Tagkawayan is the last town in Quezon Province going south to the Bicol Region. It is bounded on the North by the Province of Camarines Norte, to the South by Ragay Gulf, to the east going southeast by the Province of Camarines Sur, and to the west going northwest-the watershed of Cabibihan River and the municipalities of Guinayangan and Calauag—both of Quezon Province. It has a total land area of 53,435 hectares comprising of forty-five (45) barangays and sixty-four (64) sitios. It is the third largest municipality in the entire Province of Quezon. The municipality’s land area is 5.94% of the total land area of Quezon Province which is 898,939 hectares. Of the forty-five (45) barangays, forty (40) of which are rural barangays and five (5) are urban barangays. Rural barangays cover 99% or 52,913.48 hectares while urban barangays cover almost 1% (521.52 hectares) of the total land area of the municipality. The largest barangay is Maguibuay which covers 15.69% or 8,381.436 hectares of the total land area of Tagkawayan while Aldavoc is the smallest with only 7.3958 hectares (0.01%) land area. Tagkawayan is also a coastal municipality with thirteen (13) barangays situated in the coast of Ragay Gulf.
The municipality is characterized by mostly undulating (8-18% slope) to hilly (18-30% slope) terrain which is 55.2% of the total land area and could be a challenge to development planners and implementers alike. The flat terrain is found mainly at the central part or Metro Poblacion and some parts of Barangays Payapa, Bamban, Landing, Aliji and Colong-Colong.
Based on the soil classification and survey made by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM), Quezon Province, Tagkawayan has a soil type very much suited for agriculture. 30% or 15,964.22 hectares of the total land area of the municipality is dominated by Luisiana Sandy Clay Loam.
Among the municipalities of Quezon, Tagkawayan has the 15th largest population in the entire province and 5th with the number of people in District 4. The population composition of the municipality is composed of a population with a sex ratio of 51% male and 49 female, 41.66% dependent population, 58% working age population, 44% school going population, and 34% labor force population.
Among the barangays, Brgy. Maguibuay has the largest land area in Tagkawayan which occupies 15.69% of the total land area while Brgy. Aldavoc has the smallest land area occupies 0.01% of the total land area of the municipality. Many populated barangays were located in urban areas because of the migration of people from rural barangays and the growing economic activities in the municipality while most of the barangays with wider or larger land areas where in rural areas which are commonly located in agricultural areas, farmlands, mountains, coastal areas and hills which they get most of their living or livelihood.
The municipality of Tagkawayan has different agricultural productions such as the production of rice/palay and coconut which are two of the most important source of food and livelihood of the people and also contributes to the economy of the town. Since the municipality has 4,621.993 hectares of municipal waters. Fishing is one of the sources of living in Tagkawayan with over 1,887 fisher folks. The increasing number of commercial establishments made a big contribution or impact to the economy or in the local income of the municipality. There were about 1,232 or 16% increase in the number of establishments in the last five years (2015-2019). The commerce and trade industry has more contributions than in agriculture when it comes to the local income or the economy of the municipality although many main products of the businesses in the municipality are agricultural products.
Tagkawayan is a colorful municipality because of its natural resources, forests, mangrove forests and mineral and bodies of water. The forest land of the municipality has an approximate area of 7,229.72 are utilized as production forest and conserved through the different programs and projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the CENR Office in Calauag, Quezon and the Local Government. Aside from the different ongoing programs and projects, the Local Government of Tagkawayan is also undertaking tree planting activities involving barangays, different civic organizations and institutions, mostly on the watersheds and open areas of forestlands covered with cogon grasses.The municipality is also blessed with mangrove forests or areas which have natural resources and potential eco-tourism sites such as mangrove species, beach forest species and migratory bird species. An area of 1,266.43 hectares or 21.47% of the total water use area of the municipality is currently planted with mangroves and other mangroves associates such as nipa, talisay, balabago and pandan. This area will be increased by 100 hectares within the planning period to protect the coastal environment. There are three different types of soil in the municipality namely: loam soil, clay soil and hydrosol. The types of loam soils identified in municipality are Luisiana Sandy Clay Loam, Alimodian Sandy Loam, and Tagkawayan Sandy Loam while Alaminos and Faraon Clay were identified types clay soils in Tagkawayan. The municipal water covers a total area of 4,621.993 hectares. The existing water uses in the municipality include the municipal fishery reserve area, fish sanctuary, mangrove forest coral reefs and sea grass beds and fish port. Tagkawayan is rich in different bodies of water as there were about 21 identified rivers, 12 waterfalls, 1 lake and 4 springs in different barangays. There are also 4 caves, 7 lagoons, 2 picnic groves/community parks and 2 bird sites which are nature-based tourism assets that can be found in the municipality.
The Local Government Unit of Tagkawayan is in the process of conducting the cultural or tourism mapping in the municipality to identify potential tourist spots and historical landmarks and homes. The identified historical landmarks in the municipality is the statue of Manuel L. Quezon which is located in the Freedom Park in front of the Municipal Town Hall, Sibalon Lighthouse and the “Mataas na Bato”. Other heritage sites initially identified are the Municipal Building, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church and natural tourist destinations namely: Mataas na Bato Beach, Maguibuay Falls, Quitay Mangrove Park, Candalapdap Sandbar, Mt. Baliwag Protected Landscape, Cabangil Cave, Maniknik Falls, Kawa-kawa Falls, Balagbag Falls and Hibitan Falls.
Tourism development is one of the thrusts of the LGU. It will provide livelihood to communities with the development of eco-tourism sites in different parts of the municipality particularly in Barangays Candalapdap, Laurel, Maguibuay, Rizal, Sabang, Mahinta and San Diego. The existing tourism area of the municipality is 29.392 hectares or 0.50% occupied mostly by beach resorts under the water use area.
The municipality is also rich in cultural traditions such as the festive celebration of the KAWAY Festival which is conducted every February coinciding with the Patronal Town Fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes, Patroness of the Municipality of Tagkawayan. The Kaway Festival features different events and activities that showcase the tradition, culture and merrymaking of Tagkawayanins. The Sayawayan Festival is a cultural street dancing version of Tagkawayan that features the ritual dance and hand-signal traditions and costumes of the “Taga-kawayan”. It also showed the conversion of the native people of Tagkawayan to Catholism and turned into devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, the Patroness of the Municipality of Tagkawayan. The Municipal Foundation Day is celebrated every January 1 in commemoration of the establishment of Tagkawayan as a full-pledged municipality.
The policy of the LGU is to protect, conserve and revitalise as appropriate historical and heritage assets, tangible and intangible, through relevant and sustainable approaches for the benefit of present and future generations.
Pursuant to RA 7160 also known as the Local Government Code of 1991, Tagkawayan like any other government units enjoys total independence in managing, deciding and planning its own administrative, fiscal and social affairs in conformity with the national government’s thrust for sustainable and economic and societal growth. At present, the municipality is thriving with a booming economic and tourism atmosphere and with people who cares for the environment.
Source: CLUP, LGU Tagkawayan