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AGUILAR (F-1810) 2415 Pangasinan
Tel. (075) 549-2091
Population: 33,213
Titular: St. Joseph the Patriarch, March 19
Parish Priest: Fr. Edwin Ferrer

St. Joseph the Patriach Parish - Aguilar

By: Atty. Leonardo B. Jimenez, Jr.


THE TERRAIN AND ITS BOUNDARIES:

The town of Aguilar, Pangasinan had its early beginnings as a cattle ranch founded by the Spaniards. The place was known as sitio Balubad, then still part of the town of Binalatongan (now San Carlos) . On the western part were the Zambales mountains with thick forests and verdant foliage. It was a hunter’s paradise with deer roaming here and there with an occasional wild boar making an appearance. The grass in the plain were succulent fare for cattle and the water from the brooks and streams clear and sparkling.

On the eastern part was the Agno river. At that time, there were no road systems to speak of, only foottpaths. The river arteries constituted the main mode of transportation in the interior towns. Through these river systems, boats sailed from the Ilocos Provinces e.g. Vigan to Dagupan , Calasiao, Lingayen and even as far as San Isidro de Labrador, Salasa, Aguilar and Camiling. Worth noting was the fossiliferous river bank in Camiling useful in making lime, while mineral waters consisting of ferruginous and alkaline waters were and are still found in Aguilar and Mangatarem.

As a thriving place for cattle ranches and bountiful rice plantations, it was natural for Aguilar to attract people from other towns to stay and settle in the place. In time the clamor arose to convert the settlement into a town.
The initiative for the founding of Aguilar came from some principles who originally came from Lingayen, headed by Don Celestino Zamuco and Don Francisco Zamuco. They requested permission to form a poblacion on the terrain between the Balubad river in the vicinity of Salasa and the river Olon Damulag in San Carlos.

AGUILAR-HOW IT WAS FOUNDED:

The following is the widely-held view of residents and old-timers of Aguilar on how Aguilar became a duly certified town:

“The early settlers prospered and lived in peace and contentment. When the Spaniards in Lingayen heard of this flourishing village, they sent Spanish explorers through the town of Salasa to visit the place. Some Spanish soldiers and a priest were left to organize a pueblo with Apo Francisco Zamuco as Cabeza de Barangay. A petition was filed with the principales (municipal officials) of Binalatongan to make a village a town. The petition was at first received with a cool reception because a large portion of the village was covered with evergreen grass which afforded a rich pasture land for Binalatongan.

The story is told that one time, a grand wedding feast was being held in Salinap, in a barrio of Binalatongan near the Agno river. The principales of Binalatongan attended the party. When Don Francisco heard of this, he lost no time in sending Dona Maria Magmaong with her maids of honor and escorts to influence the principales of Binalatongan to sign the petition for township.

Dona Maria Magmaong was a beatiful as her name. In beauty she was the star of the village. She was tall as she was graceful. She had clear and bright eyes and long and luxuriant hair. Her hair was so long that it reached the heels of her well-shaped legs. Her complexion was fair-“Kayumangging Kaligatan” as the Tagalogs would say. She was so beautiful that she could captive anyone with her exquisite beauty. Possessed with strong personality and the charm of the beauty, Dona Maria, with her maids of honor and escorts, was sent to influence the principales to approve the petition.

When Dona Maria and her entourage arrived at the party, the principales and the people received her warm welcome. Everyone was attracted by her charm and beauty. When Dona Maria spoke before the principales they were all stunned and magnetized that they could not say “no “ to her petition.
The petition was finally signed on the promimse that Dona Maria go with the principales to Binalatongan and attend a party in her honor. After the petition was endorsed with their signatures, she was apprehensive with some danger that might beset her in the invitation of the principales who were already heavily inebriated. Not to be waylaid by the principales, she and her party slipped unnoticed from the feast and fled to Aguilar in great haste in the dead of the night.

Don Francisco and his ‘Caylianes’ prepared a sumptuos reception in honor of Dona Maria upon her triumphant return. Her successful mission was received with great rejoicing by the people.”

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