San Gabriel, La Union

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San Gabriel
San Gabriel Municipal Hall
San Gabriel Municipal Hall
Flag of San Gabriel
Official seal of San Gabriel
Map of La Union showing the location of San Gabriel
Map of La Union showing the location of San Gabriel
San Gabriel is located in Philippines
San Gabriel
San Gabriel
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 16°40.5′N 120°24′E / 16.6750°N 120.400°E / 16.6750; 120.400Coordinates: 16°40.5′N 120°24′E / 16.6750°N 120.400°E / 16.6750; 120.400
Country  Philippines
Region Ilocos (Region I)
Province La Union
District 1st District
Established 1947
Barangays 15
 • Mayor Divina D. Velasco
 • Total 129.87 km2 (50.14 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 16,628
 • Density 130/km2 (330/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2513
Dialing code 72
Income class 4th class[3]

San Gabriel is a fourth class municipality in the province of La Union, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,628 people.[2] It is the largest municipality in the province in terms of land area.[1]


San Gabriel is politically subdivided into 15 barangays.[1]

  • Amontoc
  • Apayao
  • Balbalayang
  • Bayabas
  • Bucao
  • Bumbuneg
  • Daking
  • Lacong
  • Lipay Este
  • Lipay Norte
  • Lipay Proper
  • Lipay Sur
  • Lon-oy
  • Poblacion
  • Polipol


The town of San Gabriel is within the easternmost part of the province of La Union. It was formerly called sitio “Baka-Burnotan”, the name derived from the game of the old folks that means “binnornutan” or tug-of-war. Sitio Baka-Burnotan was the place where people in the nearby sitios gathered daily to graze their cattle while playing binnornutan. The games were played between the Christians and the pagan settlers of the Kankanaey tribe. During the later years, the name baka-burnotan was shortened to burnotan.

Sitio Burnotan became the ideal place to settle because of the wide plain along the river and its fertile soil. Intermarriages between Christians and pagan settlers greatly contributed to the increase in population. On April 19, 1897, the Roman Catholic Church, through the late Fr. Redondo, indoctrinated the pagan settlers with Christian teachings. He established a church and introduced the image of Saint Gabriel to be their patron saint. As a result, many of the pagan inhabitants embraced Christianity and many of them were baptized. The people later decided to change the name of their place to San Gabriel in honor of their patron saint.

San Gabriel was made into a township in 1906 under the sub-province Amburayan, Mountain Province with Don Pablo Waggay as its first “Presidente.”

In 1920, it became a municipal district of Amburayan. It was in 1922, after the settlement of the boundary dispute between La Union and Mountain Province, that San Gabriel became a municipality. Finally in 1947, San Gabriel was converted into a regular municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 72 issued by President Manuel Roxas through the sponsorship of the former Speaker Pro-Tempore Francisco Ortega in the House of Representatives.


Population census of San Gabriel
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 12,532 —    
1995 13,489 +1.39%
2000 14,909 +2.17%
2007 15,803 +0.81%
2010 16,628 +1.87%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][4]


San Gabriel is an agricultural town. In its early days, the people of San Gabriel were engaged mainly in highland farming as their means of livelihood. They produced rice, corn, sweet potatoes and other root crops. As years passed, crop production decreased due to massive soil erosion in the uplands. Nevertheless, the inhabitants decided to improve their farming techniques and started making terraces. The perseverance of the people in constructing rice terraces and irrigation system along the hills and mountains of San Gabriel caused agricultural productivity to rebound.

Bananas and tiger grass are also abundant in San Gabriel, which harvests materials for soft broom production on a weekly basis.


  1. ^ a b c "Province: La Union". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. ^ 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 7 August 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Province of La Union". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 

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