Pangasinan is a salt country as its name denotes in
the vernacular and one of the 77 provinces of the Republic of the
Pangasinan is a long, wide, verdant crescent bounded by the wild
Zambales range to the west and to the east by the Cordilleras --
the formidable mountains that form the spine of the island of Luzon.
To the south, Pangasinan extends to the rice-and-sugar farmlands
of Tarlac, and north to the crowning glory of Lingayen Gulf and
the South China Sea. This shoreline is a great arc of variegated
character: from fantastically tall, craggy rock roughly chiseled
by the surf, to the mildest of white sand beaches. The coast is
fringed by well-hidden coves and inlets, promontories and caves,
forests and woodland, charming fishing villages, and then the islands.
It faces the Asian mainland, outstretched widely in anticipation
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Pre-Hispanic Pangasinan traded actively with the Chinese. Tang,
Sung and Ming dynasty porcelains were excavated in archeological
sites in the province, giving evidence of strong trade relations
with the merchants from the Middle Kingdom. Most of the region was
under the influence of a powerful political entity called Layug
na Caboloan. Pangasinan meaning place of salt then used
to refer only to the coastal region where salt-making was and still
is being practiced.
Spanish conquest and colonization began in 1571 under Martin de
Goiti, who penetrated the region from Pampanga. A year later, Juan
de Salcedo sailed up the western coast and landed at the mouth of
the Agno River. Governor Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñaloza made
Pangasinan an Alcaldia Mayor in 1580, and in 1611, this region became
a province. At the time, its territory included the present province
of Zambales and parts of La Union and Tarlac with Lingayen as its
Soon after the Spaniards conquered Pangasinan, it came under threat
of another foreign invasion. Limahong, the Chinese corsair who failed
to take Manila, tried to build a settlement at Lingayen, in 1574.
However, he was also forced out of Lingayen leaving only the Limahong
Channel, a tunnel dug for six months that served as his escape route
as the only lasting legacy of his failed attempt.
Several disturbances centered in Pangasinan attest to the Pangasinenses
struggle for liberty during the Spanish era. In 1660, Andres Malong
tried to establish a kingdom over an area from Ilocos to Pampanga
free of Spanish domination. Malong sent able generals to conquer
the region, threatening the hold of Spanish colonial government
over the areas. In 1762, another Pangasinense leader, Juan de la
Cruz Palaris rebelled against the Spanish imposition of the tribute.
For two years Palaris led the revolt, which spread across Pangasinan
and affected other provinces of northern Luzon.
In the 19th century the province rapidly developed as a result
of the extension of agriculture into the forested interior regions.
The influx of migrants from the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos
Sur into the western and eastern portions of the province spurred
the transformation of Pangasinan into the main rice granary of Luzon.
By 1855, the port of Sual was opened to foreign commerce. In 1891,
the Manila-Dagupan Railroad was opened, vastly improving transportation
between Pangasinan and Manila and opening more lands to agriculture.
During the Filipino-American War (1899-1901), Bayambang was a temporary
capital of the Republic. It was in Bayambang that General Emilio
Aguinaldo disbanded the regular Revolutionary Army and organized
guerrilla units to fight the American forces. The Americans established
civil government in Pangasinan in 1901.
During the Second World War, Lingayen Gulf was strategically important
in the plans of both Japanese and American forces to take Luzon.
In December 1941, Japanese invasion forces led by General Masaharu
Homma landed at White Beach and began the Japanese occupation of
the Philippines. The Americans also landed in San Fabian in the
Lingayen Gulf in 1945, which signaled the beginning of the liberation
of the island of Luzon from the Japanese.
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LANGUAGE / DIALECT
English and Filipino are widely spoken and the basic tools of instruction
in schools. Pangasinense is spoken in the central part of the province
while Ilocano is spoken mostly by the people in the western and
eastern towns. Bolinao has a dialect of its own.
Agriculture-based industries remain to be the source of income
of many. Prominent industries are bagoong-making, handicrafts, gifts,
toys and houseware-making.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Luzon, buses and jeepneys to Pangasinan are available. Average
travel time is 4-5 hours, faster by private car.
source: Department of Tourism
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