La Union , is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region (Region I) on Luzon Island. The provincial capital is San Fernando City.
La Unión, "The Union" in Spanish, was formed in 1850 when the Spanish colonial government of Governor-General Antonio Maria Blanco merged the three southern towns of Ilocos Sur province, the nine northern towns of Pangasinan, and the western towns of Benguet to the east (Eastern Pais del Igorotes in the Cordilleras). Pangasinenses were the majority in the new province because most towns had been in the Province of Pangasinan.
On October 29, 1849, Governor General Claveria issued a "promovido" to fuse the Pangasinan-Ilokos-Cordillera areas into "La Union". On March 2, 1850, Governor General Antonio Maria Blanco signed the Superior Decreto of La Union (34th province from Cebu-1565), with Captain Toribio Ruiz de la Escalera as the first Gobernador Military y Politico. Isabella II of Spaindecreed the province's creation on April 18, 1854. In 1661, Andres Malong (Pangasinan) failed to recover La Union from the Spaniards after the Battle of Agoo. In 1896, the people of La Union began a revolt against the Spanish, who had called La Union “Una Provincia Modelo", ed by Manuel Tinio Y Bondoc under Emilio Aguinaldo. The Americans collaborated with the Filipinos to end the Spanish.
La Union is known for its softbroom industry. The economy is diversified with service, manufacturing, and agricultural industries spread throughout the province. The Port of San Fernando operates as an increasingly active shipping point, and the former American airbase Wallace Air Station, having been converted into a business and industrial area, helps to facilitate such commercial activity.
The main livelihood of the people are: hand-woven blankets (Inabel), softbrooms, baskets, pottery, rice wine (tapuey), sugarcane wine (basi), sugarcane vinegar, wood craft, bamboo craft, native rice cakes, antique-finish furniture, dried fish, honey, and mushroom.
La Union has 333 public elementary schools, 56 private elementary schools, 79 public high schools, 51 private secondary schools, 20 Colleges and 5 State Universities.
La Union is the surfing capital of Northern Luzon. Tourism to the province is driven by airlines and passenger coach bus lines like regionally owned Farinas Transit Company, Viron Transit, Dominion Bus Lines and Partas.
Tourists often flock to the beaches of Bauang, or to the more secluded ones further north for snorkeling, surfing or other water sports; the more northerly beaches near San Juan specifically cater to both local surfers as well as portions of the world surfing circuit.
Tourist destinations include: La Union Provincial Capitol, Baluarte Watch Tower, Pindangan Ruins, Centennial Tunnel, World War II Vintage Canon, Ma Cho Temple, Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Namacpacan, Cathedral of St. William the Hermit, St. Christopher Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Sts. Peter & Paul Parish and St. Michael, the Archangel Parish, inter alia. Museo de Iloko, Museo de San Juan, La Union Botanical Garden, La Union Centennial Tree, Beaches, Falls & Spring, Bolikewkew Rice Terraces, Amburayan River, Bambana Natural Cove Formation, Tapuacan River, Thunderbird Resort and Arosip Ecotrail, Freedom Park / Heroes Hill, Poro Point Boardwalk, La Union Medical Center, Eagle of the North Park, Imelda Garden, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Hanging Bridge and Bacsil Ridge.
La Union has a total of 576 barangays comprising its 19 municipalities and 1 city.
The most populous barangay in the province is Sevilla in the City of San Fernando with a population of 10,612 in the 2010 census. If cities are excluded, Central East (Poblacion) in the municipality of Bauang has the highest number of inhabitants, at 4,249. Caggao in Bangar has the lowest with only 170.