Cauayan was an original town of the Province of Cagayan. It was transferred to Nueva Vizcaya when it became a province in 1839. Upon the creation of Isabela as a province by a Royal Decree issued in May 1856, it was reverted as a town of the new province. The town site was first located in a place called Calanusian along the Cagayan River, but after a series of disastrous floods, the town site was transferred to its present location.
Historical structures still visible to this day are the big adobe stone church located at the Poblacion, now called Our Lady of the Pillar Church and the Tabacalera warehouse and La Insular bodegas found at Barangay Turayong that date their construction during Spanish rule.
With the establishment of the government under the United States of America, Don Domingo Damatan was appointed as the first “presidente municipal”.
It was during the administration of Mayor Faustino N. Dy (1964-1972) that the municipality started to bounce from a rather slow development. The town’s development continued at an even faster pace under the late Mayor Benjamin G. Dy (1983-1992) who envisioned the municipality to become a city. The vision became a reality under Mayor Faustino G. Dy, III who saw through the introduction of House Bill No. 9017 and which was signed by Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 28, 2001. Cauayan became a component city of the Province of Isabela after it was ratified in a plebiscite by a majority vote on March 30, 2001.
Cauayan City has an area of 336.40451 square kilometers and ranks as the tenth highest in terms of land area among the 38 Local Government Units of the Province of Isabela. Most of the Cauayanos speak Ilocano (74.91%) while the rest speak Tagalog (14.14 %); Gaddang (6.38%) and Ibanag (1.59%).
One of the financial centers of Region 02, Cauayan City has 16 banks catering to the needs of commerce, trade and industry and home to the bottling company of RC Cola Corporation and Ginebra San Miguel. The city is also the host of the regional sales office of the San Miguel Corporation, Nestle and Magnolia. Cauayan Public Market is a recipient of the prestigious Philippine Health Promotions Program Award after having been adjudged as “The Healthiest Public Market” for the provincial and regional level, and also received the “Cleanest Wet Section” Award Provincial and Regional category in March 2001, among many others. Cauayan City has also become a favorite stop-over for the prestigious cycling race – Le Tour de Filipinas.
Cauayan takes pride in its Gawagaway-yan Festival – a celebration of the city’s bountiful harvest and merriment for the ethno-linguistic groups in the city from March 30 to April 13. The city produced the longest Cassava Roll measuring 1.250 kilometers during the Gawagaway-yan Festival 2005.
Cauayan City is about 367 kilometers north of Manila and is accessible by airconditioned buses plying the Maharlika Highway. Cauayan City has a domestic airport with modern facilities which caters to Cebu Pacific three times a week (MWF) and Cyclone Airways (Cessna 207) which flies to Maconacon and Palanan. Contact CAAP Office at 078-652-2314 and Cyclone Airways at 078-652-0913.
1. OUR LADY OF THE PILLARS CHURCH has a modern interior recommended for wedding venues and a preserved Spanish colonial exterior.
2. FARM TOURISM DESTINATIONS include mushroom production centers, “Gulayanng Bayan”, orchard farms, prawn hatchery farm and a fruit farm that allows al-fresco dining and pick and pay experience.