History and Government
On August 13, 1908, the municipal districts of Bakun and Ampusongan became a part of Benguet, a sub-province of Mountain Province. This was effected through the passage of Philippine Commission Act Number 1876. Prior to the said date, during the Spanish period, the political coverage of these two townships or districts belonged to two separate commandancia, which is equivalent to today’s province. The rancheria de Bakun belonged to the “Commandancia Politico-Militar de Amburayan” while the “Rancheria de Ampusongan” belonged to the “Commandancia Politico Militar de Tiagan, Distrito de Benguet”. In 1900, when the United States took control of the archipelago, the American Congress enacted Act No. 48, placing Ampusongan under the Province of Benguet and Bakun under the Province of Amburayan.
In the early part of 1937, Ampusongan was merged with Bakun, the latter carrying the name of the townships while the former became a barangay. Bakun existed until the enactment of Republic Act No. 4695 in 1966 when it was included in the newly created province of Benguet.
During the 1988, 1992 and 1995 elections, Belino Suni-en won as municipal mayor and in 1998, he was succeeded by Tico Dalmones.
The municipality is presently composed of 7 barangays and 139 sitios distributed among the barangays as follows: Ampusongan (30), Bagu (11), Dalipey (21), Gambang (27), Kayapa (22), Poblacion (18), and Sinacbat (20).
Bakun is located at 16°47" latitude and 120°43" longitude which is at the northwestern tip of the province of Benguet. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and the municipality of Mankayan, on the south by the municipality of Kibungan, on the east by the municipalities of Buguias and Mankayan, and on the west by the municipalities of Sugpon and Alilem of the province of Ilocos Sur. Bakun is 336 kms. away from Manila and 86 kms. away from Baguio City.
The total land area of the municipality is 30,768.7410 hectares. In terms of land area among the barangays, Kayapa is the largest with 5,901.6835 has. while Poblacion is the smallest with 3,031.0949 has.
The elevation within the municipality ranges from 200 meters above sea level located in barangay Bagu and Kayapa to 2,500 meters above sea level found at Mt. Osdong, in barangay Gambang. Climate ranges from 10°C felt during the months of December and January to 28°C during the months of April to July. The municipality has two pronounced seasons, the wet and the dry seasons. Wet season occurs in the months of April until October while dry season occurs from the month of November until March.
Basing from National Statistics Office data in 1995, the municipality has a total population of 12,836. The population growth rate is 3.31% with a population density of 42 persons per square kilometer.
The major ethnic groups in the municipality are Kankanaey and Bago. The Kankanaey groups comprise the majority group while the Bagos, found near the boundaries towards the Ilocos Region side, comprise the minority. The major dialect spoken is Kankanaey and Ilokano.
There are 19 various religious affiliations in the municipality dominated by 6 various religions namely: Roman Catholic, United of Church of Christ in the Philippines, Paganism, Assembly of God, Wesleyan and Baptist.
Bakun is basically an agricultural community where temperate climate vegetables are extensively grown. A total area of 11,770.6835 has. is devoted to agriculture with only 1,143 has. being irrigated and 1,634 has. of which being rainfed. The key crops being planted are: field crops such as rice, legumes, coffee, corn, tiger grass, and ginger; root crops such as sweet potato, cassava, and gabi; vegetables such as cabbage, potato, carrot and Chinese cabbage; and fruits such as citrus/oranges, banana, avocado, blue berries, passion fruit. Local folks also engage in cutflower production.
Trading activity in the municipality is very limited, confined only to vegetable trading in the barangays where the vegetables are grown. Business is practically at a standstill except for the small variety stores that dot the countryside. These provide market outlets for grocery items for the residents of the community. Large-scale purchases are made in Baguio City and La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet.
Presently, it has no industry to boast of as the only sawmill found at Ampusongan closed down brought about by the logging ban in the countryside. However, construction of two small hydroelectric power plants in Ampusongan and in Bakun Central is on-going.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest