Sabtang, Batanes

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Island seascape
Island seascape
Official seal of Sabtang
Map of Batanes showing the location of Sabtang
Location within Batanes province
Sabtang is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 20°20′N 121°52′E / 20.33°N 121.87°E / 20.33; 121.87Coordinates: 20°20′N 121°52′E / 20.33°N 121.87°E / 20.33; 121.87
Country Philippines
Province Batanes
District Lone District
Barangays 6 (see Barangays)
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Maxilindo E. A. Babalo
 • Total 40.70 km2 (15.71 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 1,621
 • Density 40/km2 (100/sq mi)
 • Voter(2016)[4] 1,235
Demonym(s) Sabteño
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3904
IDD:area code +63 (0)78
Income class 6th class
PSGC 020905000

Sabtang, officially the Municipality of Sabtang (Filipino: Bayan ng Sabtang; Ilocano: Ili ti Sabtang), is a municipality in the province of Batanes in the Cagayan Valley (Region II) of the Philippines. The population was 1,621 at the 2015 census.[3] In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 1,235 registered voters.[4]

The southernmost island municipality of the Batanes island group, Sabtang comprises primarily Sabtang Island, as well as two nearby smaller and uninhabited islands: Ivuhos and Dequey. The municipality is known for its lighthouse and the old stone houses of the Ivatan villages of Chavayan and Savidug. Like Batan Island to the north, Sabtang also has a few Mission-style churches and white sand beaches.


The Spanish missionary Fr. Artiquez first visited the Island of Sabtang in 1786[5] after receiving an affirmative response from the island to learn about the Christian faith. The success of the first visit led to two more evangelical trips resulting in the baptism of 181 children and the study of the catechism among the adult natives. The evangelization of Sabtang was cut short due to the failing health of the Spanish missionaries. For this, the inhabitants of Sabtang remained faithful to old traditions especially in the administration of justice by vendetta and murder.[5]

In 1791, the then most powerful chief in Sabtang named Aman Dangat showed defiance of the government of Governor Joaquin del Castillo by killing the Spanish soldiers who went to Sabtang to procure supplies. Lieutenant Tomas Nuñez led the troops to capture the rebels. Aman Dangat was put to trial and admitted to the crime. He later on asked to be baptized. The inhabitants of Sabtang were then forced to resettle in San Vicente and San Felix in Ivana to be better supervised by the government.[5]

Some forty years after the resettlement, the Sabteños were allowed to visit their native island and gradually these visits allowed them to build homes in their erstwhile land. The government allowed this to happen on the condition that houses should be constructed in lowlands.[5] To sustain the spiritual care for the Sabteños, a new mission was opened in Sabtang in 1845 under the patronage of Saint Vincent Ferrer with Fr. Antonio Vicente as its first vicar. Fr. Antonio Vicente is credited to have built the Sabtang Church, together with a convent, a school, and a courthouse.[5]


Sabtang is located at 20°20′N 121°52′E / 20.33°N 121.87°E / 20.33; 121.87.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the municipality has a land area of 40.70 square kilometres (15.71 sq mi)[2] constituting 18.58% of the 219.01-square-kilometre- (84.56 sq mi) total area of Batanes.


Sabtang is politically subdivided into 6 barangays.[6]

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a.
2015[3] 2010[7]
020905001 Chavayan 9.7% 157 169 −1.39%
020905002 Malakdang (Poblacion) 14.4% 234 245 −0.87%
020905003 Nakanmuan 8.8% 142 134 1.11%
020905004 Savidug 12.4% 201 190 1.08%
020905005 Sinakan (Poblacion) 31.4% 509 552 −1.53%
020905006 Sumnanga 23.3% 378 347 1.64%
Total 1,621 1,637 −0.19%


Population census of Sabtang
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 1,763 —    
1918 1,665 −0.38%
1939 1,844 +0.49%
1948 1,656 −1.19%
1960 1,766 +0.54%
1970 1,359 −2.58%
1975 1,375 +0.24%
1980 1,409 +0.49%
1990 1,737 +2.12%
1995 1,434 −3.53%
2000 1,678 +3.43%
2007 1,465 −1.85%
2010 1,637 +4.12%
2015 1,621 −0.19%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][7][8][9]

In the 2015 census, Sabtang had a population of 1,621.[3] The population density was 40 inhabitants per square kilometre (100/sq mi).

In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 1,235 registered voters.[4]



  1. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Batanes". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Census of Population (2015). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "2016 National and Local Elections Statistics". Commission on Elections. 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e González Alonzo, Fr. Julio, O.P. (1966). "The Batanes Islands", in Acta Manilana, Manila: University of Santo Tomas Research Center
  6. ^ "Municipal: Sabtang, Batanes". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Province of Batanes". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 

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