History and Government
Like any other town, Peñarrubia has its own share of historical evolution. The events and circumstances leading to its creation were started by two Tinguian brothers with different beliefs. The two brothers named Etten and Daggualey had their own followers and were very close to each other, typifying a true Tinguian clan.
With the arrival of the Spanish missionaries, many of the natives were converted. The conversion was celebrated by a mass baptismal rite where the native converts were given Christian names. One of the notable converts was Daggualey, who was baptized as Don Miguel Domaoal. Etten, also known as Saggid and “Ari” or Chief of Nagbayugan, a place at the top of a hill now called the Casamata Hill, disliked the Christian faith and opted to remain a pagan despite pressures and the persuasions of his brother Daggualey. Etten's refusal coupled with his dislike of the Christian Faith spawned an irreconcilable difference with his brother.
To avoid an armed confrontation between his tribe and his brother's, Etten led his men eastward, settling on a hill. Shortly after Etten and his men established a new settlement of their own, Daggualey and the Spaniards followed them. This time, an armed conflict was inevitable. The battle which ensued ended with the two tribes losing the lives of some of their fiercest men. Etten fled farther into to the mountains. Some of Etten's men followed, others surrendered and were made Christian converts.
Haunted by the treachery of his brother, Etten wandered through the forests and mountains until he settled on a place called “Patok”, the place which is now Peñarrubia. Some of Etten's men became unsatisfied and moved to other places. Panabang and his group settled in Dumayco, while Manacdac and his men settled at Palacia. Kalugay and his band settled at Balanak but after sometime they moved to Namarabar, Dukinal. Kalugay's wife Balugin and a group of Itnegs settled at Annay and then at Patiao.
These pioneer settlements finally were Christianized and were regrouped by the Spaniards in 1723 into two rancherias: Rancheria Gravelinas and the Rancheria Patok. The two rancherias were organized as a town which was then called Patok. For 161 years, the new town existed until 1884 when it was renamed Alfonso XII in honor of the King of Spain. The event transpired during the administration of Don Jose La Guardia.
In 1903, the Americans came and subdued the Spaniards. They changed the name of the community from Alfonso XII to Peñarrubia in honor of the Spanish Governor who was said to be the harshest to the Itnegs. Peñarrubia marked its creation as a municipality on the 5th day of March, 1917.
Today, Peñarrubia is composed of 9 barangays: Poblacion, Lusuac, Malamsit, Sta. Rosa, Dumayco, Riang, Patiao, Namarabar and Tattawa.
It has its own important symbols. Its municipal flower is the wild cosmos (violet) which was chosen because of its abundance in the locality. Its municipal tree is acacia which denotes immortality. Its municipal hymn is Salidummay, Peñarrubia version. The municipal fruit is coconut.
Past to present chief executives of the municipality are: Jose Gadil (1909-1910), Gervacio Agaid (1911-1916), Montero Cleveland (1917-1919), Panabang (1920), Manangan (1920), Ellias Bagani (1921), Jose Baingan (1923-1925), Fred Omnas (1926-1928), Daoaten Baker (1929-1931), Alejandro Cappi (1932-1934), Manuel Omnas (1935-1937), Jose Farro (1938-1940), Eulogio Benesa (1941-1942), Sixto Domesag (1943), Candido Sagasag (1944), Augusto Siagan (1945), Leonardo Borbon (1946), Dimas Benabese (1947), Candido Sagasag (1948-1951), Luis Lanas (1952-1955), Maximo Farro (1956-1959), Camilo Baker (1960-1963), Citurio Mamsaang (1964-1967), Jose Agaid (1968-1971), Ceferino Tingonong (1972-1979), Paula Damasen (1980-1986) and Antonio Domesag (1986-1998). At present, the municipal mayor is Lovelyne Domesag.
Approximately 6.62 km. away from the capital town of Bangued, Peñarrubia is the nearest Tinguian town to the capital town separated by the Sinalang River. It is strategically located on the central western part of the province bounded on the north, northwest and south by the municipality of Bangued, and on the east and southwest by the municipality of Bucay.
Topography is generally rugged characterized by rolling hills and mountains with elevations ranging from 50-564 feet above sea level. The few plains are generally small and narrow fringing along the rivers and hillsides. The northern portion however is part of the vast Abra Valley. Climate prevailing in the town is characterized by tw pronounced seasons - the wet and the dry. Dry season generally lasts from November to April while the remaining months are wet. The months of June to October have the highest percentage of rainfall, taking 75% of the total precipitation of the year.
In terms of land area, Peñarrubia has a total of 3,968 has. accounting for a measly 1.0% of the total provincial land area. Among the province's municipalities, Peñarrubia is the second smallest in land area. Among Peñarrubia's barangays however, Lusuac is the largest with 1,073 or 26.84% and Poblacion is the smallest with 82 has. or 2.05% of the total municipal land area. In terms of land utilization, the municipality has the following land use: built-up area - 50 has., agricultural - 1,018 has., forest land - 1,585 has., pastureland - 1,232 has., watershed - 35 has., rivers/creeks - 6 has. and roads - 42 has.
Peñarrubia is predominantly inhabited by Tinguians, having their own culture, tradition and dialect. Among the province's indigenous peoples, Peñarrubia is the most centrally located, an ideal center for Tinguian activities.
As of the 1995 Census of Population, Peñarrubia has a total population of 5,048, a total number of households of 965 with an average household size of 5.23, and a population growth rate of 0.59%. With a total municipal land area of 3,998 has., the average municipal population density is 2.91 person per hectare. Among the barangays, Dumayco is the most populated with 862 while Sta. Rosa and Tattawa are the least populated with 340 each. As to the number of households, Dumayco has the most with 166 while Tattawa has the least with 63. On population density, Poblacion has the highest density with 10.41 while Sta. Rosa has the least density with 0.34.
Peñarrubia is basically an agricultural town whose economy is firmly anchored on agriculture. About one-fourth or 1,018 has. of the total municipal land area of 3,998 has. are planted with different crops such as palay, corn, vegetables, sugar cane, tobacco and other root crops. Of the total cropland of 1,018 has., rice land is 755 has. with 375 has. of it irrigated, 295 has. rainfed and 85 has. upland. Cornland is 150 has., vegetable land - 23 has., tobacco - 40 has. and land planted with other crops, 50 has.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest