MUNICIPALITY OF PIDDIG, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF PIDDIG, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Piddig

About these Historical Data

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Piddig is located at the eastern part of Ilocos Norte. It is seventeen kilometers from Laoag, the provincial capital. The poblacion is on a hill which is approximately one hundred meters above sea level. The town is generally highland with several intervening lowlands.

The town has a population of 11,755. The people speak the Ilocano dialect [more correctly, language] but differ in their intonations. The people, as a whole, are sturdy, peaceful and industrious.

The forests within the jurisdiction of Piddig are productive. Much lumber, rattan, nito and cogon grass are taken from them. Most of them provide good hunting grounds. In the mountains of Piddig, there are also deposits of gold, manganese, silver, and lead. Some claims for these mines have been made and registered. Among these places where these mineral resources are found are Carasi, Madariwara, Bantay Guisit, Bantay Cura, Balak Wak. The town is surrounded by two rivers, namely, Guisit River and Paluyan River. These rivers are the sources of fish supplies for the people of Piddig.


Piddig was settled in 1770 by the mountain people called "Itnegs." Later, the immigrants from San Juan, La Union, and other towns of Ilocos Sur succeeded in driving away the Itnegs to the mountains called Anayan and to some other places. As the semi-civilized settlers increased, they contracted marriages with the people from the neighboring towns. When they had greatly increased their number, they founded a town called "Piddipid," which means hilly place. Later on, the name was changed to Piddig.

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With the coming of the Spaniards, Christianity was simultaneously spread. They baptized the inhabitants and gave them names and surnames. The early inhabitants of Piddig were the Venturas, Valentins, and the Abellas. One member of the Ventura family was baptized after St. Francis de Assisi on the occasion of which the priest changed his family name to Asis. Later, the Aquino family from Pangasinan and the Caluya and Saguitan families from Vintar came to settle in this town.


There are three churches in Piddig, namely, the Roman Catholic Church, the Philippine Independent Church, and the Protestant Church. Christianization was begun by the Augustinian missionary priests who were residing in Dingras. In 1730, Fr. Manuel Madariaga came to live in this town. The people were easily converted due to the great zeal of the missionaries. The early civilization of the inhabitants was contributed by the Roman Catholic Church. The church and the convent are living relics of the exacting Spanish rulers and the hard labor of the people in those days. The church is one of the biggest churches in Ilocos Norte.

A new sect was organized in 1902 by Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, with the cooperation of Rev. Jose Castro, who became Piddig's first priest of the Philippine Independent Church. Almost all the people of the town pledged their faith and became followers of the new church. The Protestant sect was spread in the town in 1905 by the American missionary, Mr. William H. Hanna. The first pastor was Rev. Esteban Salmon, who carried on the ministry work with conside-

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rable success.


Simultaneous with the spread of Christianity was the education of the people. In 1861, there were two organized schools in the town, one of which was for boys and the other one was for girls. Don Felix Lagasca was the teacher for the boys, and Dña. Martina Gaerlan de Pasion for girls. Each had about eighty pupils. Lagasca was succeeded by Marianito Bitanga and Dña. Martina by her daughter Norberta Pasion de Caluya. In 1902, schools under the American administration were opened in Piddig. At present, there are more than 600 school children in the central school. Education has been extended to the barrios since 1904, and now there are fourteen barrio schools in all. There are, at present, more than 1,000 children attending schools in Piddig.


The people of Piddig are industrious. They are engaged in farming, lumbering, herding, manufacturing, fishing and hunting. Most of the people are engaged in agriculture. They raise rice, sugarcane, corn, tobacco, maguey. "Basi" and molasses are produced from sugarcane. "Basi" is a favorite beverage and the inhabitants' source of income. Corn is chiefly used for feeding animals. Tobacco is not enough for local consumption, but maguey can supply the needs of the locality. Manufacturing and mining are prospective industries of Piddig.


In 1922, the municipal building, which cost ₱23,337.16, was erected. It is made of concrete and wood and is situated on

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a hill on the western part of the town. From its second floor, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the town and the picturesque scenery of the outlying fields and rivers with the seemingly endless mountains as background. This was burned on December 4, 1944.

The outstanding achievement of the present administration is the improvement of the public market, which is located in the heart of the town. The floor was made concrete in 1932. It can accommodate comfortably about five hundred people. In the absence of spacious halls, it is often rented for social activities. With the civic spirit that the members of the "Young Hawaiian Organization" has, they erected the Rizal Monument in December 1933. It was worth ₱1,000 and is conspicuously located on the plaza. Another noteworthy improvement done lately is the modernization of the culverts by President Hernaez.

Other recent improvements are the theater located at the northeastern part of the plaza, [and] the reconstructed Central School under the Philippine Rehabilitation Act. There is also an amphitheather in front of the Piddig Central School Building No. 2 and a standard Home Economics Building.

Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of Piddig, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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