The Municipality of Ambaguio is a relatively young political subdivision, having been created only on June 18, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4735 that separated barrios and sitios, namely, Poblacion Ambaguio, Daclig, Buag, Camaon, Maingit, Bagabay, Saual, Alimgan, Banol, Dadan, Labang, Dolle, Labbik, Salingsingan, Puspus, Pullaam, Tiblak, Nilayaan, Yugao, Dappay, and Akab, from the Municipality of Bayombong, a major local government unit of Nueva Vizcaya which, according to archives, was ruled over by the native Gaddangs since pre-Spanish colonial period. The newly separated territories of Bayombong were constituted by the said Law into a distinct and independent municipal district known as Municipal District of Ambaguio, Province of Nueva Vizcaya. The territories were reconstituted later into eight barangays, now known as Ammoweg, Camandag, Dulli, Labang, Napo, Poblacion, Salingsingan, and Tiblac. The young town’s name was derived from the Ibaloi word “Bagiw”, meaning moss that’s prevalently found on the barks of trees, rocks, stones, and topsoil in the area. The inhabitants agreed to call the place “Ambaguio” which means “Land of Mosses”, or “Like Baguio” since its climate is quite similar to that City in Benguet.
Barangay Ammoweg: It traces its name from an inclined tree in the area that has a huge trunk and branches with spherical-shaped and pointed-tip leaves. It was called “Ammoeg” by the wandering Kalanguya food hunters from Hulungan, Ifugao in the 1950s who sought shelter from the rain inside the cave or hollow space of the tree’s trunk.
Barangay Camandag: The name of this barangay that lies near the boundary of Asipulo, Ifugao and Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya comes from the Kalanguya word “Kamanhanhandag”, which means “Leaning backwards in a sitting position”. It is based on the story of an indigenous hunter from another place who reclined on the trunk of a big shade tree to get some rest after eating a sumptuous meal of roasted wild pig that he had just hunted in the place.
Barangay Dulli: The barangay was then one of the places in Ambaguio where wild animals abound which attracted Kalanguya and other IP hunters from Ifugao and nearby Provinces. The place was named after the insect Cicada or “Dulli-Dulli” in the Kalanguya language. It was said that the insect was a problem among the hunters because of the deafening sound that it produces which overwhelms those of their hunting dogs and the animals that they were hunting.
Barangay Labang: The barangay’s name was derived from the appreciative comment of the Isinai visitors of the place’s purok leader who saw the latter’s wild pig catch of the day, sometime in 1950, i.e., “Oh the pig is ‘Labang’, what a beautiful color combination!”
Barangay Napo: The word “Napo” comes from the Kalanguya statement, “Lugad ni na-po i Mannapo”, which means “The place where “Mannapo ferns were exhausted.” The mountainous place was then thickly forested and ferns, called by the Kalanguya settlers as “Mannapo”, abound. The continuing influx of migrants caused the massive diminution of the species. The trunks of this large fern species were used by the inhabitants as posts for their houses because they don’t rot easily and, therefore, last for years.
Barangay Poblacion: The barangay used to be called Ambaguio, but with the passage of Republic Act No. 4735 on June 18, 1966, it was renamed as Poblacion because of its central geographical position vis-a-vis the other barangays.
Barangay Salingsingan: This place used to be frequented by fierce headhunters forcing Kalanguyas and other migrating IPs from nearby provinces to move from one place to another. It is in this area, particularly Sitios Buttigi and Tuplac, where the tree, called by the Kalanguyas as “Halinghingan”, was endemic. The place was first called by this Kalanguya word, but eventually changed to “Salingsingan” which was easier for lowlanders to pronounce.
Barangay Tiblac: According to officials and old residents, their barangay’s name was derived from “Tiblak”, an Ifugao-Kalanguya term for a small white mushroom that grows from decaying trees during the rainy season, and is described as being easily crushed and crumbly.
Municipal Socio-Economic Profile of Ambaguio (Courtesy of Ambaguio-MPDO)
Socio-Economic Profiles of the Barangays of Ambaguio (Courtesy of Ambaguio-MLGOO, DILGNV)
Republic Act No. 4735