Pugo, La Union

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Municipality of Pugo
Overlooking Pugo town center and welcome arch from the National Highway
Overlooking Pugo town center and welcome arch from the National Highway
Official seal of Pugo
Map of La Union with Pugo highlighted
Map of La Union with Pugo highlighted
Pugo is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 16°17′N 120°29′E / 16.28°N 120.48°E / 16.28; 120.48Coordinates: 16°17′N 120°29′E / 16.28°N 120.48°E / 16.28; 120.48
Country Philippines
RegionIlocos Region (Region I)
ProvinceLa Union
District2nd District
Barangays14 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorNoemi T. Balloguing
 • Electorate11,035 voters (2016)
 • Total62.84 km2 (24.26 sq mi)
(2015 census)[3]
 • Total19,690
 • Density310/km2 (810/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)72
Climate typeTropical monsoon climate
Income class5th municipal income class
Revenue (₱)76,373,556.59 (2016)
Native languagesIlocano

Pugo, officially the Municipality of Pugo, is a 5th class municipality in the province of La Union, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 19,690 people.[3]

Pugo is located at the foot of the Santo Tomas mountain range, just 36 kilometres (22 mi) west from Baguio City via the Marcos Highway. Pugo is 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Agoo and 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the provincial capital San Fernando. It is primarily an agricultural town.


The name of Pugo has its origin from Pangasinan, a language used in Pangasinan, a province south of La Union. Pugo as well as other parts of southern La Union was once part of the ethno-linguistic territory of Pangasinan-speaking people prior to political subdivision during the Spanish regime. Now, only a minority speaks Pangasinan in La Union mainly in the towns of Rosario and Santo Tomas. The term "Pugo" which means "islet"; while Pugo itself is not an island, the term describes the huge rockbeds in the Tapuacan River. The river also features rockwalls and huge rocks which are now known as the Tapuakan Resort in Barangay Cares.


Population census of Pugo
YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 2,545—    
1939 4,733+3.00%
1948 3,952−1.98%
1960 5,484+2.77%
1970 6,483+1.69%
1975 7,180+2.07%
1980 7,780+1.62%
1990 10,939+3.47%
1995 12,180+2.03%
2000 13,442+2.14%
2007 18,265+4.32%
2010 16,518−3.59%
2015 19,690+3.40%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][4][5][6]

In the 2015 census, the population of Pugo, La Union, was 19,690 people,[3] with a density of 310 inhabitants per square kilometre or 800 inhabitants per square mile.

Local government[edit]

Just as the national government, the municipal government of Pugo 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 Pugo Town hall. The Sanguniang Bayan is the center of legislation, stationed in Pugo Legislative Building.


The 14 barangays of the Municipality of Pugo[7]
Rank Barangay Population Rank Barangay Population
1 Cares 1,900 9 Maoasaoas Sur 973
2 San Luis 1,854 10 Ambangonan 928
3 Cuenca 1,713 11 Ambalite 887
4 Saytan 1,304 12 Poblacion East 875
5 Palina 1,300 13 Tavora East 748
6 Maoasaoas Norte 1,212 14 Duplas 604
7 Tavora Proper 1,196 Pugo Total 16,518
8 Poblacion West 1,024

Tourist destinations[edit]

Tapuakan River
Kultura Splash Wave
Bust of Ferdinand Marcos before it was destroyed in 2002
Holy Family Family Parish Church

Nature and Man Made Adventure[edit]

With the opening of the PUGAD Pugo Adventure Park in Sitio Kagaling of Barangay Palina, the town now offers extreme adventure. It offers 3 Zip Lines with its famous 380 meters long 200 feet high Super Man Zip Line 1. It also has Swimming Pools, Cottages, Conference Halls, Hanging Bridge, Clean River, Rappeling Area, Wall Climbing, Ropping, ATV Rides, Paint Ball Area, Trekking, and view of the Water Falls.

10 minutes away from Pugad Pugo Adventure is the "Travellers Inn". It offers villas, rooms, and even water adventure parks.

Scenic spots in Pugo include Tapuakan Resort, the Nagbukel and the hot springs of Cares. Tapuakan Resort features rest areas where the people can enjoy the natural slides of the river. It was recently awarded as the clearest inland body of water for 2008 making it for 2 consecutive years. It also has a hot spring where tourists and the Pugonians go often as they believe that the spring can heal certain skin and pulmonary diseases. Nagbukel is found at Barangay Ambangonan, and many people also go there despite its remote location.


PUGAD (bird’s nest) is one of the recreation and adventure landmarks in Pugo. It is a picturesque site with 3 hectares of green forests, lush mountain and clean river. It is 300 meters away from Marcos Highway.[8]

  • Zip Line Adventure - Pugo's Pugad has the longest zip line (380 meters) in Luzon, the second in the Philippines.

Tapuacan River[edit]

Tapuacan River (also known as Pugo - Cleanest Inland River of the North, Region I) is located in Barangay Cares (the smallest/inlet town which is situated at the foot of the Santo Tomas mountains range and about an hour away from Baguio City passing through the Aspiras, formerly Marcos Highway leading to the Ilocandia Region). The natural scenery is also a 1-hour ride from San Fernando City and around 4–5 hours drive from Manila.

Kultura Splash Wave[edit]

Pugo's Kultura Splash Wave is a prime resort[9] (Km. 21 Marcos Highway, Brgy. Cares). It has attraction: Lap pool, Pool Kiddie, Dolphin pools, 4 Giant Slides with Dropzone, Water Factory, Aerial Zip Lines, Wall Climbing, Sky Walker.

Marcos bust[edit]

Since early 2000, there has been some hope of a project focused on the development of Marcos Park. The park project is envisioned to be approximately 300 hectares in size, part of which would be in Palina, Pugo. The park plan calls for the development of a mountain resort complex to include the Marcos Highway as a Scenic Highway. The actual site is in Barangay Palina (Northeast boundary before Tuba, Benguet) and Tuba, Benguet itself. The project would benefit not only La Union but also Benguet and Baguio itself since Barangay Palina shares a part of the Jose D. Aspiras Highway (formerly Marcos Highway), the main route to Baguio City. Initially, that park plan intended to feature the previously constructed giant concrete bust of Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The former dictator was driven from office in 1986, and died in 1989. Constructed while Marcos was still in power, the bust was, however, destroyed on December 29, 2002.[10] The identity of the perpetrators remains unclear. Rumors suggest that it may have been the work of left-wing activists, or members of a local tribe displaced by the park - or possibly looters hunting for one of Marcos' legendary treasure troves.[10] Treasure Hunters as well as local residents, once claimed that the bust was one of the sites where Marcos hid the fabled Yamashita Treasure.

Given the loss of its most prominent feature, future prospects for the park project are uncertain.

Holy Family Family Parish Church[edit]

As of 2012, the 1909 Holy Family Family Parish Church of Pugo (canonically erected in 1909), celebrates its fiesta every Last Sunday of December. It is under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Fernando de La Union (Dioecesis Ferdinandopolitana ab Unione, Suffragan of Lingayen – Dagupan, which was created on January 19, 1970 and erected on April 11, 1970, comprising the Civil Province of La Union, under the Titular, St. William the Hermit, February 10). The heritage church is under a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. Its Parish Priest is Fr. Crispin N. Reyes.[11]

The Pugo Church is under the Vicariate of St. Francis Xavier with Vicar Forane, Fr. Joel Angelo Licos.[12][13] The Holy Family Parish was built in the year 1909-1911 by the Belgian Missionary for the people of Pugo, La Union.


Panorama of the Crossing and Welcome arch


  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: La Union". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  6. ^ "Province of La Union". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  7. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Population Counts - Cordillera Administrative Region" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. April 4, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  8. ^ "PUGAD: A nest of recreation and adventure in Pugo La Union". Tarabitab. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  9. ^ http://kulturasplashwave.com/
  10. ^ a b "Powerful Blast Blows Up Marcos Bust in Philippines". English.peopledaily.com.cn. 2002-12-30. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  11. ^ http://wikimapia.org/2052515/Holy-Family-Parish-Church
  12. ^ http://www.claretianpublications.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=557:diocese-of-san-fernando-de-la-union&catid=4&Itemid=140
  13. ^ Catholic-Hierarchy

External links[edit]