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Sunday, December 05, 2021

History of Gamu, Isabela

The town of Gamu was established on Decmeber 5, 1741. The name "Gamu" or "gamu-t" in old texts refers to the roots of tall grasses like cogon, deeply embedded in the soil. Originally part of Cagayan Valley, Gamu became part of Nueva Vizcaya in 1856 and later joined Isabela in 1859.

San Gabriel de Batauag, the first mission, was established in 1612 by Dominican missionaries. After initial conflicts, the mission was restored in 1673, leading to the emergence of Cabagan, Itugod, and Santa Rosa de Gamu-t.

Financial constraints led Santa Rosa de Gamu-t and Our Lady of Victories of Itugod to merge in 1741, with Gamu as the central settlement. Under Dominican care until 1922, Gamu later saw leadership shifts, including Filipino priests and La Salette missionaries from 1962 to 1977.

An earthquake in December 1949 damaged the church and convent, resulting in the construction of a wooden church in 1950-1951 near the Spanish Church ruins.

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