BONGABON, is an old town of Nueva Ecija and was the Second Capital of Nueva Ecija, Next to Baler.
Looking back at History, before the creation of the province of Nueva Ecija in 1705, Bongabon was part of the province of Pampanga.
During the seventeenth century, 1637 to 1700, the Augustinian missionaries were given the task of establishing missions to bring the Catholic Faith to the people of central and Northern Luzon from Manila to the Pacific coasts. They followed the routes to these part of Luzon along the Pampanga and Santor Rivers. ( Santor is at present a barrio of Bongabon). The Missionaries followed the route along the river banks from Bacolor, to Sexmoan, Macabebe, Arayat, Gapan and Santor. In 1638. Fray Gaspar Lopez an eminent orator, was brought to a mission of the Augustinian in Santor and Gapang in 1641. Finding Santor to be an ideal site for the headquarters of the missions, they constructed a church and convent in the place. From this base, the missionaries worked for the conversion of the people of Gapang (Gapan), Pantabangan and Baler. In 1700, the missions were quite successful and they established the village of Bongabon which was three kilometers from Santor.
BONGABON was quite populous and it was not long after that it became municipality making Santor one of its barrios. In 1760 and the Parish Patron become Saint Francis of Assisi. Years Later, it became the Capital of Nueva Ecija.
At this age of pre-stressed concrete structures and the pre-fabricated buildings, still some brick houses and brick wall yards are a common sight in Bongabon. They are the mute testimonies of the glorious past.
Basic information. Bongabon is chiefly an Agricultural town. Its soil is fertile and mostly sandy loam. It is very much suited to rice, corn, onions, cabbage, pechay and other vegetables. Asides from rice and corn, vegetables like onions, cabbage and pechay are raised in large commercial scale and sold in Manila and neighboring provinces. Bongabon onions and cabbage are well known in the in the markets of Metro Manila. The GMTFM (Greater Manila Trade and Food Market) has station in Bongabon which helps the farmers sell their products at good price.
Poultry and Swine raising are also engaged in by many residents of the municipality, they stock raised are also sold in Cabanatuan City and Manila.
BONGABON, a typical municipality of 28,352.9 hectares as per cadastral survey may delight to tourists for its plenty of scenic view. Its field of excellence is agriculture, with its vast fertile soil suited to almost all kinds of crops, a versatile farmer’s paradise as evidenced by the fact that today, its onions, palay and other crops has reached the public markets as far as Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.Bongabon is a 2nd class municipality with a population of 64,173 based on 2015 Census of Population. It has an annual income of P88,460,092.00 for the fiscal year 2010 including IRA.
As regards to education, it has nineteen public elementary schools and one Provincial high School, with total enrolment of 5,536 and 1,133.3.
NUEVA ECIJA has five emergency hospitals stationed in five towns and one of this Hospitals is in Bongabon. It has twenty-five bed capacities with staff of Twenty-four. Ordinary ailments and minor surgery are attended to in the hospital.
TAGALOG is generally the language spoken but roughly estimated, one third of the population speaks Ilocano, and A minor portion speaks Pampanga and Pangasinan. With exception of the few very old people, English is understood by all.
Majority of the people of the municipality are Catholics. An imposing church is soon in heart of the poblacion. The edifice is the remnant of the old church constructed during the Spanish times, as evidence by its brick walls and two huge bells. The church had been renovated and remodelled many times since the pre-mar days, and finally, five years ago, it was completed with a touch of both ancient and the modern.
The members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo are growing in number and are second to the Catholic in membership. The rest also boasts of a big imposing church with the characteristic style and architecture of the churches of the sect. throughout the country.
Other sects. In the municipality are the Methodist, Iglesia Ng Dios, Seventh Day Adventists, the Adarnistas, and the Samahan ng Amang Kaama Amahan at Inang Kaina Inahan, the last two being the subjects of the study.
Obviously, Bongabon got its name from the botel nut palms (bunga) that abound in the place. Up to this time, botel nuts are plentiful in the poblacion and in the barrios, most especially in Santor.
Topography and Land area. Bongabon is one of the twenty-nine municipalities in Nueva Ecija and lies at the eastern portion of the province, being the last town to Baler, Quezon. It is twenty-seven kilometers from Cabanatuan City and 145 kilometers from Manila. It is bounded in the east by the municipality of Gabaldon and Quezon provinces; Palayan City and Laur in the South, General Natividad in the west and Rizal and Pantabangan in the north. Bongabon can only be reached after passing by two adjacent cities, Cabanatuan and Palayan.
ONION CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
Bongabon is politically subdivided into 28 barangays.
* San Roque
* Tulay na Bato (New Era)
* Vega Grande