La Union Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: March 2, 2024

La Union Day in the Philippines

La Union Day (Araw ng Pribilehiyo ng Lalawigan ng La Union) is a special non-working holiday in the Philippine province of La Union. It is celebrated annually on March 2 to commemorate the province’s founding anniversary.

La Union is a Philippine province located in the island of Luzon. During the precolonial era, its territory was settled by indigenous ethnolinguistic groups such as the Illocano people. There is evidence that these groups actively traded with one another, as well as with traders who came to the island from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Some foreign traders and fishermen even founded settlements in Luzon.

The Spanish first arrived in the Philippines in 1521 and began to colonize the archipelago in 1565. In 1571, Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi declared Manila the capital of the Philippines, and the Spaniards led by Legazpi’s grandson Juan de Sancedo began the colonization of Northern Luzon.

In 1572, they landed at a Japanese settlement located in what is now the municipality of Agoo. The Spaniards permitted the Japanese to stay in exchange for paying a tribute, and Agoo soon became the principal port of call for Japanese and Chinese traders in the region. However, it began to deteriorate when the Spanish closed the Philippines to foreign trade.

Some of the locals acceded to the Spanish rule relatively easily, while others fought against the colonial government. The municipality of Balaoan even had a secret society of insurrectos who planned a revolt against the Spaniards, but its leaders were captured and executed by Spanish soldiers.

The Spanish began to divide the Philippine into provinces in 1565 to make their colony in the archipelago easier to administer. Most of the territory of La Union was originally part of the Province of Pangasinan, named after the eponymous local people. However, settlements in what is now La Union were situated too far from the provincial capital of Lingayen, so it was decided to unite the neighboring areas of Cordillera, Ilocos and Pangasinan into a new province, aptly named La Union.

La Union was officially founded on March 2, 1850, becoming the 34th province of the Philippines. Queen Isabella II of Spain issued a royal decree confirming its establishment on April 18, 1854. The newly established province developed rapidly because the Spaniards began growing tobacco in La Union, which was very lucrative due to the tobacco monopoly in the Philippines. Today, La Union has a diversified economy and is known for its tourism, indigenous textile, and woodcarving industries.

The founding anniversary of La Union is celebrated in the province as La Union Day every year. However, festivities last for more than just one day. In 2023, for example, La Union’s Founding Anniversary was celebrated for over a month, from February 25 to March 28. Festive events and activities included a beauty pageant, exhibitions, tournaments and competitions, variety shows, fairs, parades, food festivals, thanksgiving ceremonies, a hot air balloon display, and more.

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La Union Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippines, regional observances, special non-working holidays