People and cultureNinety-three percent of the population is Ilocano and isoverwhelmingly Roman Catholic. There are communitiesof Pangasinense in the south, Igorots in the Cordillera foothills,and Chinese in the city.
La Union is highly literate, with San Fernando City asthe administrative, educational, and financial center of the region.he economy is diversified with service, manufacturing, andagricultural industries spread throughout the province. The Port ofSan Fernando operates as an increasingly active shipping point,and the former American airbase Wallace Air Station, havingbeen converted into a business and industrial area, helps tofacilitate such commercial activity.Tourism to the province is driven by airlines andpassengercoach bus lines like regionally ownedFarinas TransitCompany, Viron Transit, Dominion Bus Lines and Partas.Tourists often flock to the beaches of Bauang, or to the moresecluded ones further north for snorkeling, surfing or other watersports; the more northerly beaches near San Juan specificallycater to both local surfers as well as portions of the world surfingcircuit.Public transport in the Philippines is plentiful and easy to getassociated withranging from the plague like tricycle fraternity,to the Air-Con Bus System, but my favorite by far is the ever "reliable"
Jeepney fleet. A place to get involved with the everyday living of the local lifestyle at a bargain price. Jeepneys are the heart and soul of the transport system here and with a little knowledge you can go a long way. From San Fernando in and around the Super Market area, in the middle of town is the initial boarding point for most local destinations.Jeepneys cue on designated street corners waitingfor passengers till they have there fill, then when full,and by act of "God" they manage to squeeze at least 2more passengers in before heading to your favoritebeach or refreshment station. Payment is simple and ispast down the line to a highly skilled driver, who withone hand on the wheel and one hand blindly searchingfor fares behind his head, he manages to completemoney changes, calculate whats in the till, wave tohis mates and deliver you safely to your port of call.Fares are now displayed in most jeepneys and from
the Sebay resort to town the cost is approx 7 pesoTricycles are the mosquito fleet of the transport system and an integral part of daily life. Fares range from as low as 10 peso for a short ride around town or about 50 peso from the market back to the surf camp, fares should be negotiated before departure to avoid the possibility of paying "foreigner tax" if you now what l mean. Most riders are courteous and helpful and will slow down if asked politely, they can also be hired on a hourly or daily rate, but shop around to
see what you can bargain for.Buses Buses are also plentiful in the Philippines with many independent operators going to every part of Luzon, from Manila you can catch an aircon bus to San Fernando make sure its La Union province as there is another San Fernando north of Manila. Fairs are cheap and cost only about 300 peso for the 6-8 hour ride, or alternately" Fly the Bus" leaves from the Swagman Hotel every morning to Angeles and there from the Dau terminal you can catch a bus heading north to Vigan or Laoag both pass through San Fernando. Buses can be hailed like jeepneys from anywhere and will stop anywhere to drop you off. Just a word of warning beware of guys wanting to carry your baggage at terminals as they expect a tip and have many tricks to relieve you of your money, usually the conductor will collect fares after you leave. Buses have designated pit stops along the way so you can powder you nose or get something to eat every couple of hours. Air con buses can be quite cold and a light jacket may be of some use. Surf boards are ok as they will take any luggage they can fit on board. Just let the conductor know that you want to
get off at the Sebay resort it is very well known and is right next door to the Surf camp and other accommodation places.How to get here Public Bus Services. Philippine Rabbit have terminals in San Fernando (La Union) and start off from Manila via Dau. Also Dominion and Partas run from Manila with stops once at Dau and San Fernando - they will drop you off at your resort. Costs are inexpensive a couple of hundred peso or so at most. But, the journey is long and many are over crowded and no Air Con - Partas has a new fleet of European styled buses. Be a little warned though, even though many have AC and even some with Movies the trip can be very long and arduous as they stop frequently for pick ups and drop offs. At which point be very sure and hand luggage you have is safe and secure. From Dau expect the trip to take 5-6 hours to Bauang and San Fernando. Philippine Rabbits stop off points are poor and CR facilities dirty. If going by bus, we advise Partas. Fly the Bus. By far the better option than ordinary public bus services. Swagman Fly the Bus runs to La Union (Bauang) and Baguio City 3 times a week. Departing Angeles and stopping at hotels along Bauang and Baguio City. Cost is P500 to Bauang, (P900 rtn) and P600 to Baguio City.
(P1000 rtn. The Fly the bus service are often a van toSubic and La Union/Baguio. Vans are supposed to seat 12.But, some seating (fold down) is very uncomfortable forlong trips. No smoking is allowed. With pick ups and dropoffs at hotels at all locations, and usually one stop forcomfort rooms, travel time should take around 5 hoursfrom Angeles.Private Car Hire.Not the most inexpensive way to travel but, by far themost comfortable and probably the most secure. There aremany private hire firms in and around Angeles forexample, that can provide you with a car or van withdriver to take you there. Beeline Travel can do both LaUnion (Bauang) Baguio City and beyond by both car andprivate van.In addition if on a short vacation (mini break) and youwant to go sightseeing and cover both the beach resortsand Baguio City for a small additional fee to cover foodand accommodation a special daily rate can be arranged.A car cost P3200 withBeeline to Bauang or Baguio City.A Van costs P3800. You set the time of departure. Youcan stop off along the way and buy something from themany side stalls. And you can smoke. A van is ideal ifthere are 4 in your group or more. Beeline do notrecommend having more than 8 in these 12 seater vans forcomfort purposes.From Manila allow 6-7 hours to travel to Bauang or
Baguio City. From Angeles approximately 4 hours. Allowing for good traffic conditions and minimum amount of stops. Travel distance is approximately 190klms.The City of San Fernando is situated in the mountainous area atthe middle province of La Union. It was founded in 1786 andmade the "cabecera" (capital) on the same day that La Unionbecame province in 1850.During the Spanish period, a settlement was a place where therewere about 200 families. Around this area, there were two
settlements, San Vicente de Balanac and San Guillermo deDalangdang, San Vicente de Balanac is located in the coast andsea pirates would visit and plunder the settlement. San Guillermode Dalangdang, was located at the foothills of the Cordilleramountains and the community were in constant threat fromvarious native headhunting groups.In 1759, an Augustinian priest, Friar José Torres, convinced thetwo settlements to come together to a place not so near the seaand not so near the mountains so they will not be plagued by theirannual problems. They chose the area called Pindangan,meaning, a place where they dry fish and in this place, they builtin a church with San Guillermo the Hermit as the patron saint. In1765, the newly assigned priest, however, suggested to theinhabitants that they change the name of Pindangan to SanFernando, after the Catholic King of Spain, retaining SanGuillermo as their patron saint. The name of the parish priest wasFriar Fernando Rey. This was also the period of Diego Silang.An earthquake destroyed the church at Pindangan and renamedSan Fernando, the priest decided not to rebuild in the same placebecause during the rainy season, the church was transferred untilit found its present place, and it is now called the Cathedral ofSaint William the Hermit, of the Diocese of San Fernando, LaUnion.On May 1786, the Ministerio de San Fernando was established.However, due to lack of priests during the period of 1792 to 1831,San Fernando became a "visita" (visit) of Bauang and San Juan.In 1831, Friar Juan Sorolla, the parish priest of Bauang in 1829,was assigned in San Fernando. According to Philippine historical
records, the construction of the church started in 1817 by FriarSimon Torrado with Friar Sorolla as its first town priest.During the Philippine Revolution in 1896, the Spanish garrison inSan Fernando were attacked by Filipino insurgents under theleadership of Manuel Tinio and Mauro Ortíz.After the Spanish-American War, San Fernando experiencednaval bombardment of American soldiers during the Philippine-American War, as well as actual fighting on land when Gregoriodel Pilarcommanded the rearguard of Emilio Aguinaldo to coverthe latter’s retreat. Aguinaldo and his soldiers were captured byUnited States troops.In 1941, San Fernando was invaded by Japanese planes. Therebel army of the 21st Infantry became active and engaged inbattle with the Japanese Army. The province were liberated bythe United States and Philippine Commonwealth army in 1945.Present-dayOn May 14, 1996, the Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernandopassed Resolution No. 20 requesting the House ofRepresentatives, Congress of the Philippines for the conversionof the Municipality of San Fernando into a Component City. Thattime, the municipality of San Fernando had satisfactorily met thebasic requirements for its conversion into Cityhood pursuant tothe provisions of the Local Government Code 1991. In acertification issued by the Bureau of Local Government Finance,the average annual income of San Fernando for calendar years1994, and 1995 based on 1991 constant prices was P44,351,821.66. Further, in a certification by the LandManagement Bureau of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, the land area of San Fernando is 10,526hectares, well above the minimum requirement of 10,000hectares. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of La Union, after acomprehensive study and judicious evaluation of the petition ofthe Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernando, adopted ResolutionNo. 425-96 endorsing its cityhood bid to the House ofRepresentatives, Congress of the Philippines.Upon the sponsorship of the Congressman Victor F. Ortega (1stDistrict- La Union) at the House of Representatives, House Bill7594 (Act Converting the Municipality of San Fernando, La Unioninto a Component City to be known as City of San Fernando) wasapproved.The petition was approved at the Upper House through thesponsorship of Senators Vicente Sotto III andJuan Flavier. OnFebruary 13, 1998, Republic Act 8509 was signed into law byPresident Fidel V. Ramosand finally on March 20, 1998, theresidents of San Fernando manifested their approvement in thePlebiscite that ratified the fulfillment of the dream for SanFernando to become a city.Located about 8 kilometers from the main city, on a forestmountain is nestled the La Union Botanical Garden. The 20hectare garden located at Cadaclan is a display of varied speciesof living plants and a sanctuary of varieties of wild animals andnature.The City of San Fernando is now the seat of national governmentagencies in Region I and center of trade, commerce, financial andeducational institutions and among others. It is a high classprovince and exhibited a seaport responsive to international
shipping, an airport with viable capacity to accommodateinternational flights, natural terrain conducive to tourismdevelopment. The City of San Fernando has emerged as awealthy Metropolis of the Northern Philippines. In 2010 the policeof San Fernando demonstrated the ability to use computertechnology when they apprehended suspected serial killer MarkDizon.San Fernando chief executives1895-1898 - Blas Tadiar1899-1901 - Paulino Alviar1901-1903 - Gaspar Flores1904-1905 - Edilberto Aquino1906-1907 - Francisco Z. Flores1908-1909 - Urbano Martínez1910-1911 - José Hidalgo1912-1914 - Anastacio Casuga1915-1918 - Juan Salanga1919-1921 - Ulpiano Flores1922-1928 - Pedro R. Flores1928 - Francisco Galvez1928-1930 - Evaristo Galvez1931-1933 - Angel Salanga1934-1936 - Lauro Casuga
1936-1939 - Paulino Flores1942-1944 - Juan Salanga1945-1946 - Modesto Aquino1946-1955 - Lorenzo L. Dacanay1956-1959 - Godofredo G. Rilloraza1960-1971 - Lorenzo L. Dacanay1972-1980 - Antonio Feraren1980 - Joaquin T. Ortega1980-1987 - Justo O. Orros Jr.1987 - Rufo T. Colisao1987-1988 - Angel Salanga1988-1998 - Manuel C. Ortega1998-2007 - Mary Jane C. Ortega2007–present - Pablo C. OrtegaBarangaysThe San Fernando City is divided into 59 barangays.Abut Carlatan PagudpudApaleng Catbangen Pao NorteBacsil Dallangayan Este Pao Sur
Bangbangolan Dallangayan Oeste ParianBangcusay Dalumpinas Este PiasBarangay I (Pob.) Dalumpinas Oeste PoroBarangay II (Pob.) Ilocanos Norte PuspusBarangay III (Pob.) Ilocanos Sur SacyudBarangay IV (Pob.) Langcuas SagayadBaraoas Lingsat San AgustinBato Madayegdeg San FranciscoBiday Mameltac San VicenteBirunget Masicong Santiago NorteBungro Nagyubuyuban Santiago SurCabaroan (Negro) Namtutan SaoayCabarsican Narra Este SevillaCadaclan Narra Oeste Siboan-OtongCalabugao Pacpaco TanquiCamansi Pagdalagan TanquiganCanaoay PagdaraoanCity CharterREPUBLIC ACT NO. 8509An Act converting the Municipality of San Fernando, La Union,into a Component City to be known as the City of San Fernando.
February 13, 1998 – Signed by His Excellency President Fidel V.RamosMarch 20, 1998 – Plebiscite Ratifying the Conversion of theMunicipality into a CityRepublic Act No. 8509 originated in the House of Representativesas House Bill No. 75 94 sponsored by Cong. Victor F. Ortega ofthe First District of La UnionAwards and recognition2011Urban Partnership for Sustainable Upliftment, Renewal,Governance & EmpowermentJaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.Best LGU City in Region I2nd Runner Up, LGPMS 2009Regional Level20102010 Best FITS Center, Region IBest Zero Waste Management ProjectImplementer on Zero-BasuraOutstanding Performance, Quality of Life CategoryPhilippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009Performance
Outstanding Performance, The Entrepreneurs’ Award for MostHonest and Transparent in its DealingsPhilippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009PerformanceOutstanding Performance, The Entrepreneurs’ Award for MostSupportive to MSMEsPhilippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009PerformanceSpecial Award, For Best in DocumentationPhilippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009Performance2009Building Environmentally Sustainable TransportTricycle Sector Management ProjectMost Functional Community Learning Center2008Most Business Friendly City in the PhilippinesAIM One of the Most Competitive Small City in the Philippines2007PASADA Award2006AIM No. 1 Most Competitive City Small Cities Category
ISA – Dream City AwardDA Huwarang Palengke AwardBest Comfort Room of Wet Market1st Runner-up Child-Friendly Award Regional LevelClean & Green City Regional FinalistBest Hybrid Rice Program - Regional2005Institute of Solidarity in Asia - Fellowship AwardTB DOTS (National)Literacy Award(3rd Place National )Rafael Salas Award (population)Green Banner – Nutrition(Regional)Child-Friendly Cities (Regional Winner)2004Most Outstanding City Mayor for Social Services(National)Asin Law Best Implementor (National)Most Competitive Small CityAIM Pinoy Cities on the Rise (2nd Most Competitive City NationalLevel)3rd Place Literacy Awards (National)Child-Friendly Cities (National Finalist)
Green Banner –Nutrition (1st Place Regional)2003Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence (KAME)Special Recognion and Meritorious AwardStiftung & LOGODEF1st Runner Up Most Competitive Small City – Pinoy Cities on theRise (AIM)2nd Place National Rafael Salas Population and Developmentand Improvement AwardCleanest & Greenest City (2nd Runner Up National)National Literacy Award (4th Place Outstanding LGU Category)Kristal Award “ASIN LAW”(Dept. of Health Center for Health Development – Ilocos)Child-Friendly Cities(Regional Winner)(National Finalist)20023rd Most Competitive Small Sized City of San FernandoPhilippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking2000Recognition of Excellence
Special Recognition of Partnership with World BankUnder the City Development StrategyHABITAT Scroll of HonorChild Friendly City of Region I