Bauang was established as a settlement in 1590 with fray Agustin Mino as its first minister. It was officially recognized as a town in 1765 as part of the province of Pangasinan with Don Francisco delos Reyes as its first gobernadorcillo. When La Union was created in 1850, Bauang was one of the twelve tons that formed the province.
There are three versions on how this settlement was named. First, the name came from the word “baoang” (garlic) which also grew plentifully in the area. Subsequently, the Spanish colonizers changed the letter “o” to “u” thus its present name “BAUANG”. The third version came from the word “buang” which means “river split into two” before flowing into the sea. As it is, the Bauang River is split into two by a delta.
Like other towns in the province, Bauang also had its share in the devastating invasions of Moro pirates (“tirong” in the local dialect). In the stillness of the night, the Moro pirates would swoop upon the town without any warning, killing people and kidnapping women and children only to be sold into slavery. They stole cattle looted the town and broke into the church and robbed it of its silver and gold.
These invasions gave rise to the construction of watchtowers, locally known as baluarte, by the Gobernadorcillo Don Juan Mallare along the coast and at the mouth of the Bauang River. These watchtowers served as a fortress against the invading pirates. It was also utilized as a refuge for the inhabitants who had no time to flee to the hills whenever the pirates were sighted. However, nothing now remains of the watchtower except the traces of its foundation.
Daring exploits of the people’s forefathers, their heroism, dedication, love and commitment to the ideals of freedom in the 1900s were handed down from generation to generation. During the later part of 1890, Bauang residents succeeded in wrestling the town from the tyrannical administration of the Spaniards after fierce and bloody encounters between the...
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