Long before the issuance of the Royal Decree which officially detached BAGGAO as a barrio of Amulung on November 27, 1896, the place has already became famous as a hunting ground.

Old folks recount that the IBANAGS who frequently hunted in the locale, used to wash their catch in a big mud hole before taking them home which they called “ABBAGAOAN”. This “abbaggaoan” an Ibanag word, meaning a place to wash, became a noted landmark for hunters from which the name of the municipality was eventually derived.                

 With the formal creation of Baggao as a separate municipality, Rev. Fr. Pedro Vicandi, O.P. who was then the Parish Priest of the area, was designated officer-in-charge of the town. His chapel, and at the same time, the town hall consisted of a shack made of bamboo and cogon built atop a hill one kilometer southeast of the old municipal building. However, the old municipal building was razed by fire by lawless elements in 1985. On April 18, 1899, Fr. Vicandi fled the area when Col. Daniel Tirong, under Gen. Emilio E. Aguinaldo visited the town and put to flame the friar's shanty. However in September 1899, when civil order was finally restored, Don Rafael Catolico took over as the first mayor of the New “Pueblo Civil”.              

For more than 85 years since it was separated from its mother town of Amulung, the seat of the Municipal Government of Baggao has been at Centro or Poblacion. In 1899, when Don Rafael Catolico took over as the first mayor of the new “Pueblo Civil” there were 5,051 inhabitants living in sparce settlements. The communities given the official status as a barrio were those immediately surrounding the Poblacion. Most of the barangays, now established upstream were merely patches of forest clearings barely making the requirements of becoming a full-fledge barrio.  

However, with the continuous influx of immigrants from other towns and provinces, new communities sprouted continuously moving further northeastward to the more fertile expanse of this virgin municipality. As of today there are already 48 barangays settled by 85 percent of the more than 66,264 inhabitants along the north-eastern portion of Baggao.

 The Poblacion or Centro founded a century ago became snail-paced in terms of development. Basing on the context of “ripple effect” approach of development, the site of the municipal government of Baggao became misplaced and unstrategically located as its pivotal role of development. The townsite, in fact, has caused an upsurge of factionalism and a desire of the people to split the municipality into two.          

In so doing, the Municipal Development Council arrived at a general consensus of selecting SAN JOSE, the most progressive barangay of the town, as the next seat of the municipal government of Baggao.                                                         

Hence in 1985, public hearings led by the late Mayor Virgilio G. Herrero were conducted throughout the different barangays of Baggao where 85 percent of the population expressed their support to the move. So, in a session conducted by the Sangguniang Bayan of Baggao, the members passed a resolution transferring the site of the seat of municipal government of Baggao from the old Poblacion to barangay San Jose.

Land Area and Municipal Boundaries

     The determination of the extent of local municipal jurisdiction is at present an issue which is a cause of conflict between its neighboring municipalities of Peñablanca and Gattaran. Based from existing records, the municipality has a total land area of approximately 92,060 hectares or about 11 percent of the total 900, 270 hectares land area of the province of Cagayan. This total land area is divided among the 48 barangays. Where and how this figure was generated is unclear although this is already the basis for the computation of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the municipality.

What is critical at present is the determination of the municipal boundary at Peñablanca. Some areas of Baggao is being claimed by Peñablanca - particularly Sitio Bayan. Based from the Atlas of the Philippines printed in July 16, 1959 and the Administrative Map of NAMRIA, Barangay Bayan is within the municipal jurisdiction of Baggao. In fact this was reflected in the 1988 Town Plan of Baggao. In 1998, when the Forest Land Use Plan was prepared through the assistance of DENR, the area at Bayan was no longer reflected in the base map of Baggao, which was also carried when the Comprehensive Land Use Plan was prepared in 1999. When the updating of the CLUP was done in 2007, the same areas of Sitio Bayan in Peñablanca and some areas in Gattaran, which are the subject of boundary conflicts, were included in the map for planning purposes, pending resolution of the dispute. Using GIS software, the area derived was 100, 294.70 hectares.

It may usefully be noted that in response to the need to seek authorities ruling on the issue of political boundaries, the MPDC office made representations with DENR during the updating of this Comprehensive Land Use Plan. In September 2004, the CENRO-DENR personnel based in Alcala, Cagayan assisted the MPDO staff in the preparation of a new base map of Baggao reflecting the actual municipal boundaries of Gattaran and Peñablanca. While the plotted municipal boundary is “not official”, the planning team was forced to adopt this new base map for planning purposes pending resolution of this case. It should be noted that while the actual measurement of municipal land area and boundaries is a technical task, boundary disputes is essentially a political and legal matter. The Local Government Code of 1991 recognizes this thorny issue and proposed ways of settling such controversy. Resolution of this boundary dispute however is deemed critical.


a. Rainfall 
The climate of Baggao falls under the radii of the  third type of climate according to CORONAS classification.
Climate is defined to be not very pronounced. It is relatively dry from January to April and wet during the rest of the year. The maximum rain period are not very pronounced with the short dry season lasting only from one to three months.
Rainfalls are mostly brought in by the occurrence of typhoons and the rest by monsoon rains. Highest average
rainfall as gleaned from PAGASA climatological data for five years (1999 – 2003) was in the month of September with 291.530mm water. Lowest rainfall was in the month of April with 38.06mm water.
          b. Temperature
According to PAGASA, the highest mean temperature for Baggao is 29.10  °C with the highest temperature
prevailing during the month of June. The month of December registered the lowest mean temperature of 24.60 °C. This indicates that Baggao experiences the hottest weather during the month of April to May while the coolest months of the year are usually from December to February.
          c.  Humidity
The month of December registered the highest percentage of mean relative to humidity while the lowest mean
relative humidity occurred during the month of February as observed by the Aparri PAGASA station.

Topography, Drainage and Physiography
 The municipality of Baggao is composed of a mixed topography of plains and valley, hills and mountains. The lowland areas along the Pared, Paranan, Intal, Asinga, Taguntungan and Fulay Rivers are level and the surrounding landscapes are hilly and mountainous. These areas are dissected by rivers and numerous creeks and gullies. Accumulated run0off drains the western half portion through these waterways and the eastern half portion of the area by the rivers and tributaries of main streams that flows to the Pacific Ocean further east.
Other landscape features within the municipality are small elbow lakes or intermittent ponds sporadically found in the western and central portions of the municipality and which occupies a minimal .02 percent of the total land area of the municipality


Baggao is generally a mountainous municipality. There are 7,927.56 hectares or 7.90 percent of the total land area of 100,294.70 hectares has a slope of 50 percent and above. Steep areas are sporadically scattered along the eastern, north central and south central portions of the municipality which occupies an aggregate area of approximately 8,494.20 hectares representing 8.47 percent of the total land area of the municipality. Rolling to moderately   steep  occupies  20,827.17  or  20.77 percent  while undulating to  rolling  has  an  aggregate area of 25,999.12 or 25.92 percent. Gently sloping occupies 15,507.01 or 15.46 percent while plains or flat areas generally located at the central portion of the municipality occupies an area of 21,539.64 hectares or 21.48 percent to total land area.

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