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La Union

La Union

La Union is a Spanish term for "the union" or "the united". No other name could apply more appropriately to this province which was born out of the fusion of towns from the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan and Benguet.

La Union was created by virtue of a superior Decreto issued on March 2, 1850 by Governor General Antonio Maria Blanco. The establishment of La Union as a province was formally approved by the Real Orden of Quezon Isabella II of Spain on April 18, 1854.

As a province, it had withstood the rigors of war, first against the Spaniards then against the Americans and lastly, the Japanese. The province has flourished since its creation to the present until it was designated as the center of the Ilocos Region (Region I). Its capital, San Fernando City, is the seat of the regional government offices as well as the region's educational and commercial center.

The province is bounded on the North and Northeast by Ilocos Sur, on the East by Benguet, on the South by Pangasinan and on the West by the South China Sea. La Union is five hours from Manila and more than an hour from Baguio City by car.

As of June 30, 2001, the province is composed of:

- 1 city
- 19 municipalities, and
- 576 barangays.

Around 35 percent of the total land area of the province is devoted to crop production. Although 62 percent of La Union is upland, only 21 percent remains forested. The province is one of the country's two major producers of tobacco. Its other major agricultural products include banana, coconut and mango aside from rice.

The province has more than 110 kilometers of coastline. The pristine waters of strategically located coastal municipalities make the province a major fishing ground and likewise a top destination for domestic and foreign visitors.

La Union is famous for its tree houses, beaches and other natural tourist attractions.
Small and medium enterprises are thriving in the province with the booming small-scale industries like pottery making and sericulture.

The province has two pronounced seasons: Dry from December to April and Wet during the rest of the years. Average annual rainfall was estimated at 183.3 millimeters. Temperature averages 25.2 degrees centigrade annually.

Sources: La Union, July 1996, Department of Tourism, Region I/La Union Socio Economic Profile 1995, Provincial Planning and Development Office, La Union

Provincial Profile



How to Get There: La Union is accessible by land and by air through the San Fernanco City Airport via Asian Spirit. Air conditioned bus lines plying the Laoag City / Vigan City - Manila route pass through La Union. These buslines include Partas, Farinas, Dominion, Maria de Leon, RCJ, Candon Bus Lines and Viron. San Fernando City, is 269 kilometers north of Manila.

Capital: San Fernando City

Climate: The climate condition prevailing in La Union is dry from November to April and
wet from May to October. The southwest monsoon brings about the abundant rainfall experienced during the wet season. The relatively dry season is caused by the northeast monsoon passing over the Cordillera Mountains. The average temperature is 27.21oC

Location and Boundaries: La Union stretches over a length of 102 kilometers from North to South. It is bounded on the north by Ilocos Sur, on the south by Pangasinan, on the east by Benguet and on the west by the China Sea.
Political Subdivision: La Union has nineteen (19) municipalities and one component city The northern towns of Sudipen, Bangar, Luna, Balaoan, Santol, San Gabriel, Bacnotan, San Juan and San Fernando City comprise the First District. Belonging to the Second District are Bagulin, Naguilian, Burgos, Bauang, Caba, Aringay, Agoo, Tubao, Sto. Tomas, Rosario and Pugo.

Languages/Dialects Spoken: Ilocano is the common dialect. The residents of the coastal barangay of Sto. Tomas and Rosario also speak Pangasinense while the cultural communities in the towns bordering the Cordillera speak Ibaloi or Kankanaey. English and Filipino remain as basic tools of instruction in schools.

Population: 657,945 as of Year 2000 Census

Major Industries: Agriculture remains to be the primary industry. Cottage industries are
blanketweaving, basketry, bamboocraft, pottery and broommaking. Commercial activity consists mostly of wholesale and retail business.

Brief History:

La Union was created by virtue of a Superior Decreto issued on March 2, 1850 by Governor General Narciso Zaldua Claveria out of nine towns of Pangasinan, three of Ilocos Sur and settlements of the Eastern Pais del Igorotes in the Cordilleras. Its creation as a province was formally approved by a Royal Decree issued by Queen Isabela of Spain on April 18, 1854.

From its inception as a province up to the Second World War, La Union experienced transformations in the socio-cultural and politico-economic aspects. After the War, rehabilitation and reconstruction were done eventually propelling the province as the center of commerce and trade and the administrative center of Region I.

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