Tuguegarao is the capital city of the province of Cagayan, Philippines. It is located on a peninsula surrounded by the Cagayan and Pinacanauan Rivers. The Pinacanauan joins the Cagayan River in Tuguegarao. The city is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains to the east, Cordillera Mountains to the west, and the Caraballo Mountains to the south. It is one of the settlements on the southern border of the province.
The population of the city as of the May 1, 2010 census is 138,865 people. Most inhabitants are Ibanag, Ilokano, Tagalog, Itawes and Kapamapangan among others. Some are of Chinese and Indian descent.
The highest temperature in the Philippines was recorded in Tuguegarao on April 29, 1912, and May 11, 1969, at . Average temperature during March and April is , one of the highest in the country.
Founding of the town
The community was governed as a barangay established by the Dominicans as a mission until the Spaniards gave it the status of pueblo (municipality) on May 9, 1604, making it one of the political units of the province of Cagayan. The settlement was a small in terms of population but was big in territory, which then included what would later become the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino till the 1850s. As a mission pueblo and with assigned encomendero (landlord) to Tuguegarao, the inhabitants (as tenants) were made to pay taxes in the form of poultry products and other food products. Resentments later flared and the people of Tuguegarao revolted in 1605, killing the encomendero. Again, the people of Tuguegarao revolted in 1718 and then 1761 under a leader named Rivera.
Tuguegarao became the capital of Cagayan province in 1839 when the provincial seat of power was relocated from Lal-lo. The decline of Lal-lo became the transformation of Tuguegarao as the most important town in Cagayan.
American colonial period
Tuguegarao was occupied by American troops on December 12, 1899. During World War II, the city and its airfield of some significance was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army on December 8, 1941. The city and airfield were bombed by the US and Philippine regularly between January and May 1945. The Japanese had left by the time the local recognized guerrillas helped by entering the town, Philippine Commonwealth troops under the Philippine Army and Constabulary units and USAFIP-NL military units came in early June; the town was officially liberated on June 25, 1945.
After World War II
Sitio Capatan was elevated into a Barrio (or barangay) Capatan of Tuguegarao on April 3, 1959 by Republic Act no. 2107.
Tuguegarao was once the only first class municipality in the province of Cagayan. It has served as the provincial capital of Cagayan since 1839 because of the notable socio-economic progress of the town. In 1975, Tuguegarao was declared as the capital and seat of the regional government of Cagayan Valley (Region II) being the region's geographic center with adequate facilities and amenities needed by such.
New barangays were formed in the 1970s that by 1981, Tuguegarao had 49 barangays, 12 of which were urban. The late 1980s saw the gradual expansion of the urban core of Tuguegarao to the outlying barangays of Ugac, Caritan and Atulayan. With the fast rising prices of real estate in the poblacion (city center), residents found it profitable to sell their properties in the poblacion and buy lots in the surrounding barangay neighborhoods, but still close to avail the amenities of the city.
By 1980, Tuguegarao had a population of 73,507. The increase in population could be attributed to various factors. One is the increasing peace and order problems in the other towns in the region driving the people to Tuguegarao, which is relatively free of the insurgency problem with the visible presence of the military and its geographic location. Another factor is the presence of the schools, whose quality of education is highly comparable to that of Metropolitan Manila. Others come because of the increase in trade and industry. The completion of the Maharlika Highway made Region II more accessible to people from other areas.
The year 1983 marked the quadricentennial celebration of the establishment of the civil government of the Province of Cagayan. In the week long celebration held in Tuguegarao, several Philippine cabinet ministers visited the town and province.
Of very great consideration is the town's tremendous improvement in social services and infrastructure facilities since 1975. In the 1980s and 1990s, multistory buildings were constructed in the poblacion greatly changing Tuguegarao's skyline. Other changes included landscaped schools and homes, cable television, air-conditioned buses, jet flights, telegraph and telex services, door-to-door delivery services, domestic and overseas long-distance calls, luxurious social amenities and other trappings of a highly urbanized town.
Hotel Delfino siege
The Hotel Delfino siege was a bloody coup attempt that happened on March 4, 1990, when suspended Cagayan governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo and his armed men of 200 seized Hotel Delfino in Tuguegarao. Brigader General Oscar Florendo, his driver and four members of the civilian staff, and several other people were held hostage for several hours. A gunfight was launched to kill Aguinaldo and his men but one of the suspended governor's men was found dead in a checkpoint shootout, Brig. Gen. Florendo and 12 others were also dead and 10 more wounded. Aguinaldo was slightly wounded in a car gunfight but eventually escaped and hid into the mountains.
Tuguegarao became a component city after it was affirmed in a plebiscite held on December 18, 1999. Randolph Sera Ting is the first mayor of the new city. On July 2, 2007, Delfin Telan Ting (who was then a municipal mayor from 1988 to 1998) was elected to become the second mayor of the city.