Capalonga, officially the Municipality of Capalonga, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Camarines Norte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 32,215 people.
Founded as a missionary post, Capalonga was attached to the parish administration of Paracale. It was in 1634 when it was separated and created as another parish. The first church was dedicated to Jesus the Nazarene. Due to scarcity of priests, the parish was neglected in 1661. In 1681, with the ever-growing spiritual needs of the parishioners, the Franciscan Friars once more took the parish under their care. A second saint was adopted by the people, St. Lucy, a Virgin and a martyr, after many miraculous cures were attributed to her. In the town’s fiesta celebration every May 13, St. Lucy is always a part of the procession. During the fiesta, many from the neighbouring towns come. Chinese from Manila and other devotees flock to this town.
The natives and the Spaniards who first settled here chose an area between the rivers of Kit-bigan and Kamagsaan for their settlement. It was first called "Capalongang Matanda" and became the Poblacion and trading center. Today, it is renamed to Barangay San Isidro.
As to origin of the town’s name, it was first called Capalongan arising from the fact that its rich soil is most conductive to the growth of a shrub with colorful flowers. The flower resembles the cock’s comb and is called Palong in Bicol. Also, the general shape of the town is like that of a cock’s comb. The Spaniards were tongue-twisted with the name and was only able to call it Capalonga. However, the name caught popularity and so remains the name of the town. In his book, F. Mallari, S. J., says:
In 1972, Luis Nee, one of the scientists of the Alejandro Malaspina scientific expedition noted the abundance of various kinds of Balatan (sea cucumber, sea slug, trepang)
In 1810, Capalonga suffered a most unique disaster. The baluartes (an earthwork or fortified rampart) palisados and the whole town were razed by fire coming from the church. Four cannons and 4 muskets which the town depended on as their defense against the Moros were also destroyed. The people presented to their Alkalde Mayor Francisco Xavier de Velasco the melted metal and asked him for replacement. The Alkalade promised but nothing happened.
The Capalongans were courageous and fought their invaders but for lack of arms they were helpless. In 1818, the Moros came again as one of the captives who returned told the people that they (Moros) will return in the coming year with greater force.
The report earnestly begged the Alkalde to have pity on his unhappy subjects, for the loss of Capalonga would be a serious public harm. It was a transit point for dispatches, a haven for passenger ships harassed by Moro pirates or menaced by rough weather. Given the arms, the Capalonga promised to do battle with loyalty annnndf piety against all the Majesty’s adversaries.
Capalonga is politically subdivided into 22 barangays. In 1955, the sitio of Ilayang Basiad was converted into the barrio of San Pedro.
- Del Pilar
- Old Camp
- San Antonio
- San Isidro
- San Roque
- Villa Aurora
- Villa Belen
|Population census of Capalonga|
|Source: Philippine Statistics Authority|
In the 2015 census, the population of Capalonga was 32,215 people, with a density of 110 inhabitants per square kilometre or 280 inhabitants per square mile.
- Itok Falls - Located 4 km. west of the town with fresh and lush foliage and vegetation.
- Bangka-bangka Falls-Located at Barangay Catabaguangan.It is being called as Bangka-bangka(Boat),because of its boat-like shape.
- Albino Beach-Located at sitio Talagpucao Barangay Catioan with relaxing smooth waves and fine sand.
- Mount Samat-Located at Barangay Alayao. This mountain is covered by the undiscovered species of ferns, orchids, etc. There are also falls with fresh cold clear water.
- Festivals and Cultural Entertainments
- Feast of the Black Nazarene (May 13) - The town Fiesta in honor of the Black Nazarene draws devotees from all over the country. The image is said to be miraculous and its feast is particularly celebrated by Chinese businessmen, who pay annual homage and ask for long life and good fortune.
- Palong Festival (May 10–13) - Highlighted by colorful streetdancing and agro-industrial fair which expresses the local folks’ gratitude for their town’s name’s etymology, and signifies the abundant presence of "Palong Manok" (rooster's comb plant) available in the locality. Held also in celebration of the Black Nazarene’s Feast Day on May 13 at the town of Capalonga.
SOURCE: Camarines Norte Museum Archived Shrine and Curation Division