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Laoag City is the political, commercial and industrial hub of the province. It has been a cradle of Christianity in Northern Luzon since 1572 when Franciscan missionaries arrived at its shores. The city was founded on June 11, 1755 as Villa de San Agustin de Laoag (City of Saint Augustine). In 1853 it was declared a pueblo (town) and renamed "Villa Fernandina" after Ferdinand VII, King of Spain during that time; it became a chartered city under Commonwealth Act No. 39 signed by President Elpidio Quirino on May 24, 1950 and officially known as Laoag City since then. The Spanish explorers landed in what is now called "Punta Engaño", where they were greeted by fierce waves which led to them naming the place ""La Punta Caracol"". They later moved to other places until they reached today's Enot River where they built their settlement which came to be known as "Apo".