Dagupan, officially the City of Dagupan (Pangasinan: Siyudad na Dagupan, Ilocano: Siudad ti Dagupan, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dagupan), is a 2nd class independent component city[9] in the Ilocos Region, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 174,302 people. [6]

City of Dagupan
By Jdcedit - Overlooking Arellano Street Dagupan CBD.jpg
Dagupan Pangasinan 1.JPG
Dagupan Church facade.JPG
Clockwise from top-left:Dagupan CBD along Arellano Street, Dagupan City Welcome Arch, Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, CSI City Supermarket, Inc., Dagupan Train Museum
Flag of Dagupan
Bangus (Milkfish) Capital of the Philippines[1]
Kitchen of the North[2][3]
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; 120.334Coordinates: 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
% (2018)[7]
 • Revenue₱1,104,356,759.21 (2020)[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

Located on the Lingayen Gulf on the northwest-central part of the island 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 city is situated within the fertile Agno River Valley and is in turn a part of the larger Central Luzon plain.

Milkfish or locally known as Bangus

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.[10]

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

Dagupan City is one of the proposed metropolitan area in the Philippines.[11] 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, meaning "gathering place" as the city has been a regional market center for centuries.



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.[12]

Spanish OccupationEdit

The area that is now known as Dagupan was described as marshland thickly covered with mangrove and nipa palm trees.[13] 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.[14]

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

Japanese OccupationEdit

Filipino-Japanese Friendship Garden in the historic shore of Bonuan, Dagupan City

The Japanese planes bombed in Dagupan City in December 1941; Dagupan City was occupied by Japanese forces starting in 1942.[15] The city also served as a wartime capital of Pangasinan.

Allied LiberationEdit

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.[16][17] 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.


Perez Boulevard

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.[18]

Contemporary HistoryEdit

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.[19]

At the turn of the millenium, 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.[20]


Dagupan City covers a total land area of 4,447.10 hectares (10,989.0 acres),[1] bounded by the 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 and 220 kilometres (140 mi) from Manila.

Panoramic view of Dagupan river


Dagupan City is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.[21] These barangays are headed by elected officials: Barangay Captain, Barangay Council, whose members are called Barangay Councilors. All are elected every three years.

Barangay Population (2010) [22]
Bacayao Norte 3,283
Bacayao Sur 2,632
Barangay I (T. Bugallon) 673
Barangay II (Nueva) 2,824
Barangay IV (Zamora) 841
Bolosan 3,862
Bonuan Binloc 8,246
Bonuan Boquig 13,686
Bonuan Gueset 22,042
Calmay 6,706
Carael 4,732
Caranglaan 6,459
Herrero St. 2,428
Lasip Chico 1,370
Lasip Grande 2,622
Lomboy 1,367
Lucao Dist. 9,748
Malued 9,406
Mamalingling 1,456
Mangin 3,700
Mayombo Dist. 10,248
Pantal 17,174
Poblacion Oeste 4,523
Pogo Chico 4,603
Pogo Grande 2,112
Pugaro Suit 4,757
Salapingao 2,890
Salisay 2,134
Tambac 2,328
Tapuac 4,391
Tebeng 2,744
Population distribution (2010) [22]
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: 163,676


Climate data for Dagupan City (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
Average high °C (°F) 30.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.8
Average low °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 City 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%
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%
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][22][26][27]

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. Chinese is mainly spoken only by a few city individuals of Chinese descent.

  • Number of Registered Voters (2016): 105,183[21]


A.B. Fernandez Avenue

Dagupan is the economic center of Pangasinan.[35] 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 to 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.

Historically, Dagupan was a center for salt making in numerous salt evaporator beds in the low-lying swampy areas close to the Lingayen Gulf, Beginning in the 19th Century, some of the salt making operations gave way to pond culture of fish, most prominently the milkfish or as it is known locally as bangus for which the city has become famous. Fisheries, aquaculture and processed fisheries products are an important mainstay of the city's economy.[36]

SM Center Dagupan Along MH Del Pilar and Herrero Perez Streets, Dagupan City

Manila-based developers have also set shop in this bustling city due to its strategic location and growing population.

▪ Santa Lucia Land Inc. (Almeria Verde Subdivision)[37]

▪ Double Dragon Properties (CityMall Mayombo, opened 2018)

▪ SM Prime Holdings (SM Center Dagupan [opened 2019], planned SM Savemore Dagupan, and planned SM City Dagupan)[37]

▪ 11-storey Allied Care Experts Medical Center[37]

▪ Green Sun Management Inc. & Megaworld Construction and Development Corporation (5 storey Green Sun Hotel)[38]

▪ Filinvest (Fora Dagupan – a 6.3-hectare (16-acre) Townscape development)[39]

▪ Vester Corporation – Bayani Hall condominium, Arellano St., Dagupan City[40]

As of June 2020, Dagupan is one of the 25 cities in the country identified as an area with “high-potential in IT-BPM industry” for transformation into “digital cities” by 2025.[41]

Sitel, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, has recently opened its first Sitel MAXhub in Dagupan City, bringing more jobs to aspiring BPO professionals in Dagupan city. The company is now actively seeking to expand more in the city.[42]

Local businessmen have also gone with the trend in developing their properties in different locations which further boosts the city's construction activities and secures the city's title as the economic hub of Pangasinan.

Another part of Dagupan's economy is the motor vehicle industry centered around Caranglaan and Lucao districts.[43] Many automotive companies have a dealership in the city's metropolitan area. Existing car dealerships from major companies including Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Mazda and Isuzu are all found in Dagupan, while other companies such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and many more are found at the neighbouring town of Calasiao.


Dagupan is a historic city that boasts numerous historical, cultural heritage, recreational, ecotourism, business, and culinary tourism of national importance.[44]

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.[45]

Historical & Heritage TourismEdit

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.[46] Remnant of the historic rail transport locomotive can be seen displayed infront of the city museum.[47]

Mac Arthur Landing Park, Dagupan City

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.[48] 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).[49] 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 TourismEdit

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.[50][51]

Matutina's Restaurant in De Venecia Highway, Dagupan City

Dagupan is home to popular homegrown restaurants that branched out in many parts of Luzon. These include Matutina's Restaurant, Dagupeña Restaurant, Pedritos Restaurant, and Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina, among others.[52]

River Grove Lifestyle Center

Food Hubs:
Metro Plaza (International and national food and resto chains such as Starbucks, Yellow Cab Pizza)[53]
Galvan Street (The center for local Dagupan cuisines such as Pigar-Pigar, Kaleskes and other native dishes)[54]
Tondaligan Food Hub (Alfresco dining by the beach hosting native delicacies, street foods and selected food kiosks)[55]
Rivergrove Lifestyle Center (A modern food hub by the river hosting popular restaurants & cafes such as Tim Hortons, Army Navy, Cabalen)
Plaza Del Carmen (Hosts traditional and innovative cafes, bars and restaurants such as Bside Bistro, Carne'val Mexican Grill, Mankape, among others)
Royal Rays Food Hub (A hub for Filipino and Asian dining, such as Ikura by Hagemu, Juliana's Kitchen, Sangkalan and Moonleaf Cafe)


Tondaligan Beach Marker

Dagupan, being surrounded by rivers and sea, offers extensive ecotourism activities for recreation, relaxation and adventure.[56]

Tondaligan Baywalk

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.[57]

Tondaligan Grand Amphitheater

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

  • Gen. MacArthur Landing Park
  • Filipino-Japanese Garden Park
  • Tondaligan Grand Amphitheater
Dawel River as seen from Dawel Bridge

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

  • Dawel River Cruise
  • Pugaro Beach
  • Bonuan Golf Course
  • Leisure Coast Resort


Being 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 month-long celebration every April annually. A historic Guinness World Record for the longest barbecue measuring 1,007.56 meters (3,305.64 feet) was achieved by the people of Dagupan City on May 3, 2003.[58]

Bangus Festival - Gilon Gilon ed Baley Street Dance Competition

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.[59]

Tondaligan Beach Sunset

Pista'y Dayat (Festival of the Sea) is held the day after the conclusion of Bangus Festival. It is simultaneously being celebrated together with all 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.[60]

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 City Plaza.[61]


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.

Elected officialsEdit

Members of the Dagupan City Council (2022–2025)[62]
Position Name
District Representative
(4th Legislative District the Province of Pangasinan)
Christopher George Martin P. de Venecia
Chief Executive of the City of Dagupan Mayor Belen T. Fernandez
Presiding Officer of the City Council of Dagupan Vice-Mayor Dean Bryan L. Kua
Councilors of the City of Dagupan Maria Librada Fe M. Reyna
Jeslito C. Seen
Alvin T. Coquia
Celia C. Lim
Dr. Maria Lourdes S. Fernandez
Atty. Alipio Serafin D. Fernandez
Redford Christian P. Erfe-Mejia

Dr. Dennis C. Canto

Victoria Czarinna C. Lim-Acosta
Michael B. Fernandez


Road and Railway SystemsEdit

Dagupan is connected with other cities by networks of national roads. Romulo Highway and Pangasinan – La Union Road (N55) and Urdaneta – Dagupan Road (N56) are the principal highways that serve the city.

Remnant of Dagupan Class as displayed at Dagupan City Museum

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.


Dagupan Bus Co. in a bus station terminal

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 ServiceEdit

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

Since 2019, Taxi service becomes available as the newest transportation mode in the city.[63] 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.[64]

Modern JeepneyEdit

Modern Jeepneys are now commonly plying in major cities around the country

Modern PUVs, more commonly known as Modern Jeeps, are now plying in different parts of the city as part of the nationwide PUJs modernization campaign. They are equipped with CCTV camera, air conditioning, a television, and equipments to comply with the government’s health and safety protocols against COVID-19.[65]


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.


Dagupan City is home to regional broadcasting stations and television networks. Nineteen radio broadcasting stations (9 AM and 10 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.

TV StationsEdit

Cable and Satellite TVEdit

AM StationsEdit

FM StationsEdit

seventeen local newspapers in Northern Luzon.

News and Public Affairs Programs

Sister citiesEdit


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Further readingEdit

  • Basa, Restituto (1972). Story of Dagupan. Manaois Press.

External linksEdit