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Province of Pangasinan
Ph seal pangasinan.png
Ph locator map pangasinan.png
Region Northwestern Region (Ilocos Region) (Region I)
Governor Victor Aguedo E. Agbayani
Barangays 1,364
Physical characteristics
Area 5,368.2 km²
(15th largest)
Total (2000) 2,434,086
(3rd largest)
Density 453/km²
(8th highest)

Pangasinan, officially Province of Pangasinan (In Pangasinan: Luyag na Pangasinan), is one of the provinces of the Republic of the Philippines. The provincial capital is Lingayen. Pangasinan is located on the west central area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf. The total land area of Pangasinan is 5,368.82 square kilometers. The total population of Pangasinan is 2,434,086. (National Statistics Office, 2000 Census). The Pangasinan language is the primary language in Pangasinan. The estimated population of the indigenous speakers of the Pangasinan language in the province of Pangasinan is 1.5 million.

The name Pangasinan means "land of salt" or "place of salt-making"; it is derived from asin, the word for "salt" in the Pangasinan language.

An ancient kingdom called Luyag na Kaboloan existed in Pangasinan before the Spanish conquest that began on the 15th century. Princess Urduja, a legendary woman warrior, is believed to have ruled in Pangasinan around the 14th century. The maritime trade network that once flourished in ancient Southeast Asia connected Pangasinan to other parts of Southeast Asia and China.

Pangasinan is famous for the Hundred Islands National Park. This is a marine park located off the coast of Alaminos City in the Lingayen Gulf and is composed of some 123 islands, most of which are quite small and uninhabited.

During the summer, several feasts and festivals are celebrated in Pangasinan, including the Pistay Dayat or Sea Feast, the Bangus Festival, and the Mango and Bamboo festivals.

Pangasinan is noted as the birthplace of President Fidel V. Ramos, and Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. The mother of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was from Binalonan, Pangasinan. The father of the late actor and former presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. was from San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Director General Arturo Lomibao, the former head of the Philippine National Police, is from Mangaldan, Pangasinan. Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Armed Forces, is from Asingan, Pangasinan. Gabriel Singson, the former governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, is from Lingayen, Pangasinan. F. Sionil José, and Carlos Bulosan are internationally known writers from Pangasinan. Victorio C. Edades, a Filipino modernist and a recognized National Artist, was from Pangasinan.

The 1200 megawatt Sual Coal-Fired Power Plant, and the 345 megawatt San Roque Multi-Purpose Dam are located in Pangasinan. Pangasinan has extensive areas devoted to salt making and aquaculture along the coasts of Lingayen Gulf and South China Sea. Pangasinan is a major producer of rice, mangoes, and bamboo crafts.

Pangasinan occupies a strategic geo-political position in the central plain of Luzon, known as the rice granary of the Philippines. Pangasinan has been described as a gateway to northern Luzon and as the heartland of the Philippines.




Human Evolution

Modern humans or Homo sapiens migrated to the Malay archipelago by at least 50,000 years ago. The most widely accepted view in paleoanthropology and genetics is that modern humans originated in the African savanna between 100 to 200 thousand years ago and later migrated to Asia, Europe, island Southeast Asia, and Australia by at least 40,000 years ago.

Human societies of hunter-gatherers and nomads, which probably included beach-combers and seafarers, migrated to other regions of the world. Evidence from paleoanthropology suggests that Homo sapiens or modern humans existed in Palawan at least 50,000 years ago. These early inhabitants are called the Tabon Man, after the name of the Tabon cave in Palawan where human fossil remains were found. Genetics studies of human DNA markers confirm the presence of modern humans in Southeast Asia and Australia at least 55,000 years ago.

Austronesian Languages

Austronesian-speakers have settled in island Southeast Asia, South China, Taiwan, and the Pacific islands more than 5,000 years ago. The ancestors of these Austronesian-speakers from Southeast Asia may have been the first Americans and reached the Americas by a coastal route, perhaps as early as 15,000 years ago. This is confirmed by the fossil remains of the Kennewick Man, which was found near the coast of the State of Washington in the United States and dated to be more than 9,000 years old, whose features was more South Asian and Polynesian.

The widely accepted views of the origin of the Austronesian-speakers where they became a distinct group is Taiwan and southern China or Southeast Asia and Sundaland, a pre-historic landmass in Southeast Asia that was once connected to the continent of Asia. Sundaland was a biogeographic tropical paradise. However, Sundaland was flooded and is now largely under the sea as a result of the rise in sea-level that was probably caused by global warming after the most recent ice age.

The prehistoric Austronesian societies adapted to the rise in sea-level; they mastered the seas with their ocean-going sailing ships, built houses on stilts, or migrated upland, where they built agricultural terraces in the mountains, like the Banaue Rice Terraces. The Austronesians also had to cope with cataclysmic earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions because they lived in a seismic zone, called the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The Pangasinan people, like most of the people in the Malay Archipelago, are descended from the Austronesian-speakers who settled in Southeast Asia since prehistoric times. The Pangasinan language is one of many languages that belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian languages family.

Southeast Asian Maritime Trade Network

Distant Voyages of the Prau

The ancient Malayo-Polynesian-speakers were expert navigators who had sailing ships capable of crossing the distant seas. The ancient Malagasy sailed from the Malay archipelago to Madagascar, an island across the Indian Ocean. The ancient Polynesians navigated the distant Pacific islands as far away as Hawaii and Easter Island. At least several hundred years before the arrival of Europeans, Macassans, from Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia, sailing with their prau, established settlements in the north coast of Australia, which they called Marege. In many Malayo-Polynesian languages, the words for canoe or ship and settlements or villages are often used interchangeably, like prau, perahu or parao and barangay, meaning "ship" or "village."

Maritime Trade

The Malay prau, perahu or parao probably even reached the land of the Pharaohs in Egypt. Malay ships may have been among the ships coming from the overseas lands of Dilmun, Magan and Melluha mentioned in Sumerian and Akkadian literature. It is possible that the original Sumerian names for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are of Malayo-Polynesian origin. In Pangasinan, the word siglat, which means "swift," "fast" or "rapid," appears similar to the Sumerian name Idigna and Akkadian name Idiglat for the Tigris. In Pangasinan, the word burakan, which means "wave," "wavy," or "surf," appears similar to the Sumerian name Buranun and Akkadian name Pu-rat-tu for the Euphrates. A vast maritime trade network connecting the distant Malayo-Polynesian settlements from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean probably existed in ancient times.

Archaelogical evidence and early Chinese and Indian records show that the inhabitants of the Pangasinan with China and Japan as early as the 8th to 10th century A.D. Chinese merchants traded with the people of the Pangasinan as early as the 8th century to 10th century A.D. Chieftains of Pangasinan in those century had even visited China.

Maritime Empires

Agrarian and maritime societies arose in the Malay archipelago in ancient times. Several Malay kingdoms and empires, which were influenced by or converted to Hinduism and Buddhism, flourished and competed for hegemony in the Malay archipelago from the second century C.E. to the fifteenth century C.E., like the Langkasuka kingdom of the Malay Peninsula in Malaysia, the Srivijaya empire in the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, and the Majapahit empire in the island of Java in Indonesia. The Srivijaya and Majapahit empires were maritime empires and influenced much of the Malay archipelago. It appears that the wars and chaos after the collapse of the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires contributed to the disruption and decline of the extensive maritime trade network that connected much of the Malay archipelago and other countries.

Princess Urduja and Luyag na Caboloan

The extent of the influence of the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires in Pangasinan is not clearly known. An ancient kingdom called Luyag na Kaboloan once existed in Pangasinan. Princess Urduja, a legendary woman warrior, is believed to have ruled in Pangasinan around the 14th century. The legend of Urduja is shared by the Ibaloi people in the northern province of Benguet. Most likely, the Pangasinan people and the Ibaloi people were once united or had a common origin. Pangasinan was connected to a maritime trade network that once flourished in ancient Southeast Asia. It appears that Pangasinan enjoyed full independence before the Spanish conquest.

Religion in Pangasinan before Spain

Although there were Muslim settlements in pre-colonial Philippines, Islam was not able to establish itself in Pangasinan. When the Spanish arrived in Pangasinan, the people of Pangasinan were practicing their own set of beliefs, which is Shamanist in character. The people of Pangasinan maintained this set of beliefs through a strong priesthood: a hierarchy of priestesses and healers who represent pantheon of anitos. One of the temples was dedicated to an anito called Ana Gaoley, which spoke through the medium of some women called manag-anito, the officiating priestesses. These priestesses wore a special costume when serving an anito and they offered it oils, ointments, essences and perfumes in exquisite vessels; and after the offerings the anito is supposed to reply in a secret room to their questions. (page 274 of "Culture and History" by Nick Joaquin)

Spanish Conquest and Spread of Christianity

Ferdinand Magellan

The Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sailed by the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, with a fleet of ships under the Spanish flag, and reached the Philippine islands in 1521. In 1511, before the arrival of Magellan in the Philippines, the Portuguese invaded the Sultanate of Malacca in Malaysia. Magellan had been in the nearby Spice Islands before and probably was already aware of the location of the Philippines. He was also accompanied by a Malay native from the nearby Moluccas during the voyage. Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan in 1521, but his voyage proved to others that the earth can be circumnavigated. One of the Spanish ships returned to Spain by the Indian and Atlantic oceans with news of a new route to the Spice Islands, the Orient, and the islands that came to be called the Philippines.

On April 27, 1565, the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Cebu with about 500 soldiers to establish a Spanish settlement and begin the conquest of the Philippine islands. On May 24, 1570, the Spanish forces defeated Rajah Sulayman, the Muslim ruler of Tondo, and the other rulers of Manila. On June 24, 1571, the Spanish declared Manila the new capital of their new colony in the Philippines. After securing Manila, the Spanish forces continued to conquer the rest of the island of Luzon, including Pangasinan.

Provincia de Pangasinan

In 1571, the Spanish conquest of Pangasinan began with an expedition by the Spanish conquistador Martín de Goiti, who came from the Spanish settlement in Manila through Pampanga. About a year later, another Spanish conquistador, Juan de Salcedo, sailed to Lingayen Gulf and landed at the mouth of the Agno River.

By 1580, Pangasinan was subjugated and made into an Alacadia Mayor by the Spanish Governor of the Philippines. Roman Catholic Augustinian, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries arrived with the conquistadors and converted most of the inhabitants of Pangasinan to Roman Catholicism. In 1611, Pangasinan became a Spanish colonial province, comprising the territories of Zambales and some areas of La Union and Tarlac. Lingayen was made the capital of the province (and still is to this day). Continued resistance to Spanish rule was forced to go underground or flee to the mountains.

Kingdom of Pangasinan

On December 1660, a rebellion led by Andres Malong, a native chief of the town of Binalatongan, now named San Carlos city, liberated the province from Spanish rule. Andres Malong was proclaimed King of Pangasinan. Pangasinan armies attempted to liberate the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Ilocos, but were repelled by a Spanish-led coalition of loyalist tribal warriors and mercenaries. On February 1661, the newly independent Kingdom of Pangasinan fell to the Spanish.

Palaris Revolt

On November 3, 1762, the people of Pangasinan proclaimed independence from Spain after a rebellion led by Juan de la Cruz Palaris overthrew Spanish rule in Pangasinan. The Pangasinan revolt was sparked by news of the fall of Manila to the British on October 6, 1762. However, after the Treaty of Paris on March 1, 1763 ended the Seven Years' War between Britain, France and Spain, the Spanish colonial forces counter-attacked. On January 16, 1765, Juan de la Cruz Palaris was captured and Pangasinan independence was again lost.


Philippine Revolution

The people of Pangasinan widely supported Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan's fight for independence as a common struggle. General Francisco Macabulos commanded the Katipunan forces in Pangasinan. Don Daniel Maramba of Santa Barbara was one of the revolutionary leaders from Pangasinan.

Republic of the Philippines

Spanish-American War

Philippine-American War

World War II

Lingayen Gulf was one of the strategic places during the Second World War. Japanese forces under Gen. Masaharu Homma landed on the shores of Pangasinan in December 1941, a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and started the Japanese occupation of the country. In 1945, American troops landed on the beaches of Pangasinan and joined Filipino guerrillas to free Luzon from the Japanese.

Martial Law

The imposition of martial law and the authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos resulted in countlesss human rights violations in Pangasinan.

Pangasinan fell victim to the gerrymandering of the Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos when he made Pangasinan part of the northern Ilocos Region or Region I, although Pangasinan already enjoyed the status of a region because of its size, population and distinct primary language, which is Pangasinan. It seems that classifying Pangasinan as part of the Ilocos Region has generated confusion among a substantial number of Filipinos, who may have mistakenly understood that all or most of the residents of Pangasinan are Ilocanos. According to the 2000 census 47% of the population are Pangasinan and 44% are Ilocanos. Some people in Pangasinan find the term Ilocos Region a misnomer. In order to prevent confusion, some prefer the term Northwestern Region, which is a term based on a geographic concept.

People Power Revolution

Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.

General Fidel V. Ramos, who was born in Lingayen, Pangasinan, was one of the leaders of a military mutiny and a people power revolt that led to the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos.

President Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino, Jr., was elected President of the Philippines.

President Fidel V. Ramos

General Fidel V. Ramos was elected President of the Philippines.

President Joseph Estrada

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Vice-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose mother is from Binalonan, Pangasinan, was declared President of the Philippines after President Joseph Estrada was overthrown in another people power revolt.

Congressman Jose de Venecia, Jr., who is from Dagupan City, Pangasinan, was re-elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Actor turned politician Fernando Poe, Jr., whose family is from San Carlos, Pangasinan, ran for President against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Pangasinan vote was split.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected President for another term. However, she was forced to declare a state of emergency to counter alleged destabilization plots. She immediately lifted the state of emergency, but her presidency is beset by demands for her resignation.


To facilitate economic development, there are proposals to build an international seaport at Sual Bay and develop the Sual Economic Zone, to build a commercial airport in Lingayen, and to develop a high tech zone in central Pangasinan, like the Silicon Valley of California.

Out of concern for the welfare and progress of Pangasinan, some Pangasinans are demanding full sovereignty or greater autonomy for Pangasinan; some are seeking political recognition for Pangasinan as an autonomous region, to be called Pangasinan Autonomous Region.

The state of crisis of the national government in Manila and the slow pace of development of the Philippine economy is forcing many Pangasinans to emigrate to Metro Manila or to wealthier countries, like the United States.

Law and Government

The Governor of Pangasinan is Victor Aguedo E. Agbayani.

The Vice Governor is Oscar B. Lambino.

Democracy and Human Rights



The province of Pangasinan is subdivided into 44 municipalities, 4 cities, 1,364 barangay, which means "village," and 6 congressional districts.


Commercial Salt Industry in Dasol.

Provincial Capital



Pangasinan is located on the west central area of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Pangasinan borders La Union and Benguet to the north, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, and Zambales and Tarlac to the south. To the west of Pangasinan is the South China Sea and the province encloses the Lingayen Gulf.

The land area of Pangasinan is 5,368.82 square kilometers. Pangasinan is 170 kilometers north of Manila, 50 kilometers south of Baguio City, 115 kilometers north of Subic International Airport and Seaport, and 80 kilometers north of Clark International Airport.


The 1200 megawatt Sual Coal-Fired Power Plant, 345 megawatt San Roque Multi-Purpose Dam, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, the Northern Cement Corporation, and La Tondena Distillery are located in Pangasinan. Pangasinan has extensive fishponds, mostly for raising bangus or "milkfish," along the coasts of Lingayen Gulf and South China Sea. Pangasinan is a major producer of rice, mangoes and bamboo crafts.

The Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines has identified the following potential investment areas in Pangasinan:

  • Maguey production and handicraft center
  • Santiago Island Marine Park
  • Oyster processing facility
  • Bagoong technology and processing center
  • Tannery and leather production center
  • Oyster and aquaculture farming
  • Seawee farming
  • Bamboo production
  • Handicraft and furniture making
  • Manufacture of construction bricks
  • Tourism development

Pangasinan has export earnings of around $5.5 million.

Science and Technology


Pangasinan is 170 kilometers north of Manila, 50 kilometers south of Baguio City, 115 kilometers north of Subic International Airport and Seaport, and 80 kilometers north of Clark International Airport.



The population of Pangasinan is 2,434,086 (National Statistics Office, 2000 Census). Pangasinan is the third most populated province in the Philippines. The estimated population of the indigenous speakers of the Pangasinan language in the province of Pangasinan is 1.5 million. The rest of the population are mostly indigenous speakers of Ilocano, Bolinao, and Tagalog.

The population of Pangasinan is projected to double in about 30 years.



Pangasinan has 51 hospitals and clinics and 68 rural health units, as of July 2002.


The culture of Pangasinan is a blend of the indigenous Malayo-Polynesian and western Hispanic and American cultures, with some Indian, and Chinese influences. Today, Pangasinan is very much westernized.


The Pangasinan people are called Pangasinan, Pangasinense or simply taga Pangasinan, which means "from Pangasinan." The population of Pangasinan is 2,434,086 (National Statistics Office, 2000 Census). Pangasinan is the third most populated province in the Philippines. The estimated population of the indigenous speakers of the Pangasinan language in the province of Pangasinan is 1.5 million. The rest of the population are mostly indigenous speakers of Ilocano, Bolinao, and Tagalog.

The ethnicity of the people of Pangasinan is predominantly Malay or Malayan, like most of the people of the Malay Archipelago. The people of Pangasinan are also related to the Polynesians of the Pacific islands, the Formosan indigenous peoples of Taiwan, the Cham of central Vietnam and Cambodia, the Malagasy of Madagascar; and probably distantly related to the Ainu of Japan.

Some prominent people of Pangasinan heritage include President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whose mother was from Binalonan, Pangasinan; President Fidel Valdez Ramos, who was born in Lingayen, Pangasinan; Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., who was born in Dagupan City, Pangasinan; and the late actor and presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr., whose father was from San Carlos City, Pangasinan.


The Pangasinan language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian languages family. It is the primary language of the province of Pangasinan and the dominant language in central Pangasinan. The Pangasinan language is similar to the other Malayo-Polynesian languages of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Madagascar. It is closely related to the Ibaloi language spoken in the neighboring province of Benguet and Baguio City, located north of Pangasinan. The Pangasinan language is classified under the Pangasinic group of languages. The Pangasinic languages are:

  • Pangasinan
  • Ibaloi
  • Karao
  • I-wak
  • Kalanguya
  • Keley-I
  • Kallahan
  • Kayapa
  • Kallahan
  • Tinoc

The other languages or dialects are spoken in some areas of the neighboring provinces of Benguet, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Ifugao.

The Pangasinan language is an agglutinative language. Linguistics studies show some word correspondences between Pangasinan and the ancient Sumerian language, the first known written language. Sumerian, which was spoken in the ancient land of Sumer in southern Mesopotamia, is an agglutinative language like Pangasinan.


The religion of the people of Pangasinan is predominantly Christian, although few are strict believers and continue to practice their indigenous beliefs and rituals, like most of the people of the Philippines. Spanish and American missionaries introduced Christianity to Pangasinan. Prior to the Spanish conquest in 1571, the predominant religion of the people of Pangasinan was similar to the indigenous religion of the highland Igorot or the inhabitants of the Cordillera Administrative Region on the island of Luzon who mostly retained their indigenous culture and religion. Pangasinan was also influenced by Hinduism, and Buddhism before the introduction of Christianity.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pangasinan is Most Reverend Oscar V. Cruz.

Media and Internet

Pangasinan newspapers:

  • Sunday Punch
  • Pangasinan Star Online
  • Sun Star - Pangasinan

Pangasinan television and radio:

  • AM 1161 DWCM Aksyon Radyo Dagupan
  • FM 104.7 iFM Dagupan
  • FM 106.3 HotFM Dagupan

Sports and Entertainment

Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center

Places of interests

Tourist attractions

  • Hundred Islands

The Hundred Islands National Park, off the coast of Brgy. Lucap in Alaminos City is composed of some 123 islands in the Lingayen Gulf. Most of the islands are quite small and appear to be rocky outcrops with lush vegetation on top.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag is famous throughout the country for its supposed miraculous powers. Catholic devotees frequent the shrine, especially on the feast days on the first of October and the 18th day after Easter Sunday.

Sunny white beach at Rock Garden Resort, Bolinao, Pangasinan.
The "Treasurers of Bolinao", Pangasinan.
  • Bonuan Blue Beach in Dagupan
  • White Beach in San Fabian
  • Cape Bolinao Beach in Bolinao
  • Tambobong White Beach in Dasol
  • Tondol Beach in Anda
  • Antong Falls in Sison
  • Cacupangan Cave in Mabini
  • Mount Balungao in Balungao
  • Manleluag Spring National Park in Mangatarem
  • Sanctuario de Senor Divino Tesoro in Calasiao
  • Salasa Church in Bugallon
  • Urduja House in Lingayen
  • Lingayen Gulf War Museum in Lingayen
  • Bolinao Museum in Bolinao
  • Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen
  • Oceanographic Marine Laboratory in Alaminos
  • Rock Garden Resort
  • Treasures of Bolinao

Shopping malls

The largest shopping mall currently operating in the province of Pangasinan is the CSI city Mall, located at the outskirt of Dagupan City, in Lucao. SM City Rosales is located in Rosales, Pangasinan




Places of worship

  • St. John Metropolitan Parish Church - Dagupan City
  • St. John's Cathedral School - Dagupan City


See also

External links

Original Source

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