Calanasan, Apayao

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Map of Apayao showing the location of Calanasan
Map of Apayao showing the location of Calanasan
Calanasan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 18°15′N 121°02′E / 18.250°N 121.033°E / 18.250; 121.033Coordinates: 18°15′N 121°02′E / 18.250°N 121.033°E / 18.250; 121.033
Country Philippines
Region Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Province Apayao
District Lone District
Founded June 25, 1963
Barangays 20
 • Mayor Elias K. Bulut Sr. (Nacionalista Party)
 • Vice Mayor Martin Lucero B. Lawat (Nacionalista Party)
 • Total 1,256.15 km2 (485.00 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 11,568
 • Density 9.2/km2 (24/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3814
Dialing code 74
Income class 1st class

Calanasan (formerly known as Bayag, meaning “slow”) is a first class municipality in the province of Apayao, Philippines. Its land area is 125,615 hectares (310,400 acres), making it the largest municipality in the province. Calanasan is the source of the Apayao River which empties into the China Sea and is the only navigable river in Apayao.

History and Government[edit]

Venoversergh (1952-42) accounted for the first recorded glimpse of the natives when Fr. Jose Marin crossed the Apayao border and made mention of the river settlers Calanasanes (Calanasan) and Kabugaoanes (Kabugao) in 1874. The discovery of these natives was brought to the attention of the Spanish colonial authorities. Spanish expeditions were then sent, but to no avail because of the resisting natives. Thus, the Mengal structure ensued. This structure is headed by a Mengal, or one who is the wisest or had the most number of heads taken, or had led a victorious headtaking activity. His word was the law. The mightiest Mengal would exact loyalty from neighboring settlers who were conquered. Since Bayag (Calanasan) turned out to be formidable due to its greater population, nearby settlers succumb to it. There were the settlers from Kabugaoan and other settlers downstream. When Bayag forged friendship for economic reasons, practically all the eastern and western settlers yielded except for Bulo and Langgangan.

When a Commandancia was put up in Kabugaoan (under Calanasan territory already) in 1891, the Calanasan political system was recognized and supervision was under Laoag Ilocos Norte. The Isnegs, being closer to Ilocos Norte and for economic reasons, heeded the government authorities of Ilocos Norte as they periodically reported to Piddig for political affairs. Due to the long distance that the local officials had to hike in attending the regular meeting, their late attendance caused them to be named “Bayag” meaning “slow”.

The greatest known Mengal was Antonio Dalangan. The Bunot Administration from 1936 up to the Martial Law in 1972 brought out many changes. In 1957, Calanasan under the ancients, Alet and Agbayat forged truce with the Bulo people. On June 25, 1963, Calanasan became a regular municipality under Executive Order No. 42. dated June 25, 1963, Republic Act No. 4989 during the presidency of his Excellency Diosdado Macapagal. Changed its present name Bayag to its old name Calanasan. Elias K. Bulut succeeded Pedro Bunot when his term was already lapse.

Calanasan is under the administration of Perfecto D. Marrero from 1992 to 1998. Elias C. Bulut Jr. who won the 1998 election succeeded Marrero from 1998-2001. Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang (2001-2010) who won three term as a First Female Mayor for the 2001,2004 and 2007 election. Elias K. Bulut Sr.(2010–present) made his come back and won the 2010 and 2013 election as an unopposed candidate.


The municipality is 607 kilometres (377 mi) north from Manila and located in the north-western part of Apayao bordering the municipalities of Sta. Praxedes and Claveria of the province of Cagayan in the north, and in the west the municipality of Adams and Carasi, municipality of Solsona in the south-west of the province of Ilocos Norte, while on the south by the municipality of Kabugao, and on the east by the municipality of Luna and some part of the municipality of Kabugao in the province of Apayao.

The town’s topography or slope is predominantly rugged and mountainous with sporadic flood plains and plateaus. The municipality cradles the larger part of the Apayao-Abulog watershed area as the main source of streams that fills the mighty river which originates from the municipality.

Calanasan has two pronounced seasons, the dry and the wet seasons. The dry season starts in the latest part of December and ends in the middle part of June. The wet season starts in July and ends in the middle part of December. The hottest month is May and rainfall is heaviest in August while strong typhoons usually occur within the period of August to October and the December used to be the coolest month.


Calanasan is politically subdivided into 20 barangays:[2]

  • Butao
  • Cadaclan
  • Langnao
  • Macalino
  • Naguilian
  • Namaltugan
  • Poblacion (Capital town)
  • Sabangan
  • Santa Filomena
  • Tubongan
  • Tanglagan
  • Sta. Elena
  • Don Roque Ablan Sr.
  • Eleazar
  • Eva garden
  • Kabugawan
  • Parina
  • Ferdinand(Lubong)
  • Ninoy Aquino(Tubang)


In 1874, Fr. Jose Marin crossed the Apayao border and made the first recorded glimpse of the Calanasanes river settlers.

The municipality was created as a regular municipality pursuant to Executive Order # 42 dated June 25, 1963, by then President Diosdado Macapagal, used to be a barrio of the District of Piddig, Ilocos Norte, popularly known as “Bayag” termed by the district government due to the usual late attendance of barrio officials to meetings called by the mother district.

On June 17, 1967, the Republic Act No. 4980 was enacted which changed the name of the municipality of Bayag to Calanasan.


Population census of Calanasan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 10,699 —    
1995 11,679 +1.66%
2000 12,806 +1.99%
2007 9,663 −3.81%
2010 11,568 +6.77%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]

Calanasan is dominated by Isnag Tribe, living with them is the Ilocanos, Igorots and Kalingas. The main dialects of the people are the Isnag and the Ilocano.


Economic activity in the municipality is based on agricultural production like farming and fishing and livelihood activities like basketry, soft broom making and furniture making.

The municipality has no level lands for extensive rice production except in northern part of the municipality. The total land area devoted to agriculture is 45.316 hectares in which total land area irrigated is 2,347.49 hectares. Its produce are to include coffee, corn, root crops, peanuts and other legumes, banana, pineapple and some vegetables.


The town is gifted with vast variety of wild flora and fauna which contributes to its eco-tourism potential. It is also blessed with beauty of nature which yCalanasans are very proud to have maintained and preserved. The town is surrounded with virgin forests, cascading and gigantic waterfalls, and crystal clear rivers.

Potential tourist attractions in Calanasan are the following:

  • Apayao River - Poblacion, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Girgirra’ Falls - Ninoy Aquino, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Ziwanan River - Cadaclan, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Maxibab Falls - Sta. Filomena, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Carmella Falls - Eva, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Pisong Lake - Calanasan, Apayao
  • Danao Lake - Sitio Danao, Poblacion, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Purit Cave - Calanasan, Apayao
  • Bantay Malingudu - Poblacion, Calanasan, Apayao
  • Agamata National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary - near the Ilocos Norte boundary, was established in the remote area of sharp peaks and plateaus. This undeveloped area, with pine stands, lush vegetation and mossy forest, affords a panoramic view of Ilocos Norte and Laoag City on the west. It is ideal for hiking, camping, nature tripping and bird watching.
  • Blue Haven
  • Mt. Kilang


  • Sinandila/Sinursor Festival and Pippiru' Festival(Boat Racing) - every third week of March
  • Calanasan Town Fiesta - celebrated every March which is coming together of the people of CALANASAN, The month-long activities highlights the Agro-Industrial and trade fair which showcase the different products of Calanasan and Highlights also the Sports fest, Calanasan got Talent and the Street Dance Competition together with most awaited part the "Search for Miss Dam-ag naya Calanasan".
  • Say-Am Festival - is a feast featuring and ushering the traditional way of Isnag's thanksgiving to the Higher Supreme unseen being called "ALAWAGAN" executed and commence through rituals spiced with pep songs, native chants and dances called the "TALIP" and "TAD-DO". The holding and celebration of Say-am in the older days connotes status - that the family is respectable and well-to-do. It is Celebrated every third week of March.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: APAYAO". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

External links[edit]