Lingayen, Pangasinan

Lingayen GulfLingayen is the capital of Pangasinan Province, and is located on the island of Luzon. During World War II, Lingayen was where the Allied armies landed during the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf. Its long beach served as runway for several attack planes.

The municipality got its name from a certain corpulent tamarind tree that grew at the present town plaza. The tree was exceptionally big, tall and spreading that the surrounding trees were just dwarfs in comparison. Passersby developed the habit of looking back and back again at this corpulent tree until it would vanish from their view. When they arrived home and were asked what way they took in return, they would simply say through Lingayen meaning “looking back”. Since then up to the present time, the town bears its name as “Lingayen.”

Lingayen is the home of the most delectable bagoong. The theory of some makers is that the salinity of the air is a factor why fish fermenting is very ideal in Lingayen. Today, Lingayen is considered one of the most beautiful place and most peaceful municipality of Pangasinan that made it worthy to be loved, looked back, patronized, visited and revisited. That’s a whole lot of beach for a country that’s about the size of Italy. The province of Pangasinan contains a whopping 44 towns and four cities—15 of which are along the shoreline of the Lingayen Gulf. So you won’t run out of beaches or charming coastal towns.

But if you’re interested in a beach experience in the middle of the city, check out Capitol Beach. The beach extends as far as the eye can see. Whether you stroll, sunbathe, swim, kayak, or surf in the gulf, it’s an incredible experience. For period architecture, you don’t have to look far. The Capitol building is said to be one of the eight architectural wonders of the Philippines. Designed in the American Colonial style of the early 1900s, the building features iconic columns and local hardwood. Lingayen is the capital of the province, so you will also find everything here—universities, museums, and the provincial library.

In 1828 Spain issued a royal decree which mandated that Chinese residents in the Philippines be gathered into villages and have their own local governments. They will have their own cabeza de barangays and their own gobernadorcillos.

There was only one town in Pangasinan where this decree became applicable. It was Lingayen. It had sizable residents of Chinese descent who qualified to form their own local government. Thus from 1828 up to 1896, a period of 68 years, Lingayen had two municipal governments that stood side by side: one for the naturals (natives) and another one for the sangleys (the Chinese mestizos). Rosario Mendoza Cortez claimed that in 1887 the sangley residents of Lingayen consisted of 700 families, which were divided into 14 cabecerias (barangays) with a total population of 2,793.

Historians indicate that the nucleus of what became the town of Lingayen started as a Chinese colony. This community occupied the riverbank in what is now the Lingayen poblacion that during the Spanish period came to be known as Barrac. This the area starting from the site of the Lingayen municipal hall up to the river bend in Pangasinan.
Columnist Bambi L. Harper suggests that Lingayen was named after a Chinese official and geographer who visited the Philippines in 1280, who wrote about Lingayen.

When Yung Lo was emperor of China (1402-1424 he was said to have extended his rule over the entire island of Luzon. To govern this island, he installed Ko Cha Lao as governor here.

Local historian Antonio del Castillo y Tuazon, native of Lingayen and of Chinese descent, in a lengthy article he wrote on Princess Urduja, claimed that the colonial government headed by Ko Chao Lao was located in Lingayen.

After the death of Yung lo, the Chinese rule over Luzon collapsed. Castillo suggested that the personnel of that Chinese colonial government of 1402-1424 opted to remain in Lingayen. Thus in 1574, when the Chinese naval commander Lim Ah Hong (Lim the good man) attempted to capture Manila twice from Spanish hands but failed, he established his fort in Domalandan, to avail of the support of the Chinese community in Lingayen.
Lingayen, the capital town of Pangasinan, is situated along the famous Lingayen Gulf, the Agno River and Limahong Channel. It was founded by Augustinian missionaries in 1614. It got its name from and exceptionally big tree at that time in the present town plaza – so big that it attracted passersby who usually “look back” which in the dialect is “lingawen.” Later the place became “Lingayen.”

Today, Lingayen is a first-class municipality with an approximate land area of 6,689.68 has sub-divided into 32 barangays including seven (7) sitios, all classified as urban areas according to recent National Census. The terrain is flat with soil suitable to agriculture. Because of its location, fishponds and nipa palms abound here and there throughout the town. Its climate is cool and chilly during December to February, warm in March and April and wet from May to October. Accessible by land, water and air transportation, the town is now thickly populated and progressive. It is also becoming and educational center in Western Pangasinan.

The municipality is 14.50 km away from Dagupan City from Dagupan City and 37 km from Alaminos City via Brgy. Domalandan. It is 196 km from Manila via Camiling, Tarlac and 226 km fro Manila via Urdaneta, assuming that both routes pass the North Luzon Expressway.

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