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Baley na Agoo
Official seal of Agoo
Map of La Union showing the location of Agoo
Map of La Union showing the location of Agoo
Agoo is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 16°19′30″N 120°22′7″E / 16.32500°N 120.36861°E / 16.32500; 120.36861Coordinates: 16°19′30″N 120°22′7″E / 16.32500°N 120.36861°E / 16.32500; 120.36861
Country  Philippines
Region Ilocos (Region I)
Province La Union
District 2nd District
Founded 1578
Barangays 49
 • Mayor Sandra Y. Eriguel
 • Total 52.84 km2 (20.40 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 60,596
 • Density 1,100/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2504
Dialing code 72
Income class 1st class[4]

Agoo (Pangasinan: Baley na Ago) is a first class municipality in the province of La Union, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 60,596 people.[3]

Its name is usually attributed to "aroo" or "agoho," a pine-like evergreen tree (Casuarina equisetifolia or Whistling Pine) that thrived in the western coast during the pre-Spanish Period.[5]


Before the Spanish[edit]

Before the province of La Union was established, Agoo was part of Pangasinan, and was a settlement of people of the "same race as those of Pangasinan." (de Loarca,1582) These people traded with Chinese merchants long before Columbus even sailed to the new world. Later, the Japanese came and established their first settlement in the Philippines. At this time, Agoo's coast was shaped in such a way that it was a good harbor for foreign vessels coming into Lingayen Gulf. Miguel De Loarca referred to Agoo as “El Puerto de Japon” - the Japanese Port.

Rosario Mendoza-Cortes, in her book "Pangasinan 1572-1800" suggested that Agoo was likeliest to be the region's primary port of call for Japanese and Chinese traders - the only other candidate being Sual, Pangasinan. This was because there was a Japanese colony there, because traders at Agoo would have access to a greater number of people, and it was nearer to China and Japan. The main product traded from the area was deer pelt, which was shipped to Japan.

Agoo's role as a port deteriorated when the Spanish closed the Philippines to foreign trade. When foreign trade was allowed again, it was Sual that became the dominant port.

Sighting by Juan de Salcedo[edit]

In 1572, Juan de Salcedo, fresh from his conquest of Southern Luzon, was ordered by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to explore Northern Luzon and “pacify the people in it” (Mendoza-Corte, Pangasinan:1572-1800).

In June 1572, he was traversing the Angalakan River, when he saw and attacked three Japanese ships. When they fled, Salcedo followed them until they landed at a Japanese settlement. After paying tributes, the Japanese were allowed to remain. These Japanese would leave when the port of Agoo was later closed, but not without first teaching the natives their methods of fish culture, rice cultivation, deerskin tanning, duck breeding, and weapons manufacturing.

A permanent settlement was established in Agoo in 1578 when two Franciscan Missionaries, Fray Juan Bautista Lucarelli of Italy and Fray Sebastian de Baeza of Spain, constructed a thatch and bamboo church in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Agoo encompassed a vast land area that spanned the modern day towns of Rosario, Santo Tomas, Tubao, Pugo, Aringay, Caba, Bauang and the a place called "Atuley" or present day-San Juan. Agoo became the center of the campaign of pacification and conquest, not only of the surrounding towns that would later become La Union, but of the mountain tribes in the Cordilleras as well.

The two missionaries formally proclaimed Agoo as a civic unit. naming it after the river along whose banks it was built. At the time, the riverbank was forested with pine like trees locally called "aroo" or "agoho" (Casuarina equisetifolia, or Whistling Pine).

In another claim of the town's origin, Agoo was said to be derived from a variety of flying fish (chileopogon agoo) by which the Japanese settlers called it thereafter.

Development by the Augustinians[edit]

Most of the Town's early development can be attributed to the efforts of the Augustinian Order. They took over from the Franciscans and administered the town off and on throughout the Spanish occupation until the secular priests took over in 1898.

They changed the Town's patron saint to Santa Monica. They established a school where reading, writing, industrial works, and catechism were taught. They relocated the town center, laid out the streets and public buildings, and established roads leading to the nearby towns.

To facilitate the construction of churches, public buildings and bridges, they taught the people brick and lime making, brick-laying, and stone-quarrying. They introduced the “moro-moro”, the singing of “pasyon”, new farm implement and new plants.

Father Aquilino Garcia constructed a church, and by the end of the 15th century the image of Nuestra Senora de Caridad (Our Lady of Charity) was installed in it. This church was destroyed in 1796 and a new one was built when the original settlement was moved to what has ever since been the town center. The church was then claimed to be the largest and grandest in North Luzon during that time. Ruins are scattered althroughout the town's center and some are visible at this point of time.

Integration into the Province of La Union[edit]

On March 2, 1850, the province of La Union was created by Governor–General Antonio Maria Blanco. It comprised the northwestern towns of Pangasinan and the towns of Ilocos Sur south of the Amburayan river. Agoo was the oldest town to be integrated and was listed as having a population of 6,936 people.

Recent incidents[edit]

The town came into focus for the alleged Marian apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Judiel Nieva, presently a transgender. Nieva reported seeing the Virgin Mary, popularly known as Our Lady of Agoo atop a Guava tree , a statue weeping with blood became highly sensationalized. Religious pilgrimages among Filipino Catholics increased by the millions as people flocked to see the phenomenon. The alleged apparition and healing events came into the attention of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who in turn began an investigation and later released an ecclesiastical ruling that the apparitions were non-supernatural in origin in 1993.

Following an assassination attempt on Tubao Mayor Dante Garcia in September 2012, the Civil Society Group (CSG) and the La Union police therefore held a rally at Freedom Park in Agoo to protest a series of unsolved extrajudicial killings in Tubao and Agoo. The public indignation was led by Reverend Mariano C. Apilado of Peace Builders La Union, Melvin Macusi of Amnesty International, Danilo Balino from the Commission on Human Rights and Fr. Leo Nedic of TIGNAY-PPCRV, other Human Rights Groups, Kanlungan, Bannuar and leaders of the Catholic and Protestant churches.[6][7]


Population census of Agoo
Year Pop.   ±% p.a.  
1990 42,698 —    
1995 47,721 +2.11%
2000 51,923 +1.83%
2007 57,952 +1.53%
2010 60,596 +1.64%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][8]
Agoo Town Hall

Local government[edit]

Just as the national government, the municipal government of Agoo, is divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judiciary. The judicial branch is administered solely by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The LGUs have control of the executive and legislative branch.

The executive branch is composed of the mayor and the barangay captain for the barangays.Local Government Code of the Philippines, Book III, Department of Interior and Local Government official website.

The legislative branch is composed of the Sangguniang Bayan (town assembly), Sangguniang Barangay (barangay council), and the Sangguniang Kabataan for the youth sector.

The seat of Government is vested upon the Mayor and other elected officers who hold office at the Town hall. The Sanguniang Bayan is the center of legislation, stationed in Agoo Municipio.[9]

Elected Officials[edit]

  • Hon. Sandra Y. Eriguel, M.D., Municipal Mayor
  • Hon. Jaime A. Boado, Jr., Municipal Vice-Mayor
  • Sangguniang Bayan Memers: HON. ERWINA C. ERIGUEL-Sangguniang Bayan Member, HON. ROMANO F. NIÑALGA-Sangguniang Bayan Member, HON. DOMINADOR P. RIVERA-Sangguniang Bayan Member, HON. RENATO D. BALDERAS-Sangguniang Bayan Member, (Second Row) HON. REYNALDO V. OLLER-ABC President (Ex Officio), HON. CRISOGONO LL. COLOBONG, JR.-Sangguniang Bayan Member, HON. ROGELIO R. DE VERA-Sangguniang Bayan Member, HON. JOSEPHUS R. KOMIYA-Sangguniang Bayan Member (Third Row) HON. EVAN PAULO E. TAGAPULOT, SK Federation President (Ex Officio), HON. LEONARD FLORENT O. BULATAO-Sangguniang Bayan Member.[10]


Agoo is politically subdivided into 49 barangays.[2]

  • Ambitacay
  • Balawarte
  • Capas
  • Consolacion (Pob.)
  • Macalva Central
  • Macalva Norte
  • Macalva Sur
  • Nazareno
  • Purok
  • San Agustin East
  • San Agustin Norte
  • San Agustin Sur
  • San Antonino
  • San Antonio
  • San Francisco
  • San Isidro
  • San Joaquin Norte
  • San Joaquin Sur
  • San Jose Norte
  • San Jose Sur
  • San Juan
  • San Julian Central
  • San Julian East
  • San Julian Norte
  • San Julian West
  • San Manuel Norte
  • San Manuel Sur
  • San Marcos
  • San Miguel
  • San Nicolas Central (Pob.)
  • San Nicolas East
  • San Nicolas Norte (Pob.)
  • San Nicolas West
  • San Nicolas Sur (Pob.)
  • San Pedro
  • San Roque West
  • San Roque East
  • San Vicente Norte
  • San Vicente Sur
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Barbara (Pob.)
  • Santa Fe
  • Santa Maria
  • Santa Monica
  • Santa Rita (Nalinac)
  • Santa Rita East
  • Santa Rita Norte
  • Santa Rita Sur
  • Santa Rita West


The redeveloped Imelda Garden
Jose D. Aspiras ancestral house

Agoo has interesting attractions and main festival/events:

  • Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity
  • Plaza de la Virgen
  • Agoo Presidencia and New Town Hall
  • Dinengdeng festival and Patronal Town Fiesta (8th, April 26 to May 4, 2012 - “Lifting Agoo to New Heights Through Dynamic, Dedicated and Visionary Leadership.” 101 Dinengdeng recipes, an Agoo/Ilocano vegetable delicacy of Ilocanos festivity meantat DMMMSU-South La Union Campus Grandstand, Agoo)[11]
  • Agoo Kilawin (Ceviche) Festival, December 28, 2011
  • Agoo Museum - The 1979 Museo de La Union or Museo Iloko was the former Presidencia of Agoo (restored by the Philippine Tourism Authority in1981).[12]
  • Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (Marcos Sports Center) DMMMSU-South La Union Campus
  • The Giant Eagle of the North Park (Symbol of Marcoses' power, designed by Arch. Anselmo Day-ag).
  • Imelda Garden (fishermen sculpture, Agoo Town Square and Town Plaza)
  • Dona Toribia Aspiras Annex (back of Town hall)
  • Agoo beach (San Nicolas East)
  • Agoo Welcome Arch (1978-1578)
  • Jose D. Aspiras ancestral house
  • Jose D. Aspiras Civic Center
  • San Roque West-San Roque East fish ponds
  • Aspiras-Palispis Highway (formerly the Agoo-Baguio Road), connecting Agoo, La Union to Baguio City
  • San Antonio-San Miguel Eco-Mountain Trail[13]

Notable people[edit]

Image gallery[edit]

Panorama of Agoo hills and rice-fields


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: La Union". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ General Information
  6. ^ PIA | Philippine Information Agency | Civic groups hold peace rally in La Union
  7. ^ Aquino, Miriam (2012-11-23). "Civic groups hold peace rally in La Union". Philippine Information Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  8. ^ "Province of La Union". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Brief History
  10. ^ Municipal Officials
  11. ^ 8th Dinengdeng Festival & Patronal Town Fiesta
  12. ^
  13. ^ Major Tourist Spots


External links[edit]