Aparri Founding Anniversary is held in the town of Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines every May 11. The date may be declared special nonworking holiday through issuance from the executive department (such as Proclamation No. 484 in 2018 and Proclamation No. 203 in 2017).
The celebration is organized in conjunction with the religious town fiesta in honor of St. Peter Gonzales of Thelmo.
History of Aparri
Aparri is divided by and located at the mouth of Cagayan River as it rushes seaward to Babuyan Chanel. It was inhabited by the Ibanags, the first aboriginal population who eventually moved into remote interiors with the successive waves of migrants.
Its location is ideal as a port which it has been for hundreds of years. It was an outpost for trade and utilized by the natives trading with Japanese merchants way before colonial times. Later Spanish colonizer Juan de Salcedo explored northern Luzon in 1572.
A decade later, Spanish authorities under Governor General Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa sent a force to quell Japanese pirates called wokou that were harassing settlements along Cagayan River. He appointed Captain Juan P. Carreon to lead, and the combined Spaniards and Filipino soldiers successfully defeated the pirates in a series of clashes in 1582. Carreon afterwards established Nueva Segovia, the town of Lallo.
Christianization of Aparri soon followed. In 1604, a church was built dedicated to St. Peter Gonzales. It gained ecclesiastical inauguration on May 11, 1680. Two years later, it was organized into a town by separating from Camalaniugan and Buguey. Interestingly, its name may have come from apparian (dwelling place of priests) or from aparte de Camalaniugan y Buguey, with aparte evolving into Aparri many years later.
During the Spanish times, it was engaged in the Manila-Alcapulco galleon trade. Ships laden with goods from Mexico were cleared out in its port. In return, they were loaded with products such as crops, lumber, and tobacco.
Due to its location in the northern seaboard of Luzon, it used to represent the north of the archipelago as mentioned in the theme song of Eat Bulaga! when it was first released in 1982, with its popular opening line “Mula Aparri hanggang Jolo” (From Aparri to Jolo). The lyrics has been changed since 1998 to “Mula Batanes hanggang Jolo” (From Batanes to Jolo), which states the northern province of Batanes.
Aparri Founding Anniversary Activities
Kick-off activities occur in the first of May and its calendar spans until the 12th. Its activities may include pageants (Mr. and Ms. Aparri), job fair, sports, competitions, concerts, talent contests, parade, street dance, traditional games, cooking fest, fluvial parade, and Eucharistic celebration.
How to reach Aparri, Cagayan
Nearby airports are in Isabela or Tuguegarao, and one can take the bus to Aparri.
- Proclamation No. 484. Official Gazette. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Proclamation No. 203. LawPhil. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Aparri. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Jerry Donato. Why Eat Bulaga remains noontime ‘entertainment staple’ after 42 years. The Philippine Star. January 20, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Mila Palattao. Aparri, my hometown. Aparri School of Arts and Trade. May 7, 2021. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Justin Umali. Remembering When the Spaniards Fought Japanese Samurai and Pirates in Cagayan. Esquire. July 16, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2023
- Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918. Archive.org. Retrieved May 8, 2023