History and Government
There were various ethnic groups who settled in Malibcong during the olden times. However, these settlers did not remain long in the area because of fierce fightings with other ethnic groups who wanted to occupy their territory. Their homes were built on mountaintops so that they could easily overlook and trace approaching enemies. Remains of old stonewalls are still found in some mountaintops abandoned by the Adasens and Illaod groups who moved to other settlements.
The foremost early settlers originated from the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao. They were the Banao, Mabaka, and the Gubang tribes with distinct dialects and traditions. Apparently however, the three were in relative peace and harmony, bound irrevocably by their common heritage and geography. To strengthen this spirit and amity, intermarriages were entered into and peace treaties contracted with other tribes. The peace treaty or “Bodong” which is known among various tribes in the entire Cordillera, operates for the maintenance of peaceful interrelations and a concerted defense against common enemies.
Banao leaders named the place “Liwang” which means "entrance" in the local dialect. Years later however, it was renamed Malibcong. The presence of gongs, old Tinguian necklaces, old jars and porcelains, clearly indicated that the early inhabitants of Malibcong were once engaged in trade either directly or indirectly with other countries. Even before the coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines, the early settlers had their own belief in God. They believed in “Kabunian” who is the father and creator of everything, the heaven and the earth.
In September 1960, Executive Order No. 1616 was issued, creating the municipality of Malibcong. It was formed from three districts: Mataragan, Bangilo and Malibcong.
From 1960, the mayors of Malibcong were: Santiago Camarao, Sr. (1960-1964), Ventura Angdasen (1964-1968), Mariano Casay (1968-1972), Agapito Molina (1972), Jose Agaid, (1972-1975), Solomon Dayag (1975-1979), Alfred Cuyupan (1979-1980), Augstin Bagaya (1980-1986), Francisco Elveña, Sr. (1986-1988), Joseph Duggay (1988-1992) and Benido Bacuyag (1992-1998). At present, the mayor is Mario Baawa.
Malibcong is presently composed of 12 barangays, namely: Malibcong, Binasaran, Taripan, Duldulao, Gacab, Dulao, Bayabas, Pacqued, Mataragan, Lat-ey, Buanao and Umnap.
Malibcong is the third largest municipality in the province having a total land area of 30,930 has. It is 71.65 kms. away from the capital town of Bangued, geographically located on the eastern side of the Central Cordillera Mountain Range. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Lacub, on the south by the municipalities of Licuan-Baay and Daguioman, and on the east by the province of Kalinga.
The terrain consists of rough and steep mountain lands, hilly lands, plain lands and deep valleys resembling a huge crude bowl with great mountains that stand as natural dividers. Among Malibcong's prominent peaks include: Mt. Pultok, Mt. Padocay, Mt. Balintawak, Mt. Buagan, Mt, Ticmo and Mt. Madimlong. Climate is characterized by two distinct pronounced seasons - the wet and the dry. The dry season occurs from November to April while the wet season occurs during the rest of the months of the year. Because of the municipality's vulnerability to the southwest monsoon, it is usually visited by tropical storms. Heavy rains usually occur in the months of July, August and September. The temperature is coldest during January and February.
The inhabitants of Malibcong are a mixture of different ethnic groups. Many are descendants of the Adasens and Illaod including the Banao, Mabaka, and Gubang tribes from the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao. Today, it is predominantly inhabited by Tinguian speaking people with 95% of the total population speaking Tinguian. In 1990, the municipality's population was 3,494 with a population growth rate of 1.2%. During the 1995 Census of Population, population increased to 3,870 or a percentage increase of 10.76%. Population growth rate slightly increased to 1.9%. Total number of households was at 709 with an average household size of 5.39. Among the barangays, Duldulao had the largest population with 407. Bayabas had the least with 202.
Of the municipality's total land area of 30,930 has., agricultural land is 13,650 has. or an equivalent of 44%. However, only 1.8% of the total agricultural area is cropland at 577.5 has. Out of the 577.5 has. cropland, 469 has. is irrigated with the remaining 108.5 has. being rainfed. Palay is the main crop with two cropping seasons. The first cropping starts from January with harvest time in the months of July or August. The second cropping starts from August with December as the harvest time. Livestock being raised include: carabao, cattle, goat, horse and poultry. Other sources of livelihood in the municipality are fishing and gold panning.