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PURA: Basket of Crop Fresh Produce

It was during the Spanish regime when migrants coming from the Ilocos Region moved southward to look for arable lands. These early settlers were forced to abandon their place of birth because it had a narrow coastal plains and highlands where agriculture is not a promising means of livelihood.

These migrants decided to stay on the northeastern part of a future province later known to be TARLAC. The place at that time was thickly forested and so they took the initiative of clearing the area for agricultural purposes. Because of kinship, they considered themselves pure Ilocano settlers of the place; hence, they named the place “pura”. Ethno-botanically, however, the name of the place is attributed to an obsolete Ilocano term”purak” (also called pandan lalake or pandan dagat) which enormously thrived in the area during those days because of its proximity to the huge Chico River. The river thrived with mangroves at that time where “purak” abundantly grow.

Pura began as a barrio of Gerona known as Barrio De Villa. As its settlers grew, a clamor for a township arose. Hence, its leaders filed a petition to the proper authorities to have the settlement converted into town. In 1877, through the initiative and efforts of Fr. Pedro Graneta, Pura won and enjoyed its bid for political status as pueblo or town.

In 1908, Don Felix Melegrito was appointed as the first Presidente Mayor under American regime. In 1941-1944, Gabriel Nebre was the last Mayor before the war while Mayor Pedro Parcasio was the first Mayor after the war 1945-1952 followed by Mayor Nestor Gamit – 1963-1971, Severino Valdez – 1972-1975, 1976-1979, Nestor Gamit 1980-1986, Pioquinto Cortez – 1998-1992, Wilfredo Y. Sawit – 1992-1995, Nicolas Uy – 1995-1998, Mario Maddela – 1998-2001 and in 2001 was Wilfredo Y. Sawit. The people derived their livelihood from its vast agricultural lands where they raised sugar and rice as major crops.

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