MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NICOLAS, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NICOLAS, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of San Nicolas Ilocos Norte

About these Historical Data

[Cover page]

San Nicolas

[p. 1]


1. The town of San Nicolas is located in the west central part of the province of Ilocos Norte. It is a small town with 14,070 inhabitants. It lies on a plain south of the Laoag River. It is bounded to the north by Laoag, to the east by Sarrat, to the south by Batac, and to the west by Laoag. It is a third class municipality. The distance from San Nicolas to Laoag is less than three kilometers.


2. The present official name of the town is San Nicolas and has been called by such name since its foundation. This town has no former name or names. Its present name means the name of the saint known as "San Nicolas de Tolentino," the patron saint of the community, and has never been changed until these days.


3. The town was established in the year 1733 and given the name of San Nicolas. It was founded independently from other towns. The first "Gobernadorcillo" of the town was Don Felipe Molina. According to information, the present name of the town was given for the reason contained in the following anecdote.

Before the date of the official establishment of the town, the first patron saint of the community was San Lorenzo, whose image [is] enshrined in the Catholic church. That saint had been the favorite intercessor of the people in the calamities or adversities. The years had passed, the community had been visited by a strong typhoon and a great flood. The people gathered together and prayed the litany of all the saints. While mentioning the name of Saint Lorenzo, they received no supernatural favor, but after having mentioned and name of San Nicolas de Tolentino, the typhoon and rain stopped immediately and miraculously. Since then, the people began to have recoursed to HIM instead of San Lorenzo, and later on adopted HIM as the official name of the town, as well as the patron saint. And this is the only town in Ilocos Norte named after a saint.

[p. 2]


4. The people of San Nicolas belong to the Malayan race. The first settler in the community came from the neighboring towns and from other provinces. They migrated before and after the official foundation of the town. There are few friar descendantsand Spaniards. The natives have another intonation when they speak, very peculiar from those of other towns. People from other towns sometimes tease San NicoleƱos because of this intonation, but it is the best intonation in the province.


5. The people of San Nicolas are Christians composed of Catholics, Aglipayans, and Protestants. Some of the people are quite religious, especially those educated ones. They always go to church on Sundays and holidays of obligation. The first Catholic missionaries introduced [Catholicism] in this town. Then, the Protestant missionaries came to the Philippines and extended their mission work in Ilocos Norte, and some people accepted the new creed and became apostles. Then, the Aglipayan creed came into existence. This new creed was founded by a former Catholic priest, Fr. Gregorio Aglipay, the founder of the Philippine Independent Church. Nearly all the people of this community embraced this church, for only a few families remained Catholics. This was in the year 1902.


It is a tradition of the people that this community was once a thick forest. That was many, many years ago before the Spanish occupation. The Tinguians were the aboriginal tribes who lived in this community. They inhabited some barrios as evidenced by the presence of some of their home utensils. These Tinguians were savage and hostile to the Spaniards. They were eliminated or some ran to the interior. They left behind their old earthen jars.

[p. 3]


The people of this community believe in the existence of invisible spirits living with man on earth. Such spirits are the demons which were formerly good angels in Heaven. They were cursed by God after the creation of the world. Such angels were, once upon a time, the friends of God, but due to pride, He cursed them and cast them out of Heaven. Their chief was Lusbel, who had been one of the spirits of high rank, and whose seat had been placed near God's throne. Lusbel was a radiant angel filled with the glory of God, as well as the other angels, but he was the highest of all the rank of angels. His brother Miguel was the captain of the host spirit and was also loved by God. Their brother Gabriel was God's messenger, for it is said that Lusbel, Miguel, and Gabriel were brothers. Lusbel was a very powerful spirit who could do everything he wished except on thing, the creation of the soul of a human being.

When God wanted to create the universe, such as the lower heavens, the earth, the sea, men, and all living creatures including the plants, he said to Lusbel, "Now, I want to go down and create the universe out of nothing. Remain here as the ruler of heavenly spirits while I am away to do some business. You can enjoy everything here except one thing, never open that large box which contains gems." Lusbel agreed with God's command and praised Him. So, God went down and created the universe with its habitats.

When God was away, Lusbel became inquisitive. He opened the prohibited box. There, he found God's crown and scepter. He put on the crown and sat on the throne. He then called all of the angels and said, "Behold, I am now your king and God. OBEY my commands." The other angels protested.

"You are not God at all. There is but one God."

Others approved [of] Lusbel's claim. So there were two divisions of angels.

[p. 4]

The believers of Lusbel went to his side. The loyal angels of God went with Miguel, their leader. Lusbel locked the door of Heaven.

When God returned to Heaven, He found the door locked. He already knew what was going on in there. He created thunder and lightning to destroy and open the gates of Heaven, and with one stroke, the gate broke into pieces. There, He found Lusbel with crown and scepter, sitting on His own throne. Lusbel did not want to give up the throne. At his side were his followers. At Miguel's side were the loyal angels. They sang a hymn.

God saw Lusbel's pride and He changed him into a devil. Lusbel, now Lucifer, grew a tail, horns, and wings, and had been transformed from a radiant angel to a very ugly creature, like his followers. The radiance and glory of Lucifer and his followers were all gone. Immediately, God created Hell where brimestone was said to be always burning for the wicked. And as God spoke His powerful words to Satan, "Go to Hell." Satan was then cast to Hell. Satan's followers were dropped one by one from Heaven. Those that dropped on land became the snakes gliding on earth, those that dropped into the sea became the sirenas, those that fell into the thick trees became the caibaans. Those that landed on the mountains became the goblins, sinanpadi, pugot sanselmo, or all of the evil spirits that harm mankind. They were believed to be the causes of sickness or misfortunes of the people.

The people believed in these spirits. When one got sick as a result of these spirits, offerings in the form of food, butchered pig, rice, eggs, etc. were brought to the woods to satisfy the offended spirits.

Transcribed from:
Local History of the Town of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
Next Post Previous Post