Tayug, Pangasinan

Brief History
Pangasinan Map
























































A Brief History of Tayug

By: Marius Y. Ladio - Municipal Mayor of Tayug

    HOW TAYUG GOT ITS NAME: The origin of Tayug started when a group of brave and pioneering Ilocanos left their homes in search for a new land. In their wandering, they were attracted by an unusual tall bacayao tree majestically conspicuous even from a great distance away from over the rolling , grassy plains. Curious, they went nearer the tree, and discovering the richness of the surrounding, they decided to establish their settlement in the place. They cleared the land and here, under that bacayao tree, they built their new homes. At once, they called the place "LAYUG " which means "tall" in the Ilocano dialect, in reference to the tall bacayao tree which has become the distinguishing landmark of their new settlement. In the course of time, however, the name LAYUG was changed to TAYUG for the convenience of pronunciation. Today, that little settlement, then called LAYUG, is now the MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUG.
    THE FOUNDING OF THE TOWN: Tayug was organized as a township under the province of Nueva Ecija on February 4, 1817. However, it was only a month later, on March 10, 1817, when Tayug was definitely established as a full-pledge municipality with a duly constituted civil authority - Don Lorenzo Bernardo then becoming the town's first chief executive as "Teniente Absoluto".
     On March 17, 1817, one week after it was formally established as a town, Tayug celebrated its first town fiesta, a religious festival honoring St. Patrick, the town's patron saint. The celebration, which was officiated by Fray Escobar , was to become an annual tradition to this day.
     In 1837, during the incumbency of town executive Don Leoncadio Gamboa, Tayug together with San Nicolas, was segregated from Nueva Ecija and put under the jurisdiction of the province of Pangasinan. But again, in 1851, Tayug was returned as a township of Nueva Ecija. Not until the year 1864, during the term of Don Eugenio Vinluan did Tayug finally became a part of Pangasinan.
     TAYUG DURING THE SPANISH ERA. Hearing of the abundance of  food in Tayug, hundreds of migrants known as the Macabebes arrived from the province of Pangpanga and settled in Tayug. However, for selfish reasons, settlers, set their own community, isolated themselves, and refused to intermingle socially and economically with the town's inhabitants. This angered the residence, and the friction exploded when the gobernadorcillo, Don Cipriano Diaz order the flogging of the Macabebes. The new settlers were driven out of town, but on April 14, 1877, a band of bandits led by one known as Tangkad, a notorious criminal character, from San Mateo, Rizal marched to Tayug, burned and plundered the town, to avenge the beating of the Macabebes.
    Tayug was not spared from the atrocities of the Spaniards. One of the most horrifying episode during the Spanish period happened on Oct 2, 1890 when a poor woman went to the parish priest to beg that she be excused from paying the burial fees for her dead son as she had no money. Despite of the fervent pleadings of the woman, Father Jose Cienfuegos was unmoved and he insisted that she pay her dues to the church. Unable to find money, the woman stole the remains of her son from the church and buried her son without paying the burial fees. This angered Father Cienfuegos and he had her arrested, and hogtied to the cross at the patio of the church. In the presents of many church-goers, the priest beat the woman until she died. It was said that a few days later, Father Cienfuegos was kidnapped and never found again. Don Vicente del Prado was later identified as having ordered the kidnapping in reprisal for the priest's brutality on the hapless woman.
        In August 1896, in response to the growing anti Spanish sentiments, the dreaded Guardian Civil arrested and banished ten youthful members of Tayug's intellectual elite: Domingo Patajo, Leoncio Allas, Antonio Flor Mata, and seven others. They charged with masonry and filibusterism.
        For all the Spanish brutality and tyranny, Tayug responded with uprisings one after the other. Colonel Calixto Villacorta staged a revolt and attacked the convent. Cora Parroco Fray Eduardo Garcia escape by lowering himself from the convent's window by means of tied panuelos.
      In 1897, the nearby town of San Manuel, a woman revealed the existence of Katipunan in Tayug. The Guardia Civil was immediately sent to Barangay Legaspi and arrested the barangay head Domingo Mendoza, Quintino Cabato, Regino Cada, Patricio Benigno and thirteen others. Finding them to be members of Katipunan, the seventeen were later executed.
      TAYUG DURING THE AMERICAN REGIME: After the Spanish defeat at Manila Bay, the Americans occupied the country. On November 11, 1899, the American Army arrived in Tayug. Don Victor Rivera, who was then the Presidente Locale was asked to continue serving as the town's chief executive under the American Military Government. On May 1, 1901, Don Domingo T. Patajo became the first Municipal President under the American Civil.
      In 1927, the first carnival and exposition in the province was held in Tayug on consonance with the celebration of its town fiesta.
      In 1931, during the incumbency of Municipal President Magin F. Ausena, the town plaza of Tayug then complete with a zoo and botanical garden, was adjudged the most beautiful in the province and one of the best in the country.
      In January 10, 1931, the Colorum uprising  broke out in protest of the abusive tenancy condition. The harrowing experience of blood and death had  but won for Tayug the epithet known all over the land: ANG BAYANG API. Pedro Caloza, the leader of the Colorum and his followers attacked the local Philippine Constabulary barracks killing the Commanding Officer Lt. Bachini and his junior officer Lt. San Pedro. The Colorum rebels then occupied the town hall and burned all land records there. The Colorums were in control of the town for sometime until  the Philippine Constabulary sent in a large contingent which assaulted the Colorum garrison at the Roman Catholic convent. During the assault, a 20 year old, Valentina Vidal, came out of the convent waving the Philippine flag. She was shot and killed.
      THE WAR YEARS. At the outbreak of World War II during the Japanese landing in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Tayug became the provincial capital. On December 25, 1941, the Japanese Army captured Tayug.
      The town was among the first in the country to wage active guerilla against the Japanese invaders. On April 14, 1942, a handful of guerillas led by Lt. Severino Antiporda attacked and captured the Japanese garrison in Tayug. The guerillas hoisted the Philippine and American flags in the municipal building.
      The Japanese counter attacked on May 3, 1942. The guerillas met the Japanese with such courage that they held off the invaders, although outnumbered and inferior in arms, for nine days. When the Japanese finally recaptured Tayug in May 11, 1942, the Japanese staged a bloody reprisals. They burned the town and executed residents just suspected sympathetic to the guerillas.
      On March 23, 1944, Captain Ohto, the Commanding Officer of the Tayug Japanese garrison, beheaded eighteen guerillas, including one American.
      The 25th Division of the United States Army commanded by a Major General liberated Tayug on February 1, 1945. On February 20, 1945, the American Civil Government was re-established with Don Pedro F. Kagaoan as the Municipal Mayor.

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The Legend of Tayug

by Lori Axibal Abad - Tayugenian from Los Angeles, CA

      In the days of yore when the country was divided and ruled by feuding datus and rajahs, the town now called Tayug was a virgin land. Its wealth and pristine beauty was covered by lustful cogon grass and other greenery. Trees crowned with luxuriant leaves and bedecked with colorful, fragrant flowers abounded throughout its length and breadth.
    Two trees towered over all the surrounding vegetation. They stood straight, proud and majestic as if they wanted to touch the mesmeric blue canopy up above. Because of their unusual height, they became prominent landmarks of this panoramic stretch of fertile land.
    Old folks tell us that at that time, several Ilocano families from the North left their native towns in groups to look for a better place to live in. They headed southeast trudged unbeaten paths, climbed rolling hills, and crossed many meandering streams and rippling brooks. Soon, they were in a place that was completely new to them. Without their knowledge, only a wide of expanse of almost dried-up river separated them from their destination. Being tired and hungry, they stopped to eat and rest by the bank of the river, now the Agno River.
    The oldest man of the group picked a strong, young man to go ahead with him to scout the place at the opposite side of the river. They had walked almost two hours when they saw the towering trees gracefully swaying with the passing breeze.
    "Look at these trees! Naglayug da!" the old man exclaimed.
     "Indeed!" answered the young man who was hard of hearing.
    The two men continued walking towards the direction of the tall, tall trees. As they approached the place, they were greeted by the entrancing fragrance that pervaded the atmosphere. Both men wondered where the alluring scent came from. Under the two tall trees, they saw fallen yellow-green blossoms. Each picked up one and smelled it. That pierced the veil of mysticism in the atmosphere.
    "This is where we will settle," the old man blurred out.
    "Go back and get the group; I'll stay to start clearing up a place for the night."
    The young man wended his way back to the group. As soon as he was with them, he excitedly told them in broken speech to go with him to where the two tayug trees were. Poor guy, he thought he heard the old man called the trees tayug, instead of layug.
    The group picked up their belongings and proceeded to the place. Soon, they beheld the two towering trees that seemed to have cast a spell on all of them.
    "The Tayug trees", shouted the children.
    "Naglayug da!", responded the elders, almost in unison.
    The group settled in the surrounding area and named their new place Layug. The children, however, chose to call it- 'Tayug", aping the man who had not only hearing but also speech problem.
    It didn't take long when another group of people from the West moved into the newly established locality. They spoke the Pangasinan dialect. Like the children, they also called their new place Tayug. As time marched on, this educational and commercial center in eastern Pangasinan has always been known as Tayug.

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    What happened to the two towering trees? They could be the giant Ylang-Ylang trees that  proudly stood in the town plaza until the Colorum uprising. Their attraction to the school children of my days were just as much as that of the original settlers. Yes, I had loved 'em, and I love Tayug very much.