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Province of Ilocos Sur


Ilocos Sur is located along the western coast of Northern Luzon. It is bounded by Ilocos Norte on the North, Abra on the northeast, Mountain Province on the east, Benguet on the southeast, La Union on the south and West Philippine Sea on the west. Its area of 2,579.58 kilometres occupies about 20.11% of the total land area of Region I. the topography of Ilocos Sur is undulating to rolling with elevations ranging from 10 to 1,700 meters above sea level. Long before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, settlements already existed along the coves (locally known as the looc) in the northwestern part of Luzon. This region, then known as Samtoy (from sao mi ditoy or our language) was a progressive trading post familiar to the ancient Japanese, Chinese and Malay traders were renowned for its gold mines. These settlements, called the Ylocos, from Bagui (Ilocos Norte) in the north to Namacpacan (Luna, La Union) in the south were discovered during the expeditions led by Juan De Salcedo, grandson of the Spanish Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, on June 13, 1572. Salcedo established his headquarters in the settlement along the Meztiso River, and made it capital in his encomienda for services directly rendered to Spain. Salcedo’s territory included the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra and La Union. This capital, later known as Vigan, became the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in 1758, after it was transferred from Lallo, Cagayan Valley. Vigan was also Called as “Ciudad Fernandina” in honor of Prince Ferdinand, the son of King Philip of Spain. The Spaniard’s effort to Christianize this whole region was never completely successful owing to the abusive conduct of the Augustinian friars including the maltreatment done by government and military personnel which led to several uprising by locals (the Ylocanos). On February 2, 1818, a Royal Decree was signed splitting the Ylocanos into two provinces: Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte and also annexed Lepanto and Amburayan in Mountain Province (Cordilleras). Act 2683 passed in March 1917 by the Philippines Legislature defined the present geographical boundaries of Ilocos Sur.



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