THE CELEBRATION OF THE 176th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE MUNICIPALITY GERONA TARLAC – JULY 11, 2021 [1845 – PRESENT]
The history of the Municipality of Gerona can be traced back to the reign of the Spaniards when the Dominican Missionaries in the Philippines started to propagate the Catholic faith in the whole archipelago in 1704.
The Dominicans placed the Vicar of Malanguey (now Bayambang, Pangasinan) is charged with the mission of converting the local inhabitants of “Paontalon” (original name of Gerona) to become Catholics. In 1722, Paontalon was recognized as a small village and became part of the Municipality of Paniqui then under the Province of Pangasinan.
In the early part of the nineteenth century, the inhabitants of Paontalon started to flourish due to the migration of people from the Northern Provinces of Luzon in search of greater opportunities. It is believed that the first group of people who came and settled in Gerona are the Ilocanos and Pangasinenses.
The people settled on the hill by the skirt of a little forest that the Pangasinan folks named “Barug” meaning little forest or “Pugo” in Ilocano. It is believed that Barug was adopted as the name of the newfound settlement due to the fact that the Pangasinense outnumbered the Ilocanos.
In 1765, the name Barug was officially changed to Gerona in honor of the Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria, who hails from Girona, Spain. Girona is a city in northern Catalonia, Spain, at the confluence of the Ter, Onyar, Galligants, and Güell rivers.
It was not until the year 1844 when Gerona finally became an independent town but without a Gobernadorcillo. The Don Anacleyo Melegrito, the town’s first Gobernadorcillo, was only appointed in 1845.