Caba, La Union
History records show that this municipality used three names interchangeably-CABA, CAVA and CAUA. According to a local historian Pedro Manongdo, two tales have persisted on how the town got his name. One group referred to an incident when a Spaniard asked an inhabitant the name of the place. The youth mistook the question as an inquiry to the name of the animal he was herding and answered “CAVA.” The repetition of the name ended with CAVA and later CABA.
Another story sustained that Caba was the name given by a group of immigrants from barrio Caba, San Carlos, Pangasinan who settled in the community in the later years of the 16th century. In memory of the place where they came from, they named the new settlement CABA.
Caba was founded as a settlement in 1598 by Augustinian Fathers with Don Agustin dela Cruz as the “first man to rule.” The settlement developed into barangay in 1692 with don Luis Manongdo as the cabeza de barangay. It became a town in 1783 with Don Domingo Aragon as gobernadorcillo.
Two other historians however, have claimed different dates on the founding of Caba as a town. On one hand, Father Jose Braganza, SVD claims that Caba was founded in 1745 along with Aringay. On the other hand, Julian Martin clains that Caba was founded in 1844.
In 1903, the Philippine commission reorganized the administrative and territorial set-up of municipalities in the country. Due to meager population of financial difficulties, some smaller municipalities were integrated. Caba was integrated with Aringay while Santo tomas to Agoo.
In 1907, Executive Order no. 41 was issued which provided that Caba be separated from Aringay. The order took effect on January 1, 1908, thus Caba again became a regular municipality with Francisco Sobredillo as Chief Executive.
Caba is the birthplace of Diego Silang, the inspiration and the leader of the Ilocos Revolt of 1762-1763 and is referred to by historians as the “guiding genius of the Iloko war of independence,” “one of the heroes of his race,” “an able military leader,”and other appellations of honor.
During the Spanish period, Silang courageously established an independent rebel government in Northern Luzon and agitated for reforms in and out of the government. However, Spanish authorities resorted to assassinate him with the help of one of his followers who betrayed him with a treacherous shot at his back on May 28, 1763. The assasin’s bullet did not however smother the flame of Silang rebellion. His wife Gabriella took the torch of leadership and by her own right, continued the rebellion heroically. Four months later, she was captured by Spanish forces and was executed publicly in Vigan in September 20, 1763, thus ended not only the heroic adventure of the “Ilocandia’s Joan of Arc” but also Silang’s revolt.