Metro Manila

Pangisdaan Festival

Pangisdaan Festival, also called Navotas City Founding Anniversary and Navotas Day, is the annual commemoration of the founding of the city of Navotas in Metro Manila, Philippines every January 16.

A week-long affair, it is also a thanksgiving celebration for abundant fish harvest and the invaluable contribution of fisher folks to the local economy.

History of Pangisdaan Festival

According to an ABS-CBN report, the city held the 10th Pangisdaan Festival in 2011. Thus, it can be inferred that this annual festival was first launched in 2002.

Its name comes from the word isda, which means fish. The founding anniversary on the other hand is reckoned from the year 1906.

History of Navotas

Navotas got its name for its separation from Malabon when seawater from Manila Bay punctured through a landmass connecting the two.

The name itself refers to nabutas, meaning “one that which a hole is punched through”. It was also called San Jose de Navotas after its patron saint, St. Joseph.

A petition to separate from Malabon and to create a town from the combined Navotas and the nearby Bangkulasi was first proposed in 1827. It was granted on February 16, 1859.

The new town also added the villages of Tangos and Tanza. A church and a school were erected by virtue of Superior Decreto issued on June 11, 1859.

In 1901, it became part of the province of Rizal. In a surprising turn, Navotas was fused back with Malabon through Philippine Commission Act No. 942 issued in October 1903, otherwise known as An Act Reducing the Thirty-Two Municipalities of the Province of Rizal to Fifteen.

Finally, it gained its independence as a separate municipality on January 16, 1906 through Philippine Commission Act No. 1442, otherwise known as An Act Increasing the Number of Municipalities in the Province of Rizal from Sixteen, as Established by Act Numbered Nine Hundred and Forty-Two, as Amended, to Seventeen, by Making Malabon and Navotas Separate Municipalities, and Transferring the Former Municipality of Baras from the Municipality of Morong to the Municipality of Tanay. This is the date that the yearly Navotas founding anniversary celebration is based on.

It was declared a highly urbanized city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9387 enacted through a plebiscite on June 24, 2007.

Fishing industry in Navotas City

Historically, its people has been engaging in fishing and fishing-related income-generation schemes such as trading.

It is estimated that seven out of ten of its people is involved in fishing and related industries such as production of frozen seafood products. In 2020, it was reported that it traded about 800 tons of fishes shipped from different parts of the country.

The city is known for the famed shrimp paste (bagoong), fish sauce (patis), and Navotas Fish Port Complex which is regarded as one of the biggest fishing ports in Asia. The city of Navotas is known the Fishing Capital of the Philippines.

Pangisdaan Festival Activities

The calendar of activities of the week-long schedule of Pangisdaan Festival brings together civic activities that give a toast and thanksgiving to the city’s fishing industry.

There are talent competitions, beauty pageant called Mutya ng Navotas (Miss Navotas), Kalye Fiesta (a night of food and variety shows), motorcade, motor shows, fireworks display, variety show, street dance competitions, recognition of outstanding individuals, a day dedicated for fisher folks called Araw ng Mangingisda, and grand parade.

How to reach Navotas City, Metro Manila

Navotas City is about an hour trip (about twenty kilometers) away from the airport in Metro Manila. The fastest route is to take a cab through C4 Road.


Pangisdaan Festival Summary

NamePangisdaan Festival
CelebrationFish, Founding Anniversary
Contact(+632) 8-283-7415
DateJanuary 16
Duration1 week
Historical eventFounding of the town of Navotas in 1906
LocationNavotas City, Metro Manila
OrganizerCity Government of Navotas