The peaceful and prosperous province of La Union has plenty to celebrate and be grateful of. Contemporary La union residents owe much to their rich heritage of the past 150 plus years, including the pre - La Union years prior to its historic making in 1850. Today, La Union is considered "the gateway" to two regions, Ilocos and Cordillera, and serves as a "regional center" of the archipelago's first region.
La Union's pivotal role and crucial influence in the region as well as in the national affairs did not come easily. La Union had undergone through many socio-political and economic-cultural experiences such as the colonization of the tree imperial powers, that of Spain (1521 - 1898), United States (1898-1946), and Japan (1941-1945), the two world wars, the 1986 EDSA revolt, and the recent millennium anniversary. Indeed, although it naturally suffers from its small size, location, meager resources, it is also endowed with vast natural and potent human resources in terms of its educated citizenry.
Throughout the entire 152 year-history of La Union, several sons and daughters have contributed to the evolving national history. Some of these names have a familiar ring to us today: Diego Silang, patriot and hero; Camilo Oasis, senator and educator; Francisco Ortega, Speaker pro-tempore; Alejo Mabanag, senator; Mariano Madriaga and Enrique Sobrepeña, religious leaders; Manuel Arguilla, author; Angel Anden, journalist and academician; Nicolas Zafra, historian and educator; Laureana Novicio - Luna, mother of the illustrious Luna brothers; Magnolia Antonino, senator and businesswoman, Manuel Cases, parliamentarian; Epifanio Castillejos, bureaucraft;, Joaquin Ortega, lawyer and assemblyman; Jose Aspiras, congressman and ex-secretary of tourism; Juvenal Guerrero, ex-justice of the Supreme Court; Victor F. Ortega, congressman and constitutional convention delegate and now governor; Fortunato Abat, soldier diplomat; Arteimio Tadiar, an officer and a gentlemen; Sixto Domondon, jurist; Melchor P Aquino, noted ambassador and columnist, Justo O. Orros, Jr. Ambassador to Mexico.
Since the advent of martial law in 1972, La Union has all the more progressed markedly. In commerce, merchants visit and trade from neighboring provinces. Every town has a "tienda" day. Aside from rice and tobacco, the inhabitants grow cotton, silk coconuts, cacao, mangoes and vegetables. The prime commercial and savings banks have their branches in San Fernando. Tourists are lured by the alluring beaches especially during the weekends. Thus, more new resort areas have mushroomed along the sandy beaches between Bauang and San Fernando. Filipinos have caught up the "Beach fever".
Due to her strategic location as the "gateway", La Union has become the entrepot to the Ilocos and a by-way to the Cordilleras. The famous Kennon Road starts from the foothills of Rosario ascending up to Baguio City, the summer capital. The two other road arteries, Naguilian Road and Marcos Highway, have also contributed to easier transportation to the Cordillera region. Accessible by land, the province has contributed greatly to the easy transport of farm products from the "barangays" to the "ili" (town proper) or "poblacion". The provincial administrations from the 1960's to the present have enacted measures to further boost its socio-economic growth especially among the farmers and merchants.