In tracing the history of San Vicente, one always one to start from Vigan. Vigan was established by the Spanish colonizer Juan De Salcedo on June 13, 1572 where there only 800 residents . Upon Salcedo’s return in 1574, he brought with him the Augustinians friars in order to teach Christianity to the inhabitants. After Salcedo’s death on March 11, 1576, Franciscan friars replaced the Augustinians in the year 1579. These friars spread up to San Vicente to convert and influence the people to the catholic faith.
In 1591, Vigan had already an organized form of government which included these barrios namely : Bo.Tuanong, Bo. Sta. Catalina de Baba and Bo. Caoayan. There was then a population numbering about 4,000 inhabitants.
Between the year 1720 and 1737 , the first chapel of Bo. Tuanong was erected. Later in 1748, the Confraternity of Jesus of Nazareth was organized . In one record of the Vigan Convent Archives. a funeral that happened on January 29, 1748 at the Chapel of Bo. Tuanong was recorded. Two chaplains, Bro. Don Agustin de la Encarnacion and Don Pedro Geronimo de Barba were the priest stone of the chapel in the year 1748. It is believed that the chapel in the first stone building that one sees upon entering the San Vicente Central School form the main road. Bo. Tuanong which belonged to Vigan was the old name of San Vicente.
On June 16, 1751, the chaplain was Don Miguel de Montanez. He was the first priest there and also in the chapel of San Sebastian. It was found on that Barangay San Sebastian already existed.
Hardships in reaching Bo. Tuanong and Bo. Sta. Catalina de Baba from Vigan especially during hte months of June to October was experienced, due to the absence of dike or bridge. Priests from Vigan reached these places by means of a raft. This prompted the separationof these two barrios from Vigan in 1793. In 1795, it was the installation of the seat of municiplaity and the church , and Bo. Tuanong became San Vicente de Ferrer . Don Pedro de Leon was the first parish priest and he was believed as the initiator of the construction of the church of San Vicente.
The municipality’s name came from the name of Saint Vincent Ferrer , whose winged statue was found inside a box entangled in fishing nets. The fishermen consulted this matter to the friars in Villa Fernandina ( now Vigan ), who identified the person depicted by the statue. The statue was carried to the town’s center , where a church was built. From then on, the town formerly known as Tuanong ( sometimse called Taonan) became San Vicente.
Socio- Economic political Development
In the early days, San Vicente was relying on agricultural activities of their living. Such products were palays, corn and other agricultural products . However, the municipality was also engage to salt making and producers of hallow blocks . It is also known for its furniture products, and considered as their
one town one product or (otop) .
The people of San Vicente predominantly spoke Ilocano by 99. 21 percent of the total household population. The few other dialects spoken like Bicol, Hantikannon , etc. had come into the locality due to intermarriages. among all the dialect/ language., other than the mother tongue, tagalog prevails , 22 percent because of education, employment, in Tagalog speaking regions and also through intermarriages belong to the Waray ethic group with only one percent belonging to other groups.
San Vicente present administration came a long line of politician which was started when the late Fermin Tabanda, was elected Mayor awarded as the longest term as Mayor in the province.
As of this time , efforts are done to increase the income of the municipality thru the Tax Mapping being initiated.