Naga City has roots from the early native settlers who were able to establish a thriving community along two rivers. We’ll take a look at the founding and early history of Naga City, one of the premiere cities of the Philippines.
Naga City derives its name from the tough and robust narra trees that was abundant in the area before the city’s establishment. The early local Filipino settlers established a trading village here. The place was well known for trade and the community’s advanced weaponry and technology at the time.
In 1573 Juan de Salcedo led the Spanish expedition to what we know now as Naga City. Captain Salcedo and the Spanish troops were quite surprised to find this flourishing village with such technology of the day. The culture of the village was quite different and a bit sophisticated and modern.
About two years later, in 1575, a new city was founded in the said location. Captain Pedro de Chaves of Spain and commander of the Spanish garrison in Naga named the city as Ciudad de Caceres. It is presently located on Naga City’s business center.
The name of the city was in honor of the current governor general who was a native of Caceres City in Spain. It held the name for quite some time and was even mentioned at the 1595 papal bull.
Life went on and the city and the town that the locals established became one community. The name Nueva Caceres was used to identify the now merged community and became a city under Spanish law and became one of the first few Spanish cities in the Philippines.
In 1898 Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo led a successful revolt which resulted in the Spanish forces retreating to Iloilo Province. This little victory wasn’t meant to last long however.
A couple of years later, American forces invaded Camarines Sur in 1900 and entered Naga City. The revolutionary soldiers of the Philippines in the area of Naga City were forced to surrender in 1901 due to sickness among their forces.
In 1941 Naga City was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army. But the Japanese occupation of Naga City didn’t last long. In 1945 the Japanese forces in Naga City was defeated by the American troops and the local guerilla fighters. Naga City was officially declared as a city in 1948.
Naga City today remains as a great place to visit. Naga City has survived a lot of difficult times and will still remain a bright monument of the early beginnings of the Philippines.