MUNICIPALITY OF APARRI (CAGAYAN), Historical Data of - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF APARRI (CAGAYAN), Historical Data of - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Aparri, Cagayan

About these Historical Data

[Cover letter]

Compilation of Historical
Data of Cagayan,
Aparri and

[Note to the reader: The original scanned document for the Municipality Aparri on file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections is incomplete and begins, after the cover page, with page 10. The pagination will be followed by this transcription as well.]

[p. 10]


The government has tried to promulgate ordinances which are helpful in the protection of life and property. In the poblacion, sanitary midden [curious word use] shades have been built; clinics and puericulture centers have been provided and markets are given daily inspections. Quite recently, there was a campaign to raise funds for putting up an efficient and well-equipped fire department.

The schools have also tried their best to help in protecting the lives of the people and maintaining the health of the children. The teacher, the teacher-nurse, the school physician, and the school dentist have reached the remotest barrio school to help keep the schoolchildren healthy and strong.

Besides the aid given by the local government and the schools, some benevolent private agencies and civic-spirited people have given a hand in the preservation of health and life. Not long ago, a group of businessmen, outstanding leaders, and professionals have pulled their resources together to form a civic-spirited organization named the Junior Chamber of Commerce, in short, the Jaycees. This organization created in the poblacion has started in working on projects which have for their goal the improvement of community life. They have put up traffic stands and have distributed garbage cans in the principal streets. In the barrios, rural civic organizations have also been created which have for their purpose the giving of mutual aid in economic difficulties and in hours of distress. Other welfare agencies have been organized and have been working side by side to bring about mutual cooperation and understanding. Men's clubs, women's organizations, and young people's associations have been created. These organizations have been instrumental in creating goodwill among the people of Aparri. Thus, the government, the school, and the private agencies have joined hands to foster peace in the community and to maintain good health among the people.


In a place which is so far away from Manila, the great center of learning, it is unbelievable that the people would be up to date in culture and education. But such is the case in Aparri. The degree of literacy is high. In the poblacion itself, it is hard to single out a person who has not gone to school. It is for this reason that the implementation of adult education in the rudiments of the three R's have been found hard. Yet, school after school has opened to meet the great demand for education. In Centro, Aparri, there three complete elementary schools, one public with a pupil population of more than two thousand and two hundred; and two private, with about five hundred children. There are three high schools, one public vocational high, and two other private high schools. It is with utmost pride that Aparri boasts of her eleven complete elementary schools (barrio) and her other nine barrio schools. With the total number of children going to the public schools, Aparri ranks third among the twenty-six towns of Cagayan with her school population of five thousand two hundred seventy one in the school year 1950-1951.

Most remarkably, of the achievements in educational ventures of the locality, is the foundation of a private junior college offering Liberal Arts and a Junior Normal Course and the newly-opened Associate in Arts in the Sacred Heart of Mary's Institution.

AparrieƱos are not behind in culture. They are not slow in imbibing the new trends in life in an ever-changing civilization. Students studying in Manila and other cities of the Philippines bring in year after year modern culture. The radios are giving daily instructions and information about the present way of life. The planes and other means of transportation bring in each day people and things which help in spurring the townspeople in the new philosophies of existence.

[p. 11]

II. NANAPPATAN-C [It is not explained why the number jumped from Roman Numberal XV to II and what relevance this change has to the rest of the document.]

What has been done in Aparri to promote the welfare and progress of the town? Lots have been accomplished. Market days have been put up for the barrios. This has become a great incentive for people to produce crops not for home consumption alone but for providing the needs of others. More schools were established and adult education encouraged. Roads have been repaired and new ones were opened. Help had been given to the farmers and gardeners in the form of seeds and measures were given for the prevention of the spread of plant diseases. To the hog and poultry raisers, the government has introduced new and more desirable animal breeds and has given advice to the farmers for rearing better hogs and poultry and aid has been extended for the prevention and cure of animal pests.

Very recently, the most noble but the most effective means of bringing about community improvement has been conceived by Mr. Gaffud, the Division Superintendent of Schools for Cagayan. Aparri has embarked on the project. Zones have been organized with outstanding citizens as officers, and all others as members. With the public school teachers as leaders, these organizations are forging ahead to find ways and means by which health can be improved, the economic life more stabilized, and the esthetic value of things encouraged. With the Integrated Activity Program introduced, more activities for welfare and progress will soon be realized.


In pushing forward these new projects of effecting community welfare, glaring deficiencies and evils have been brought to life. Vital community problems are giving a challenge for the people to work. There is still a need for the opening of more schools; roads and other means of transportation have to be improved; and more modern, more convenient, and more efficient means of communication must be installed. Some things necessary for the maintenance of health must be put up. A water system must be provided; more sanitary toilets must be put up; surroundings and homes must be made cleaner and more attractive; more yards must be cultivated; hogs and poultry raised to help in augmenting family incomes. Hobbies and athletics must be encouraged so as to obtain more benefits from one's leisure hours. Unwise use of leisure such as gambling, gossiping, cockfighting, and loitering must be discouraged. The townspeople must be given an incentive to produce things for the home and the market out of raw materials obtained in the locality. Everyone must work on something that will redound to the welfare of all.

When all these problems shall have been solved, we shall see a more prosperous, a more economically stable, and a more beautiful municipality of Aparri.




This place was originally inhabited by the Negritoes. At the early settlement by the first Christian inhabitants, the Negritoes disliked the clearing of the forests by the Christians, stating that if they (the Christians) cleared up their hunting grounds, the Negritoes would strike them with the back blades of their bolos. The word BANGAG was formerly derived from the word BANGAD, meaning the back blade of a bolo. The modification of the name BANGAG stands as it is today.


There is a certain spot by the riverbank which the first settlers used as landing place and where small boats used to stop. In Ilocano, it is called DAPPAT. The word NANAPPATAN was derived from

[p. 12]

NANAPPATAN - Continued

the word DAPPAT, the stopping place of boats. The present inhabitants suggested the adoption of the word NANAPPATAN in memory of the Ilocano word DAPPAT.


There is, in this barrio, a certain hollow place where water does not dry up during the dry season. This place is frequently visited by wild animals for bathing and drinking purposes. The first Negrito settlers found this place and called it PATTUNG. PATTUNG means a pond where water remains during the dry season. At present, the place is called PATTUNG in memory of the pond.


Formerly, this vast tract of agricultural land was covered with tall, slender grass called RONO by the Negritoes. The Negritoes valued the grass because they utilized the stems for making their arrows. The Negritoes called this place CARORONAN, meaning to say the place where one finds plenty of RONO. For the sake of euphony, the present inhabitants modified the word CARORONOAN to CARORONAN, its present spelling.


The barrio of Zinarag at present comprises the three sitios of Zinarag, Mangilin, and Nagsirucan. The following stories tell how each sitio got its own name:

The days when the barrio of Binulan was first inhabited by Christians, the barrios of Zinarag, Mangilin, and Nagsirucan were still steep hills and covered with thick forests. These places were inhabited by Negritoes, who lived chiefly on wild fruits, animals, and bees' honey. The people in Binalan used to go to these places to hunt wild birds, deer, and wild pigs, and to buy honey from the Negritoes.

Once, a group of huntsmen went out hunting. It so happened that one member of the party met death by accident. When such fateful news reached the people of Binalan, the bereaved relatives hurried to the place to look for the dead body. They happened to meet first a group of Negritoes and inquired, "Where is the corpse?" meaning the place. The Negritoes, pointing toward the direction of the place, answered, "ZINARAG DA TURI," meaning he is lying dead and well-guarded there. Since then, the people called the place were the dead man's body was found ZINARAG.

The barrio of Mangilin is located along a river which was and up to the present infested with crocodiles and full of fishes. It was believed by the first settlers that if they did not offer sacrifices in the form of candies, animals' blood, and meat, tobacco, and wine, to the evil spirits who were supposed or believed reigning over these places on particular days of fishing, ill omens or bad luck would befall them. Naturally, the people were known as MANG-NGILIN up to the present.

Nagsirucan was, during those days, projecting surfaced hills covered with thick forests. The Negritoes who first inhabited the place cleared the spots where they could be protected from the rain and wild beasts with the help of temporary fences. The first Christian settlers found many of this sort of shelters that were vacated by the wandering Aetas who never dreamt of building up permanent homes up to the present. The people then called this place NAGSIRUCAN, which means a place where someone shelters or seeks protection under it.


During the early times, this barrio was a part of Paraddun, its official name. The early settlers, the Ibanags and the Negritoes, named it VUQUIG, which means HILLS in their local language. In Ilocano, it means TOROD or BANTAY. This barrio is really made up of rolling hills.

[p. 13]


The name of the barrio originated from the Ibanag word PADDADDANAN, which means the place where people around the vicinity catch their astray carabaos. As years went by, the word PADDADDANAN was corrupted to DODAN, so that today, the place is now called DODAN.

The barrio of Dodan is an open level country with its boundary to the north the Babuyan Channel, with the rim bordering the channel slightly elevated due to the action of the wind and the sea forming sand dunes. It is the barrio nearest to the Centro of Aparri on the eastern shore and, with the range of sand dunes along the shores, it is well-protected from the sea when it gets rough. Just below these sand hills, extending from west to east, are the people's homes, and farther to the southern part of the barrio are the wide ricefields which make it an agricultural place. Between the residential area and the fields flows a narrow creek which extends from east to west and, at times, serves as a means of travel.

The people of this barrio are pure natives of Cagayan Province — the Ibanags. Many of the people are not schooled and those who had a chance to attend school went as far as the third or fourth grade only. Because of the high rate of illiteracy, the people are apt to be superstitious and their customs and habits are of old. It will take time, I suppose, to curb their beliefs and customs because they are very old-fashioned and just cling to their wayward ways.

The chief means of livelihood in this village is agriculture, with rice as the only product. During the planting and harvesting seasons, the people are quite busy throughout the day. But after the rice is harvested, most of the people are idle. In order to keep these people busy, home industries must be developed. At present, a few of the natives occasionally weave mats out of pandan, a local material which grows abundantly on the hills along the shore. But this material is nearing exhaustion because of the constant gathering of the leaves that these plants are never renewed or replanted. The other secondary industries of some of these farmers are fishing and lumber-sawing.

Simple people with simple tastes inhabit this barrio. They live is mall one- or two-room houses made of light materials consisting of light bamboo and nipa shingles. Housing is one of the many problems of this place. Out of around a hundred houses in the whole barrio, only about 15% are barely satisfactory, taking into consideration the construction, size, with regard to the number of occupants, ventilation, secrecy, and beauty. Much improvement is needed on this aspect of the barrio of Dodan.

The fact that the inhabitants of Dodan are pure natives of Cagayan, with no immigrants to introduce new ideas, and knowing that the early Filipinos received their earliest religious instructions from the Spaniards, Catholicism prevails in this barrio.

The community service facilities are very inadequate. An example of this is the means of transportation. Land transportation by means of trucks and calesas is available, but it is very irregular due to the fact that these vehicles have to go by the route of the seashore, and during high tide, the beach is impassable, in which case a road to pass the barrio is badly needed. Another handicap is the absence of stores where the people's necessities can be bought. There are but two small "sari-sari" stores with very limited stocks serving a population of about 700 inhabitants. In this way, the people have no other alternative but to go to the town to buy their daily needs. A good source of water is also one of the crying needs of this barrio. At present, the people get their water from surface wells, which in times of epidemics

[p. 14]


is dangerous, as these are easily contaminated.

As previously mentioned somewhere else in this report, the people of barrio Dodan are not schooled, especially among the older inhabitants. Most of these illiterates are presently repentant of not having gone to school in their younger years. Almost everyone is desirous of sending their children to school, no matter if they go as high as the second or third grade only, as long as they can read and write a little. Many old folks want to attend the Adult Education Class, but because they are busy tending to their farms during the organization of classes, they are quite reluctant in enrolling.

The school opened in this barrio is a complete Primary School with two teachers in charge.

Very respectfully,
District Supervisor
Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Aparri, Cagayan, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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