The town of Pagudpud is located at the northwest tip of Ilocos Norte province, with a land area of 21 ha. The province is in Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippine archipelago. With a coastline of 39.60 km, the province is bounded in the north by the forests of Cagayan Valley, in the east by the tall trees of the Cordillera Mountain, in the south by Bulu River, and in the west by the China Sea.
Pagudpud was formerly a barrio (small village) of the town of Bangui but became an independent town through the course of time and through Executive Order No. 13 of then Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay. How did the town get its name? According to a tale handed down by the elders, a group of Tagalog-speaking peddlers were resting under a shady tree. They were weary from selling their wares. One peddler said to the others: “Pagud na pagud na ako. Pudpud na rin ang sapatos ko (I’m already so tired. My shoes are also worn out.)” It happened that a farmer nearby overheard what the peddler had said. This farmer actually did not know the name of the place then and from what he had heard from the peddler, he thought that “Pagudpud” was its name. And thus, since that time, the place had been called Pagudpud.
~~~~ by ZJaramillo~~~~
The Socio-Economic Life
Fishing and farming are the main sources of income for most residents of Pagudpud. Rice fields are scattered all over the town. The town is also abundant with coconut trees, the fruits of which farmers sell to merchants from other towns; or trade for tobacco, rice, and other commodities.
The Legend of Pagudpud’s Saud White Beach
According to folklore of the olden days, mermaids (half-human, half-fish) existed and, in fact, were considered dangerous creatures. When human beings drowned, it was believed that they were taken by mermaids or serena as locally known. The people were even more scared because of the alleged supernatural powers of the mermaids. But in Pagudpud, at the white beach, it was said that the mermaids used their supernatural powers for good deeds in return for the goodness of the people.
The legend goes that the queen of the mermaids disguised herself as a poor old woman who went about begging for food along the shores of the whole of Luzon island. She went from village to village, from the eastern tip to the west, then from the south to the north of the island.
She was almost at the end of her quest for a kind soul to help her. As she sat upon a rock in one village that she went to, forlorn and lonely as a poor old woman, she transformed herself into the queen mermaid that she really was. Someone from the village saw her in this transformation. Word got around that the poor old woman begging for food along the seashore was really a mermaid. Thus the next time that the queen mermaid transformed herself into an old woman, people--young and old-- threw stones and spat at her.
When finally she reached the tip of northwestern Luzon, the queen mermaid turned old woman was about to give up in finding a charitable person. But all of a sudden, there came along the beautiful maiden Ines Cannuyan. Ines was then on her way to the rocky shore to gather seaweeds in the shallow water. Ines saw the haggard old woman on the shore, far from the water. She took pity on the old woman who begged Ines to bring her to the water edge. Surprised at the request, Ines nevertheless gave in to the old woman’s bidding. The moment the foot of the old woman touched the water, she transformed herself into the beautiful queen mermaid that she was, right before Ines’s startled gaze.
The queen mermaid asked Ines what reward she wanted for her kindness. But Ines replied that she did not care about a reward for the little help she had shared. Although Ines added that what she really wanted was a seashore of sand and not the rocky one that bordered their domain. Perhaps, Ines said, the queen mermaid can make this change, what with her enchanted powers.
The queen mermaid answered Ines with a smile and, with a wave of her hands, right before Ines’s eyes, came beautiful mermaids like fish wriggling along the shallow waters. When the mermaids’ bodies came into contact with the rocks and the gray sand, Ines’s rocky shore was transformed into a gleaming white beach. That beach is now known as the Saud white beach of Pagudpud.
In certain perilous times, the people of Pagudpud became very religious. They held novenas and processions almost every evening to seek the Lord’s blessing. Then, as if by miracle, a very pious woman of the town—a housewife—had a vision in dreams. She was the late Nana Saturnina Magarro to whom the Sacred Family appeared with a message. In her dream was a prediction that the forested area around the villages of Saud and Burayoc in Pagudpud would become capital center of all nations. With their own flags flying on high, ranking officials, dignitaries, and guests all over the world would come over to these villages, and a church would be built on this stop, where people would pray for salvation.
Such prediction did happen 50 to 60 years ago. The areas were started to be developed by their owners. Beach resorts began to sprout one after the other and spruced up so well such that these became a tourist attraction in north Luzon. So the prediction came true as then President Ferdinand Marcos, then President Fidel Ramos, and other officials from different countries had been to Pagudpud’s shores and had waded in its waters. Guests from neighboring provinces also spent their weekends in town having picnics and swimming in the blue open sea. Opportunities for livelihood were offered to the workers in the maintenance of these resorts.
~~~~ ZJaramillo ~~~
It is a tradition of Pagudpud to celebrate its town fiesta or feast when April comes. It is a big celebration awaited by the people. In the three to four days of celebrating the fiesta, a town queen and king are crowned each night.
In the evening of the fiesta’s first day, the people hold a big parade of floats that they have decorated very creatively. For decorations, they utilize mostly things gathered from the town, like different leaves, plants, and fruits of trees that they grow. The people also use locally handcrafted materials to decorate the floats. During the parade, the fiesta queen and her entourage who ride in the floats throw candies or fruits to the spectators.
All the people in Pagudpud are proud to be a part of the town fiesta celebration. It is a great honor for them to be a part of the parade. Schoolchildren, even if they have to walk several miles for the parade, do not complain because it is fun for them, aside from being a honor for these little kids. Farmers from all over town also join in the celebration as they display their crops, animals, and machineries used in farming.
People attend the coronation nights to witness the event and also to participate in the program that they prepare for those nights. There is dancing and also singing before and after the coronation of the royalties of the night.
Pagudpud is indeed a nice place to visit. The sights are so relaxing. The people are so welcoming and always ready to greet visitors with their warm smiles and happy faces. Come and discover this hidden treasure in the northern part of the Philippines—Pagudpud and its natural beauties.
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