Welcome to Gapan City! This is where I was born, a city of religious and devoted people. And obviously I’ve travelled around here for so many times, almost every day, actually.
Come. I’ll tour you around.
Gapan City is known as the “Footwear Capital of the North” and it is an inseparable part of the “Rice Granary of the Philippines” which is the Province of Nueva Ecija. Gapan City is the oldest city in the said province and one of the oldest places in the Philippines. You can see Mt. Arayat wherever you go.
La Virgen Divina Pastora is the patron saint of the people of Gapan. Her miracles has been tested for so many times. For example, these latest calamities that affected almost the whole province of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Pampanga which are all surrounding the town of Gapan. These places around Gapan were flooded but our beloved town, Gapan was not. And we believe that it is because of the intercession of our patron saint the Virgen Divina Pastora. They say that the La Virgen Divina Pastora was brought by the Spaniards to the city’s cathedral but unfortunately it was lost. One day, a group of farmers at the end of the city are looking for a place to shelter themselves and miraculously saw a foot high image of La Virgen Divina Pastora which is very small compared to the original one. Her crown and staffs were said to be pure gold. The people made a procession from where the image was found to the cathedral. Some said that there was a small falls and at the top of it was the La Virgen Divina Pastora. The water of the falls was miraculous and can heal every kind of sickness. After so many decades and the fear of losing the image again, the people of Gapan decided to keep her crown and staffs at the bank and asked the family who found it to keep the image itself. And now, her image can be seen every 26th of April when the people of Gapan are celebrating her coronation.
Our famous church, the La Virgen Divina Pastora Shrine
Inside the church.
The architecture is Byzantine and was constructed of lime, adobe, and bricks under the successive direction and supervision of Father Loredo, Conejo and Llaneza for a period of about sixteen years that is 1856-1872.
La Virgen Divina Pastora
Next stop is the Gapan Central Park where you can find the statue of one of our heroes, Andres Bonifacio. It has see-saws, swings, huts, a stage and a huge playground for the children. The place is just walking distance from the shrine.
Statue of Andres Bonifacio
Now, let’s go to the ancestral houses and buildings in Gapan.
These houses, as you can see, are old and considered as antiques already. These are built during the Spanish era. Also the Divina Pastora College, my dear Alma Mater, is also one of the oldest building in Gapan.
The Divina Pastora College
The Nueva Ecija South High School
(Presently Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School, named after the late Assemblyman Juan R. Liwag)
Now let’s talk about foods.
Among the best pasalubong we can buy from Gapan is pastillas, specifically Aling Celing’s and Aying’s Pastillas. These pastillas are one of the famous pastillas in the north.
Rice cake, also known as “biko” with caramel topping or latik is one of the famous delicacies being served on special occasions celebrated in our town.
Tinumis, Sinampalukang Manok and Buro are among the famous cuisines which can be found in Gapan. These cuisines are unique in terms of taste, texture and in ingredients being used.
There are still many things to say about Gapan. But this is it for now. Although there is not much tourist spot in the place, Gapan is one of the most visited places in the north because of the above mentioned subjects.
I hope you enjoyed reading… Have a nice day and see you to the next destination!