Kananga is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.
Places to See
- Urban Falls
Where To Stay
- Palm Hills Lodge – Poblacion
How to Get There
Distances (Kananga to:)
- Tacloban City: 96.36 kms. (2 hrs.)
- Ormoc City: 23 kms.
Ma. Victoria Transit buses ply the Manila-Kananga route including the ferry from Matnog (Sorsogon) to Allen (Northern Samar)
- December 12 (Holy Family)
- December 30 (Kan-anga Festival)
- Area (sq. kms.): 144.2
- Population (2000): 42,866 Kanangahanons
- No. of Barangays: 23
- Income Class: Second
- District: Fourth
- Zip Code: 6531
- Area Code: 053
HISTORY OF KANANGA
Amidst a vast and fertile agricultural land approximately 23 kilometers north of Ormoc City, lies the municipality of Kananga, which, during the Spanish time was but a stretch of virgin wilderness. The Spanish soldiers used to bivouac in the place on their Ormoc-Carigara expeditions. They always loved to linger in the area owing to the extravagant array of wild flowers, notably the giant Ilang-ilang blossoms which fragrance enchanted them and which abounded in the region. The elusive scent of this particular flower made one Spanish lieutenant remark, “Como Agua Cananga,” referring to the old famous Spanish perfume with that label. The name stuck, and the people began calling the place Kananga – a name that has lived through the centuries to this very day. Such was the origin of the name of the town.
Until about 1920, the present site of the municipality of Kananga used to be a sitio of Barrio Lonoy, Ormoc City. A few settlers in six or seven scattered shacks populated it. As the years passed, more settlers form Carigara and Ormoc moved in. The population increased until it was ready to be elevated to barrio status.
Mrs. Josefa Bukalang, one of the wealthy landowners at the time, was inspired by the influx of these pioneers that she donated school sites to Kananga. The community was inaugurated a full-fledged barrio, owing chiefly to the efforts of Teodoro Sacay, councilor for the sitio in the municipal council of Ormoc City. Cagayong was the first teniente del barrio of Kananga.
The construction of the Ormoc-Kananga and later the Kananga-Tacloban road in the early 1930’s linking Kananga to both east and west coasts of Leyte on one long highway, the Tacloban-Ormoc road, hastened the growth of Kananga. Many people were attracted to settle in the place. Commerce and industry were stimulated. Agriculture received a big boost. The living conditions of the people improved.
During the Japanese occupation, due to its strategic position, Kananga was chosen as the rendezvous center of the civil officials of the Resistance Movement in Ormoc, Capoocan, Palompon, Merida and Albuera. A guerilla unit was stationed in the barrio for espionage rather than for armed attack against the enemy.
Shortly after General Douglas MacArthur and his troops landed ashore on the Red Beach, Palo, Leyte and other points on the east coast of the province, General Yamashita, “Tiger of Malaya,” established the now famous “Yamashita Line” or “Ormoc Corridor” for defensive forces against the American forces. The defense installation extended across the mountain vastness of Barrios Kananga and Lonoy, and was defended by 200,000 Japanese soldiers recruited from the neighboring islands and the various Japanese garrisons in Leyte at the time. The 77th and 7th divisions of the American Army destroyed the “Ormoc Corridor”. Japanese soldiers were killed by the thousands and the few hundreds who escaped unhurt fled to Buga-buga in Villaba where they made their last stand in Leyte.
On June 17, 1950, Kananga was created into a municipality by virtue of Republic Act No. 542, an important milestone for the community. The first administrators of the municipality were appointed by the President, the usual procedure for newly created political subdivisions. The first mayor of Kananga was Perfecto Mendoza, appointed by the president. The officials were faced by the numerous problems that usually arose in new municipalities. However, due to the cooperation of the people and through the initiative and efforts of the town officials, these problems were solved.
The first elected Mayor was Mr. Liberato Taganas followed by Mr. Feleciano Larrazabal then Mr. Jorge Tan. However Mayor Tan failed to finish his term which, then Vice Mayor Reynaldo Laurente took the position of Mayor and served the unfinished term of mayor Tan. During the next election Mr. Laurente was then elected as Mayor, he served until the fall of the Marcos administration. After the collapsed of the Marcos regime Officer In-Charge were appointed by the Department of Interior and Local Government Mr. Arturo Conejos was then the OIC of Kananga for six months. Mr. Eduardo Napari won the next election and served for three straight terms. Mr. Giovani Ed Napari a Registered Nurse and the second born child of the ex-mayor followed the footstep of his father. Mr. Giovani Ed Napari known by KanangeÃ±os as Â“NonoyÂ” was first elected as Mayor at twenty two (22) years old. As the new millennium start Kananga celebrates an important milestone of its history, its 50th birthday. The year 2000 was a good sign for Kananga it celebrate its Golden anniversary while the holder of its bastion, Mayor Â“NonoyÂ” Napari turns Twenty Five (25), his Sliver birthday, a good start for the new millennium the power of wealth, silver and gold.