History and Government
The town of Kabayan is populated by Ibalois, Kalanguyas and Kankanaeys. Each of these tribes has its own beginning. The Ibalois are the majority tribe who trace their origin to a settlement in Kabayan known as Embosi. Hence, Kabayan is known as the seat of the Ibaloi culture.
Reportedly, a group from Pangasinan traveled upstream by following the course of the Agno River. They first settled at sitio Baloy of Itogon but due to an illness of epidemic proportions, they left the area and continued their journey upstream until they reached Embosi. A Kalanguya hunter from Tinoc, Ifugao running after his injured prey came in contact with them. Having identified themselves to have come from Baloy, they were called Ibaloi, meaning "from Baloy". There were intermarriages between Ibalois and Kankanaeys and their occupation of a particular area in the town resulted in the establishment of a Kankanaey-dominated village in southwestern Kabayan. For their part, the Kalanguyas trace their origin to a village known as Ahin in Tinoc, Ifugao.
It is significant to note that even before the Spaniards came to the place, the people then traded with their neighbors. They traded their gold, livestock and later coffee to their lowland neighbors for salt, sugar, jars and other essential commodities.
With the arrival of the Spaniards in the late 1800, Spanish Trails were built with some of them still visible and being used. The Spaniards organized the town into three rancherias, namely: Lutab, Kabayan and Adaoay. The first two were later merged and renamed Kabayan rancheria.
With the coming of the Americans, the rancherias became townships. The townships of Kabayan and Adaoay were later reorganized into a single township. Thus, the township of Kabayan was born with six barrios, namely: Adaoay, Batan, Gusaran, Kabayan, Pacso and Poblacion.
At present, Kabayan is politically subdivided into 13 barangays, namely: Adaoay, Anchokey, Bashoy, Batan, Duacan, Eddet, Poblacion, Ballay, Gusaran, Kabayan Barrio, Lusod, Pacso and Tawangan. The first 7 barangays now comprise the first Sangguniang Bayan District and the last 6 barangays form the second Sangguniang Bayan District.
Leaders of the municipality from 1988 to the present are as follows: Florentino Merino (1988-1992), Ernesto Matuday (1992-1995) and Florentino Merino (1995-1998). At present, Mayor Ernesto Matuday made a comeback for a term of office from 1998 to 2001.
Kabayan is located on the eastern part of Benguet at 120°45" to 120°58" east longitude and 16°33" to 16°42" north latitude. It is bounded on the north by Buguias, south by Bokod, west by Atok while Tinoc, Ifugao and Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya share the eastern border.
Kabayan is approximately 335 kilometers north of Manila. From Baguio City, Kabayan is 85 kilometers northeast travelling through the Baguio-Ambuclao-Bokod-Kabayan Road. Taking the Halsema Highway, then following the Abatan-Buguias-Kabayan Road, the town can be reached after covering a distance of 118 kilometers.
The municipality's terrain is generally steep to very steep slopes with few rolling foothills and mountain plateaus. The lowest elevation is 1,000 meters above sea level while the highest elevation is at 2,922 meters above sea level located at Mt. Pulag - the second highest mountain in the Philippines.
The municipality has two seasons - dry and wet. The coldest temperature is at 19.4 degrees Celsius while the warmest is at 40 degrees Celsius.
With the municipality's total land area of 27,752 hectares, the municipality's land use classification is as follows: agricultural land - 2,524.283 has. where 1,065.63 has. are irrigated and 1,458.653 has. are rainfed, pasture land - 1,014.5 has., forest reserve land - 11,550.0 has., communal forest - 133.0 has., built-up area - 356.5856 has., and open area - 11,673.6314 has.
As of 1995, the municipality has a total of 10,510 people with 50.17 % or 5,350 male and 49.82% or 5,262 female. The population occupies a total of 1,913 households with a family size of 5.5.
The three major tribes that comprise the population are Ibalois, Kalanguyas and the Kankanaeys. People from different tribes are only 2% of the total population. The major dialects are Ibaloi, Kalanguya, Kankanaey and Ilocano.
Agriculture is the major industry of the locality where they are known for their kintoman, coffee and cauliflower. The kintoman is a brown aromatic rice.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest