San Fernando City, La Union
The City of San Fernando (Ciudad ti San Fernando in Ilokano; Siyudad na San Fernando in Pangasinan) in La Union
La Unión
La Union or La Unión may refer to:-Colombia:*La Unión, Antioquia*La Unión, Nariño*La Unión, Sucre*La Unión, Valle del Cauca-Peru:*La Unión Province, Peru...

 is a 1st class component city in the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. It is the capital city of La Union and the regional center of the Ilocos Region
Ilocos Region
The Ilocos region or Region I is a Region of the Philippines and is located in the northwest of Luzon. It borders to the east the regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley and to the south the region of Central Luzon...

 (Region I). According to the latest Philippine census, it has a population of about 114,813 people in 24,139 households.

San Fernando is the financial, industrial and political center of the province, engaged in agriculture, aquaculture, shipping using the port of San Fernando, and other industrial sectors.

San Fernando belongs to the District 1 in La Union province.


The City of San Fernando is situated in the mountainous area at the middle province of La Union. It was founded in 1786 and made the "cabecera" (capital) on the same day that La Union became province in 1850.

During the Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 period, a settlement was a place where there were about 200 families. Around this area, there were two settlements, San Vicente de Balanac and San Guillermo de Dalangdang, San Vicente de Balanac is located in the coast and sea pirates
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 would visit and plunder the settlement. San Guillermo de Dalangdang, was located at the foothills of the Cordillera mountains and the community were in constant threat from various native headhunting
Headhunting is the practice of taking a person's head after killing them. Headhunting was practised in historic times in parts of China, India, Nigeria, Nuristan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Borneo, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Micronesia, Melanesia, New Zealand, and the Amazon Basin, as...


In 1759, an Augustinian priest, Friar José Torres, convinced the two settlements to come together to a place not so near the sea and not so near the mountains so they will not be plagued by their annual problems. They chose the area called Pindangan, meaning, a place where they dry fish and in this place, they built in a church with San Guillermo the Hermit as the patron saint. In 1765, the newly assigned priest, however, suggested to the inhabitants that they change the name of Pindangan to San Fernando, after the Catholic King of Spain, retaining San Guillermo as their patron saint. The name of the parish priest was Friar Fernando Rey. This was also the period of Diego Silang
Diego Silang
Diego Silang y Andaya was a revolutionary leader who conspired with British forces to overthrow Spanish rule in the northern Philippines and establish an independent Ilocano nation...


An earthquake destroyed the church at Pindangan and renamed San Fernando, the priest decided not to rebuild in the same place because during the rainy season, the church was transferred until it found its present place, and it is now called the Cathedral of Saint William the Hermit, of the Diocese of San Fernando, La Union.

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 Friar Simon Torrado with Friar Sorolla as its first town priest.

During the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

 in 1896, the Spanish garrison in San Fernando were attacked by Filipino insurgents under the leadership of Manuel Tinio
Manuel Tinio
Manuel Tinio y Bundoc was the youngest General of the Philippine Revolutionary Army and in 1907, elected Governor of the Province of Nueva Ecija, Republic of the Philippines.-Antecedents:...

 and Mauro Ortíz.

After the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, San Fernando experienced naval bombardment of American soldiers during the Philippine-American War
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

, as well as actual fighting on land when Gregorio del Pilar
Gregorio del Pilar
Gregorio del Pilar y Sempio was one of the youngest generals in the Philippine Revolutionary Forces during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War. He is most known for his role and death at the Battle of Tirad Pass...

 commanded the rearguard of Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

 to cover the latter’s retreat. Aguinaldo and his soldiers were captured by United States troops.

In 1941, San Fernando was invaded by Japanese planes. The rebel army of the 21st Infantry became active and engaged in battle with the Japanese Army. The province were liberated by the United States and Philippine Commonwealth army in 1945.


On May 14, 1996, the Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernando passed Resolution No. 20 requesting the House of Representatives, Congress of the Philippines for the conversion of the Municipality of San Fernando into a Component City. That time, the municipality of San Fernando had satisfactorily met the basic requirements for its conversion into Cityhood pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code 1991. In a certification issued by the Bureau of Local Government Finance, the average annual income of San Fernando for calendar years 1994, and 1995 based on 1991 constant prices was P 44,351,821.66. Further, in a certification by the Land Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the land area of San Fernando is 10,526 hectares, well above the minimum requirement of 10,000 hectares.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of La Union, after a comprehensive study and judicious evaluation of the petition of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernando, adopted Resolution No. 425-96 endorsing its cityhood bid to the House of Representatives, Congress of the Philippines.

Upon the sponsorship of the Congressman Victor F. Ortega (1st District- La Union) at the House of Representatives, House Bill 7594 (Act Converting the Municipality of San Fernando, La Union into a Component City to be known as City of San Fernando) was approved.

The petition was approved at the Upper House through the sponsorship of Senators Vicente Sotto III
Vicente Sotto III
Vicente Castelo Sotto III , also known as Tito Sotto, is an actor, comedian, musician, television presenter, and politician in the Philippines...

 and Juan Flavier
Juan Flavier
Juan Martin Flavier is a former politician from the Philippines. He was a former Secretary of the Department of Health and a senator. He was born in Tondo, Manila eventually moving to Baguio City where he finished his secondary studies at the Baguio City High School...

. On February 13, 1998, Republic Act 8509 was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos , popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.Prior to his election as...

 and finally on March 20, 1998, the residents of San Fernando manifested their approvement in the Plebiscite that ratified the fulfillment of the dream for San Fernando to become a city.

Located about 8 kilometers from the main city, on a forest mountain is nestled the La Union Botanical Garden. The 20 hectare garden located at Cadaclan is a display of varied species of living plants and a sanctuary of varieties of wild animals and nature.

The City of San Fernando is now the seat of national government agencies in Region I and center of trade, commerce, financial and educational institutions and among others. It is a high class province and exhibited a seaport responsive to international shipping, an airport with viable capacity to accommodate international flights, natural terrain conducive to tourism development. The City of San Fernando has emerged as a wealthy Metropolis of the Northern Philippines. In 2010 the police of San Fernando demonstrated the ability to use computer technology when they apprehended suspected serial killer Mark Dizon.

San Fernando chief executives

  • 1895-1898 - Blas Tadiar
  • 1899-1901 - Paulino Alviar
  • 1901-1903 - Gaspar Flores
  • 1904-1905 - Edilberto Aquino
  • 1906-1907 - Francisco Z. Flores
  • 1908-1909 - Urbano Martínez
  • 1910-1911 - José Hidalgo
  • 1912-1914 - Anastacio Casuga
  • 1915-1918 - Juan Salanga
  • 1919-1921 - Ulpiano Flores
  • 1922-1928 - Pedro R. Flores
  • 1928 - Francisco Galvez
  • 1928-1930 - Evaristo Galvez
  • 1931-1933 - Angel Salanga
  • 1934-1936 - Lauro Casuga
  • 1936-1939 - Paulino Flores
  • 1942-1944 - Juan Salanga
  • 1945-1946 - Modesto Aquino
  • 1946-1955 - Lorenzo L. Dacanay
  • 1956-1959 - Godofredo G. Rilloraza
  • 1960-1971 - Lorenzo L. Dacanay
  • 1972-1980 - Antonio Feraren
  • 1980 - Joaquin T. Ortega
  • 1980-1987 - Justo O. Orros Jr.
  • 1987 - Rufo T. Colisao
  • 1987-1988 - Angel Salanga
  • 1988-1998 - Manuel C. Ortega
  • 1998-2007 - Mary Jane C. Ortega
  • 2007-present - Pablo C. Ortega


The San Fernando City is divided into 59 barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...


  • Abut
  • Apaleng
  • Bacsil
  • Bangbangolan
  • Bangcusay
  • Barangay I (Pob.)
  • Barangay II (Pob.)
  • Barangay III (Pob.)
  • Barangay IV (Pob.)
  • Baraoas
  • Bato
  • Biday
  • Birunget
  • Bungro
  • Cabaroan (Negro)
  • Cabarsican
  • Cadaclan
  • Calabugao
  • Camansi
  • Canaoay

  • Carlatan
  • Catbangen
  • Dallangayan Este
  • Dallangayan Oeste
  • Dalumpinas Este
  • Dalumpinas Oeste
  • Ilocanos Norte
  • Ilocanos Sur
  • Langcuas
  • Lingsat
  • Madayegdeg
  • Mameltac
  • Masicong
  • Nagyubuyuban
  • Namtutan
  • Narra Este
  • Narra Oeste
  • Pacpaco
  • Pagdalagan
  • Pagdaraoan

  • Pagudpud
  • Pao Norte
  • Pao Sur
  • Parian
  • Pias
  • Poro
  • Puspus
  • Sacyud
  • Sagayad
  • San Agustin
  • San Francisco
  • San Vicente
  • Santiago Norte
  • Santiago Sur
  • Saoay
  • Sevilla
  • Siboan-Otong
  • Tanqui
  • Tanquigan

City Charter


An 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. Ramos
  • March 20, 1998 – Plebiscite Ratifying the Conversion of the Municipality into a City

Republic Act No. 8509 originated in the House of Representatives as House Bill No. 75 94 sponsored by Cong. Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union


  • Urban Partnership for Sustainable Upliftment, Renewal, Governance & Empowerment

Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.
  • Best LGU City in Region I
  • 2nd Runner Up, LGPMS 2009

Regional Level


  • 2010 Best FITS Center, Region I
  • Best Zero Waste Management Project

Implementer on Zero-Basura
  • Outstanding Performance, Quality of Life Category

Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009 Performance
  • Outstanding Performance, The Entrepreneurs’ Award for Most Honest and Transparent in its Dealings

Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009 Performance
  • Outstanding Performance, The Entrepreneurs’ Award for Most Supportive to MSMEs

Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009 Performance
  • Special Award, For Best in Documentation

Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2009 Performance


  • Building Environmentally Sustainable Transport
  • Tricycle Sector Management Project
  • Most Functional Community Learning Center


  • Most Business Friendly City in the Philippines
  • AIM One of the Most Competitive Small City in the Philippines


  • AIM No. 1 Most Competitive City Small Cities Category
  • ISA – Dream City Award
  • DA Huwarang Palengke Award
  • Best Comfort Room of Wet Market
  • 1st Runner-up Child-Friendly Award Regional Level
  • Clean & Green City Regional Finalist
  • Best Hybrid Rice Program - Regional


  • Institute of Solidarity in Asia - Fellowship Award
  • TB DOTS (National)
  • Literacy Award(3rd Place National )
  • Rafael Salas Award (population)
  • Green Banner – Nutrition(Regional)
  • Child-Friendly Cities (Regional Winner)


  • Most Outstanding City Mayor for Social Services(National)
  • Asin Law Best Implementor (National)
  • Most Competitive Small City
  • AIM Pinoy Cities on the Rise (2nd Most Competitive City National Level)
  • 3rd Place Literacy Awards (National)
  • Child-Friendly Cities (National Finalist)
  • Green Banner –Nutrition (1st Place Regional)


  • Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence (KAME)
Special Recognion and Meritorious Award
Stiftung & LOGODEF
  • 1st Runner Up Most Competitive Small City – Pinoy Cities on the Rise (AIM)
  • 2nd Place National Rafael Salas Population and Development and Improvement Award
  • Cleanest & Greenest City (2nd Runner Up National)
  • National Literacy Award (4th Place Outstanding LGU Category)
  • Kristal Award “ASIN LAW”
  • Child-Friendly Cities


  • 3rd Most Competitive Small Sized City of San Fernando
Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking


  • Recognition of Excellence
Special Recognition of Partnership with World Bank
Under the City Development Strategy
  • HABITAT Scroll of Honor
  • Child Friendly City of Region I

External links

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