This is Umingan where the rolling hills and verdant plains over peace-loving Filipino with tranquil mind and reverential abode. Located smugly of the foot of Caraballo Mountains it lays at the East-South Eastern most part of Pangasinan. It borders the town of Lupao on the east and the town of Cuyapo on the south. Both bordering towns are in the province of Nueva Ecija. Umingan is also bordered in the north by the town of San Quintin and by the town of Balungao on the west.
Umingan is some two hundred kilometers from Manila and eighty and six kilometers from the Provincial Capital of Lingayen. Its population of 54,398 as shown the by 2000 Integrated Census is regularly settled and spread in its vast area of 27,083.70 hectares. With farming as the mayor industry of 90% of the people, the municipality does not experience much prolonged period of scarcity and want in in-between regular harvest season. The soil composition is clayed to sandy loam which is favorable to rice, corn, tobacco, sugar cane, peanuts, camote and cassava.
Ninety-seven (97) percent of the town populations are descendents of the sturdy Ilocano stock thereby explaining this is an Ilocano town speaking the Ilocano dialect. Three (3) percent of the people are either descendant family from the central and coastal town of Pangasinan. Others are from the Tagalog and Pampango origins. There are sprinkling of tongues too but all these minor ethnic groups have now lost their ancestral identity as they all now have been absorbed and melted the Ilocanos way of life.
It is in Umingan where nearly all kinds of religious sects are presented, but despite of the different religious beliefs or faith of the people, it has been noted that 85% of the population have true to the Holy Mother, the Catholic Church. This big percentage of the faithful believers and flowers of the Universal Church is momentously the studying manifestation of the Apostolic Zeal of lay brethren and devoted adherences.
According to narrative of prominent old residents of the town, Umingan was once covered by dense forest and very ideal haven of outlaws, coming from different places. It was hazardous during those early years to enter the thick forest of these outlaws, there were fierce carabaos or simarons, and wild bears venomous snakes and even cannibals. It was this perilous environment that the early settlers made their forest clearing of caingin.
The first settlers of Umingan were from different places in the Ilocos Region although there were some from the coastal towns of Pangasinan, some from the Tagalog Regions and from Pampanga. The pioneers came from Umingan on foot carrying with them their meager belongings. They brave to perils of the leech-infested muddy roads and trails. Not minding the lurking wild animals and head-hunting in their immediate environs, the felled big trees with their axes and bolos to make for their cleanings. The reaped bountiful harvest from their new clearings
The rivers, the brooks the creeks, and streams provided then with pliant of mud fish. The first settlers were the Umingan family who came from the coastal town of Mangaldan. They had their clearings on both sides of river now bears their name. During harvest time many of their relatives and friends came to help them their crop of rice and corn. Admiring the place some of them decided to stay and made their cleanings too. The settlement of Umingan becomes known far and wide not only of the bountiful harvest but also because of the generosity of the family. The bearded old man and patriarch of the family was very kind to his “visitors” to whom he gave much as they could carry dried and fresh meat of wild pigs and deer free. Visitors going home from the Umingan settlement carrying rice and corn when asked where they got all those food stuff readily answered. “From the village of the Umingan’s”. In time the populations of the place increased and soon the criminals and outlaws got tired of their depredations made peace with the settlers and started making clearings, too.
HOW UMINGAN GOT ITS NAME:
One day after harvest time, the early settlers got together and held a thanks giving feast to thank the almighty for their harvest, their good health, and the cessation of lawlessness. Friends and strangers who attend the feast were hilariously happy because there was plenty of food. Besides, intoxicating drinks of Basi and Nipa wine from far away Mangaldan flowed freely. In the midst of the happy gatherings, a man of consequence stood up from among the celebrations and exclaimed. “Peace be with us for the blessings of the Lord Almighty come from us. Abundance is with us and lawlessness has stopped.” In the Ilocano tongue their acclamation is interpreted this way: “Wen, wen nagsardengen iti panagdakdakes, ti riribuk Umingan.” The non-Ilocano in the group were bewildered. They thought that the people were shouting the name of the place. Since then, Umingan became the name by which the early settlement came to known even unto this day. The name too is a fitting remembrance of a kind and generous old bearded man, UMINGAN, the patriarch of the settlement.
Not long after, many more settlers came to Umingan, in due time villages and barrios, then called barangays were established: and finally a government of the municipal level was organized.
Umingan was once a town belonging to the province of Nueva Ecija. As then decreed, all towns east of Agno River belonged to Nueva Ecija. Therefore all revenues and reports from those towns thus situated therein were submitted in Cabanatuan, the capital. During those years traveling to and from Cabanatuan was perilously difficult as there were robbers who waylaid travelers on the day.
Later, the municipalities east of the Agno River became incorporated into the Province of Pangasinan.