Pangasinan was among the earliest political and administrative units in the Philippines. It was officially conquered and colonized by D. Martin de Goiti in 1571. On April 5, 1572, Pangasinan was made an encomienda by the Spanish royal crown to receive instruction on the Catholic Faith, which means that Pangasinan was organized under one leadership and has identity before the Spanish royal court. Eight years later, in 1580, Pangasinan was organized into a political unit under an alkalde mayor who at that time has authority as head of the province or provincial government with judicial function indicating that Pangasinan has become a province. To commemorate the day when Pangasinan became an encomienda and the year it became a province, Pangasinan celebrates April 5, 1580 as the official founding day of the Province of Pangasinan. At that time, its territorial jurisdiction included the Province of Zambales and parts of La Union and Tarlac. By the middle of the 19th century however, the northern towns of Agoo to Bacnotan were separated from the province and became parts of La Union. The provincial territory was further diminished in 1875 with the annexation of Paniqui and other towns south of it to Tarlac.
Pangasinan, derived its name from the word “panag asinan”, which means “where salt is made”, owing to the rich and fine salt beds which were the prior source of livelihood of the province’s coastal towns.
Pre-Spanish period – Ancient Malayo-Polynesians of the Austronesian stock arrive by boat and establish settlements along the Lingayen Gulf. They are proficient in salt-making so they call their new home Pangasinan which means “the place where salt is made.” This refers to the coastal area only while the inner areas are collectively called “Caboloan” because the small bamboo species called “bolo” abound there. The inhabitants of Pangasinan traded with India, China and Japan as early as the 8th century A.D.
1572 – Juan de Salcedo, upon the orders of his grandfather Governor General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to explore and pacify northern Luzon, reaches
Pangasinan. A Spanish priest-historian, Fray Juan Ferrando, calls Salcedo the “first discoverer” of Pangasinan. The province is now under the jurisdiction of Spain as an encomienda since April 5.
1574-1575– The Chinese corsair Limahong, after being repulsed by the Spaniards in his bid to found a colony in Manila, goes to Pangasinan and establishes his little kingdom within a fort in Lingayen. His party is composed of men, women and children. He forces the natives to cooperate with him by supplying him provisions and serving him and his people. Juan de Salcedo pursues him and after months of blockade Limahong and his forces escape in August 1575 through a channel that they dug out into the China sea. Many of his men with their families choose to stay behind in Lingayen.
1580 – Pangasinan is organized as an alcaldia mayor , a politico-civil administrative unit or province, by Governor General Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa and receives its first alcalde mayor in the person of Don Pedro Manrique.
1611 – The province of Pangasinan’s territorial limits are set by the superior government, thus completing the requisites for a viable political subdivision: a defined territory, a set of administrators, and law-abiding subjects. The province, as constituted, now include all the coastal villages called “Pangasinan” and the inner areas called “Caboloan.” The boundaries are from San Juan (now in La Union) in the north, to the foothills of the Cordillera and Caraballo mountains in the northeast and east, to Paniqui in the south, to the present area of Sual town in the west plus that area that is the present-day Zambales.
1660 –Malong Revolt. Andres Malong of Binalatongan leads the revolt of the Filipinos against the Spaniards. They were encouraged by the short takeover of Manila by the Dutch. He declares himself as “Ari” but their declaration of independence is short-lived as they are subdued by the Spaniards in less than a month.
1762 – Palaris Revolt – Juan dela Cruz Palaris, also of Binalatongan, leads his people to complain to the Spaniards about paying tributes. Encouraged by the defeat of the Spanish army and capture of Manila by the British, they go on to make more demands and drive away all the Spaniards from the capital town of Lingayen. For two years the rebels and their supporters in the province taste freedom and power over the Spanish government but the capture of Palaris ends the rebellion. To forget this sad episode the Spanish officials give the town “Binalatongan” its new name “San Carlos” in honor of Spain’s reigning monarch Charles III.
1840 – The Casa Real (Royal House) is constructed in Lingayen. This 1,700 sqm building of stone masonry and bricks is the provincial seat of government where the Alcalde Mayor resides and holds office. It would be the venue of many historic events in Pangasinan and was used as the “Juzgado” later on.
1855 – The Spanish government opens Sual as an official port of foreign trade. Rice is exported to China and Macao from this port. It is also one of the country’s centers for shipbuilding, together with Labrador, Lingayen and Dagupan.
December 27, 1897 – General Emilio Aguinaldo, accompanied by Spanish Governor General Primo de Rivera and others, takes the train to the Dagupan terminal and travels on to Sual to board the S.S. Uranus that is to bring him to exile in Hongkong to comply with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato.
July 22, 1898 – Pangasinan is liberated from Spanish rule. The local board of Katipunan that was organized by General Francisco Makabulos of Central Luzon four months earlier and led by Don Daniel Maramba of Sta. Barbara, Vicente del Prado of San Jacinto, Juan Quesada and Eliseo Arzadon of Dagupan, defeat the Spanish forces making a last stand in Dagupan. Thereupon, they reenact the proclamation of independence done at Kawit 40 days earlier.
February 5, 1899 – A day after the start of hostilities of the Philippine-American War, President Aguinaldo directs Pangasinan Governor Quesada to transfer the provincial capital to San Carlos to protect the province from the threat of a coastal invasion by the Americans, as Lingayen is located right by the Gulf. San Carlos thus served as the capital of the province from this day until the fall of the Republican forces in Pangasinan in November of the same year.
August 1899 – In a barrio in Bayambang, Jose Palma, a staff member of the revolutionary government’s newspaper La Independencia, writes a poem that becomes the lyrics for the melody of the “La Marcha Nacional Filipina” composed by Julian Felipe. This poem is translated later to Pilipino and given the title “Lupang Hinirang” which is now the Philippine National Anthem. It was written in the house of Doña Romana G. vda de Favis. This house served as the “Malacañang” of the Aguinaldo Republic momentarily in November 1899. (The said barrio is now part of Baustista.)
Early November 1899 – the Philippine American War reaches Pangasinan. General Emilio Aguinaldo, the president of the first Philippine Republic, transfers the seat of his government to Bayambang and it momentarily becomes the capital of the republic. The Council of Government also convenes for the last time in Bayambang, in which meeting it was finally decided to disband the army and resort instead to guerilla warfare. The formal workings of the central government of the first Philippine Republic thus ended in Bayambang.
November 20, 1899 –General MacArthur and General Lawton’s columns successfully link up with General Wheaton’s in Dagupan, marking the end of overt warfare in Pangasinan and completing the American conquest of the province. Shortly, military administrators are installed.
February 16, 1901 – The Taft Commission organizes Pangasinan as a civil province in a general assembly in Dagupan. Don Perfecto Sison of Lingayen is appointed Governor and Lingayen is chosen over Dagupan to remain as the capital because the Casa Real is located there. Judge Taft and his commissioners were given a grand reception at the Casa Real.
September 1902 – The first public secondary school in Pangasinan is opened in Lingayen with some of the US “Thomasites” as educators. The Pangasinan Academic High School is the sole public secondary school in Pangasinan until 1946. Now named the Pangasinan National High School, it has produced many of the most successful personages in the province.
February 10-19, 1919 – Governor Daniel Maramba leads the inaugural festivities for the new Capitol. The revelry features an agricultural and industrial fair, a carnival, parades and a grand coronation ball with a a queen and her court. American Ralph Doane, designed this neo-classical building.
December 22, 1941 – World War II comes to Pangasinan. Bitter fighting between the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) and the Japanese army rages around the towns of Pozorrubio, Binalonan, and Tayug. In due course, the USAFFE forces retreat to Bataan and the Japanese military takes control of Pangasinan and the two-year Japanese invasion starts. This brought enormous hardship to the people.
January 20, 1942 – It being necessary to cooperate with the occupation forces through the Japanese Military Administration, Dr. Santiago Estrada, who earlier evacuated the provincial office to Tayug, reassumes the governorship and reorganizes the provincial government in order to help in the restoration of peace and order and to work for the welfare of the people. Dagupan is chosen as the provincial capital of the new Japanese-sponsored national government.
January 9-13, 1945 – The Allied Forces with the United States Sixth Army under General Walter Krueger lands unopposed on the beaches of Lingayen, Binmaley, Dagupan, Mangaldan, and San Fabian, effecting the start of the liberation of Pangasinan. Four days later Gen. Douglas MacArthur came ashore right behind the ruined Capitol building. He also landed in Dagupan and set up his Luzon headquarters there.
February 1945 – The Americans through the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit (PCAU) reestablish the provincial government and install Sofronio Quimson as Governor, while retaining the wartime capital of Dagupan as such.
June 1945 – The provincial capital is moved back to Lingayen.
1946– Through the Philippine Rehabilation Act, the US government assists the provincial government under Governor Enrique Braganza in reconstructing damaged buildings including the Capitol building.
1953 – Governor Juan de Guzman Rodriguez undertakes the construction of the governor’s official residence and guest house. It is named “Princess Urduja Palace” after the legendary 14th century amazon leader in pre-colonial Pangasinan. (Note: Sometime in the 1990s a national conference of scholars and academicians concluded that the kingdom where Urduja was supposed to rule was not in Pangasinan or anywhere in the Philippines but somewhere in Indochina.)
June 30, 1992 – A full-blooded Pangasinense, Fidel V. Ramos, becomes President of the Republic of the Philippines. Among his many achievements that benefits Pangasinan today was attracting foreign investors to put up the Sual Power Plant to ease the power crisis before and during his term, and the San Roque Dam.
October 1999 – The Sual Power Plant in Sual started operating. With Pangasinan as the host province, this is the largest and most effective coal-fired power plant in the Philippines servicing the Luzon grid with a generating capacity of 1,218 MW. The company has an Energy Conversion Agreement with the National Power Corporation with a 25-year build-operate-transfer scheme (BOT).
1998 – The San Roque Multipurpose Project or SRMP in San Manuel and San Nicolas was built to harness the power of the country’s third largest river, the Agno River, bringing these benefits to several communities in the heart of Luzon if operated and maintained properly: flood control, irrigation, electrical power and improved water quality.
2007– The second half of 2007 marks the commencement of significant changes in the physical appearance and systematic clustering of provincial government buildings, parks, hospitals, and satellite offices. The intensive rehabilitation and repair of the provincial capitol building gained national fame and recognition upon its completion in 2008, earning for it the title “Best Provincial Capitol in the Philippines”. Simultaneous to the renovation o f the physical infrastructure of the province, human resource improvement was implemented through programs which resulted to the restoration of dignity, self-respect and professionalism of provincial government employees as working force partners in Pangasinan’s development. It was during this term of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. that the founding day of Pangasinan was estblished, celebrating its 430th founding anniversary for the first time on April 5, 2010. Pangasinan’s Golden age took off from this year which saw numerous investments flowing into the province, significant development projects mushrooming in every corner, local, national and international linkages being established, all for Pangasinan’s progress and advancement, and finally breaking ground on a period where Pangasinenses proudly claim that their Province is the best place to invest, live, work and raise a family.
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