La Union Province History, Geography, Economy

La Union Province History

La Union Province
La Union Provincial Capitol

Introduction: Profile of La Union Province
Location –> Ilocos Region in northwestern Luzon, Philippines (See map below)
Neighboring Provinces –> Ilocos Sur, Benguet, and Pangasinan
Capital –> San Fernando City
Area –> 1,497.70 km2 (578.27 sq mi)
Population –> 786,653 (2015 Census)
People/Language –> Ilocanos, Ibaloys, Pangasinenses and Tagalogs
Topography –> Mountainous with narrow coastal plain
Industries –> Agriculture, Heavy and light manufacturing
Major Products –> Rice, Tobacco, Cement, Steel, Softdrinks, Electricity
Governor –> Francisco Emmanuel Ortega, III
Vice Governor –> Mario Eduardo Ortega
Predecessor –> Aureo Augusto Nisce
Representative (1st District) –> Pablo C. Ortega
Predecessor –> Victor Francisco C. Ortega
Representative (2nd District) –> Sandra Y. Eriguel
Predecessor –> Eufranio C. Eriguel

City –> San Fernando
Municipalities (Towns) –> (19) Agoo, Aringay, Bacnotan, Bagulin, Balaoan, Bangar, Bauang, Burgos, Caba, Luna, Naguilian, Pugo, Rosario, San Gabriel, San Juan, Santo Tomas, Santol, Supiden, Tubao

History of La Union Province:

La Union was founded on March 2, 1850 during the administration of Governor-General Antonio Maria Blanco of the Spanish colonial government. On April 18, 1854, Isabella II of Spain issued a decree formalizing its creation as a province formed through the “union” of three towns of Ilocos Sur with nine from Pangasinan and some villages from Benguet. Captain Toribio Ruiz de la Escalera was appointed as the first Gobernador Military y Politico.

During the Philippine revolution against Spain, General Manuel Tinio of Nueva Ecija and General Mauro Mortiz of Zambales liberated La Union from the Spanish forces. When the Americans came, heavy fighting in La Union ensued between the American forces and the Filipinos led by Gen. Tinio who were guarding the retreat of President Emilio Aguinaldo to the mountains.

The Americans selected Dr. Lucino Almeida as the first provincial administrator of La Union but when civilian government was established, Don Joaquin Joaquino Ortega was appointed in 1901 becoming the province’s first Civil Governor.

La Union was easily captured by the Japanese during World War II, right after the invasion of Pangasinan. Naguilian was the last municipality to be surrendered by the Japanese to the American liberating forces. After the war, Agaton Yaranon became the provisional governor until Doroteo Aguila was elected in 1948. Since 1988, the province has been ruled by members of the Ortega family. (See also: Philippine Historical Events by Month

Former Governors of La Union Province:
1. Lucino Almeida (1901)
2. Don Joaquin Joaquino Ortega (1901-1904)
3. Joaquin Luna (1904-1907)
4. Sixto Zandueta (1907-1909)
5. Francisco Zandueta (1909-1912)
6. Mauro Ortiz (1912-1916)
7. Tomas de Guzman (1916)
8. Mauro Ortiz (1916-1918)
9. Pio Ancheta (1918-1921)
10. Thomas de Guzman (1922-1923)
11.Juan Lucero (1923-1928)
12. Thomas de Guzman (1928-1931)
13. Pio Ancheta (1931)
14. Mauro Ortiz (1931-1934)
15. Juan Rivera (1934-1937)
16. Francisco Nisce, (1937-1940)
17. Bernardo Gapuz (1940)
18. Jorge Camacho (1941-1942)
19. Bonifacio Tadiar (1942-1944)
20. Agaton Yaranon (1946-1947)
21. Doroteo Aguila (1948-1951)
22. Juan Carbonell (1952-1955)
23. Bernardo Gapuz (1956-1959)
24. Eulogio de Guzman, (1960-1967)
25. Juvenal Guerrero (1968-1977)
26. Tomas Asprer (1977-1986)
27. Robert V. Dulay (1986-1987)
28. Joaquin Ortega (1988-1992)
29. Justo O. Orros (1992-2001)
30. Victor F. Ortega, (2001-2007)
31. Manuel C. Ortega (2007–2016)
32. Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega III, (2016–present)

Go here to see La Union Candidates, 2019 Election Results.

Economy of La Union Province

La Union has a diversified economy. Although most of the people are still engaged in agriculture, the province is home to large manufacturing enterprises such as cement, steel, and softdrinks. Tourism is also an important pillar of the local economy and many hotels and resorts sprung up especially along the coast where many of its beaches are located. San Fernando City is home to Poro Point Special Economic Zone. It is also the location of an airport and a world class resort. San Juan Town has made a name as a surfing capital of the north while Bauang remains the prefered destination for beach lovers. It is also the home of a large power plant.

Go here to see also the tourist spots of La Union Province.

RELATED: Famous People from La Union

See also: Other Provinces of the Philippines

Map of La Union

External Link: Philippine Information Agency

Balili River in La Union
Balili River as it snakes through Naguilian Town

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