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Interesting and Fun Facts About Cities, Municipalities and Provinces of the Philippines

This article tackles some of the most interesting, significant and geographical facts about cities and towns of the Philippines.

As a former colony of Spain for more than 300 years, many towns, cities and barangays were name named after saints and distinguished Spanish officials. As a colony of the United States, there are also a few towns named after prominent Americans. However, there are still numerous places in the archipelago named after notable Filipinos. In addition, scores of towns and cities were named in the different native dialects.

Here’s a list of interesting and significant facts about cities and towns of the Philippines.

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Adams and Pag-asa – the only two towns with 1 barangay

Adams in Ilocos Norte and Pag-asa in Palawan are the only two towns in the Philippines composed of one barangay – Adams proper and Pag-asa, respectively.

Identical names of barangay, town and province

  • Sapa-sapa (brgy), Sapa-sapa(Town), Tawi-tawi(province)
  • Sukah-sukah (brgy), Sapa-sapa(Town), Tawi-tawi(province)
  • Lakit-lakit (brgy), Sapa-sapa(Town), Tawi-tawi(province)
  • Dalo-dalo(brgy), Sapa-sapa(Town), Tawi-tawi(province)
  • Tipo-tipo proper (brgy),Tipo-tipo (town), Basilan
  • Baras-baras , Tarlac City, Tarlac
  • Batang-batang, Tarlac City, Tarlac
  • Cut-cut I,  Tarlac City, Tarlac
  • Cut-cut II, Tarlac City, Tarlac

City capitals identical to the name of the province

  • Iloilo, Iloilo City
  • Masbate, Masbate City
  • Romblon, Romblon City
  • Sorsogon, Sorsogon City
  • Tarlac, Tarlac City
  • Surigao del Norte, Surigao City
  • Davao del Sur, Davao City
  • Cebu, Cebu City
  • Batangas, Batangas City

Identical name of town/city and province

  • Bulacan, Bulacan
  • Compostela, Compostela Valley
  • Siquijor, Siquijor
  • Cavite, Cavite city
  • Quezon, Quezon
  • Cebu City, Cebu
  • Sorsogon, Sorsogon
  • Romblon, Romblon
  • Masbate, Masbate
  • Iloilo City, Iloilo
  • Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Norte
  • Davao City, Davao Del Sur
  • Cotabato City, North Cotabato

Towns/Cities with American names

General MacArthur in Eastern Samar and MacArthur in Leyte

Named after General Douglas McArthur, commander of United States Armed Forces in the Far East or USAFFE during World War II

Taft, Eastern Samar

Named after William Howard Taft, former Civil Governor of the Philippines and former US President

Jones, Isabela

Named in honor of an American Legislator, William Atkinson Jones, who authored the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916

Allen, Northern Samar

Allen, formerly Manipa-a, named in honor of General Robert Allen, the military governor of the Visayas after the Spanish-American War.

New Washington, Aklan

Named after the first president of the United States – George Washington as tribute to the Thomasites, a group of American teachers who in the early 1900s established a new public education system in the Philippines, taught basic education and trained Filipino teachers with English as medium of instruction.

Wright, Samar

Wright is a town in Samar which is formerly known as Paranas. The town was renamed after General Wright.

Biñan, Laguna – Richest Town

It is the richest town with annual income of P 677,147,000.

Hadji Panglima Tahil – Poorest town

This 6th class municipality in the province of Sulu, was the poorest municipality in the Philippines with a poverty incidence estimate of 89.7% as of 2000.

Muñoz Science City – The only Science City

The only science city in the Philippines is the “Science City of Muñoz” in Nueva Ecija.

Provinces Without a City

There are 28 provinces in the Philippines without a city namely: Abra, Aklan, Agusan del Sur, Antique, Apayao, Aurora, Batanes, Biliran, Camarines Norte, Camiguin, Catanduanes,  Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Ifugao, Kalinga, Marinduque, Mountain Province, Northern Samar, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Quirino, Romblon, Saranggani, Siquijor, Sulu, Tawi-tawi and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Bohol – Province with Most Towns

The province with the most number of towns is Bohol. It has 47 towns and 1 city.

Provinces with the Least Towns

The island provinces of Camiguin and Guimaras has only 5 municipalities each; Batanes, Marinduque, Quirino and Siquijor has 6 each.

Negros Occidental – Province with the Most Cities

Negros Occidental has 13 cities making it the Philippine province with the most cities namely: Bacolod City, Bago City, Cadiz City, Escalante City, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City, La Carlota City, Sagay City, San Carlos City, Silay City, Sipalay City, Talisay City and Victorias City.

The province of Cebu has 9 cities namely: Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapulapu City, Danao City, Talisay City, Toledo City, Bogo City, Carcar City and Naga City.

 Island Garden City of Samal – Longest City Name

Island Garden City of Samal is the city with the longest name. It is located in the province of Davao Del Norte.

Province with the most cities named after saints

Cities - Laguna province with the most cities named after saints (3) namely: San Pablo, Santa Rosa and San Pedro

Provinces without a town named after a saint

The provinces of Batanes and Quirino in Region II; Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Provinces in CAR Region; Bataan in Region III; Cavite, Quezon in Region IV-A; Oriental Mindoro, Catanduanes in Region IV-B; Aklan and Capiz in Region VI; Biliran in Region VIII: Zamboanga Del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay in Region IX; Camiguin, Lanao Del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental in Region X; Compostela Valley in Region XI; Cotabato, Saranggani and Sultan Kudarat in Region XII; Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi in ARMM are provinces without a town named after a saint.

Province with the most towns named after saints

Isabela has the most number of towns named after saints (9) - San Agustin, San Guillermo, San Isidro, San Manuel, San Mariano, San Mateo, San Pablo, Santa Maria and Santo Tomas.

San Juan is the only city in Metro Manila named after a saint.

Towns named after Philippine Presidents 

There are several towns named after Philippine Presidents

President with the most towns/cities named

Manuel A. Roxas - 8

1.) President Manuel Roxas, Zamboang del Norte

2.) Roxas, Isabela

3.) Roxas, Oriental Mindoro

4.) Roxas, Palawan

5.) Roxas City, Capiz

6.) President Roxas, Capiz

7.) Pres. Manuel Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte

8.) Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato

Ramon Magsaysay - 6

1.) Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur

2.) Ramon, Isabela

3.) Magsaysay, Palawan

4.) Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental

5.) Magsaysay, Davao del Sur

6.) Magsaysay, Lanao del Norte

Manuel Luis M. Quezon - 5

1.) Quezon, Isabela

2.) Quezon, Nueva Ecija

3.) Quezon, Palawan

4.) Quezon, Quezon

5.) Quezon, Bukidnon

Elpidio R. Quirino – 3

1.) President Quirino, Suldan Kudarat,

2.) Quirino, Isabela

3.) Quirino, Ilocos Sur

Ferdinand E. Marcos – 2

1.) Marcos, Ilocos Norte

2.) Marcos, Palawan

Sergio Osmeña Sr. – 1

1.) Sergio Ormeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte

Carlos P. Garcia – 1

1.) Pres. C.P. Garcia, Bohol

Towns named after 1st Ladies

Aurora Quezon – wife of Pres. ML Quezon

1.) Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur

2.) Aurora, Isabela

Imelda R. Marcos – wife of Pres. FE Marcos

1.) Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay

2.) Imelda, Zamboanga del Sur

Towns and Cities Named After Heroes and Martyrs

Jose Rizal – Philippine National Hero

1.) Rizal Nueva Ecija

2.) Rizal, Laguna

3.) Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte

4.) Rizal, Cagayan

5.) Rizal, Kalinga

6.) Rizal, Occidental Mindoro

7.) Rizal, Palawan

Jose Burgos – one of the Gomburza martyrs

1.) Burgos, Surigao del Norte

2.) Burgos, Ilocos Norte

3.) Burgos, La Union

4.) Burgos, Pangasinan

5.) Burgos, Isabela

6.) Padre Burgos, Quezon

General Antonio Luna – one of the greatest generals of the Philippine Revolution

1.) Luna, Apayao

2.) Luna, La Union

3.) Luna, Isabela

4.) Gen Luna, Quezon

5.) Gen. Luna. Surigao del Norte

Apolinario Mabini- the Brains of the Philippine Revolution

1.) Mabini, Davao del Norte

2.) Mabini, Bohol

3.) Mabini, Pangasinan

4.) Mabini, Batangas

Marcelo H. Del Pilar – Philippine Propagandist

1.) Plaridel, Bulacan

2.) Plaridel, Quezon

Andres Bonifacio – Philippine National Hero and Founder of KKK

1.) Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental

  • Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat
  • Aguinaldo, Ifugao
  • Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
  • Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur
  • Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental
  • Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental
  • Dagohoy, Bohol
  • Balagtas, Bulacan
  • Lapu-lapu, Cebu
  • Cervantes, Ilocos Sur
  • Gregorio Del Pilar, Ilocos Sur
  • Llanera, Nueva Ecija
  • Bautista, Pangasinan
  • General Santos, South Cotabato
  • General Tinio, Nueva Ecija
  • General Natividad, Nueva Ecija
  • General Nakar, Quezon
  • Malvar, Batangas
  • Agoncillo, Batangas
  • Trece Martirez, Cavite
  • General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite
  • General Trias, Cavite
  • General Aguinaldo, Cavite

See also

Philippines’ Highly Urbanized Cities Outside Metro Manila

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Comments (6)

Stumbled liked & shared

A good friend of mine is from the Phillippines and through your well presented article I know more to discuss with her. Thank you .DIGG

I love to learn facts about other people's home land. You presented this well.

I remember my Social Studies subjects with these, kabayan. Of course, teachers know best.

Returning with a well deserved vote up.

Thanks for this beautiful article.

I would just like to add, for historical accuracy, that Allen, Northern Samar above (under towns in the Philippines with American names), has two names previous to its being named "Allen".

These two names are "Minapa-a" (not "Manipa-a" as spelled in the article above) and then "La Granja".

"Minapa-a" was the Malayan name of the town of Allen before the Spanish colonisation; this was changed to the Hispanic "La Granja" during the Spanish colonisation.

After the defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War in the early 1900s, the name "La Granja" was then changed into "Allen" in honour of the American General Robert Allen who was the Military Administrator of the Visayas prior to civilian rule under the Jones Act.

I hope these can be added to the information above, for historical accuracy.

Thanks again, and more power!

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