LA TRINIDAD is set to celebrate its 69th Foundation Day on June 14, 2018 with the theme “Recognizing our roots, building our future.” The town’s Foundation day commemorates its founding and advancement to a regular Municipality on June 16, 1950 by virtue of Republic Act No. 531. The citizens of La Trinidad have been celebrating this momentous event for almost 68 years as a working holiday.
The municipality has also lined-up various activities; from ecumenical service, ‘shawat tan owik,’ to multi-cultural celebrations and presentations. The celebration is culminated with the awarding and recognition of distinct members and residents of the community; outstanding advocates, leaders, and even ordinary citizens and organizations of La Trinidad with extraodinary deeds, and who have contributed to the community. The event’s mechanism is guided by local Ordinance no. 35 of 2015, or the La Trinidad Foundation Day Ordinance.
According to the La Trinidad Foundation Day Steering Committee, there are six Special Awardees which include; The La Trinidad Women’s Federation (for Women’s rights and Community development), Bineng Cutflowers and Truckings Association (for Agriculture and Commerce), Spouses Dan and Corazon Saclangen (for Agriculture), Ms. Josephine Leon (for Leadership ), Frael U Aquino (for Sports and Youth development), Former LT-COP Benson Macli-ing (for Leadership), and Gen. Amando Empiso (also for Leadership.) There are also 3 Distinct Awardees which are: The La Trinidad Mun. Police Station, La Trinidad Mun. District Jail, and La Trinidad Cooperative Development Services.
The town will also recognize the recent PMA graduates from La Trinidad who are: Jerson Pulac Balagot from Pagal, Shilan, Towner Martinez Caltino also from Shilan, Nero Ozkar Cabugao Culaton from Camp Dangwa, Drexler Alfredo Mayomis from Central Balili, Nobleson Langato Libag from Bahong, and topnotcher Jahziel Gumapac Tandoc of Ampasit Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Many years before the colonizers came, La Trinidad was well-cultivated with rice, sweet potatoes, gabi, and sugar cane by its original settlers – the Ibaloys. They maintained farms along the hillsides, carved rice terraces along the mountain slopes along rivers, creeks and streams and in the marshy valley. Wealth was measured by ownership of land and cattle which were redistributed by holding prestigious feasts or “peshit.” They also believed in the supreme being called “Kabunian,” and prayers were done during festivities and rituals meant to attain a bountiful harvest.
During the Spanish period, the valley of La Trinidad was originally called “Valle de Benguet.” Although the District of Benguet was established in La Trinidad by 1846, it was only in April 21, 1874, under Commandant Manuel Scheidnagel, that “Valle de Benguet” was renamed “Valle de La Trinidad” (or La Trinidad Valley).
After the Revolutionary period in 1900, La Trinidad became the supplier of vegetables through the Trinidad Farm School (now the Benguet State University). Several socio-economic changes occurred, and the concepts religion, titling of lands, formal education, paid labor, and democratic elections of leaders were introduced.
After the war, and during the liberation period, La Trinidad became a regular municipality by virtue of Republict Act No. 531 on June 16, 1950.
The planting of temperate-growing vegetables were introduced right after the war. For this, the municipality came to be widely-known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.
Strawberries, first introduced by the Americans, also became the town’s main product, garnering for itself the title “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” in the 1980s. With the establishment of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post, La Trinidad became Benguet’s marketing hub.
By the turn of the century, migration and urbanization steadily crept in, bringing with it a colorful tapestry of people not only from the different Cordillera province, but from the whole country.