City of Dagupan
Clockwise from top-left: Dagupan CBD along Arellano Street, Dagupan welcome arch, Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, CSI Malls (City Supermarket, Inc.), Dagupan Train Museum
Flag of Dagupan
Bangus (Milkfish) Capital of the Philippines[1]
Kitchen of the North[2][3]
Anthem: Dagupan Hymn
Map of Pangasinan with Dagupan highlighted
Map of Pangasinan with Dagupan highlighted
Dagupan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 16°02′35″N 120°20′02″E / 16.043°N 120.334°E / 16.043; 120.334
RegionIlocos Region
ProvincePangasinan (geographically only)
District 4th district
CityhoodJune 20, 1947
Barangays31 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorBelen T. Fernandez (Aksyon)
 • Vice MayorDean Bryan L. Kua (Aksyon)
 • RepresentativeChristopher P. de Venecia (Lakas-CMD)
 • City Council
 • Electorate138,721 voters (2022)
 • Total44.47 km2 (17.17 sq mi)
18 m (59 ft)
Highest elevation
461 m (1,512 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2020 census)[6]
 • Total174,302
 • Density3,900/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
 • Households
Demonym(s)Dagupeño (masculine)
Dagupeña (feminine)
 • Income class2nd city income class
 • Poverty incidence
% (2021)[7]
 • Revenue₱1,915,874,700.93 (2022)[8]
 • Assets₱ 3,101 million (2020)
 • Expenditure₱ 1,017 million (2020)
 • Liabilities₱ 707.9 million (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityDagupan Electric Corporation (DECORP)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)75
Native languagesPangasinan

Dagupan [dɐˈgupan], officially the City of Dagupan (Pangasinan: Siyudad na Dagupan, Ilocano: Siudad ti Dagupan, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dagupan), is a 1st class independent component city[9] in the Ilocos Region, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 174,302 people.[6]

Located on Lingayen Gulf on the northwest-central part of Luzon, Dagupan is a major commercial and financial center north of Manila. Also, the city is one of the centers of modern medical services, education, media and communication in North-Central Luzon. The NEDA-Regional Development Council officially establishes Dagupan as a regional center.[10] The city is situated within the fertile Agno River Valley and is in turn a part of the larger Central Luzon plain.

The city is among the top producers of milkfish (locally known as bangus) in the province. From 2001 to 2003, Dagupan's milkfish production totaled to 35,560.1 metric tons (MT), contributing 16.8 percent to the total provincial production. Of its total production in the past three years, 78.5 percent grew in fish pens/cages while the rest grew in brackish water fishponds.[11]

Dagupan is administratively and politically independent from the provincial government of Pangasinan and is only represented by the province's legislative district.

Dagupan is one of the proposed metropolitan area in the Philippines.[12] Metro Dagupan is proposed to include the independent component city of Dagupan, as well as the towns of Binmaley, Calasiao, Lingayen, Manaoag, Mangaldan, Mapandan, San Fabian, San Jacinto, and Santa Barbara.


The city's name was derived from the local Pangasinan word pandaragupan which means gathering place as the city has been a regional market center for centuries. The root word is dagop, Pangasinan term of gather.



See also: Caboloan

During the 15th century, Pangasinan had been the site of an ancient polity called the Caboloan (kingdom of Pangasinan), which sent emissaries to China in 1406–1411.[13]

Spanish period

The area that is now known as Dagupan was described as marshland thickly covered with mangrove and nipa palm trees.[14] The natives lived along the shoreline and riverbanks of Calmay, Pantal, and Bonuan. But there were also communities in Malued, Lasip, Pogo, and Bacayao. The natives called the area Bacnotan which would later be incorporated into the encomienda of Lingayen that was established in 1583.[15]

The first long distance railroad in the Philippines connecting Manila and Dagupan was opened on November 24, 1892.

Japanese occupation

The Japanese planes bombed in Dagupan in December 1941; Dagupan was occupied by Japanese forces starting in 1942.[16] The city also served as a wartime capital of Pangasinan.

Allied liberation

General Douglas MacArthur Landing at Luzon, Philippines, 1945. "Blue Beach", Dagupan

On January 8–9, 1945, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur landed his amphibious liberation force in the city's "Blue Beach" section in Bonuan Gueset along the shores of Lingayen Gulf.[17][18] From his beachhead in Dagupan, along with those in neighboring towns Lingayen, Binmaley and San Fabian, MacArthur's forces under General Walter Krueger together with the Philippine Commonwealth troops under the Philippine Army and Philippine Constabulary units were able to penetrate Japanese defenses in Luzon island and liberate Filipino and allied prisoners of war near Cabanatuan in the province of Nueva Ecija, and in Manila's University of Santo Tomas, among others.


Main article: Cities of the Philippines

Dagupan became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 170, authored by House Speaker Eugenio Pérez. It was signed into law by President Manuel Roxas on June 20, 1947.[19]

Contemporary history

The westward expansion of the city went as far as Lucao, which was also swampland. Local historian Restituto Basa surmised that the name Lucao may have been derived from the shellfish called lukan that used to abound in the swampy area. [citation needed]

In June 1962, Dagupan was shaken by a series of strong earthquakes which occurred at irregular intervals for about three weeks. The quakes toppled the belfry of the Roman Catholic church. Many people from Calmay, Carael and island barrios evacuated to other towns. [citation needed]

In 1968, the national government agencies opened offices in Dagupan and other key cities across the country. The daytime population increased substantially, causing congestion in the city that began to see the appearance of public utility tricycles and other modes of transportation.

On July 16, 1990, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck northern Luzon, causing liquefaction, which made buildings tilt and sink due to their heavy weight and the looseness of the ground, which turned into sediment-rich mud. The Magsaysay Bridge, one of the two bridges especially spanning the Pantal River, collapsed, delaying people from crossing to the other banks and vice versa. Major damage caused businesses to be permanently transferred to the neighbouring towns of Mangaldan and Calasiao, but somehow, Dagupan and its inhabitants managed to recover from the earthquake.[20]

At the turn of the millennium, seeking to promote the thriving milkfish industry that harnessed the city as the milkfish capital of the country, The Bangus Festival was formally launched in 2002 by then-Mayor Benjamin Lim. The city earned the World's Longest Barbecue record from the Guinness World Records in 2003 during the holding of the Kalutan ed Dalan where 10,000 pieces of bangus were grilled on the longest barbecue grill measuring 1,007.56 meters long.[21]


Dagupan covers a total land area of 4,447.10 hectares (10,989.0 acres), bounded by Lingayen Gulf in the north, San Fabian in the northeast, Mangaldan in the east, Calasiao in the south and Binmaley in the west. Land use is primarily for agriculture with 35.98% of the total land area, fishpond, cropland, residential with 22.88%; others uses are commercial, industrial, institutional, government private, parks and roads.

Dagupan is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Lingayen, the capital of Pangasinan, and 220 kilometres (140 mi) from Manila.

Panoramic view of Dagupan river


Dagupan is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.[22] Each barangay consists of puroks and some have sitios.

Barangay Population (2020)[6]
Bacayao Norte 4,295
Bacayao Sur 2,520
Barangay I (T. Bugallon) 722
Barangay II (Nueva) 2,300
Barangay IV (Zamora) 1,199
Bolosan 3,320
Bonuan Binloc 10,674
Bonuan Boquig 15,351
Bonuan Gueset 25,390
Calmay 5,906
Carael 6,490
Caranglaan 5,880
Herrero 1,583
Lasip Chico 1,208
Lasip Grande 2,413
Lomboy 1,300
Lucao 10,153
Malued 9,265
Mamalingling 1,844
Mangin 4,079
Mayombo 8,470
Pantal 17,807
Poblacion Oeste 4,234
Pogo Chico 4,389
Pogo Grande 1,990
Pugaro Suit 5,431
Salapingao 2,954
Salisay 2,701
Tambac 2,399
Tapuac 5,004
Tebeng 3,031
Population distribution (2020)[6]
Bacayao Norte: 3,283 (2.0%)Bacayao Sur: 2,632 (1.6%)Barangay I (''T. Bugallon''): 673 (0.4%)Barangay II (''Nueva''): 2,824 (1.7%)Barangay IV (''Zamora''): 841 (0.5%)Bolosan: 3,862 (2.4%)Bonuan Binloc: 8,246 (5.0%)Bonuan Boquig: 13,686 (8.4%)Bonuan Gueset: 22,042 (13.5%)Calmay: 6,706 (4.1%)Carael: 4,732 (2.9%)Caranglaan: 6,459 (3.9%)Herrero: 2,428 (1.5%)Lasip Chico: 1,370 (0.8%)Lasip Grande: 2,622 (1.6%)Lomboy: 1,367 (0.8%)Lucao: 9,748 (6.0%)Malued: 9,406 (5.7%)Mamalingling: 1,456 (0.9%)Mangin: 3,700 (2.3%)Mayombo: 7,937 (4.8%)Pantal: 17,174 (10.5%)Poblacion Oeste: 4,523 (2.8%)Pogo Chico: 4,603 (2.8%)Pogo Grande: 2,112 (1.3%)Pugaro Suit: 4,757 (2.9%)Salapingao: 2,890 (1.8%)Salisay: 2,134 (1.3%)Tambac: 2,328 (1.4%)Tapuac: 4,391 (2.7%)Tebeng: 2,744 (1.7%)
Total population: 174,302


Climate data for Dagupan (1981–2010, extremes 1903–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 30.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 20.7
Record low °C (°F) 14.3
Average rainfall mm (inches) 6.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1 1 2 5 12 17 21 22 20 11 5 2 119
Average relative humidity (%) 79 78 77 77 79 83 86 87 86 84 82 80 82
Source: PAGASA[23][24]

Dagupan has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification: Am). It is in Type I climate zone in the Modified Coronas' Climate Classification, with a pronounced dry season from November to April.


Population census of Dagupan
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 20,357—    
1918 22,441+0.65%
1939 32,602+1.79%
1948 43,838+3.35%
1960 63,191+3.09%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1970 83,582+2.83%
1975 90,092+1.52%
1980 98,344+1.77%
1990 122,247+2.20%
1995 126,214+0.60%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 130,328+0.69%
2007 149,554+1.92%
2010 163,676+3.34%
2015 171,271+0.87%
2020 174,302+0.35%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[25][26][27][28]

In Dagupan, the Pangasinans are the predominant people and the Pangasinan language is predominantly used in the city and environs, followed by Filipino and English, as well as Ilocano, mainly in Calmay and Pantal; the minority of residents are dominantly Ilocanos.[29][30] Chinese is mainly spoken only by a few city individuals of Chinese descent.


A.B. Fernandez Avenue

Poverty incidence of Dagupan


Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38]

Dagupan is the economic center of Pangasinan.[39] As a major regional hub, many people in Pangasinan and nearby provinces commute to the city during the day; this causes the city's daytime population to rise and cause traffic in parts of the city, especially the downtown area. The city is a vital financial center housing numerous banks, non-bank financial institutions, headquarters of corporations and offices of major government departments and agencies.

Milkfish, locally known as bangus

Historically, Dagupan was a center for salt making in numerous salt evaporator beds in the low-lying swampy areas close to Lingayen Gulf. Beginning in the 19th century, some of the salt making operations gave way to pond culture of fish, most prominently, the milkfish (locally known as bangus), for which the city has become famous. Fisheries, aquaculture and processed fisheries products are an important mainstay of the city's economy.[40]

SM Center Dagupan along MH Del Pilar and Herrero Perez Streets

Manila-based developers have set up shop in Dagupan due to its strategic location and growing population. These include Santa Lucia Land Inc. (Almeria Verde Subdivision),[41] SM Prime Holdings,[41] and Filinvest.[42]

As of June 2020, Dagupan is one of the 25 cities in the Philippines identified as an area with "high-potential in IT-BPM industry" for transformation into "digital cities" by 2025.[43] Sitel, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, has opened in 2020 its first Sitel MAXhub in Dagupan.[44]

The motor vehicle industry of Dagupan is centered around Caranglaan and Lucao districts.[45] Many well-known automotive companies have a dealership in the city's metropolitan area.


Tondaligan Beach sunset

Dagupan is a historic city that boasts numerous historical, cultural heritage, recreational, ecotourism, business, and culinary tourism of national importance.[46]

Being at the center of trade in the north for centuries blessed with a geography crisscrossed by several rivers and sandy beaches, Dagupan has naturally become a multifaceted city in terms of tourism. Also, as the transportation hub of Pangasinan, the city is easily accessible to the public, whether coming from within or outside of the province.[47]

Historical & Heritage Tourism

Filipino-Japanese Frienship Garden overlooking historic Lingayen Gulf

Since the Spanish colonial times, the colonial government had put a great emphasis on the importance of the city due to being at the strategic center of the province and its accessibility to the sea for trading and transport. The first Philippine railroad system, the Manila-Dagupan railway, had its terminus in the city.[48] Remnant of the historic rail transport locomotive can be seen displayed infront of the city museum.[49]

During World War 2, Dagupan also served as the wartime capital of Pangasinan. The shores of Bonuan Gueset was a silent witness to the historic landing of Gen. MacArthur that eventually became one of the key historic points in the country's liberation.[50] To immortalize this important feat in the city's history, a MacArthur Landing Park was built to stand by the shore of Tondaligan Beach, adjacent to Filipino-Japanese Peace Park.

More structures and landmarks of historic importance still dot the city, some of which are already listed as heritage sites by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).[51] These include:
• Home Economics/Gabaldon Building at West Central Elementary School
• Old City Hall and Water Tower
• Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John
• Philippine National Railways Tracks and Station
• Remnants of Franklin Bridge
• Lighthouse in Bonuan

Food Tourism

Aside from Bangus, Dagupan is well known for its Pigar-Pigar (right) and Kaleskes (left)

Aside from being the Bangus Capital of the Philippines, the city is also known as the Kitchen of the North. Many popular culinary traditions have originated in the city, including Pigar-Pigar, Kaleskes, and Bonuan Boneless Bangus. Plato Wraps, a contemporary food innovation that's now popularly sold in major shopping malls also hails from the city.[52][53]

Dagupan is home to popular homegrown restaurants that branched out in many parts of Luzon.[54]

Food Hubs:
Metro Plaza (International and national food and resto chains)[55]
Galvan Street (The center for local Dagupan cuisines such as Pigar-Pigar, Kaleskes and other native dishes)[56]
Tondaligan Food Hub (Alfresco dining by the beach hosting native delicacies, street foods and selected food kiosks)[57]
Dagupan City Growth Center-Lucao (A modern lifestyle center and food hub by the river hosting popular restaurants & cafes)
Plaza Del Carmen (Hosts traditional and innovative cafes, bars and restaurants)
Royal Rays Food Hub (A hub for Filipino and Asian dining)


A welcoming beach landmark along the baywalk of Tondaligan

Dagupan, being surrounded by rivers and sea, offers extensive ecotourism activities for recreation, relaxation and adventure.[58]

Tondaligan Beach is an urban beach park complex with numerous amenities. The extensive Tondaligan baywalk, dubbed as the longest in the region, is a prominent feature along the Bonuan shore wherein cyclists can enjoy biking and savor Lingayen Gulf's picturesque view.[59]

Tondaligan Beach Park also hosts many historical landmark of national importance such as:

Other interesting spots and landmarks in the city that can be visited are as follows:


Bangus Festival – Gilon Gilon ed Baley Street Dance Competition

As the Bangus (Milkfish) Capital of the Philippines, Dagupan has been celebrating its well-renowned produce through Bangus Festival which started in 2002. It's a yearly month-long celebration in the month of April.

The festival features the famous bangusine (bangus cuisine) which is one of the main highlights of the event, street dancing where competing barangays parade in the city's main avenue wearing colorful Bangus Festival costumes, bangus grilling, deboning, variety shows, trade fairs, beauty pageants, sports fest, cooking show, medical mission, visual arts, band concerts, sports activities, dog show, fluvial parade, drum and lyre parade, and street party. The festival concludes every April 30 with main events: Kalutan ed Dalan in the daytime and Bangusan Street Party concerts in the nighttime.[60]

Pista'y Dayat (Festival of the Sea) is held the day after the conclusion of Bangus Festival. It is a simultaneously celebrated festivity together with the neighboring towns in the Lingayen Gulf area. It serves as a thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest and abundant fishing from the sea in the Province of Pangasinan.[61]

Dagupan City Fiesta is a month-long celebration held every December with a Catholic fiesta mass and Procession at St. John Cathedral in honor of St. John the Evangelist, the patron saint of Dagupan and of fishermen.

Christmas tree in front of Dagupan City Museum

Since it coincides with the Christmas festivities, Christmas decoration-building, nativity scene displays and Christmas tree using indigenous materials has become a permanent fixture in the Dagupan City Fiesta.

On The Edades Day, events such as Arts and Painting Contests are held on December 23, honoring national artist on Modern Arts Victorio Edades, a Dagupeño from Barangay Bolosan. Other events such Miss Dagupan pageant, job fairs, NGO, Organizations, & Barangay Nights, various alumni homecoming Nights, Battle of Bands, and Hip Hop Dance Contest, among others are usually parts of the festivities. The Dagupan City fiesta ends on Rizal Day at the Dagupan City Plaza.[62]


Former flag of Dagupan

Further information: Sangguniang Panglungsod

Dagupan, belonging to the fourth congressional district of the province of Pangasinan, is governed by a mayor designated as its local chief executive and by a municipal council as its legislative body in accordance with the Local Government Code. The mayor, vice mayor, and the councilors are elected directly by the people through an election which is being held every three years.

Members of the Dagupan City Council (2022–2025):[63]


Road and railway systems

Remnant of Dagupan Class as displayed at Dagupan City Museum

Dagupan is connected with other cities by networks of national roads. Romulo Highway and Pangasinan–La Union Road (N55) and Urdaneta-Dagupan Road (N57) are the principal highways that serve the city.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) once served Dagupan through Dagupan station, that went defunct in the late 1980s. The first railroad in the Philippines, the Manila-Dagupan Railway, terminated at the city.


Intercity/interprovincial buses from Manila serve the city, and are usually operated by Dagupan Bus Company, Victory Liner, Five Star, and Pangasinan Solid North. Jeepneys provide intracity travel, as well as for towns and cities of close proximities.

Taxi service

Taxi service in Dagupan. The first in Pangasinan and Region 1

Since 2019, taxi service becomes available as the newest transportation mode in the city.[64] It is the first ever taxi operation in Region 1 and is authorized to serve Pangasinan and the entire Region 1. Dagupan was chosen as the launching area being the center of business and education in North Central Luzon.[65]

Modern jeepney

Modern PUVs, more commonly known as modern jeepneys, now ply different parts of the city as part of the nationwide PUJ modernization campaign. They are equipped with CCTV cameras, air conditioning, a television, and equipment to comply with the government's health and safety protocols against COVID-19.[66]


Medical and health service centers abound in Dagupan. Out of 51 hospitals in Pangasinan, 12 are located in the city. The largest of these is the Region 1 Medical Center with hospital bed capacity of 1000. Other notable hospitals are Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital, Nazareth General Hospital, and The Medical City Pangasinan.


Since the colonial era, Dagupan has always been the center of education in Ilocos Region (Region 1). The private sector-driven centers of education University of Pangasinan, Universidad de Dagupan, University of Luzon and Lyceum-Northwestern University lead, 14 colleges and 18 vocational schools and 3 technical learning centers, 19 secondary schools and 53 elementary schools both in public and private.

Universities and colleges

Public secondary schools

Private primary and secondary schools


Dagupan is home to regional broadcasting stations and television networks. Twenty radio broadcasting stations (9 AM and 11 FM), at least seventeen local newspapers and three cable television companies operate in the city. Daily flagship regional news over free TV is served by One North Central Luzon (formerly Balitang Amianan) via GMA Dagupan Station.

TV stations

Cable and satellite TV

AM stations

FM stations

Seventeen local newspapers in Northern Luzon.

News and public affairs programs:

Notable Personalities

Sister cities


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Further reading