History and Government
The word “Banaue” is derived from the word "Banawor", a swift flying bird at night that lived in one of the oldest sitios of the town. In time, the whole town came to be referred to as Banaue. When the Spaniards occupied the town, they mispronounced Banawor as Banaue, and the error stuck.
The origin of the people of Banaue is believed to be from a single migrating people who carried the rice terracing culture from South China and Indo-China across Luzon and Southern Japan and southward to Java and the lesser Sunda Islands. Artifact remains indicate that the first migration was probably in the second millennium before Christ and carried only material culture of polish stones, coppers, and bronze. It was believed too that the second millennium brought with them the use of iron, pottery and woven cloth. As a result, the people learned how to carve figurines, a skill that later on made the municipality known for its wood carving industry.
The inhabitants of Banaue are bound by a common origin, language, culture, mores, customs and traditions. Because of this and the need to survive, they were able to carve from mountains the famous rice terraces now known as the “8th Wonder of the World”.
During the Spanish Regime, government in Banaue was not fully established. The Spaniards tried to establish garrison at Ducligan, which became the seat of the Spanish Government, but this did not last long because of the hostility of the people, for which reason they left the garrison and went to Mayoyao.
In 1901, the American Government was established in Banaue headed by Capt. Jeff Gelman of the American Army who was appointed as its lieutenant governor. Captain Gelman was succeeded by Col. William Dosser who served as the last American governor of Ifugao. His deputy provincial governor and Philippine Constabulary provincial commander was Capt. Bulan of Solana, Cagayan.
On June 25, 1963, under Executive Order No. 42, Banaue together with Mayoyao, Lamut and Kiangan, became a regular municipality. Banaue is politically subdivided into 18 barangays, namely: Amganad, Anaba, Balawis, Banao, Bangaan, Batad, Bocos, Cambulo, Ducligan, Gohang, Kinakin, Poblacion, Poitan, Pula, San Fernando, Tam-an, Viewpoint and Uhaj.
From its humble beginnings, the municipality's leaders were: Pahigon, Kimmayong, Lablabong, Epifanio Candelario (1934-1938), Adriano Apilis, Sr. (1939-1942), Julio Duntugan (1943-1945), Alfredo Cappleman (1945-1947), Dumalilis Buccahi (October-December 1947), Leopoldo Culhi (1948), Ottengan Bistol (1949-1950), Ricardo Buduhan (1951-1952), Leonardo Jamias (1953-1955), Manuel Tuguinay (1956-1966), Andres Morales (January-May 1967), Adolfo Chulipa (1967), Alipio Modiguing (1967-1970), Alfredo Humiwat, Manuel Tuguinay (1971), Ruben Bahatan (1972-1975), Adriano Apilis, Jr. (1976-1980), Benjamin Cappleman (1981-1985), Adriano Apilis, Jr. (1986-1987), Alexander Lopez (1987-1988), Abriol Chulipa (1988-1995), and Tito Candelario (1995-1998). At present (1999), John Wesley Dulawan is the mayor, after winning the May 1998 election.
Banaue is located in the northernmost part of the Province of Ifugao where the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are located. It lies at the foot of Mt. Amuyao, the highest peak in the area and is bounded on the north by Mt. Province, on the south by the municipality of Hingyon and on the east by the municipality of Hungduan. It is 25 kilometers west of Lagawe, the capital town of Ifugao.
Banaue has a land area of 21,807 has. spread over 18 barangays. The municipality’s land area represents 8.35% of the provincial land area of 261,163 has. The municipality's barangays are classified into: urban and rural barangays. The urban area, having a total land area of 1,096 has. or 5.03%, is composed of barangays Poblacion, Tam-an and Bocos. The rural areas, composed of the remaining barangays, comprise the remaining 27,082 has. or 94.97%. The biggest barangay in terms of land area is Cambulo with 4,932 has. or 4.44% of the total municipal land area while the smallest is Poblacion with only 116 has. or 0.57% of the municipal land area. The municipality's general land use is as follows: Urban Use - 1,096 has., Residential/Built-up Area - 80 has., Grassland/Shrubland - 7,425 has., Agricultural - 3,693 has., Forest/Timberland - 8,994 has., Creeks/Rivers - 409 has., Road right-of-way - 92 has. and Institutional - 18 has.
Banaue's topography is ruggedly mountainous and hilly with spectacular waterfalls from streams, brooks and rivers. Mount Polis situated in the northern part of the municipality rises up to an elevation of 1,900 meters above sea level. The area is thickly forested and generally classified as a watershed.
The municipality's temperature during summer is moderate. This is attributed to the municipality's geographical location and forested areas that tend to regulate the extreme heat of the sun. The extreme temperature from the southwesterly direction radiates towards the forest and in turn the cool mountain breeze profusely blows towards the locality giving a favorable temperature. The coolest temperature is felt from the months of December to February while the hottest months are during April and May. However, temperature differs according to the degree of the elevation in some parts of the municipality. The municipality's climate is temperate characterized by two seasons, the dry and the wet. The dry season is from middle of June to early part of February.
As of the 1995 Census of Population, Banaue has a total population of 20,514, total households of 3,926 with an average household size of 5.21, and an average population growth rate of 3.65%. The municipality's population is the largest in the province taking 13.71% of the total provincial population.
The municipality's major dialect is Ifugao spoken by about 97.65% of the total population. The rest of the populace speak Ilocano, Bontoc, Tagalog and others. In terms of religion, Roman Catholic is the dominant religion. The minority belong to evangelical churches.
Banaue is basically an agricultural municipality with most of its people deriving their livelihood from agriculture. The total agricultural land area is 3,693 has. or 18.30% of the total municipal land area. About 1,005 has. is being utilized for rice production with the rest of the agricultural land being utilized for vegetables, root crops, fruit trees and the rest becoming kaingins and idle lands due to lack of irrigation during the dry season.
Palay production is done once a year on an area of 740 has. with irrigation. All of the 18 barangays produce rice with an average yield of 50 cavans per hectare. Cropping calendar in the municipality, compared to other municipalities of the province, is very unique. Sowing of seeds is done in the latter part of November and early part of December. Transplanting is done in January and February with harvesting done in the months of July and August. For other crops, cropping is done the whole year round.
Livestock being raised in the municipality includes pigs, carabaos, cattle, native poultry, ducks, goats and turkeys.
As an agricultural economy, there are no big industrial establishments in the municipality. Existing industries are mostly cottage industries which include woodcarving, loomweaving, basketry, woodfurniture. Business establishments include lodging houses, restaurants, repair shops, rice milling, bronze smithing, welding and vulcanizing and the like.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest
By: DILG-CAR, Copyright 1999
Vol. I - Local Government Units