About the Seal
Shield, derived from the Provincial Seal of Ilocos Norte
Gear, symbolizes the systematic livelihood of the people of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte
Tong and Hammer, represents the blacksmithing and labor
Jar, signifies the pottery industry which dates back to the Spanish time
Hide, denotes tannoing and leather craft
Water, represents the irrigation system that produces two croppings a year
Carabao Head, the common work-animal; friend of the farmer; symbolizes agriculture
San Nicolas is located on the western portion of Ilocos Norte. West of the town lies a portion of Laoag City and Paoay while on the east, lie Sarrat and a part of Batac. It has a land area of 40.18 square kilometres, with a population of 29,083 in 1995.
The town was established as the first visita of Ilocos Norte in 1584. Originally, it was a visita of Laoag which was known by the name of Caluntian. In 1617, Caluntian was separated from its matrix which is Laoag. This paved the way for the town to become independent parish under the new name San Nicolas, the titular patron.
Like other towns founded by the Spaniard, San Nicolas was not sparerd from paying tribute and rendering polo or forced labor and complying with bandala, the compulsory sale of rice, hemp and other farm products to the government. In 1788, its people participated in the revolts against Spanish authorities which was brought about by the tobacco monopoly. It was one of the most onerous economic systems being implemented during that time. Bloodshed was averted. However, it was only in 1882 that the monopoly was abolished.
When the Americans came, the town did not easily submit to the new colonizers. Ambushes were staged time and again at a bridged in San Lorenzo. Eventually they were defeated. From 1903 to 1909, the town was merged again with Laoag, a measure to economize the administration and supervision of municipalities throughout the country. With the new regime, a free enterprise-oriented economy was established. The American encouraged the development of the already existing industries such as, pottery, blacksmithing and weaving.
In the latter part of December 1941, the Japanese occupied san Nicolas. The people had to evacuate to the rural areas. As a result, the Japanese issued an order for all evacuees to return home or be considered as bandits. The continuing resistance of the guerrillas against the enemies was sufficient enough for the construction of a ten-feet bamboo fence around the perimeter of the poblacion to protect both Japanese and Filipino officials of the Municipal Council.
On July 5, 1945, the town was finally liberated and the Commonwealth was restored. Dominador Madamba became its first Mayor under the Philippine Republic in 1948.
The town still enjoys monopoly of the earthenware industry. The abundance of plastic clay has made it possible for this Spanish legacy of pottery-making to flourish. It is also blessed with fertile agricultural lands that yield harvest of rice, corn, vegetables, fruits and other crops.