History and Government
In the olden days, folklore has it that Bangan had a garden full of banana plants surrounding her house, whose golden ripe fruits emitted delicious pleasing scents - enough to cause one’s gullet to convulse, in anticipation of swallowing the sweet, savory thing. It happened that a stranger arrived in Pongadan one day. This stranger wore a white robe and long beard that fluttered against his breast. Bangan on the other hand was at her garden where the stranger rested. When the stranger saw Bangan, he asked the village name. While asking, he gazed upon the tempting banana fruits. Not understanding what the stranger was saying, the maiden replied, “Saba nan Bangan” (Bangan’s banana). Upon hearing it, the stranger said, “It’s too long a name. Let’s cut it short to Sabangan”. Again, not understanding what the stranger was saying, the maiden replied, “Saba nan Bangan”. Upon hearing it, the stranger said, “It’s too long a name. Let’s cut it short to Sabangan.” Again, not understanding what the stranger said, the maiden just nodded. At this instance, the village people of Pongadan then changed the name to Sabangan coined from the word Saba nan Bangan, the perennial fruit now on sale by woman at sitio Nacagang, a barangay of Tambingan.
Before the division of the old Mountain Province, Sabangan was one of the municipal districts of the sub-province of Bontoc. It only became a regular municipality on July 25, 1963 under Executive Order No. 42.
The first known town mayor was Songuitan (one name) who died during his term due to a horse accident while on official travel to the municipality of Tadian. He was the town mayor from year 1916 to 1945. Songuitan was followed by: Ceferino Codiamat (1945-1946), Alejandro Dominguez (1946-1949), Constancio Velasco (1950-1952), Teofilo Pilando (1953-1955), Honario Dominguez (1956-1958), Alejandro Copicop (1959), Fernando Budod (1960-1963), Constancio Velasco (1964-1967), Fernando Budod (1968-1971), James B. Guidangen (1972-1979), Fruto M. Likigan (1980-1986), Teodoro M. Salupen (1986-1987), Marcial Lawilao, Sr. (1988-1992), Alfonso Budod, Sr. (1992-1995), Marcial L. Lawilao (1995-1998) and Alfonso P. Budod, the present mayor (1998-2001).
The municipality is politically subdivided into fifteen barangays grouped into four areas. Area I which is located in the northern side of the town comprises barangay Tambingan, Supang and Data. The central barangays of Lagan, Losad and Poblacion, located along the banks of the Chico River comprises Area II. Area III comprises barangay Pingad, Bun-ayan, Bao-angan, Camatagan and Gayang which are the upper barangays south of the town. Area IV comprises the southernmost barangays of Namatec, Busa, Capinitan and Napua which are all within the Bauko borders.
Sabangan is situated along the scenic view of the Chico River in the heart of Mountain Province and falls within the latitude of 120º 50" to 121º 00" and longitude of 16º 50" to 17º 5". It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of Sagada and Bontoc. On the east by the province of Ifugao and both on the south and the west by the municipality of Bauko.
Generally, Sabangan is very rugged and mountainous. About 86.58% of the total land area is of mountain and high hills and supposedly covered with forest.The highest elevation is at 652.0 meters above sea level located at the eastern part of Mount Kalawitan, the highest peak of the highest mountain in the municipality. The low elevation areas are found in barangay Tambingan, Supang and Poblacion.
The municipality has two pronounced seasons, dry and wet seasons. Dry season usually occurs from November to May and wet season occurs from June to October.
The people are generally of the Kankanaey tribe having kankanaey as the major dialect. They are characterized as hardworking, peace loving people and natural lovers of adventure, which explains their nomadic tendencies.
Per 1995 Census of Population, the municipality has a recorded population of 8,609, a total number of households of 1,596 with an average household size of 5 and a population growth rate of 1.19%.
Like the other municipalities, rice is the primary agricultural product in Sabangan. The crop is planted on terraces carved on mountain slopes where irrigation is feasible. Rice yield per hectare is estimated at 40 cavans or 2 tons a year.
Vegetable is another major product which is fast replacing rice as a major crop, particularly in the upland barangays. Other agricultural products are camote and other root crops, legumes, banana and coffee. The total land area devoted to these crops comprise 729 has. or 68.07% of land area currently used for agricultural purposes.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest