Bacnotan, La Union
|Region||Ilocos (Region I)|
|Total (2000)|| 35,419|
Bacnotan is a first class municipality in the province of La Union, Philippines. Bacnotan is located at 120°17'E 16°42'N. It is bounded on the north by Balaoan, on the east by San Gabriel, on the south by San Juan, and on the west by the South China Sea. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 35,419 people in 7,183 households.
Economic activity mostly involves farming, fishing, tourism and portland cement manufacture. Bacnotan is the seat of the beekeeping industry in La Union. The same mining engineer who saw the limestone deposits in Dumarang (renamed Quirino) also saw deposits of coal and traces of gas. Schools in Bacnotan include the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, the North Provincial High School, the Bacnotan Elementary School, and other elementary schools located in various barangays.
Geography and climate
The western side of Bacnotan faces the South China Sea and has a long stretch of black sand beaches, indication of a large amount of magnetite. Some portions of the seashore have pebble and limestone deposits. The beaches are suitable for fishing, boating, swimming, snorkeling and surfing.
The climate is dry from November to May and wet from mid-May to October. The southwest monsoon brings an abundant rainfall experienced during the wet season. The relatively dry season is caused by the northeast monsoon passing over the Cordillera Mountain Range. Average temperature is 27.21 °C.
The town of Bacnotan was formally founded in 1599 as part of Ilocos Sur. In 1785, during the administration of the Governor-General Jose Basco, Bacnotan became a part of Pangasinan. When La Union was created in 1850, Bacnotan was one of the 12 towns that formed the province.
In the past, Bacnotan was only a vast expanse of wilderness inhabited by natives with a rudimentary form of government. There was a time when it was ruled by a despotic chieftain who had absolute control over all his constituents. Disobedience to his directives meant severe flogging of the culprit. After several years under the tyrannical rule of the chieftain, the people successfully overthrew him and flogged their chieftain to death. The word "bakunutan" means "flog" in the local dialect, and become a byword among the inhabitants, hence the name of the town. During the Spanish period, the name of the town was changed from "Bakunutan" to "Bacnotan" as shown by documents which are still kept intact at the National Archives in Manila.
The town's history is linked with the deeds of heroic men who fought, bled, and died for their own native land. At the turn of the century, during the Spanish-American War, Dumarang (now known as Quirino), was a scene of carnage and plunder.
In December 1941, during World War II, the first organized resistance against the Japanese invaders that landed in the north in their advance southward to Manila was at Barrios Baroro and Bacsil.
After the war, Bacnotan became the provisional seat of provincial government. San Fernando was then in ruins. As a consequence of this transfer, the La Union National High School was also moved to Bacnotan. When things went back to normal, the provincial government was again moved to San Fernando and the La Union National High School followed afterwards. The transfer of the provincial high school in Bacnotan resulted in the establishment of the North Provincial High School.
In 1949, the vast mineral deposits of limestone used in portland cement production were noticed in Barrio Dumarang (now Quirino) by a mining engineer who was then a municipal councilor at that time. Because of the desire to create economic activity, the municipal council, through the efforts of the mining engineer, invited potential investors to set up a portland cement plant. Within a year, a cement plant called Cebu Portland Cement (CEPOC), was established. On May 11, 1957, the CEPOC, a government-owned corporation, was sold to the privately-owned Bacnotan Consolidated Industries (BCI). BCI is the manufacturer of "Union Cement". In 2004, BCI was sold to Holsim Cement.
On June 18, 1960, the La Union Agricultural School (now the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University) was established. Nestling at the foot of the mountains of Barangay Sapilang, the agricultural school progressed and was later named Don Mariano Marcos. Its campus occupies 6 square kilometer of land.
Bacnotan is politically subdivided into 47 barangays.
ilo:Bacnotan, La Union