History and Government
During the early part of the American Regime, the municipality was not neglected in the drive to total conquest. To pursue the plan, a military expedition was sent to pioneer and establish a local government unit in the eastern part of Mountain Province. Long before, communities existing in this area were named by the inhabitants not by merging different communities but by puroks. The soldiers who were sent to this locality in order to solidify the different communities for political expediency had to give a name for the locality.
The usual practice of the people in the area was to eat rice cooked the previous evening the next day without heating. One morning, a soldier passed by the place and asked for the name of the place. As a gesture of hospitality, the resident who did not understand what the American soldier was asking, innocently answered “Natomnin”, meaning "come, let us have a breakfast of cold rice". The soldier was satisfied with the answer and immediately jotted the word “Natonin”, with a slight correction, i.e., removing the letter “M” for better pronunciation. Thereafter, "Natonin" was registered as the official name of the newly established municipal district.
The Philippine Constabulary Barracks Reservation was established where the first set of officers held their office. Madoli Gagen was appointed as the first president of the newly established municipality.
In 1988, John Bagsao was elected as the town’s mayor, succeeded by a female, Anastacia R. Sagel (1992-1998), and Rodolfo D. Liwanen (1998-2001).
Natonin has eleven barangays, namely: Alunogan, Balangao, Banao, Banawel, Butac, Maducayan, Poblacion, Pudo, Saliok, Sta. Isabel and Tonglayan. Pudo was a part of Alunogan until lately when it became a regular barangay. Poblacion is the site where most of the basic and social services, including the municipal hall, are found and where most of the economic activities are centered.
Natonin is a landlocked municipality with a total land area of 49,050 has. and located about 90 kilometers east of Bontoc, the capital town of Mountain Province and about 60 kilometers from Santiago City, Isabela. It is situated 121º 16.5" longitude and 17º 6.6" latitude.
The municipality is bounded on the north by the province of Kalinga, on the south by the province of Ifugao, on the east by the municipality of Paracelis, and on the west by the municipality of Barlig.
The topography is mountainous with thick woodland forests characterized by gradually sloping areas with some low hill areas.
The existing percentage distribution of land use in the municipality is as follows: built-up area 9,810 has. or 20%; agricultural 14,715 has. or 30%; grass/shrublands 4,905 has. or 10%; woodland/forest 18,884 has. or 38.50% and others are 736 has. or 1.5%. Agricultural lands which comprise 14,715 has. are mostly found on the mountain slopes usually terraced and irrigated. Woodlands or forests cover the biggest area encompassing 18,884 has. of the total municipal land area.
The climate in Natonin is of Type III, which is described as having two pronounced seasons, dry for three months at the most while the rest of the year is wet or rainy season. The average rainfall is registered at 1500 mm to 3000 mm.
The latest total population recorded by the National Statistics Office is 8,997. Its total number of households is 1,702 with an average household size of 5, and an annual population growth rate of negative 1.61%.
The municipality of Natonin is basically an agricultural area where farming is the primary source of livelihood of its inhabitants. It has a total land area of 49,050 hectares of which 14,715 hectares or 30% are devoted to agriculture. The farmer's main crop is rice. The rice terraces which are carved from the mountain slopes are planted and harvested twice while upland rice planted in kaingins are planted once. Other crops of the municipality include corn, vegetables, peanuts, root crops and fruits.
Agricultural production in the area is potentially high. However, due to crude agricultural practices, inadequacy of irrigation facilities and farm-to-market roads and technical assistance, production is not maximized.
As to livestock production, the municipality has no operational piggery nor poultry farms. There is backyard raising of chickens, pigs and ducks but solely for household consumption. Cattle production is also on a limited scale. Hence, the municipality occasionally suffers from a shortage of pork and meat supply.
Tourist Attraction and Place of Interest