San Fernando City
|Region||Ilocos Region (Region I)|
|Mayor||Pablo Ortega (Lakas-CMD)|
|Area|| 109.10 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 115,650|
San Fernando City is a 1st-class city in the province of La Union, Philippines. It is the capital city of La Union and the regional center of the Ilocos Region (Region I). According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 115,650 people in 20,755 households.
San Fernando is the financial, industrial and political center of the province, engaged in agriculture, aquaculture, shipping using the port of San Fernando, and other industrial sectors. Its ethnic population is predominantly Ilocano and Christian (Roman Catholic).
San Fernando belongs to District 1 in La Union province.
San Fernando City is politically divided into 59 barangays.
The earliest settlement in San Fernando is believed to have existed before the early Ming Dynasty. Archeological findings revealed porcelain, beads, spearheads and other objects indicating that early settlers traded with mainland China and the Middle East.
The ancient villages were often raided by pirates---Muslims from the south or the Chinese from the north---who plied the South China Sea, or were at war with tribal groups from the highlands of the Cordillera.
Pindangan, as it was then called, became San Fernando in 1850 and was made provincial capital of the new province of La Union.
Dissent against the Spanish authorities found its outlet through numerous uprisings. In San Fernando, the climax came in 1896 when the Spanish garrison was attacked by Filipino insurgents.
The Americans ruled the Philippines after the short-lived Spanish-American War in 1898, after which Spain ceded the country to the United States for $20 million, along with Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam. San Fernando experienced naval bombardment by the Americans as well as actual fighting on land.
The Japanese bombed San Fernando and the Poro Airport on December 8, 1941. After three years of Japanese occupation, American planes reappeared over San Fernando on September 22, 1944. The Japanese retreated in 1945.
San Fernando was designated a component city in 1998.
In March of 2004, San Fernando saw the building of its first shopping mall: CSI City Mall La Union (also the first true mall in La Union province).
During her State of the Union Address in 2006, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the ongoing planning and development of San Fernando International Airport which will serve as the second largest international airport of the Philippines after Ninoy Aquino International Airport of Manila. San Fernando International Airport will provide a much needed modern and technologically up-to-date facility comparable to NAIA.
One of the long term goals of San Fernando City is to become a world class competitive port and commercial center alongside the likes of other middle-tier world cities. The fact that San Fernando is situated on/near a peninsula can only help facilitate such future competitiveness.