PAGADIAN CITY is the capital city in the province of Zamboanga Del Sur, Philippines and the regional center of the Zamboanga Peninsula. It is known as the “Little Hong Kong of the South”.
The first inhabitants of the city are the Subanon tribe along its riverbanks and eventually, Muslims settled the coastal areas which is now the communities of Muricay, Tawagan Sur and was named “Talpokan” meaning a place with abundant springs.
The city name was said to derive from “Pangadye-an” meaning a place to be prayed for since a large number of settlers at that time died of malaria. Another version of the name says that a group of people arrived at an unknown place of the Zamboanga and was able to reach the royal place of Datu Macaumbang where natives met them. The visitors asked the natives about the name of the place; however, they were also looking at a flock of birds then and said “Gagadian”. The natives thought the strangers were asking them about the name of the birds, thus they also responded “Gagadian”.
Pagadian is first known as a Sitio of Margosatubig. However, the municipal of Labangan, Pagadian was created and the sitio became one its barrios. Then in 1934, Director Teofisto Guingona, Sr. was commissioned to find out the possibility of transferring the seat of government of the Labangan municipality to another place. A Conference was called together with the Datus and the proposed transfer of Labangan Government to Pagadian was largely opposed by the Christian group. Later on the designated committee led by Datu Balimbingan and with the consent of Datu Macaumbang surveyed the western part of “PAGADIAN” and found “TOLPOKAN” as the final place for the transfer of Labangan Government. At the same time, Datu Macaumbang donated two hundred sixty hectares of land to Christians who were willing to transfer to Pagadian. With this recommendation on March 23, 1937 by virtue of Executive Order no. 77 of the late President Manuel L. Quezoncreated the Pagadian municipality.
Then on June 6, 1952 by virtue of Republic Act No. 711, Zamboanga was divided into into two provinces: Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Del Norte. It was on September 17, 1952 when the Province of Zamboanga del Sur was formally approved and Pagadian became its capital town. Pagadian became a chartered city on June 21, 1969 by virtue of Republic Act No. 5478.
The city is situated in the northeastern side of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur in the Island of Mindanao. The City has a total land area of 33,380 hectares or 333.80 square kilometers, and bounded by municipalities of Midsalip, Labangan, Lakewood, Dumalinao and Tigbao.
Pagadian’s urban population is estimated to be 72,986 or 58% of the total population while the rural areas has a total population of 52,196 or 42%. Overall total population is approximately 125,182 as of the year 1995. Growth rate is said to be 3.75 persons per hectare or 375 persons per square kilometer.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The main economic resource of the city comes from agriculture with the production of rice, corn, coconut, fruit and root crops. Special programs are provided to its townsfolk such as plant-now-pay later program, grains production enhancement program, and the City Livelihood Development Assistance Program (CILDAP) that extends loans to farmers. Production of livestock such as hogs, goats, cows and poultry production has also increased.
The Pagadian Bay and Illana Bay also serves as a fishing ground and culture for seaweeds and other variety of fish species, crabs and prawns. Another added income is the mining area located one and a-half (1 ½) kilometers southeast of Barangay Lison Valley proper approximately forty-nine kilometers from the city proper with gold, copper and molybdenum find. The city also has other business establishments such as ice plant and cold storage facilities, construction firms, community and personal services.
Pagadian City has two pronounced seasons which is the dry season from January to March and rainy season from months of April to December. The area does not experience typhoons due to its geographic location.
Pagadian City products are seaweeds, coco processing, cassava; manufacture of furnitures and decors made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, steel and plastic; handicrafts made out of bamboo, rattan, coco shell, wood, marine shell, ceramics, and weaving.
ARTS & CULTURE
The city celebrates various festivities such as:
City Charter Day –This is celebrated on June 21 yearly in commemoration of the city’s becoming a chartered city.
Parochial City Fiesta –This fiesta is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January in honor of Sto.Niño showcasing a colorful Zambulawan festival, fluvial parade, trade exhibits, a Pagadian beauty pageant, carnival shows, sports competitions, and civic military parade.
On November 2, 1971, the Diocese of Pagadian was created and is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz and the patron is Santo Niño. The diocese now has 24 parishes and covers a population of 711,244 in which 72% is Catholics. It also has 43 diocesan priests, 11 foreign missionaries, and 10 congregations of religious sisters working in different apostolate and ministries.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Pagadian City is politically subdivided into 54 barangays:
San Francisco (Pob.)
San Jose (Pob.)
San Pedro (Pob.)
Santa Lucia (Pob.)
This beach is 2 kilometers away from the city proper, ideal for fishing and swimming. Coral reefs can also be found here.
This place is just 32 kilometers from the city proper. Tourists can take a bath in here and enjoy the scenic spot.
This falls is 7 kilometers away from Pagadian Poblacion. This is a two-layered cascading fall surrounded by huge trees and a home to white monkeys.
This mountain is located in Barangay Lison Valley, 42 kilometers away from the city proper. It features virgin forests inhabited by monkeys and gorillas.
MOUNT SUSONG DALAGA
This semi-perfect cone mountain can be found in Barangay Lourdes, 32 kilometers from Pagadian City.
The falls can be found in Labangan town, 12 kilometers away from the city proper. This is the main water source from the Labangan irrigation system. This place is ideal for picnic and camping.
The best way to go to Pagadian City is fly to Cebu City and from Cebu take a Mindanao Express flight to Pagadian or take a fast ferry to Dipolog (8 hours boat ride) or Ozamiz (4 hours drive to Pagadian) and from those cities take a bus ride to Pagadian. You can also fly from Manila to Dipolog and from Dipolog take a 10 hours drive to Pagadian via Ozamiz.
Pagadian can also be accessed via major bus companies.
Pagadian City port is located in the central part of the city with seven shipping lines operating and serving both passengers and for cargoes. The city is also accessible from Zamboanga City and Cotabato.