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The municipality of Besao is believed to have derived its name from the Ilocano word “Buso” meaning headhunter. The people then of the neighboring towns specifically those from the Ilocos Region believed that the early “Besaos” were headhunters. The word later on evolved as it is now called – Besao.

Besao is presently composed of 14 barangays, namely: Agawa, Ambagiw, Banguitan, Besao West, Besao East, Catengan, Gueday, Kin-iway, Lacmaaan, Laylaya, Padangaan, Payeo, Suquib and Tamboan.

Tourist Destinations

1. The Stone Calendar of Gueday
2. The Besao Sunset
3. Mt. Mogao View Deck
4. Mt. Calvary
5. Baknda Rice Terraces
6. World War II “Fox Holes”
7. The Banao Lakes
8. Kit-kitaw-eng Falls

The History

Besao was originally part of Bagnen municipality. With the establishment of the old Mountain Province, it was absorbed by the sub-province of Lepanto. It finally attained its status as a separate municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 42 dated June 25, 1963.


Office of the Mayor
Bart P. Guzman (Municipal Mayor)

Sangguniang Bayan
Pablo S. Dicdican (Vice Mayor)

The People

The 1995 Census of Population shows that the municipality has a total population of 9,147 showing an increase of 7% compared to the 8,473 populaion as of 1990. The locality has a total of 1,760 households with an average household size of 5.

The Economy

Besao is one of the rice producing municipalities with the highest yield per hectare in the province. The municipal agricultural office estimates rice production at an average of 21 cavans of 1,045 kilograms per hectare. Still, the majority of the population are highly dependent on rice imported from other areas. Other agricultural crops produced are citrus fruits, banana, root crops, corn, and coffee.

Livestock popularly raised includes cattle, carabao, swine, chicken, ducks and other domestic animals. These animals are raised primarily for domestic consumption and for social and cultural purposes.

Financial Information

In July 1993, Besao was a sixth class municipality and in July 1996 it improved to fifth class. Its Internal Revenue Allotment shares from 1995 to 1999 are as follows:

YEAR IRA (in Peso) % Change over previous
1995 6,763,808.00  
1996 7,245,231.00 7.12
1997 9,574,910.00 32.15
1998 9,755,519.00 >1.89
1999 12,671,845.00 29.89

The Land

Besao lies at the westernmost part of Mountain Province. It is bounded on the North by Tubo, Abra, on the south by Tadian, on the East by Sagada and on the west by Quirino, Ilocos Sur. It is 28 kilometers away from Bontoc, the capital town of Mountain Province, and 150 kilometers away from Baguio City.

The municipality has a total land area of 19,020 hectares, the second smallest municipality in the province, comprising only of 4.3% of the total provincial land area. However, records of the municipality based on early cadastral surveys, the land area of the municipality is believed to be 38,265 hectares. The conflict in figures is due to the fact that the boundary dispute between Mountain Province and Abra remain unresolved up to the present time.

Besao is 100% forest land. Of the 9,020 hectares, 52.02% are classified as forest reserve, 25.95% are timber lands while 22.03% are unclassified forest.

There are two pronounced seasons in the municipality, wet and dry. The dry season normally occurs from January to April while the wet or rainy season lasts from May to December. Typhoons normally visit the area during the months of July, August and September. Due to temperature changes, monsoon rains last for weeks, resulting in damage to crops and properties.

One Response to “ Archive”

  1. Ruben Palengleng Says:

    Halu Ruben,

    Can you please send me your email add if u have. TY.


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