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SALASA, BUGALLON (F-1720) Pangasinan
Population: (included in Bugallon)
Titular: Our Lady of Lourdes, Feb. 11
Parish Priest: Fr. Raymond R. Oligane

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish - Salasa, Bugallon

Our lady of our Lourdes Parish, located in Salasa, is an obscure parish. Very little is known about it. This has been proven by the fact that during the Cursillo Movement in 1965, our delegates were treated merely as delegates of an unknown parish. The truth of the matter is that Salasa today is very much alive and kicking. The celebration of the Christ the King 1987 which was hosted by the parish is a proof that slowly, it is gaining recognition.

Salasa is old name of our town n Bugallon. How the town got its name is quite interesting and amusing. During the Spanish era, when the whole country was being colonized, a Spaniard while tarrying asked him about the name of his town in Spanish. It was just a mere coincidence that the carpenter was placing the floor joist of his house when he was being interrogated. He replied, SALASA (meaning floor joist in the dialect.) The Spaniard wrote the word Salasa in his diary. When asked where he had come from by his peers, the Spaniard answered SALASA which then spread like wildfire among the Spaniards and the inhabitants. Since then, the town was called SALASA.

Salasa as a town was founded between the years 1714-1747 by Fr. Antonio Perez. During the Spanish regime, he church and state were under the control of the priest. In 1720, the town was accepted as a vicariate by the Dominican Orders but this was suspended due to hostilities prevailing in those days. In 1733, the town was restored as a vicariate. The first site of the poblacion was in Barangay Polong in the yard of Don Francisco Valencerina where a concrete stable for the horse of thepriest was constructed. It was transferred later to Baranggay Salasa on january 24, 1734 by Fr. Fernando Garcia who draw a town plan in accordance with the national pattern. The plaza was the center, Presedencia, north of the plaza, the church and convent, south of the plaza, all surrounded by parallel streets.

Came the American Rule and series of events took place. In 1914, a big flood visited Salasa, destroying crops, properties, building, etc. and wrought untold miseries of the people. The mighty Agno River was continually eroding its banks, threatening to destroy the presedencia and several residential houses including perhaps the Church and convent. Authorities were worried and lost no time in transferring the poblacion to Barangay Annagao but in so doing, legend have it that all those carpenters that dismantled the church in Salasa died one after the other. Adding confusion to the authorities and the people those days was the fact that the image of San Andres inside the church while being transferred to Anagao could not be moved at all even by the combined forces of a group of weight lifters.

By miracle or by design the transfer of the church was called off. Whatever remains the Church had, like little roofing and brick walls then restored to its original position. The Church had to be maintained which is why two churches existed in one town, one in Salasa and the other in Anagao.

In the year 1935, Doña Milagros Klar, wife of the late manager of Pantranco, donated the image of Our lady of Lourdes to the Church in Salasa. This was done out of gratitude because she was cured of her illness attributed to her devotion to the Virgen Lourdes. That was the time when devotees of the Lady came from the length and breadth of Pangasinan in that famous fluvial procession along the Agno River. Since then the Klar family visited Salasa on February 11th yearly. They began feeding so many people and eventually February 11 became the feast day of Our lady of Lourdes and the fiesta of Salasa, which is being continued up to this day.

Our present town is Bugallon which is named after Gen. Jose Torres Bugallon, an illustrious son who was born in Salasa. Such act changing Salasa an old town to a new one, Bugallon had required a congressional approval sponsored by the late Cong. Mauro Navarro, first district of Pangasinan. Meanwhile, Salasa became a barangay but remains as Our Lady of Lourdes Parish with eleven (11) barangays of the north. The other parish of Bugallon, St. Andrew the Apostle comprises the southern barangays with fourteen (14) barangay. It’s incredible, small town with two parishes. That’s BUGALLON.

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