History and Government
Sitio Ababeng of Poblacion located south of the barangay was the place where the first group of Tinguian settlers stayed. During those days, the Tinguians were in constant war with the Itnegs of Gabuakan in the north.
In one of the encounters of the warring tribes, a cock with shiny feathers flew from heaven to a tree near the warring tribes. The cock flapped its wings so strongly that the warriors stopped fighting, amazed. When the cock vanished, the earth quaked and all the men fell down unconscious on the ground. When the men regained consciousness, they made peace with each other and then named the place "Namagpagan", meaning "where the flapping of the wings occurred".
The name Namagpagan remained until the colonization of the entire archipelago by the Spanish sovereignty. When a group of missionaries led by Father Bernardo Lago, an Augustinian friar came to this place, they were welcomed by the friendly inhabitants. The place was so peaceful that the missionaries changed the name of the place to "La Paz", which means peace.
From its founding in 1832, its chief executives were: among the gobernadorcillos: Marcelo Labuguen, Quintin Cariño, Gregorio Lalin, Domingo Lalin, Vicente Leona and Valeriano Lalin; post-war presidents: Juan Parado, Ambrosio Elpa, Demetrio Doce, Cayetano Querido, Braulio Elpa, Fernando Abella, Melquiades Nono, Lino Bernos, Arsenio Borjal, Francisco Parado and Nicolas Velasco; mayors during the Japanese Occupation: Vicente Adriatico and Manuel Beronilla, Sr.; post war mayors: Ubaldo Lalin, Antonio Castañeda, Mariano Ola, Severo Afos, Augusto Blanes, Andres Bernos and Cirilo Bernos; Officer-In-Charge during the EDSA Revolution, Leandro Labuguen, Herminigildo Peña and Manuel Beronilla, Jr.; after the EDSA revolution: Domingo Bernos; and at present: Marc Ysrael Bernos.
At present, La Paz has 12 barangays as follows: Benben, Bubulala, Buli, Canan, Liguis, Malabbaga, Mudeng, Pidipid, Poblacion, San Gregorio, Toon and Udangan.
La Paz is located in the northern part of the province west of the historical Abra River. It is 14 kms. away from the capital town of Bangued and has a land area of 6,095 has. The municipality's land use is as follows: pastureland - 827.45 has., forest land - 1,335 has., agricultural land - 3,780 has. and residential - 152.55 has.
In 1990, La Paz had a population of 11,226, a total number of households of 2,205, an average household size of 5.1 and an annual growth rate of 1.5%-2.00%. During the latest census in 1995, population and total number of households of La Paz increased to 11,576 and 2,315, respectively. The average household size remained at 5.1 while the population growth rate for the year 1990-1995 was 0.84%. With its major dialect being Ilocano, the majority of the populace are Roman Catholics taking 80% of the municipality's total population with the remaining 20% distributed among other religious affiliations. Of the 20% other religious affiliations, 10% belong to the Aglipayan, another 5% belong to the Iglesia ni Cristo and the rest (5%) belong to other religious sects.
The municipality's main source of livelihood is agriculture specifically farming. Of the municipality's total land area of 6,095 has., 3,780 has. is classified as agricultural with only 900 has. irrigated and the remaining 2,880 has. rainfed. The main crop is palay with 2,395 has. classified as riceland out of the 3,780 has. of agricultural land and out of the total cultivated area of 2,769.5 has. Other agricultural crops include corn, garlic, onions, ginger, peanut, vegetables, sugarcane and tobacco.
Coupled with poultry and piggery production, other industries in the municipality include bamboocrafts and weaving. Business establishments are present but are limited only to sari-sari stores, ricemills, bakeries and the like.