The Origins of Aurora Province

In 1571, Juan de Salcedo first explored Aurora Province. When he reached Casiguran and Baler from Laguna in 1609, a Franciscan mission was founded in Baler. In 1735, Baler was destroyed by a tidal wave from the Pacific Ocean, which they called “Tromba Marina”. The surviving inhabitants managed to reach the Hill of Point Baja for safety.

Aurora was originally composed of the municipalities of Baler and Casiguran. These municipalities were administered as part of Tayabas until the Province of Nueva Ecija was established in the early 19th Ccentury.

In 1856, the eastern coast of Nueva Ecija was created into a district called “El Principe”. Baler and Casiguran were part of Nueva Ecija until 1902 when the Commonwealth Government abolished the district and ceded back Aurora to the Province of Tayabas.

On July 21, 1950, Maria Aurora was carved out from the Municipality of Baler and became a municipality through Executive Order No. 246. This was followed by the carving out of Dipaculao from the municipality of Casiguran on November 27, 1950, through EO No. 375. Both Executive Orders were signed by the late President Elpidio R. Quirino,

These four municipalities formed the first Aurora sub-province created as the administrative area of Quezon Province (formerly Tayabas) through the Republic Act (RA) No. 648 signed into law on June 14, 1951.

More municipalities of Aurora Sub-province were created and carved out from the first four municipalities. These added municipalities are as follows:  i) the municipal district of San Luis created under RA No. 2452 and became a regular municipality on 16 July 1959 through the passage of  RA no. 3487; ii) the municipal district of Dilasag was created by RA No. 2452 on 21 June 1959 and turned into a regular municipality by RA No. 7776 signed on 21 June 1969; iii) Dingalan was created as a municipal district in May 1956 and a regular municipality on 16 June 1962 under RA No. 3980; and iv) Dinalungan was created as a municipality on 16 June 1966 under RA No. 4759.   

Foundation date and Etymology: On 21 November 1978, the Province of Aurora was created under Batas Pambansa Bilang 7, and subsequently ratified through a plebiscite in May 1979. It was named Aurora in honor of Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon, wife of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, the first president of the Philippines Commonwealth Government. The Foundation Day of Aurora Province is being celebrated every 19th day of February, simultaneous with Doña Aurora’s birthday.

On 17 May 2002, an Executive Order (EO) No. 103 was issued by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This EO redefined the composition of Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regional administrations. This paved way for the inclusion of Aurora as the seventh (7th) and the youngest member province of Central Luzon. The rest of Southern Tagalog was divided into two regions, namely: Region 4A- CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon); and Region 4B: MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan). This development has required most of the national agencies in the affected regions with the restructuring of their organizationsand programs according to their new mandate.