History and Government
In the olden Kalinga days when headhunting was a way of life and tribal wars were common, the people of northern Kalinga were prone to carrying out their headhunting trade in southern Kalinga. In this trade, headhunters in northern Kalinga had to cross a saddlelike portion of a mountain where a creek of ice water constantly flowed.
During these headhunting forays, a densely forested area was designated as the converging area for these warriors who came from different places. It was here where they decided how to attack a village. This same area was used as rendezvous after an attack since retreat was undertaken in all directions to mislead the enemy. While resting and waiting for their companions, these warriors would wash or in Kalinga “balbal” their weapons and themselves from the blood stains. Eventually, the creek including its vicinity came to be called “Balbalan”.
During the American occupation, Kalinga was divided into townships (municipal district) and one of these was Balbalan. Through the years, changes in the composition of the districts were initiated so that the site was transferred to the present site at Salegseg. The name Balbalan was named Balbalan Proper.
The fourteen barangays of the municipality are as follows: Ababa-an, Balantoy, Balbalan Proper, Balbalasang, Buaya, Dao-angan, Gawa-an, Mabaca, Maling, Pantikian, Poblacion (Salegseg), Poswoy, Talalang and Tawang.
Data for the past local chief executives is not available as of this writing except Edward Calumnag who was elected mayor in 1992. Rosendo Dakiwag was elected mayor for two consecutive terms from 1995 to 1998 and 1998 to 2001.
Balbalan is rugged tableland on the Cordillera Central Range that sprawls in a descending eastward direction, in massive mountain alluvial fashion. It has a total land area of 51,900 hectares and is approximately 70 kilometers away from the capital town of Tabuk. It has six prominent mountain peaks with altitudes ranging from 2,000 meters to 2,300 meters above sea level. It has two rivers, Saltan and Mabaca, with headwaters from the Cordilleras and tributaries drain cascading eastward to join the Chico River then the Cagayan River. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Conner, on the south by the municipality of Pasil, on the east by the municipality of Pinukpuk and the west by the province of Abra.
The climate prevailing in this area is classified under Type III characterized by a short dry season and a pronounced wet season. The dry season starts from the early part of January and lasts up to late part of May. The wet season starts from late part of May and ends up to late part of December.
A total of 5,432.35 hectares is devoted to agriculture of which 15.49 percent are ricefields, 4.26% are for orchard and the remaining 80.25% are devoted to diversified crafts.
Of the total ricelands, 882 hectares are irrigated and approximately 20 hectares are not. Agricultural products produced in the municipality are rice, coffee, rootcrops and vegetables of various kinds.
Minahang Bayan is the only registered mining industry in the locality. The Balbalasang Au-CU Prospect, Ma-atop Copper, and Sesec-an Pyrite are some prospects for the mining industry.
The 1995 Census of Population shows that Balbalan has a total population of 11,742. Population density is 4.42:1, meaning there is one person for every 4.42 hectares.
Ninety-nine percent of the population speaks Kalinga, the mother tongue, while the remaining 1% prefer Ilocano dialect. The major language spoken by the people of Balbalan is English as a result of education, marriage and trade. As reflected in the NSO survey, there are 70.6% who could speak English, while those conversant in Filipino are 30.4%.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest
By: DILG-CAR, Copyright 1999
Vol. I - Local Government Units