- "La Union," without an accented "o," refers to a province in the Philippines. For places in Latin America and Spain, see La Unión.
La Union is a province of the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. Its capital is San Fernando City and borders Ilocos Sur to the north, Benguet to the east, and Pangasinan to the south. To the west of La Union is the South China Sea.
|Region||Ilocos Region (Region I)|
|Governor||Victor C. Ortega|
|Area|| 1,493.1 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 657,945|
People and culture
Ninety-three percent of the population is Ilocano and is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. There are small communities of Pangasinense in the south, Igorots in the Cordillera foothills, and Chinese in the city.
La Union is highly literate, with San Fernando City as the administrative, educational, and financial center of the region.
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.
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.
Like most of the region, the province is squeezed in by the Cordillera mountain range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. Yet, unlike other portions of Luzon and the Philippines' two other island groupings, the Visayas and Mindanao, La Union experinces a rather arid and prolonged dry season with little precipitation to be expected between the months of November and May.
La Union, "The Union" or "The United" in Spanish, was formed in 1850 when the Spanish colonial government merged the southern towns of Ilocos Sur province, the northern towns of Pangasinan, and the western towns of Benguet to the east.