History and Government
Derived from the root word “Hungdu” which means to proceed/pass/go/traverse through, “Hungduan” means a place where people pass/traverse on their way to another place. The strategic geographical location of Hungduan lends to the appropriateness of the term. During the early times, it provided the main passage route to travelers from other Ifugao municipalities on their way to Benguet and Baguio City. Another complementary definition of “Hungdu” means a stopping place for travelers. The tribal tale “Hudhud” often mentions Hungduan as a stopping place for travelers.
During the Spanish Regime, the Spaniards established a commandancia in Kiangan, including schools and churches. Except for a few exploratory campaigns to other areas of Ifugao, the Spaniards confined their activities in Kiangan. The presence of old Spanish trails connecting Kiangan and Hungduan and the Banaue-Hungduan-Tinoc-Buguias, Benguet Spanish Trail are the only proof of Spanish influence in Hungduan. The Banaue-Hungduan-Tinoc-Buguias, Benguet Spanish Trail is at present the Banaue-Hungduan National Road.
Spanish friars spoke of exploratory and military expeditions to the mountain region as mentioned by Rev. Father Francisco Antulin in his 1789 work. But the Spaniards were able to conquer the people not by the sword but by the cross. Rev. Father Ruperto Alarcoin, O.P., traces in his work “Description de la Religion”, the municipality’s high Roman Catholic domination as evidenced by the presence of the oldest chapel constructed at barangay Hapao, Hungduan, home of the first Bishop of Ifugao.
In 1905, Ifugao was separated from Nueva Vizcaya with Capt. Jeff Galman of the American Army as the appointed Lt. Governor of Ifugao. The administrative division of Ifugao in 1918 showed that its three municipalities were only Kiangan, Banaue and Mayoyao. The territorial jurisdiction of Kiangan in 1918 covered the present areas of Hungduan, Tinoc, Lagawe and Lamut. Executive Order No. 6, series of 1921, placed Burnay and Hungduan out of Kiangan to become the 4th and 5th municipalities of Ifugao. Executive Order No. 33, series of 1923 made Hungduan a municipal district including all the areas of the present day Tinoc.
The main thrust of the American Regime was the development of natural resources. Schools and roads were constructed using the old Spanish Trails.
During the last stages of World War II during the Japanese Occupation, Hungduan was the center of warfare. The mighty Japanese Imperial Army led by the Tiger of Malaya, General Tomoyoki Yamashita, entrenched themselves at Mt. Napulawan. To flush him out, the combined American and Filipino forces used bombs, leading to the destruction of rice terraces, irrigation canals and massive evacuation of the people most of whom died of hunger and diseases. Hungduan’s population of more than 14,000 inhabitants were reduced to around 3,340 after the war.
In 1939, Hungduan was created as an administrative unit together with Burnay, Lagawe out of the administrative unit of Kiangan. Later after the war, the municipal districts of Lamut and Alfonso Lista (formerly Potia) were created.
On June 25, 1963, Hungduan, together with other municipal districts were converted into regular municipalities under Executive Order No. 42. The municipality of Hungduan then was composed of 15 barangays, namely: Poblacion, Abatan, Ahin, Binablayan, Danggo, Gumhang, Maggok, Tinoc, Tucucan, Wangwang, Ap-apid, Bangbang, Impugong, Luhong and Eheb.
On March 16, 1982 under Batas Pambansa Bilang 184, the municipality of Tinoc was created out of some barangays of Hungduan and Banaue. Later under Batas Pambansa Bilang 327 dated January 19, 1983, the barangays of Hapao, Bokiawan, Nungulunan and Lubo-ong out of Banaue and Tinoc were transferred to Hungduan while only 4 of the original barangays were retained by Hungduan.
Today, with the inclusion of barangay Baang, a newly created barangay out of Hapao and Nungulunan, the municipality has 9 barangays, namely: Abatan, Baang, Bangbang, Bokiawan, Hapao, Lubo-ong, Maggok, Nungulunan and Poblacion.
The municipality's leaders were: Duyapat (1903), Bumillibil, Kindipan of Maggok, Pugong of Habangan, Bumangabang, Dulnuan Camhol, Andrew Binwag (1935), Vicente Patawig (1938), Melicio Napdawan (1941-1945), Cabbigat Pugong (1946), Fernando Nicod-am (1947-1948), Ponciano Dulnuan (1949), Pawid Tumitit (1950-1953), Ernesto Nicod-am (1954-1956), Manuel Buyayo, Sr. (1957-1963), Pait Buyuccan (1964-1967), Lopez Pugong (1967-1975), Honorio Dulnuan (1975-1979), Lopez Pugong (1980-1983), Anacleto Bonayao (1983-1986), Alipio Mondiguing (1986-1987), Manuel Dumulag (1987-1988) and Felipe Lacbawan, Sr. (1988-1992). From 1992 to the present (1999), the municipality is under the leadership of Mayor Andres Dunuan, Sr.
Hungduan is located in the hinterlands of western Ifugao. It is bounded on the west by Mountain Province, on the south by the municipality of Tinoc, on the east by the municipality of Kiangan and on the north by the municipality of Banaue.
Hungduan has a total land area of 13,394.70 has. spread over 9 barangays. The existing land use of the municipality indicates that the dominant land use is woodland consisting of 4 major types of forest, namely: dipterocarp forest, pine forest, mossy/sub-marginal and brushland. The major types are followed by grassland and other open areas with the least which is agricultural land. Agricultural land areas are composed mostly of terraced riceland planted with rice and other crops.
The move of the municipality to declare Mt. Napulawan as a national park will preserve the mountain’s scenic and significant landscape from the pressures of man’s activities converting forest lands into agricultural lands for livelihood.
The physical features of the municipality is generally characterized by steep mountainous terrain dissected by v-shaped gullies, creeks, streams and rivers that serve as drainage system down to the Ibulao River of Lagawe.
Mountain peaks also abound in the municipality with Mount Napulawan as the highest with an elevation of 2,298 meters above sea level. Mount Polis on the north of the municipality towers at 2,010 meters above sea level and Mount Puloy which is located in barangay Maggok is 1,395 meters above sea level. These mountains are rich in forest products and the lower slopes are conducive to planting fruit trees, such as citrus, coffee, bananas and root crops. At the foot of these mountains are irrigated rice terraces which are the source of the staple food of the municipality.
The municipality has a temperate climate. It has a short dry season lasting for 3 months starting from the early part of January until late April. The wet season starts from May and lasts until late December. The municipality is one of the coolest places in the province with Lubo-ong as its coolest barangay.
The mineral resources being substantially utilized in the municipality are construction materials such as concrete aggregates from crushed volcanic rocks from landslides along roadcuts in the vicinity of the Hapao fault. As per additional data from the Ifugao Terraces Commission, the presence of possible gold, copper and geothermal resources has been confirmed, west of the Hapao River, from Mt. Polis to Mt. Napulawan.
Of their origin, the people of Hungduan claim a direct descent from the deities of the skyworld. In the Ifugao “Baki”, it is related how Wigan of the skyworld dropped his son Cabbigat and 2 daughters named Bugan and Inuke on the fertile valley of Kiangan so that they would be the first parents of the people to occupy the then unpopulated Ifugao land.
The people of Hungduan belong to one of the 3 major sub-groups of Ifugaos, the “Tuwali”. The other sub-groups are Ayangan and Kalanguya. The sub-grouping was based on the dialects spoken by the people. The Tuwali in Hungduan are further subdivided into 3 groups: Ipakawol, Ilinge and Ihapo. The Ipakawols are mostly found in Gode, Maggok, Abatan and Poblacion. The Ilinges inhabit Bangbang while the Ihapos occupy Hapao, Baang, Nungulunan, Bokiawan and Lubo-ong.
The Hungduan people have their own customs and traditions, folkways and taboos which are the bases of all laws. These laws are basically emphasized on rites and rituals. Accordingly, they claim origin of their behavior and mental patterns to the “ways of the gods” which their ancestors taught and handed down from generation to generation. As such, almost all of their daily activities are intertwined with rites and rituals in reverence to the gods and ancestors who interceded for them.
Hungduan has a population of 9,491, a total number of households of 1,773 with an average household size of 5.35 and a population growth rate of 5.17 based on the years 1990-1995. Among the barangays, Hapao is the most populated with 2,230 and it has the most number of households with 381. Abatan is the least populated with 737 and has the least number of households with 130.
Majority of the land in Hungduan serve the food production needs of the people thus making it the municipality’s major agricultural resources and the people’s source of livelihood. Because of this, people are tightly attached to their land and its values as handed down from generation to generation. The land is their second life, without it, life is meaningless. The destruction of dikes or water canals, irreparable rice terraces, and unproductive soil, spell hunger for the family who resorts to migration in other areas to seek other sources of livelihood. One of the causes in the notable decrease of the municipality’s population after the war is due to the massive destruction of rice fields including their water sources and dikes which led to the people’s migration.
People carved the mountains into terraces for rice fields, cleared patches of land in the mountains for their “habal” (swidden farms) and vegetable gardens. They used every available space in the terraces for their “tinu-ol” (garden patch) and fish ponds. Small vacant spaces in the corners or middles of terraces serve as potential sites for planting vegetables such as string beans, onions, pechay, cabbage, and garlic. Their backyards or “bintawan” are planted with vegetables, fruit trees and other root crops.
The land is complemented by the forest which yields products for human consumption, house construction, and agricultural use. It is the source of water, firewood, lumber, and rattan for basket weaving. Communal forests serve also as hunting grounds (“punanopan”) for the community. A hunting ground is located on top of most of the mountains.
Typically, a mountain is subdivided into levels to serve different purposes. The top level remains forested and serves as hunting grounds. The second level from the top is the location of the swidden farms or “habal” which lay adjacent with the “muyong”. The rice terraces are located on the lower levels.
The main agricultural engagement of the people resulted in the evolution of their agricultural calendar consisting of 12 months, namely: Letong, Bihbih, Luya, Upun, Lodona, Bakako, Kitkit, Manaba, Ohyab, Dawe, Okal and Kamadulong. They also have units of measurement using bundles of rice. For example, 50 bundles - hindalan, 25 bundles - nang-hinhongol and 200 bundles - hin-upo.
Before planting in the habal or swidden farm, the face of the moon is a primary consideration. Accordingly, there is a connection between its size and a productive harvest. If the people plant when the moon is small, there is a tendency for a meager harvest. Planting is done when the moon faces the east and rises in the late evening. During full moon, planting is also not done. It is believed that the coordination between the sun and the moon affects the weather which consequently affects the fruit of plants. Proper observance of the size of the moon and its position makes sure the weather does not become too dry, leading to the plants death, nor too rainy because a very wet soil makes the sweet potato vines robust but its fruits will be rotten or odorous unfit for human consumption. A good fruit is grown from soft soil resulting from good sun and moon coordination. Moreover, a woman is also allowed to plant at the time the face of the moon is the same when she was born.
Ricefields are maintained by using only organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are produced through composting of rice stalks and weeds and grasses from cleaning the fields before planting and from young rice plants and weed cleanings from stonewalls. The grasses are directly buried to decay in the rice ponds. “Kaw-i” is the term for this practice. To ensure an abundant harvest, women are prohibited after planting from eating hot food lest the plants will die or touching the chicken coop because rats will smell and eat the rice plants.
Other livelihood sources in the municipality include woodcarving, blacksmithing and other handicrafts. Others engage in trade and industry.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest