History and Government
Lagayan was coined from the word "Laga" which means to weave. According to old folks, there was once a place where a big tree stood. Under the tree were basket weavers. These weavers used to weave container baskets such as "dapilag", a small hamper used as container for vegetables, "alat", a container for fish catch, "barekbek", a fish trap, and other utility baskets which were woven out of bamboo or the native "puser".
One time, a visitor came to where the weavers were weaving, inquiring about the name of the place. When nobody answered, the visitor aptly called the place "Laga" which was later on refined to its present name with the passing of time as "Lagayan", a term implying a lalagyan or container.
Another source of the name of the municipality is from the word "laga" because it is where its important bodies of water crisscross each other, the Tineg and Palusuguan Rivers.
Lagayan was created in 1926 by virtue of a Spanish Decree to serve as a general purpose political unit for the coordination and delivery of basic, regular, direct services and for the effective governance of its inhabitants by the Spaniards during the time.
Lagayan's past to present chief executives are: Agustin Balaoro (1930-1933), Capitan Agcanta (1934-1937), Labanen Legarda (1938-1943), Demetrio Balaoro (1944-1947), Mingnay Allen (1948-1951), Prisco Dayeg (1952-1955), Abraham Lalugan (1956-1963), Solomon Lalugan (1964-1974), Rosario Layao (1972-1979), Solomon Lalugan (1980-1986), Anita Seares (1986-1998) and Cecilia Luna (1998-present).
At present, Lagayan has 5 barangays as follows: Ba-i, Collago, Pang-ot, Poblacion and Pulot.
Lagayan is situated between the municipalities of La Paz on the south, Danglas on the southwest, San Juan on the southeast, Tineg on the northeast and the province of Ilocos Norte on the northwest. Approximately 18.9 km. away from the capital town of Bangued, Lagayan is a landlocked area with the town of La Paz as the only means of entrance and exit of land transportation to and from the municipality. With its topography being generally mountainous, Lagayan's flat lands and rolling foothills comprise the agricultural area. Rivers, river beds and other bodies of water comprise a considerable area of the municipality separating its 5 barangays geographically from each other. During the rainy season, usually from June to September, water on the rivers rise separating the Poblacion from the other barangays hampering the transfer of people and goods between barangays. October to May is usually dry.
Lagayan's land use distribution is as follows: agricultural - 1,250 has., residential - 550 has., grazing and pastureland - 2,400 has., swamps and marshes - 1,725 has. and unclassified - 3,000 has.
During the 1995 Census of Population, Lagayan had a population of 3,412, a total number of households of 651, an average household size of 5.24 and a negative population growth rate of 1.86% (1990-1995). Among the barangays, Ba-i and Collago are the most populous with 803 each. The least populated is Pang-ot with 270. According to number of households, Ba-i had the largest number with 154 while Pang-ot is the least with 53.
Owing to the relatively poor economic state of the municipality, health condition of the people is relatively poor. Health facilities are not adequate enough to effectively meet the basic health needs of the populace. Health statistics include a crude birth rate of 21.16, a crude death rate of 2.43 and infant and neonatal mortality rate of 11.49. The leading cause of morbidity is skin disease while the leading cause of mortality is pulmonary tuberculosis.
Most of the people of Lagayan speak Ilocano and Tinguian with Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Cristo, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists and Born Again as the major existing religions.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the people of Lagayan with palay as the main crop. However, due to the municipality's rugged and moutainous terrain, there is a great need for a sustainable irrigation system to adequately support production sufficiency of palay for 2 croppings a year. At present, cropping season of palay is only once a year, leaving the people with a low family income. An estimated 90% live below the poverty threshold.
Tourist Attraction and Place of Interest