Naga, Camarines Sur
City of Naga
Ciudad nin Naga
Lungsod ng Naga
Nickname(s): Heart of Bicol; An Maogmang Lugar (The Happy Place) Motto: Uswag, Naga! (Progress, Naga!) Camarines Sur showing the location of Naga City Coordinates: Coordinates: Country Philippines Region Bicol Province Camarines Sur District 3rd Barangays 27 Incorporated (Town) 1573 (formerly Nueva Caceres) Incorporated (City) June 18, 1948 Government – City Councilors Councilor Cecilia Veluz-De Asis (LP)
Councilor Nelson S. Legacion (LP)
Councilor Esteban R. Abonal (LP)
Councilor Jose A. Tuason (LP)
Councilor Ma. Elizabeth Q. Lavadia (LP)
Councilor David Casper Nathan A. Sergio (LP)
Councilor Salvador M. Del Castillo (LP)
Councilor Ray-an Cydrick G. Rentoy (LP)
Councilor Joaquin F. Perez, Jr. M.D. (LP)
Councilor Raoul Rosales (LP)
Councilor Alex Nero (ABC President)
Councilor Paolo Morales (SKF President)
Area – Total 84.48 km2 (32.6 sq mi) Population (2010) – Total 170,000 (second largest in Bicol) – Density 2,012/km2 (3,238 (highest in Bicol)/sq mi) Time zone PST (UTC+8) ZIP code 4400 Area code(s) 54 Income Class 1st Class Classification Independent Component City Website www.naga.gov.ph
The City of Naga (Bikol: Ciudad nin Naga, Maogmang Naga; Filipino: Lungsod ng Naga) is a first class independent component city in the Philippines. Naga is 377 kilometres south-east of Manila, the nation's capital, and about 380 kilometres north-east of Cebu City
Naga is the "Heart of Bicol" being the commercial, financial, religious and cultural center of the Bicol region. Residents of the City are called Nagueños.
Naga City is at the core of Metro Naga, an unofficial designation given the City and 14 municipalities in the area administered by the Metro Naga Development Council. MNDC covers the entire 2nd district of the province of Camarines Sur, and part of its 1st, 3rd and 4th districts.
Before the coming of Spanish conquerors, Naga was already a flourishing village along the banks of the Naga River. It was an important village with comparatively sophisticated weaponry and surprisingly advanced culture.
For hundreds of years during the Spanish colonial era, the Naga that we know now was the center of trade, education and culture, and the seat of governmental and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Bicol and parts of modern Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.
In 1573, on his second expedition to this region, the conquistador Juan de Salcedo landed in a village and named it "Naga" because of the abundance of Narra trees ("Naga" in Bikol) in the place, although some local historians now believe the term naga came from a similar word found in the languages of the Bataks of Sumatra and the Dayaks of Borneo, meaning "serpent/dragon". The same word is found in other Philippine languages and according to local historian Danilo Gerona, the ancient Tagalogs and Pampangos used a decorative figurehead on the prows of their seacrafts in the shape of the head of a dragon or snake which they called naga. In 1575, Captain Pedro de Chávez, the commander of the garrison left behind by Salcedo, founded on the site of the present business centre (across the river from the original Naga) a Spanish city which he named La Ciudad de Cáceres, in honor of Francisco de Sande, the governor-general and a native of the city of Cáceres in Spain. It was still by this name that it was identified in the papal bull of August 14, 1595 that erected the See of Cáceres, together with those of Cebú and Nueva Segovia, and made it the seat of the new bishopric under the Archdiocese of Manila.
In time, the Spanish city and the native village merged into one community and became popularly known as Nueva Cáceres, to distinguish it from its namesake in Spain. It had a city government as prescribed by Spanish law, with an ayuntamiento and cabildo of its own. At the beginning of the 17th century, there were only five other ciudades in the Philippines. Nueva Cáceres remained the capital of the Ambos Camarines provinces and later of the Camarines Sur province until the formal creation of the independent chartered city of Naga under the Philippine Republic.
The bishops of Cáceres occupied a unique place in the Philippine Catholic hierarchy during most of the Spanish regime. By virtue of the papal bull of Gregory XIII, ecclesiastical cases originating in the Spanish East Indies, which ordinarily were appealable to the Pope, were ordered to be terminated there and no longer elevated to Rome. Decisions of bishops were made appealable to the archbishop and those of the latter to the bishop of the nearest see. Thus, in the Philippines, the decisions of the Archbishop of Manila were subject to review by the Bishop of Cáceres whose jurisdiction then extended from the whole Bicol region, the island-province of Marinduque and the present-day Aurora, which was once part of the former Tayabas province, which is now the province of Quezon. In this sense, bishops of Bikol were delegates of the Pope and could be considered primates of the Church of the Philippines.
This was the reason why bishops of Cáceres and archbishops of Manila were sometimes engaged in interesting controversies in the sensational Naga case and in such issues as canonical visitation and the secularization of the parishes. As papal delegate, Bishop Francisco Gaínza, then concurrent bishop of Cáceres, sat in the special ecclesiastical tribunal which passed upon the civil authorities' petition to divest Fathers Burgos, Gómez, and Zamora of their priestly dignity. Gaínza did not only refuse the petition but also urged their pardon.
With the advent of the American rule, the city was reduced to a municipality. In 1919, it lost its Spanish name and became officially known as Naga. It acquired its present city charter in 1948, and its city government was inaugurated on December 15 of the same year by virtue of Republic Act No. 305. Rep. Juan Q. Miranda sponsored this legislative act which put flesh into the city's bid to become among the only few independent component cities in the country.
Situated at the center of the Bikol peninsula and surrounded on all sides by rich agricultural, forest and fishing areas, Naga is also at the confluence of the Naga and Bikol Rivers. Thus, it has always been an ideal place for trade and as center for schools, church and government offices.
Naga City is the center of education in Bicol due to the presence of numerous academic institutions including three universities, namely: the Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU), the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), and the Universidad de Santa Isabel (USI).
The Ateneo de Naga University is the Jesuit university in Bicol. ADNU is the first university in the Philippines to achieve PAASCU Institutional Accreditation, on top of its Autonomous Status, Level III Status, and its Center of Excellence in Teachers Education, Center of Development in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology. Accredited by PAASCU since 1979, making it one of the best universities in the country. It has consistently produced top animators in the country since it launched its Bachelor's Degree in Animation. The university also gave birth to the very first Bicolano Jesuit priest, Father Juan Bonafe, S.J.
The University of Nueva Caceres is the region's largest university in terms of enrolment. It is also the very first university in Southern Luzon outside Manila. The university is the top-ranked law school in the region, consistently producing Bar passers. John Michael F. Galauran graduated from the university in the said field, garnering the fifth highest spot in the 2007 Philippine Bar examinations.
A university in the making is the Naga College Foundation. It is the leading Criminology school in the region. It has produced a topnotcher in the National Police Commission Examinations and the Criminologist Licensure Exams throughout the years (Top 3 Criminology School in the Philippines, 1993; Alex Pederio, 1999; Henry Navarro, 7th place, 1999; Noel Cabral, 6th placer, 2002; Romeo Caballero, 8th placer, 2002; Xavier Mirasol, 11th place, 2004; Frederick R. Eboña, National 2nd Placer, Licensure Board Examination 2009). Naga College Foundation's Nursing and Health Sciences Department also Produced a number of topnotchers in Nursing as well as Midwifery(Asther de la Cruz, National 3rd Placer, Midwifery, 2001; Leslie Guerra, National 6th Placer, Nursing, 2005, Neri Grace Zapata National 11th Placer, Nursing, 2008; Florian Maureen Palma, 3rd Placer Nationwide Midwives Licensure Examination 2009 and 15th Placer Nationwide Nursing Board Exam; Clarissa Leonor Tible Escober, 4th Placer Nationwide Nursing Board Exam 2009) as well as being the Top performing nursing school in Bicol since 2003; 100% passing rate, 1997;
The Philippine Women's University also has its Career Development and Continuing Education Center in the city, while the University of the Philippines opened its Open University in USI to cater to distant-education students. The Bicol College of Arts and Trade, now Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, has also a large student base in the city. Arch. Antonio Imperial III, who placed 2nd in the 2007 Architecture Board Exam, is a graduate of this school.
The biggest secondary school in the region is also located in the city. Government-run Camarines Sur National High School has always registered over 10,000 enrollees every school year.
The oldest specialized live-in Christian higher educational institute for the clergy in the country is also found in Naga City. Established in the early part of the 18th century, the Holy Rosary Seminary (El Seminario del Santissimo Rosario), a Roman Catholic seminary run by the Archdiocese of Caceres, has produced 22 bishops, including the first Filipino bishop, Jorge Barlin, and the first Filipino Cardinal to work in the Roman Curia, Jose Cardinal Sanchez. It has richly contributed as well to the national heritage through Jose Ma. Panganiban and Tomas Arejola and 7 of the 15 Bikol Martyrs. On January 29, 1988, the National Historical Institute declared the Holy Rosary Seminary as a National Historical Landmark.
One of the leading maritime schools in the country, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, has two campuses in Metro Naga, one along Panganiban Drive and another in Canaman, a suburban town.
The first PAASCU-accredited parochial school in the Philippines can also be found in Naga City. The Naga Parochial School has a big number of alumni priests (63 as of 2007 with 3 bishops) in the city. This is an exclusive Catholic school for boys in the city with Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi as chair of the Board Trustees. Well-known personalities such as the late Sen. Raul S. Roco, Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, Justice Francis E. Garchitorena, Gov. Luis R. Villafuerte, Jaime Fabregas, Jonathan Dela Paz Zaens and other leaders of the community are graduates of NPS.
The biggest group of Montessori schools in the Bicol region is also based in Naga City. Arborvitae Plains Montessori, Inc. (formerly Casa Dei Bambini Montessori), a Montessori school with eleven branches spread all over Camarines Sur, Bacolod, and Masbate, offers preschool (Early Childhood Education), elementary and secondary (Business High School) education according to the Montessori method modified for the Philippine curriculum.
There are currently 2 Filipino - Chinese schools there,Saint Joseph  School(SJS) and Hope Christian School.
The Village Montessori in San Leandro St. is the only school in the Bicol Region that offers the real Montessori method which follows the continuous progression curriculum of the American Montessori System.
All existing schools in the city, including those already named above, offer computer courses. Specialized computer schools have also mushroomed in the city due to popularity of computer courses, both degree and short-term. AMA, which has two branches in the city, and STI College are among the more competitive and well-known computer school chains in the country that have established campuses in the city. Other specialized computer schools include Worldtech Resources Institute (WRI), Philippine Computer Foundation College (PCFC) and CCDI.
Tutorial and review centers also abound in the city. Some of the well-known review centers are Art Review Center, Edgeworth Review Center, and AimOne Review Center. Tutorial centers such as Asiawise Study Center, which is located along Barlin St. (near Naga Cathedral), also offer review programs for UP and other college entrance tests, Philippine Science High School qualifying exam, and Law Aptitude Exam. Asiawise Study Center's tutors and lecturers are from UP and other leading schools in the country.
Naga City Science High School was established in Naga City in 1994.
In 2006, Naga won the Philippines' Most Business-Friendly City award for the third consecutive year, thus being elevated to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries' Hall of Fame.
Naga City has several commercial business districts (CBDs). In addition, it has three shopping malls, three lifestyle centers, plus a number of strip malls scattered at the heart of CBD-I, popularly known as Centro.
SM City Naga is a shopping mall owned and operated by SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall owner and operator in the Philippines. The mall is located in CBD II, Brgy. Triangulo, Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. It is the first SM Supermall in the Bicol Region and the first SM Supermall to open in 2009.SM broke ground last June 2007 for its first mall in Bicol located at the city's second CBD and started the construction last December 2007. The mall costs about more than PhP 700 million and consists of two buildings, the main mall and the carpark building. The mall's gross floor area is at 73,300 square meters and its gross leasable area is at 40,000 square meters.
Avenue Square along Magsaysay Avenue is Bicol's first and premier lifestyle center. It has an ultra-modern 800-seat convention center (Avenue Convention Plaza); a resto-music bar which serves as the "bootcamp" of aspiring local artists (Lolo's Music Bar); restaurants (Max's Restaurant, Naga Oriental Wok, Shakey's, Little Adam Sia and Maki Yaki Japanese Restaurant); a specialty coffee shop (The Coffee Beanery); dermatology clinic (Skin Systems); European salon (David's Salon); Australian footwear (Crocs) and a nationwide franchising drugstore (Mercury Drug), among other well-known stores.It also have the fastest growing bakery in BREAD TO GO with 2 branches 1 in terminal entrance and another in Naga city subdivision.
Avenue Plaza Hotel, Bicol's pioneering boutique hotel, also located along Magsaysay Avenue right behind Avenue Square, had a grand opening in October 2007. The hotel is operating on a four-star rating.
West Park, another lifestyle center also in Magsaysay Avenue, houses a coffee shop (Mocha Blends) and a Japanese fastfood restaurant (Tokyo Tokyo).
Cereza, the newest lifestyle center along Magsaysay Avenue, mostly houses restaurants, including Kopi Roti, Red Platter, etc.
LCC Central Mall - Naga and Nagaland eMall, housing Robinsons Supermarket are the city's other major shopping malls. Bichara Theater Mall; Emily Arcade; Divisoria Mall; and Paseo de Caceres, which has a Chinese-themed Roman Catholic chapel - Navidad de Naga Chapel - are just some of the city's strip malls.
A number of restaurants, bars and bistros are found along Magsaysay Avenue, dubbed as Naga City's "Malate District". Bob Marlin, Grilling Point, Red Platter, Molino Grill, ClubM8, and are just some of the few exciting joints found there. Aside from these restobars that seem to sprout everywhere in Naga, numerous popular fastfood chain outlets abound like Jollibee, McDonald's,
Puregold Inc is set to open its doors to the city early 2011. It will be located in the existing ALDP Mall along Diversion Road.
Philippine Seven Corp., franchise holder of the 7-11 Convenience Store in the Philippines, is set to open seven branches in the city.
The Ayala group is set to start its construction of the Pueblo in 2011 in CBD II. The Robinsons Malls group is said to be looking for possible location in the city.
Banking and Finance
Naga City has over 50 bank branches. The city hosts the regional offices of Philippine National Bank, Metrobank, RCBC, Allied Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands and the Philippine Postal Savings Bank. A number of banks have several branches in the city, like MetroBank, RCBC, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and BDO UniBank. A leading thrift bank, RCBC Savings Bank, enjoys wide patronage of both Filipino and Chinese businessmen. Robinsons Bank of the Gokongwei group has also set up its branch in the city. One of the biggest rural banks in the country, Bank of Makati, is also found in the city. Two small albeit very active banks, Asia United Bank and Philippine Farmers Bank, are the two latest banks to open in the city. Meanwhile Banco de Oro opened their fourth branch in the city at the Seaoil Mega Station along Magsaysay Avenue.
Transportation and Communication
Naga City is easily accessible by air and land. The city is served by the Naga (WNP) National Airport which is located in the provincial capital of Pili. Flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Pili takes approximately 35–40 minutes. Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines fly directly from NAIA three and two times a day, respectively. By land, Naga is a 7- to 8-hour ride from Manila via Quirino & Andaya Highways or 10 hours via the Maharlika Highway. It is approximately 22 hours from Cebu City with ferry transfers in Sorsogon, the southernmost province of the Bicol peninsula. Daily rail services to and from Manila were provided by the Philippine National Railways but these were temporarily discontinued due to systems upgrading.
They are many buses Fivestar, DLTB, GV Florida Transport and Viron Transit going to Sorsogon and Tacloban.
Naga is well-served by several telephone and mobile phone companies. Bayantel and Digitel are the main telephone operators in the city. Other companies which compete keenly for the city's telecommunications market have also put up calling stations scattered all over the city. These are PLDT, PT&T, among others. Major mobile phone operators Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular enjoy wide patronage.
ABS-CBN Corporation had expanded its network in Bicol by putting up ABS-CBN Naga which operates ABS-CBN channel 11 Naga, Studio 23 channel 23 Naga, and MOR!. Local shows such as TV Patrol Bicol, Marhay na Aga Kapamilya and MAGTV Oragon are aired in the whole region via ABS-CBN Regional Network Group which is also stationed in the city. ABC5 also airs shows in the city through its affiliate station People's Broadcasting Network (PBN TV 5 Naga). GMA Network's GMA channel 7 and GMA News TV channel 28 is also available.
Naga City has the most number of radio stations of any locality in the region, some of which operate 24 hours daily. These include MOR 93.5 FM Naga, RMN DWNX-FM, GMA's Campus Radio 101.5 Naga. The city's cable and satellite TV companies include Naga Cable TV and Caceres Cable TV and SkyCable is also available.
- Bicol Broadcasting System: Channel 2
- PBN Bicol: Channel 5
- GMA Network: Channel 7
- National Broadcasting Network: Channel 8
- ABS-CBN: Channel 11
- Studio 23: Channel 24
- Kingdom Broadcasting Network: Channel 26
- GMA News TV: Channel 28
- Radio Mindanao Network:Channel 32
- Global News Network: Channel 48
- DWRB - 567 Radyo ng Bayan
- DWLV - 603 Bicol Broadcasting System
- DWRN - 657 Radyo Pilipino
- DZLW - 711 Radyo Isarog
- DWNW - 756 IBC Radio
- DZGE - 855 Radyo Numero Uno
- DWAR - 891 Radyo Oragon
- DWMT - 981 DZRH Naga
- DZNG - 1044 Bombo Radyo
- DWLN - 88.7 Lite Hitz (soon)
- DZTR - 89.5 The Beat
- DWMY - 90.3 Star FM (Off air)
- DWNX - 91.1 RMN Naga
- DZLR - 91.9 Mixx FM (Off air)
- DWAC - MOR 93.5
- DWQJ - 95.1 Home Radio
- DZRB - 95.9 Mom's Radio (Now 95.9 WavFM)
- DWKZ - 96.7 Kiss FM
- DZOK - 7.5 OK FM Naga
- DWRV - 98.3 The Mother's Touch
- DWYN - 99.1 Love Radio
- DWEB - 99.9 WEB (now in Nabua, Camarines Sur)
- DWNS - 100.7 Lips FM (non-operational)
- DWQW - 101.5 Campus Radio
- DWOS - 103.1 Magic FM
- DWXN - 103.9 Astig FM (soon)
- DWQN - 104.7 Power 104 (Off air)
- DWNN - 105.5 Radio Pinoy (soon)
- DWBQ - [106.3 Energy FM]
Colonial Spain influence
The city celebrates the Feast of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Patroness of the Bicol Region, starting second Friday of September each year. The start of the feast, which is the largest Marian devotion in the country, is signalled by a procession (called Traslacion) which transfers the centuries-old image of the Blessed Virgin Mary from its shrine at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore to the 400-year old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. Coinciding with nine days of novena prayer at the cathedral, the city celebrates with parades, pageants, street parties, singing contests, exhibits, concerts, and other activities. Finally, on the third Saturday of September, the image is returned shoulder-borne by so-called voyadores to the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia via the historic Naga River.
The city is the center of Roman Catholicism in the region since it is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres whose jurisdiction covers five suffragan dioceses -- Legazpi, Daet, Masbate, Sorsogon, Virac and Libmanan. The city is also the seat of the Primate of the Bicol region.
This dominant faith is supported by the presence of old and influential Catholic institutions, from universities to churches run by different religious orders, notably the Ateneo de Naga University by the Jesuits; the Universidad de Sta. Isabel by the Daughters of Charity; the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, the mother of all cathedrals in Bicol; Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, home to the Image of the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia; Peñafrancia Shrine; and Our Lady of Peñafrancia Museum. Moreover, every September each year for the past 300 years and still counting, the city has hosted and continues to host the country's largest Marian devotion in the country, if not in the whole Asia, the annual 10-day Peñafrancia Festivities.
Other religions are represented by Iglesia ni Cristo,;(INC) whose imposing church is a landmark itself along Panganiban Drive, Members Church of God International popularly known as Ang Dating Daan (ADD), Seventh Day Adventist and Bible Baptist whose churches are located along Magsaysay Avenue; while other Christians go to the Methodist Church which is among the old structures along Peñafrancia Avenue. There is also a medium concentration of Jesus Miracle Crusade in the City.
Islam, Buddhism and Other Faiths
Major religions not to be left out are Islam, with their own place of worship at Greenland, Concepcion Pequeña; Hinduism, with their temple along Basilica Road, Balatas; and Taoism, with their shrine along Lerma Street, Triangulo.
According to the Department of Tourism arrival statistics in Bicol, Naga City and Camarines Sur combined are the top tourist destination in Region V, outclassing the province of Albay/Legazpi tandem. The province registered a total of 258,608 visitors from January to December 2006 133,604 visitors in Albay/Legazpi on the same period. The Bicol's premier city and province have jointly breached that mark, posting 350,944 tourist arrivals for the period of January to September 2007 alone. A remarkable increase of 114%. Tourist arrivals in Albay and Legazpi combined only recorded a total of 126,897 for the same period or only an 18% improvement from last year's record.
The Camarines Sur and Naga City tandem is without doubt, the new tourist hub in the Bicol Region. Naga City and CamSur was described in the newest edition on Lonely Planet traveller's guide as "Luzon's best kept secret". The regional office of the Department of Tourism attributed the increase to the full operation of the world class Camarines Sur Watersports Complex in the town of Pili and Naga City's sustained tourism intervention program.
For the year 2010, the province of Camarines Sur drew more foreign and domestic tourists, besting perennial favorites like Metro Manila, Cebu and Boracay to become the top tourism destination in the country, according to official government data.
All told, a total of 2.33 million visitors came to the province in 2010, drawn mainly to the Camsur Watersports Complex, the Caramoan Islands and to the pilgrimage event of naga city, the Peñafrancia Festival.
The January-December 2010 reports of Department of Tourism (DoT) regional offices, local tourism offices and accommodation establishments showed that CamSur posted the biggest arrival volume in the province’s history with 2,330,116 foreign and domestic visitors. It was followed by Metro Manila with 2,296,475 visitors; Cebu, 1,772,234; and Boracay, 779,666. (Beauty of the Philippines, August 25, 2011)
Other suggestions for those who would like to have a nature getaway will be the Mini Hydro Hot Springs at Brgy. Panicuason and Magic Splash Resort along Carolina. The City of Naga will be most welcoming to tourists all over the world.
Some of the famous places and activities to visit include:
- The Peñafrancia Festival (September)
- Churches and monasteries
- Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
- Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine
- Peñafrancia Basilica Minore
- San Francisco Church
- St. Jude Churches in del Rosario
- Carmelite Church and Monastery
- Holy Rosary Major Seminary and Church
- Immaculate Conception Church
- Caritas Mariae Church in Pacol
- Christ the King Church, Ateneo de Naga Univ.
- Holy Cross Parish Church, Barangay Tabuco
- Sports and Recreation
- Mt. Isarog trekking and mountain biking
- Malabsay Falls
- Mt. Isarog Hot Springs and resorts
- Magic Splash Resort and Hotel
- Mini Hydro Hot Spring Resort
- Metro Naga Sports Complex
- Cosmic Lanes
- Triple B Recreation Center
- Sakat Kadlagan
- Eco Park
- Naga City Coliseum (Big Dome of the South)
- Holy Rosary Minor Seminary Museum
- Penafrañcia Museum
- University of Nueva Caceres Museum
- Educational visit
- Universidad de Sta. Isabel
- Ateneo de Naga University (Bagumbayan and Pacol campuses)
- University of Nueva Caceres
- Naga City Science Centrum
- Nightlife and recreation
- Magsaysay strip
- Old CBD
An activity currently the trend and still gaining popularity in Naga is AirSoft. Regular games are held every weekend by NATO and other AS Teams.
Historical Landmarks in Naga City
The Naga City Police Station at Barlin Street
Site of the Cuartel General of the Guardia Civil in Camarines. It was constructed of granite blocks and wood in 1870, shortly after the Guardia Civil succeeded the Carabinera de Seguridad Publica in 1863.
During the mass arrests in September 1896, Florencio Lerma (who was also held in the Casino Español); Cornelio Mercado; Don Tomas Prieto, alcalde of Nueva Caceres; and Macatio Valentin were brought to and tortured in the cuartel by Civil Guards under the direction of Captain Francisco Andreu, chief of the Guardia Civil in Ambos Camarines, and Don Ricardo Lacosta, Spanish civil governor of the province. The horrific torture wrenched the first of two legally infirm confessions from the frail pharmacist Prieto which the authorities used as basis for the arrest, torture and prosecution of scores of Filipinos in the province, some of whom were also subsequently forced to sign fabricated confessions under extreme duress.
Around midnight of 18 September 1898, two European Guards, a responding Spanish voluntario, Captain Andreu, his wife and children died in the cuartel when Filipino Civil Guard corporals Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo led an uprising of Bicolano and Tagalog Guards in Nueva Caceres. The action resulted in the formal surrender of the Spanish colonial government in Camarines, after more bloodshed, to the Filipino forces on 19 September 1898. Ciudad de Nueva Caceres and the province of Ambos Camarines thus became the first in the Bicol Region to be liberated by arms after three centuries and before the arrival of General Emilio Aguinaldo’s republican army in the city.
On 1 September 1901, following the organization by Captain Edward S. Luthi of a Philippine Constabulary Detachment in Ambos Camarines, the cuartel became the PC provincial headquarters. The occupancy by the Constabulary was interrupted by World War II, but the Constabulary soon returned after the war that saw Naga liberated from the Japanese Occupation forces on 13 April 1945 by guerrillas of Camarines Sur before the combined Filipino-American forces got to Naga, at that time the capital town of the province.
On 30 March 1978 the century-old building, which was by then the headquarters of the defunct Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) in Camarines Sur. was totally razed by fire caused by faulty electrical wiring.
Site of the Casa Tribunal at Elias Angeles Street
Until 1839, the Casa Tribunal or “common house” at this site stood on grounds prone to flooding because of the Naga River that ran just behind the building. The river until that time veered rightwards just after the San Francisco Church, followed a course that is now roughly P. Burgos Street, then snaked left and ran roughly parallel to Elias Angeles Street until the river swerved eastward at the western end of Dinaga Street and continued into its present course.
Following Alcalde Mayor Manuel Esquivel y Castañeda’s project which rechanneled the twisting river into its present course and reclaimed the low-lying area from Padre Burgos and Dinaga, an improved, beautiful Casa Tribunal which provided free rooms to travelers stood on less soggy grounds in 1887. The Becerra Law of 12 November 1889 gave Nueva Caceres and six other principal towns in the Philippines the authority to organize their ayuntamiento similar to those in municipalities in Spain. The ayuntamiento in Nueva Caceres transacted official business in the Casa Tribunal. On 19 May 1893, the Maura Law changed the name Tribunal del Pueblo to Tribunal Municipio, and in Nueva Caceres people began to refer to the elegant ayuntamiento edifice of bricks and wood at the site as the municipio.
During the American colonial regime and the Commonwealth period, the building became the Municipal Presidencia. Destroyed by American bombs in World War II, it could not be immediately rebuilt as the city hall of the new city government of Naga due to a technicality. It was eventually rebuilt as a smaller wooden building that became the city police headquarters. After the century-old Spanish cuartel being used by the PC-INP burned down in 1978, the city government constructed a new building at the cuartel site which housed the Naga City Police Department. The former police headquarter building on this site became the Naga City Library until the latter’s transfer to its new, modern building in the City Hall complex.
Site of the Casino Español, corner Elias Angeles and Arana Streets
On this site stood the Casino Español, a spacious building of piedra china and wood that served as the social and recreational center of the male Spanish population of Nueva Caceres and neighboring towns.
Following the discovery of the Katipunan in Manila in August 1896, the Spaniards in Nueva Caceres organized themselves into homeguards and called their group the Cuerpo de Voluntarios. Patterning themselves after the Cuerpo Casino Español in Manila, the local volunarios made the Casino Español their headquarters.
When Civil Governor Ricardo Lacosta ordered to mass arrest all over Camarines starting in September 1896, the Casino Español became one of several holding areas for harsh interrogation and violent torture. Among those taken to the Casino were Antonio Arejola, Camilo Jacob (from the infirmary of the San Francisco Church), Florencio Lerma (who was subsequently transferred to the nearby Cuartel General of the Guardia Civil), Macario Melgarejo, Mariano Ordenanza and Manuel Pastor, and from Daet, Roman Cabesudo, Ponciano Caminar, Diego Liñan, Valentin Lipana, Gregorio Luyon, Adriano Pajarillo, and Pedro Zenarosa. Many arrests were made on mere denunciation by Spaniards in meetings in the Casino.
Two years after, in 1898, enraged Nagueños violently trashed the clubhouse during the bloody uprising led by Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo.
During the American regime, the building was acquired by pharmacist Julian de las Herras. American bombs destroyed it in World War II.
Site of the Casa Real at General Luna Street
By 1588, the Casa Real stood at this site. It was made of light indigenous materials and was the residence of the Alcaldo Mayor of Caceres who had jurisdiction over the entire Bicol Peninsula and Catanduanes. The building faced the Naga River which followed a course much nearer to it and remained so for two-and-a-half centuries.
In 1655, the Casa Real was of bricks and lime. The Alcalde Mayor still resided in the building. His jurisdiction had been delimited for more effective control to the geographical area roughly corresponding to present-day Camarines Sur. But because Nueva Caceres was the capital of the province (which at various periods included Camarines Norte) the Alcalde Mayor or Civil Governor also thereby exercised administrative control over the Spanish city which included the pre-Hispanic native villages of Naga, Tabuco, Camaligan and Canaman.
By 1792, in the site which was still vulnerable to sudden flooding from the wayward Naga River and to fire from the flimsy native houses crowded around the edifice, the Casa Real had been constructed with more durable stone materials. After the river’s course was straightened and the area up to the present Plaza Rizal cleared of homes and elevated with earthfill by 1839, the Spanish civil government as well as church authorities undertook a spate of public works projects. One of these was a new government building that, by 1887, had replaced the nearly century-old Casa Real. By then it was more popularly referred to as Casa de Gobierno. To the south side of the new government house was the civil governor’s residence, the lot and building of which were later acquired by an American, Judge Robert Manley, during the Commonwealth period.
Slightly damaged like other Spanish-vintage buildings in the 1898 uprising by Filipinos in Nueva Caceres, the Casa de Gobierno was enlarged and remodeled under the American colonial regime following the cessation of the Filipino-American War in Camarines Sur in the early 20th century. This was the same architectural icon that the invading Japanese Army took over in 1942 and which an all-Filipino guerrilla force in Camarines Sur wrested back, for the second time in World War II, from the Imperial Army of Nippon on 13 April 1945 before the joint Filipino and American soldiers arrived. Damaged by American bombing raids, the edifice was reconstructed under the new Philippine Government and remained the provincial capitol building of Camarines Sur until a fire destroyed it on 26 June 1976.
Calle Via Gainza (Peñafrancia Avenue)
Peñafrancia Avenue was first known as Via Gainza in honor of Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P. (1863–1879), the 25th and considered by many to have been the greatest Spanish bishop of the See of Caceres.
Until around the second quarter of the 19th century, the thoroughfare was an unpaved road that stretched from the Peñafrancia Shrine in the present Barangay Peñafrancia to the San Francisco Church in front of what is now the Plaza de Quince Martires. Under his prelacy, Gainza widened and paved the road with stones and extended it to its present junction with the western end of Panganiban Drive that was then known as Calle Legaspi. Bishop Gainza’s design had the paved road with two outer lanes for opposing vehicular traffic and a middle lane for pedestrians.
Francisco Caracciolo Urreta Vizcaya de Gainza was born on 3 June 1818 in the city of Calahorra, province of Logroño, Spain. He joined the Dominican Order in 1833 and arrived on assignment to the Philippines in 1846. From a professorial chair in the University of Santo Tomas, he went on to hold various positions and assignments in and outside the country.
A month after he was consecrated bishop of Caceres at the Santo Domingo Church in Manila, he assumed his office in Nueva Caceres, on 19 March 1863. His episcopal rule saw the improvement of the Metropolitan Cathedral along with various churches in his See that at the time encompassed the Bicol Region and the eastern seaboard of Luzon up to Palanan, Isabela. He gave immediate, particular emphasis to the reconstruction and beautification of the Peñafrancia Shrine. A born linguist, he wrote the definitive history of the Patroness in the Bicol language in 1866. On that same year, he delivered his sermon in Bicol. An academic as much as a missionary, he had Fray Marcos Lisboa’s Vocabulario de la Lengua Bicol, long out of print since 1754, reprinted in 1865. The tome had been his basis for his study of the language
As Delegate of the Pope, a position he held concurrently as bishop of Caceres, he spoke out openly and joined the archbishop of Manila and the bishop of Cebu in refusing to defrock Fathers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora as formally requested by the Spanish government in the Philippines.
As an educator he reorganized the curriculum of what is now the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary and turned it into the premier educational institution in Southern Luzon that produced priests and bishops and lay Bicolano and Tagalog professionals up to the early part of the 20h century. His most visible legacy is the present Universidad de Santa Isabel which he established first as a primary school for girls in 1868, then as the first Normal College for women in the Philippines, called the Escuela Superior, in 1875.
On the same year that he opened the Escual Superior, he organized and successfully held in Nueva Caceres the first agricultural and industrial exposition ever in the Bicol Region. On a more lasting note, he extended the novenary in the Metropolitan Cathedral to Saturday, a practice observed to this day and opened with the annual traslaciom of the Lady of Peñafrancia down the length of Peñafrancia Avenue that once was named Via Gainza in his honor and memory. In the 1920s Via Gainza was shortened to that stretch up to Paz Street only; from Paz Street southward, it became Mabini Street.
Calle Real (Elias Angeles Street)
Calle Real was one of the earliest streets in Spanish Nueva Caceres. It was laid out at about the time that the Castilian settlement was established as a city towards the close of the 16th century.
Originally, Calle Real ran in a northwesterly direction. From the eastern end of present-day Caceres Street (originally Calle Padian) it skirted the western bank of the original course of the Naga River at the central downtown area. It ended just beyond the Casa Real, and was connected by an unpaved road (in the area of P. Burgos Street now) along the northern side of the same river to the San Francisco Church in the east.
By the first half of the 19h century, Calle Real had been reoriented and lengthened in a more northerly direction that it retains to the present. With the transfer and construction of the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Seminario Conciliar and the bishop’s palace at their present site in the 1820s, the Ciudad’s central area enlarged with the rechanneling of the Naga River two decades later and the Colegio de Santa Isabel built afterwards, the paved Calle Real provided a wide and impressive avenue to which the road from Magarao, then called Camino para Nueva Caceres, linked up through the street that by 1899 would be called Bagumbayan.
Calle Real figured as a historic backdrop to events of September 1898, not the least having been the establishment of the Revolutionary Filipino Government of Camarines headed by Elias Angeles in the Colegio which faces the same street that witnessed the early shedding of Castilian blood and on which a delegation of Spaniards less than twenty-fours later walked to formalize the capitulation and end of Spanish colonial rule in the province.
On 15 January 1929, the Municipal Council of Naga (the name which had replaced Nueva Caceres) unanimously passed a resolution asking the American Governor-General of the Philippines for authorization to conduct a drive for public voluntary contributions to fund the construction of a monument to Elias Angeles. Twenty-nine years later, in 1958, the proposal remained unacted. In the meantime, Calle Real had been renamed Calle Elias Angeles.
Calle de Legaspi (Western portion of Panganiban Drive)
Until the 1830s, this street did not exist. It was part of the marshy land of the pre-Hispanic village of Naga then bordered by the eastern bank of the Naga River. The river at that time followed a course that ran roughly parallel to the present-day Elias Street, from what is now P. Burgos Street, to the western end of Dinaga Street
By 1839 when the river had been straightened to its present course and the swampy land all the way to Dinaga had been filled up, a rudimentary road from the side of the ayuntamiento building known as the Municipio appeared. It served as a short cut from Calle Real to the new western bank of Rio Naga. A light bridge of wooden planks and bamboo railings provided the first direct link to the other side of the river, to the Camino Real that led to Pili and points beyond. Around 1850, a solidly constructed bridge replaced the wooden span. It eliminated the need for heavy, wheeled vehicles to take the roundabout way via Tabuco to reach the Camino Real in the Pueblo of Naga. Vehicular traffic through the short cut increased and it gained importance as a commercial artery. When the authorities during the second half of the 19th century began to improve roads and name them after illustrious Spaniards, the once lowly footpath became Calle de Legaspi.
Puente de Naga (Lt. Delfin Rosales Bridge)
Before Alcalde Mayor Manuel Esquivel undertook his reclamation project, the area bisected by the Rio Naga east of Calle Real was part of the Pueblo of Naga. At that time Naga was accessed from the Ciudad de Nueva Caceres by a bridge of wooden slabs at the river’s original bend south of the San Francisco Church. This bridge led to a road that is now approximately Balintawak Street and ran in a north to southwest direction to the Pueblo de Tabuco. Perpendicular to the road in Naga was the Camino Real going to Pili.
Following the completion of Esquivel’s project around 1839, the Camino Real was extended to the new eastern bank of Rio Naga while a road was laid out on the opposite side that became Calle de Legaspi. With the appropriation of government funds in 1844 for the construction of a sturdier link between the two points, the existing light bridge was replaced with a massively designed one of concrete in 1847. The bridge was named Puente de Naga, and until the early parts of the 20th century people referred to it by that name. In the 1920s the bridge was renamed in honor of Bicolano Jose Maria Panganiban, a leading light in the Propaganda Movement.
Following its passage by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on 18 October 1989, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo approved the ordinance that changed the name of the bridge to honor the memory of Lt. Delfin C. Rosales who sustained mortal wounds from enemy fire while rescuing a fallen guerrilla soldier on the bridge during one of the most significant events of the city’s history in the 20th century—the Battle for Naga in April 1945 by the combined Filipino and American soldiers.
Site of the House of Bicolano Martyr Tomas Prieto (Corner Panganiban Drive and Peñafrancia Avenue)
Around half a century after the reclamation of this land area bounded by the present Naga River on the east, P. Burgos Street on the north, and Elias Angeles Street on the west all the way down Dinaga to the river boundary with Tabuco on the south, Don Tomas Prieto acquired a residential lot on which he built a large house on this site. He allowed a poor Chinese to use a portion of the ground floor while he himself put up his pharmacy store that opened to present-day Peñafrancia Avenue and Panganiban Drive. His botica soon became a favorite meeting place for resident and visiting ilustrados. Gifted with a photographic memory, he entertained his friends and guests who included a Freemason and fellow pharmacist from Cavite, Victoriano Luciano, with verbatim recitations of passages and even chapters of politically banned publications, including Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Luciano was likewise executed by the Spaniards in 1896.
Born on 18 September 1867, Tomas Prieto was the youngest of six children of Dee Se Co, a Chinese from Amoy, China, who took the name Marcos Prieto upon his baptism, and Juana Antonio, a resident native of Nueva Caceres. He spent his early years in the family house which was then at Calle Padian in what is now a part of the Naga City public market. Following his studies in the Seminario Conciliar de Nueva Caceres, he went to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila where he earned a Bachiller en Artes degree. He took up further studies in pharmacy and passed the examinations with the highest grades (sobresalientes) in 1888.
Returning to Nueva Caceres, he put up the first and only botica in the province at that time. He had an inclination for politics and by 1895 he was alcalde (equivalent to mayor) of Nueva Caceres. He still held the position when Spanish voluntarios from the Casino Español arrested him in his fairly new residence late in the evening of 16 September 1896 following an incriminatory confession by Vicente Lukban to the authorities in Manila.
Pronounced guilty by a Spanish military tribunal of the trumped-up charge of rebellion as defined in Articles 229, 230 and 232 of the Codigo Penal para Filipinas, he was executed by firing squad at 7:00 o’clock in the morning of 4 January 1897 at Bagumbayan Field in Manila together with his elder brother, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Prieto, and nine others from Nueva Caceres, namely, Rev. Fr. Severino Diaz, Rev. Fr. Inocencio Herrera, Manuel Abella, Domingo Abella, Camilo Jacob, Florencio Lerma, Mariano Melgarejo, Cornelio Mercado, and Macario Valentin. On 11 November 1896, nearly two months before the trial took place, Don Tomas Prieto’s house on this site and the properties of others arrested and executed with him were confiscated by the government on grounds of rebellion and disloyalty. Don Tomas left behind him his wife, Filomena Pasion, a niece of Mariano Arana, another martyred Bicolano from Nueva Caceres, and four young children. He was twenty-nine years old.
San Francisco Church
The church and parish of San Francisco antedated the erection of the Diocese of Caceres in 1595 by nearly two decades.
Originally of bamboo and other light materials, the church was built in this present site on a north-south orientation. Its puerta mayor faced its parish, the pre-colonial pueblo of Naga which lay across the Naga River that at that time curved from its southerly course to a westerly direction before winding southward again alongside present-day Elias Angeles Street.
By the middle of the 17th century, a church of bricks and lime had been constructed. Nearly two centuries later, San Francisco lost a portion of its parish when the river, straightened to its present course to mitigate flooding in Nueva Caceres, established the new boundary between native Naga and the Ciudad de Españoles. The two were connected about a decade afterwards by the new Puente de Naga, but the new boundary later precipitated an ecclesiastical controversy that contributed to the death of Fr. Gabril Prieto and Fr. Severino Diaz.
In the mass arrests of September 1896, the infirmary and basement of the San Francisco parish house were used for the interrogation and torture of some of those arrested from Nueva Caceres to as far as Libmanan. Among the detainees were Mateo Antero, Leon Hernandez (who was transferred to the provincial jail where he died from more torture), Camilo Jacob (transferred to the Casino Español), Eugenio Ocampo, Severo Patrocinio, Pablo Perpetua (later also taken to the provincial jail), Celedonio Reyes, Juan Razonable, and Vicente Ursua.
The infirmary, convento, and the church itself became the refuge of some 500 men, women and children when the Filipino Guardia Civil contingent led by corporals Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo rose up in arms against the colonial government towards midnight of 18 September 1896. Following another attack by the Angeles-Plazo forces the next day, Civil Governor sent a letter from San Francisco offering to surrender the Province of Ambos Camarines to the Filipinos. In the afternoon of 19 September, a delegation of Spaniards signed the protocol of surrender in the Colegio de Santa Isabel, which became the seat of the new Filipino government of the province formed by Elias Angeles that same day.
Reduced to rubble by the heavy bombing of Naga in World War II, the church remained in ruins until the present new edifice was constructed.
Naga City is home to the two of the biggest hospitals in the Bicol Region. The government owned Bicol Medical Center and the Universidad de Sta. Isabel- Mother Seton Hospital, owned and operated by the Daughters of Charity.
Bicol Medical Center (BMC), used to be called Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) until it was upgraded by the Department of Health (DOH) into a full medical center in the early 1990s. Albay Provincial Hospital in Legazpi subsequently became the new BRTTH. Bicol Medical Center is the only training hospital in Bicol offering complete residency training programs accredited by the Philippine Medical Association’s component society in almost all fields of medicine. It offers specialty training in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Obstetric and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Orthopedics and Traumatology. This is also the base hospital of the Helen Keller Foundation where eye specialists all over the country are trained and later assigned in different parts of the Philippines. The hospital is still unmatched in the region on the number of diplomates and fellows with different specializations it produced for the past fifteen years. BMC is the only DOH-certified medical center in the Bicol Region.
Universidad de Sta. Isabel- Mother Seton Hospital (USI - MSH), is the biggest private hospital in the Bicol Region based on the number of admissions, medical equipment facility, number of beds available, physical structure and number of board certified medical consultants. It is the only private hospital in Bicol offering specialty training programs accredited by the Philippine Medical Association’s component society in major fields of Medicine, like in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and General Surgery. The Department of Internal Medicine has an impressive record of 100% passing on the diplomate examinations given by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) for the past 3 years. It has also produced two world class research papers namely (1) ‘Rapid Urinary Iodide Test (RUIT) as a Diagnostic Tool in Thyroid Dysfunction’ by Drs. Sherryl Ann Galicia, Thelma P. Magsombol and Ramon T. Caceres Jr. This paper was presented on the oral session of the Joint Congress of ASEAN Federation Of Endocrine Societies (AFES) and Asia- Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA) in Suntec City, Singapore last November 2005. (2) ‘Single Injection, Large Bore Needle, Non Ultrasound Guided Percutaneous Ethanol Injection as a Definitive Management of Cystic Nodular Goiter’ by Drs. Anita Y. Zabaldica, Marie Grace R. Villegas and Ramon T. Caceres Jr., which was presented at the AOTA in February 2007 as a nominee for the Young Investigator’s Award, at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE- PI Chapter), last July 2007 and would again be presented at the AFES in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia on December 2007 and the Philippine Thyroid Association (PTA) Congress on January 2008 in Manila. This modified treatment method was developed by one of the authors, Dr. Caceres and is being introduced as the Single Injection Technique Ethanol Percutaneous Injection (OS- TEPI) or the Naga Technique, named after the city where it originated.
Naga City is also the home of two unique establishments (Medical Arts) catering to healthcare. 'The Plaza Medica and the St. Louise Center'. Both institutions offer medical facilities not found in other regions like 4-D ultrasound. The Plaza Medica also houses the Naga Endocrine Laboratory (also called the Endolab), a modern specialty laboratory facility and the only hormone laboratory in Southern Luzon. Plaza Medica also houses the Life Plus Inc., which offers the only pain- free mammography in the region.
Other hospitals in Naga:
- St. John Hospital (tertiary hospital)
- Ago Foundation Hospital (tertiary hospital)
- Dr. Nilo Roa Memorial Hospital (secondary hospital)
- Naga City Hospital (government hospital)
- Bicol Access Health Centrum (Private hospital)
- NICC Naga Doctors Hospital (Private hospital/under construction)
Naga City Map
The City of Naga is politically subdivided into 27 barangays.
- Abella (CBD I)
- Bagumbayan Norte
- Bagumbayan Sur
- Balatas (CBD III)
- Concepcion Grande (CBD III)
- Concepcion Pequeña (CBD III)
- Del Rosario
- Dinaga (CBD I)
- Igualdad Interior (CBD I)
- Lerma (CBD II)
- Sabang (CBD I)
- San Felipe
- San Francisco (CBD II)
- San Isidro
- Santa Cruz (CBD I)
- Tabuco (CBD I)
- Triangulo (CBD II)
- Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
- General Santos City, South Cotabato
- Lucena City, Quezon
- San Fernando City, Pampanga
- Shishi City, China
- Su-ao Township, Yilan County, Taiwan
- San Leandro City, California, United States of America
- Shefa Province, Vanuatu
- Bicol Mail
- Kaiba News and Features
- Bikol Reporter
- Vox Bikol
- Official website of Naga City
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2000 Philippine Census Information
- 2007 Philippine Census Information
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