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The Legend of La Union Province

The Legend of La Union Province

Long ago it’s well known among old folks living in Pangasinan and Ilocos that the province of La Union not yet existed. But a feud between the people of Pangasinan and Ilocos over a vast area between them sparked the idea of creating a separate new province. They referred to it as the uniting factor, and later called it La Union. Then the legend of La Union started to circulate around.

It was about siblings that kept on quarreling with each other—Pangasinan and Ilocos. They had different mothers but had the same father. Pngasinan’s mother was named Pampanga while Ilocos’ was named Cagayan. This allegedly started the story that is now the legend of La Union.

The father of the siblings, Fernando, was often put to shame when his sons quarreled in public. And it was often about who Uniangan, their brother born between them, would follow. The legend of La Union goes that each of them would make Uniangan run errands at the same time. When Uniangan could not satisfy their demands simultaneously they two other brother would fight over it.

One day a Spanish Friar passed by their house and observed the brothers Pangasinan and Ilocos quarreling and shouting at the top of their voices. The priests stopped for a while to listen but could not understand the dialect. Finally an interpreter was called and the mothers of the two boys were summoned. This story on the legend of La Union says from what the priest heard all the quarrel was centered on who had more clout to order Uniangan around.

“Ah!” the priest finally remarked. “I know what you should do! We’d cut Uniangan into two so that each of you could have half of him!” The two brothers were taken aback by the advice and looked at each other—and then at Uniangan. The legend on La Union continues that they finally realized their foolishness and started to pity their brother Uniangan. The priest saw the wonderful reconciliation among the brothers and patted Uniangan on the back. According to this legend of La Union the priest said Uniangan was the cause of The Union—or in Spanish, “La Union.” From the day on Uniangan was renamed La Union.

When the 3 brother got old and eventually died they were buried side by side with La Union in the middle of Pangasinan and Ilocos. So, as this legend of La Union goes, the mounds grew bigger with the passage of time until they became provinces.

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