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    Community Profile of Sayangan, Kibungan, Benguet Essay

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    Kibungan is a 4th class municipality in the province of Benguet, Philippines. It is situated 62 kilometers north of Baguio City, near Atok, Kapangan, and La Union. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 15,700 people in 2,949 households. Kibungan is politically subdivided into 7 barangays namely Badeo, Lubo, Madaymen, Palina, Poblacion, Sagpat, and Tacadang. Kibungan didn’t have a name until the American Regime. It is said that Americans, upon reaching a vicinity got curious with the place they were in, asked the natives of the place’s name.

    Upon inquiry, a female monkey swung through the stretched vines nearby. The natives, thinking that the American’squestion was referring to the monkey, replied “kibengen” (the Kankana-ey term for a female monkey). The Americans called it Kibungan as a consequence of the difficulty in pronouncing “kibengen”. Topography Kibungan is popularly known in the province as the “Switzerland of Benguet” because of its pine trees and rocky mountains. Deep ravines and cliffs separate and isolate many of its sitios and some of its seven barangays.

    Although some plateaus, hills and small valleys can be seen in the locality, Kibungan is dominantly mountainous. Aside from its beautiful mountains and century-old rice terraces, Kibungan has many rivers and streams. Waterfalls on high cliffs decorate the mountains especially on rainy days. Many streams contribute to the formation of three big rivers that join the Amburayan River in Kapangan and eventually drain to the South China Sea. The streams and rivers are rich with shrimps, ells and other fishes that can thrive only in the mountains.

    Hot springs are also found at the foot of some mountains. The municipality is within the cool highland mountainous zone with elevations at more than 2,500 meters above sea level. Generally, the slope is more than 18°. During its coolest months of December and January, Barangay Madaymen experiences chilling temperatures of 0° centigrade, causing the famous “Snow of Madaymen. ” The wet season is experienced from June to October and the dry months are from November to May. History Available historical records show that the municipality of Kibungan is one of he original thirty one (31) “Rancherias” of “Distrito de Benguet” during the Spanish Regime. Distrito de Benguet was one of the Mountain Region organized into six “Commandancias Politico Militar” which was established by a Spanish Commandant named Don Guillermo de Galvey in November 25, 1864. When the Americans came, the Philippine Commission of the first Philippine Civil Government enacted Commission Act No. 48 on November 22, 1900, which led to the organization of local civil governments in the formerly organized Spanish Rancherias into townships with appointed leaders called “Presidentes”.

    From 1945 to 1952, the municipal officials were informally elected through a process involving names of colors assigned to the candidates. The formal election of municipal officials started in 1953 through secret balloting. This process was carried up to the present. There were 19 townships that constituted the Province of Benguet up to the time when Benguet was a sub-province of Mountain Province on August 18, 1909. The enactment of Commission Act No. 2877 on February 4, 1920 brought the abolition and merging of townships and sub-provinces plus, reducing the sub-province of Benguet into thirteen (13) towns.

    In 1938, the thirteen towns were later renamed into thirteen Municipal Districts. About 97% of the inhabitants of Kibungan are Kankana-eys, but other tribes like Ibalois, Bontocs, Pangasinan, Tagalogs etc. are now found in the municipality. The people of Kibungan still celebrate the “canao” or the butchering of animals for the tribal feastings with songs and dances. This was practiced long before and even after the American Regime started formal education in the country. Sayangan, Lubo, Kibungan

    The Pegpeg clan, the first settlers of the place, called it Lubo as a reference to the place’s muddy characteritics. “Lubo” in Kankana-ey dialect is a term used to describe a piece of land where the feet are easily tripped and stucked. On the other hand, some people claim that “Lubo” came from the Kankana-ey word “libuo” meaning fog. This, then again, is due to the foggy characteristic of the place. Farming was productive in the area thus many people were attracted to settle in Lubo. As time passed, the term “lubo” when coined to “manlibo” means a lot of people. Sayangan” in the Kankana-ey dialect literally means “a place stricken by the first rays of the sun”. it had earned its name Sayangan for its incredibly lofty elevation made it possible to be first reached by sunlight. Sayangan is used as a collective term for nine sitios. These sitios are Sayangan Proper, Baybaykan (which means a place turned to rice fields), Degway (from an indigenous mountain fruit, Gasal (from a sandy land not fit for planting), Nagawa (a place where the surrounding areas are farmed leaving the center untilled), Panga, Salipang, Tollibeng, and Tolmod.

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