branch in the city’s business district. Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular also have their business offices located in the city. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) have their business office at General Tinio St., while Digitel is in Mabini Extension. TV and Radio Stations are also present in the city.
Being the largest urban center in Nueva Ecija and one of the largest in Central Luzon, Cabanatuan is an ideal place to put up a provincial or regional branch. Businesses that can be viable in the city are housing projects, commercial complexes, and tourist facilities. Agribusiness ventures such as food processing, feeds, fertilizer and farm implement productions are also perfect to put up in the city. The same for the production of consumer products such as household goods and clothing. Due to the presence of several institutions of higher learning, Cabanatuan can also host centers and other technology-related ventures such as animation and software development.
- Camp Pangatian Shrine – American military training camp for twenty years until converted into a concentration camp. This place is used for allied prisoners during the Japanese occupation. It is one of the popular tourist destination for the veterans.
- General Luna Statue – General Antonio Luna a Philippine national hero – a brave general who stand on his great principle which was assassinated in 1899 on this exact spot.
- Cabanatuan Catholic Church
- Apolinario Mabini Marker
- Wright Institute of San Isidro – High School Institute established by the American after the second world war II.
- Minalungao Park – National park river in the city. Featuring a 16 meters high limestone wall with a beautiful natural view.
Festivals and Celebrations
- Longanisa Festival – this week-long celebration is held in the vicinity of the public market along Paco Roman Street. Apart from the local meat traders and costumers, tourists from nearby town are also joining the celebration. Highlights of this festival are the cooking contests and the different preparations for longanisa (native sausage), including spaghetti and “binagoongan”.