The History of Anda, Pangasinan: From Uninhabited Islands to a Thriving Municipality

Anda, Pangasinan is a municipality located on the north-west portion of Lingayen Gulf, consisting of a group of islands. However, before the middle of the nineteenth century, these islands were uninhabited and were only occasionally used by seafarers and fishermen as havens.

It was in 1842 when Andres de la Cruz Cacho, also known as Andales Kulayo, discovered a vast tract of land suitable for grazing and fertile lowlands, along with an abundant spring for agriculture. He then brought families from Bolinao aboard a big boat and dispersed them on the island of Cabarruyan, which led to the rapid spread of the population.

On May 10, 1842, the pioneers landed on what is now the barrio of Dolaoan and established a settlement, choosing San Miguel Arcangel as their Patron Saint. Carot and Cabungan were established on May 25, 1842, with Santa Lucia as the common Saint of the two settlements. The settlers founded Tondol in the first week of June of the same year and Sablig in the middle of June. By the third week of June, Macaleeng was occupied.

Although no family was willing to stay in Toritori at that time, the settlers proceeded to Awile and Aruab, now known as Roxas, and by early July, they had established settlements in the area. Mal-Ong, Awag, Santa Rita, and San Nicolas were established by August, and within a period of only four months, the whole island of Cabarruyan was populated.

A steady stream of settlers followed the first pioneers, and soon, within a few years, the population was large enough to form a municipality. In January 1849, a conference of leaders was called by Don Pablo Cacho Valerio through his son Don Domingo with the end in view of establishing a new town. The leaders drafted a petition for the creation of a new town and sent copies on March 15, 1849, to Don Jose Sanchez y Guerrero, the then Alcalde at Iba, Zambales, and to the Archbishop of Manila.

On May 26, 1849, the Alcalde brought the reply granting the petition. Accompanied by the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Juan Migrano, Capitan Felipe Cacho Valerio, and other municipal officials of Bolinao, the Alcalde came to Cabarruyan to choose a suitable location for the town site. They agreed on Segat in the center of the island, which is now known as Namagbagan. The site for the plaza, church, town hall, convent, cemetery, and streets were laid out on January 20, 1850, by order of the Alcalde.

Anda was once a part of the municipality of Bolinao, but with the rapid increase in population and development, it became its own municipality. The establishment of the town of Anda was a significant event that marked the progress and development of the island of Cabarruyan. Today, Anda remains a beautiful and prosperous municipality that continues to thrive and grow.