Gapan City, Nueva Ecija



According to historical records, Gapan was called before as town of Ibon. However, in te middle part of the 16th century, Spanish curates and officials founded Gapan and exercised great influence over the people and the things they were doing. Catholic missionaries in 1595 were responsible for clearing the forest which later became a pueblo. A church, presidencia and residential houses made of bricks and lime were constructed. This foundation made Gapan as the oldest town in Nueva Ecija and one of the oldest in the Philippines. The Pueblo covered a vast area as far as Cabaatuan City, Sierra Madre in the east, San Miguel and Bulacan in the south and Candaba, Pampanga in the west. Later on the pueblo disintegrated into many pueblos until it remained to comprise only the towns of Penaranda, General Tinio and San Leonardo in Nueva Ecija province.

Then on August 25, 2001 the Municipality of Gapan was converted into a component city of Nueva Ecija by virtue of Republic Act No. 9022.

Population/ Language/ Area


Gapan City has a total population of 101,488. These people are comprised of different natives who came from the different neighboring towns in Nueva Ecija. They occupy a total land area of 164.44 km2 (63.49 sq mi).

Gapan City is located in the southern part of the province. It is bounded to the north by Peñaranda and San Leonardo, to the east by the Gen. Tinio, to the south by San Miguel in the neighboring Bulacan province, and to the west by San Isidro.

Products and Services


More than 80% of the total land area are either grassland or devoted to agriculture. Main products are rice, root crops, vegetables, livestock and poultry. Fish production is primarily done in fishponds and to a certain extent in the rivers. Footwear is the chief manufactured product in the city. Other cottage industries produce processed foods and handicrafts.

Business Opportunity


Because of the city’s location amidst agricultural area, it can be developed as an agro-industrial center. Industries that can be established in this city as food processing, feed and fertilizer, farm machineries and tools, fashion and footwear, furniture and home decors, and other consumer goods.

Gapan City’s major source of income includes farming, slipper making, fishponds, poultry and piggery, and commercial establishments. The place has rich natural resources and great potentials in agri-base industries as well as footwear industries which help sustain the City’s virtual role in agricultural and industrial production. Commercial and trade activities in the city are further accelerated by the influx of financing lending institution and new businesses.

Tourist Spots


  • The Church of Gapan – this church was built int he years 1856 to 1872 with Byzantine architecture made out of bricks, adobe and lime. The church was built through forced labor.
  • The Shrine of Divina Pastora – this shrine houses the patron saint of Gapan, Divina Patora. The feast is celebrated every 1st day of May. Visitors come to the shrine for prayer offering. They believe that the patron is miraculous.

Festivals and Celebrations


  • Araquio of Peñaranda – is celebrated every 1st week of May. This is a traditional re-enactment of Queen Helena and King Constantine’s search for the cross where Christ was crucifies. The participants are garbed in colorful costumes. The prince and the princess sing, dance and dramatize in this re-enactment that also features sword fights between the Christian and the Moros. The two day performance proceeds to the streets, followed by the audience, till they reach the house of the Hermanos and Hemanas where the search ends and culminates in a procession.
  • Divine Shepherdess – celebrated every May 1st. The miracles of the Divine Shepherdess has attracted the attention of the church authorities that on April 26, 1964, she was crown queen at the church plaza thereby making Gapan an official pilgrimage city where her graces would flourish for those who visit Gapan.