La Union

Agoo Day

Agoo Day is the founding anniversary celebration in the town of Agoo, La Union, Philippines every 8th of December. It is also a non-working holiday in the entire municipality. It is also simultaneous with Dalyasat Festival.

The town also celebrates in summertime the more popular event, the Dinengdeng Festival.

History of Agoo Day

Agoo Day is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the town of Agoo. According to Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, the fest is called Fiesta de Agoo.

A law was passed too that institutionalized the event. Republic Act No. 11114 was enacted in 2018 that declared every December 8 as Agoo Day and a special non-working holiday in the entire municipality.

History of Agoo

In pre-Hispanic times, Agoo was already an established settlement and a thriving trading center. Gold that was mined from other parts of Luzon were brought to its coastal port where it would be traded with foreign merchants. Archeological artifacts also pointed not only the shipment of gold but also exchanges of merchandises such as ceramics and fabric.

In June of 1572, Spanish colonizer Juan de Salcedo explored further north of the island of Luzon. He reached Agoo which was called el Puerto de Japon (the Japanese port). It was so called for Japanese migrants lived there before the conquest and it continued to function as a port connecting merchants from Japan.

The Franciscan friars Fr. Juan Bautista Lucarelli and Fr. Sebastian de Baeza arrived in 1578 and founded a church built of light materials in honor of St. Francis of Asisi. Agoo Day commemorates December 8, 1578 as the founding day of the town. The priests erected their headquarter from which they performed their mission to Christianize neighboring areas and convert the native population.

When the Franciscans left in 1591, they were replaced by the Augustinians.

Agoo was named after the trees that used grow by the riverbanks. Previously, belonged to the province of Pangasinan. It was annexed to La Union when the latter was formed from territories formerly part of Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur on March 2, 1850.

Agoo Day Activities

In 2022, the founding anniversary had a three-day calendar with a mix of secular and Christian events. There were a singing contest called Aweng Ti Agoo and a culinary competition on native delicacy-making called Binubudan Pagririnnanudan. The Dalyasat Festival occurred in early morning of December 8 where a fluvial procession of the patroness, Nuestra Senora de Caridad, was held from San Isidro Fish Port to Agoo Basilica (Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity). After which there were Pamascua Ti Umili (People’s Christmas) and evening entertainment called Pasala Ti Umili (People’s Party).

How to reach Agoo, La Union

Buses ply from Manila to northern Luzon that would take about four hours. Alternatively, take a flight to San Fernando Airport, which is about 30 kilometers away or an hour trip to the town of Agoo.


Agoo Day Summary

NameAgoo Day
CelebrationFounding anniversary
ChurchBasilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity
DateDecember 8
Duration3 days
LocationAgoo, La Union
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Agoo
PatronNuestra Senora de Caridad
ReligionRoman Catholic
Simultaneous eventDalyasat Festival