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Brief History La Union was created by virtue of a “Superior Decreto”issued on March 2, 1850 by Governor General NarcisoZaldua Claveria out of nine towns of Pangasinan, three ofIlocos Sur and settlements of the Eastern Pais del Igorotesin the Cordilleras. Its creation as a province was formallyapproved by a Royal Decree issued by Queen Isabela ofSpain on April 18, 1854. From its inception as a province up to the SecondWorld War, La Union experienced transformations in thesocio-cultural and politico-economic aspects. After the War,rehabilitation and reconstruction were done eventuallypropelling the province as the center of commerce andtrade and the administrative center of Region I.
A year after Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi made Manila the capital of the Philippines on June 24, 1571, the Spaniards started the colonization of Ilokos. In June, 1572, the conquistadores led by Juan Salcedo (grandson of Legazpi) landed in Agoo, then a part of Pangasinan called “el puerto de Japon” because enterprising Japanese merchants have been trading with the natives through this port. The Spaniards marched up north without any resistance. They had their first taste of the Ilokanos’ bravery and fighting heart during a historic battle in Purao (literally, “white” and maybe due to the white sands of the beach) now known as Balaoan. The Spaniards befriended the Ilokanos who reluctantly acceded to be under Spanish rule.
After Cebu became the first provincia in 1565, new provinces have been created by the Spaniards. Three main functions were considered so: political-civil administration, ecclesiastical governance and geographical considerations.On October 29, 1849 Governor General Claveria signed the proposal (promovido) to unite the Pangasinan-Ilokos-Cordillera areas into a new province called La Union
On March 2, 1850, Governor General Antonio Maria Blanco signed the Superior Decreto that founded La Union – the 34th province since the founding of Cebu in 1565. It was classified as a political-military government (gobierno politico-militar).• Blanco appointed on March 4, 1850 Captain Toribio Ruiz de la Escalera (Claveria’s former trusted aide de camp) as the first Gobernador Military y Politico.• On April 18, 1854, Queen Isabella II of Spain issued the royal decree (real orden) from Madrid confirming Blanco’s Superior Decreto.
• By 1860, there was a dramatic progress in commerce and agriculture in the province primarily because of Tobacco. Spanish authorities banked on the prized leaf for further economic development. The industry was so lucrative that a Tobacco Monopoly was established. All Tobacco leaves were strictly monitored and bought exclusively by the government at a fixed price.• By 1896, the people of La Union had enough of the Spanish atrocities. The torture of the native priests, the execution of Balaoan’s Siete Martires, the persecution of Masons, whose membership included the elite natives; and others have all the more agitated the people to unite and fight their masters for three centuries.
• On May 22, 1898, a shot from a revolver killed the much- hated Friar Mariano Garcia of Santo Tomas, it was a shot heard in the whole province which eventually ignited the revolution in what the Spaniards used to call, “Una Provincia Modelo.”• Led by Manuel Bondoc Tinio, a boy general under the command of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the Spaniards were finally defeated in La Union, some of whom escaped and sought refuge in Vigan. With the help of the Americans, the Filipinos were finally freed from Spain only to find out later that they will be subjected to a new colonial rule.• On January 4, 1945 from the ashes of war, La Union underwent massive reconstruction and rehabilitation. Patient and hardworking, the people of La Union marched on to progress and development led by a new breed of innovative, highly competent and down to earth governors.
93%of the population is Ilocano and is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. There are communities of Pangasinense in the south, Igorots in the Cordillera foothills, and Chinese in the city.La Union is highly literate, with San Fernando City as the administrative, educational, and financial center of the region.
DemographicsPopulation 845,261 (as of 2011)Growth Rate 1.27%Population Density 529 persons/sq.km.Households 160,249Major Dialects/Languages IloKo, Filipino and EnglishReligion Predominantly Roman CatholicLiteracy Rate 96%
Languages/Dialects SpokenIlocano is the common dialect in La UnionPangasinense speak by the residents of the coastal barangay of Sto. Tomas and RosarioIbaloi or Kankanaey speak by the cultural communities in the towns bordering the CordilleraEnglish and Filipino remain as basic tools of instruction in schools.
La Union Education The literacy rate of La Union in CY 2011 was pegged at 95.89 percent, with more males gaining high literacy than females. The province had adequate classrooms at the elementary level as evinced by classroom to pupil ratio of 1:30 which is lower than the standard of 1:40. More classrooms were needed at the secondary, as the ratio 1:42 was higher than the standard. As to manpower, the number of public elementary school teachers totalled to 2,996 with a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:27 while the secondary level teachers accounted a total number of 1,187 or a ration of 1:37.
SOCIAL SERVICESNumber of Hospitals/clinics 21 (Government and Private)Number of Schools 333 Public Elementary 56 Private Elementary 79 Public Secondary 51 Private Secondary 20 Colleges 5 State Universities
PoliticsAs of June 30, 2011, the province is composed of: - 1 city - 19 municipalities - 576 barangays
Provincial OfficialsGovernor : MANUEL C. ORTEGAVice-Governor : AUREO AUGUSTO Q. NISCECongressmenFirst District : VICTOR FRANCISCO C. ORTEGASecond District : EUFRANIO C. ERIGUEL
First District Second District(Northern Towns) (Southern Towns) Sudipen Bagulin Bangar Naguilian Luna Burgos Balaoan Bauang, Santol Caba San Gabriel Aringay Bacnotan Agoo San Juan TubaoSan Fernando City Sto. Tomas Rosario Pugo
Former Governors of La UnionAgaton Yaranon 1946-1947Doroteo Aguila 1948-1951Juan Carbonell 1952-1955 Bernardo Gapuz 1956-1959 Eulogio De Guzman 1960-1967 Juvenal Guerrero 1968-1977 Tomas Asprer 1977-1986 Robert V. Dulay 1986-1987 Joaquin Ortega 1988-1992Justo O. Orros 1992-2001Victor F. Ortega 2001-2007Manuel C. Ortega 2007-present
Economy The economy is diversified with service, manufacturing, and agricultural industries spread throughout the province. The Port of San Fernando operates as an increasingly active shipping point, and the former American airbase Wallace Air Station, having been converted into a business and industrial area, helps to facilitate such commercial activity. Tourists often flock to the beaches of Bauang, or to the more secluded ones further north for snorkeling, surfing or other water sports; the more northerly beaches near San Juan specifically cater to both local surfers as well as portions of the world surfing circuit.
BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS and INSFRASTRUCTURE AND UTILITIESManufacturing 58%Trading 37%Services 5%Road Network 1,802.77 KilometersBridges 9,608.58 Lineal MetersAirport 1 (Domestic)Seaport 1 (International)Power all barangays electrifiedWater 95% households with potable water; 5 water districts
EMPLOYMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FINANCEEmployment Rate 92%Unemployment Rate 8%Employment Distribution Agriculture - 53% Industry - 10% Services - 37%Poverty Incidence 23.30% (among Families) 30.6% (among Population)Magnitude of Poor Families 35, 618Magnitude of Poor Population 225, 977Classification 1st Class ProvinceProvincial Gov’t Revenue P 119.920 Million(as of 2011) pNumber of Banks 69 (Rural Banks, Government, Universal,Thrifts, Savings and Mortgage Banks-including branches)Number of Cooperatives 180
Agoo Semana Santa (Holy Week)the life-size statues depicting the Stations of the Cross are pulled by devotees along the processional roads during the Good Friday procession.During the Holy Week, the town people of Agoo come up with religious activities to make the occasion more meaningful and sacred.
Feast of Our Lady of CaysasayAn annual activity in La Union held every December. Sports activities, beauty contest, and painting contest are among the featured events visitors enjoy.It is also a time to give importance to Filipino balikbayans through free tours and a balikbayan night.
“Kilawen” festivalCelebrated during Dec. 28 (San Fernando City) A feast is intended to let everyone feel the spirit of communal unity and togetherness as one town with a taste of good food such as the kilawen of the region and the country.• Kilawen is an Iluko word which means a delicacy made up of raw meat or fish.
Buyboy Festival• The province produced primarily buyboy, walis tambo or brooms. So they came up with the idea of celebrating Buyboy Festival in celebration of the 162nd founding anniversary of the said province.• All women were the participans in the dance parade. Young and senior citizens paraded in their colorful costumes accentuated by buyboy and their graceful dance steps
Dinengdeng Festival is the official festivity event of the municipality of Agoo, La Union, Phillipines. It is held annually in summer in celebration of a dish by which its name is derived from. One of the main purpose of "Dinengdeng Festival" is to promote the local tourism of the town, which is one of the established Spanish settlements in the region. . "Dinengdeng", is the ilocano term for any vegetable- simmered dish. Usually cooked in a "banga", a local term for a cooking clay pot being used by the descendants of the local settlers in the ancient times.