You are here: HomeAbout UsGroup1The MunicipalityThe Municipal History

The Municipal History

During the 15th century, Sarip Kabungsuan of Arabia, together with his ulamas, arrived in Kuta Wato and introduced Islam and Datuism as a way of life and government system respectively. Sarip Kabungsuan established himself as the first Sultan of Mindanao. Islam and Datuism developed the Maguindanaos, Maranaos, and other lumads who joined the ruling majority and bundled these different tribes into complete unity. When these Muslim tribes migrated to Buayan and to Malapatan through the sea, the native inhabitants, mostly Blaans, just went further inland. Among these Muslim migrants were Ang mang, Batil, Kabalo, Kompol, Lanang, Madiong, Pangolima, Saripa Datu, Singcoy, Suib, Toto and Tumbaga.

The word Malapatan was coined from two B’laan words mala (pepper) and fatan (place). It was noted that during this time pepper was abundant in the place. During the 16th century, the Spaniards conquered Luzon and Visayas, and forcibly converted inhabitants into Roman Catholicism. They established a government system patterned to other Spanish colonies in the American Continent and named these islands, including the independent Mindanao, as “Las Islas Filipinas” , in honor of King Philip of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish conquest in Mindanao was stubbornly resisted by the Muslim mujahidins and has not made any significant influence to the ruling Muslim inhabitants.

In the early part of the 20th century, the Americans came and overthrew the Spanish rule. The Americans made a great impact in Mindanao in their policy of attraction. This policy was implemented by creation of Christian settlements in Mindanao. In October of year 1914, Christians’ settlers from the Visayas led by Tranquilino Ruiz Sr. settled in Glan.  Five years later, some of these settlers migrated to the areas of Malapatan, particularly Lun Padidu and Lun Masla. Among those Christian settlers were Fidel Gagni, Policarpio Millona, Pedro Rodillas and Sergio Vargas.

During the succeeding years particularly in the fifties, Christian settlers mostly from the Visayas migrated to the areas of Malapatan. They occupied and cultivated the rich virgin lands. With the economic success these settlers acquired, it drew more and more Christian settlers into the place. However, the Blaans, who depended much of their daily sustenance with the natural environment, rapidly lost their economic stability due to the decreasing areas of natural agricultural and hunting ground.

On June 21, 1969, the Congress of the Philippines enacted House Bill No. 18291, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 5328, proclaiming the charter of Malapatan and separating itself from Glan, the mother municipality. It is composed of seven barangays, namely: Libi, Lun Masla, Lun Padidu, Poblacion, Sapu Masla, Sapu Padidu, and Tuyan.

On January 1, 1922, a few months before Martial Law was declared, the first set of elected officials were installed after they were elected by the populace. The election poll of November of 1971 made Pyang Singcoy as Municipal Mayor, Bonifacio Tatad as Municipal Vice Mayor, and Antonio Besena, Diego Alburo, Raymundo Millona, Mayang Lantingan, Mateo Santiago, Galileo Amistoso, Carmelino Rosa, and Alejandro Galvez  as Municipal Council Members.

On December of 1972, Daan Suyan and Kinam were created as barangays. The influx of migrants from Luzon and Visayas and their encroachment of the ancestral lands of the native inhabitants triggered an armed conflict whereby creating armed groups such as the Ilaga and Black Shirt. This armed conflict became a major hindrance in the development of the newly created municipality. The coming of the 1980’s softened the conflict and on March 14, 1985 Patag and Upper Suyan were created as regular barangays.

The EDSA Revolution of February of 1986 ousted the 14-year leadership of Pyang Singcoy. He was replaced by Esmael Andang, a retired police major and former chief of police of Malapatan.

The 21-month leadership of Esmael Andang awakened the communities on government administrative systems and developmental strategies, however, local revenue collection lowered. A local election was conducted nationwide and for 3 months from December of 1987 to January of 1988, Raymundo Lacorte was appointed as Caretaker of Malapatan.

On February 2, 1988, a new set of elected public officials were installed. The new election made Pyang Singcoy as Municipal Mayor again, Galileo Amistoso as Municipal Vice Mayor, and Rufino Ladaran , Pepito Moranos, Emilio Alburo, Mayang Lantingan, Capistrano Ampo, Marcial Espelita, Gil Almarez and Constantino Asentista as Municipal Council Members. This new set of elected officials focused their role on new development strategies which increased participatory democracy in setting the developmental thrust and objectives of the municipality. Among these include the implementation of the long awaited project such as the Municipal Public Market at Poblacion.

On June 1, 1992, after the May 11, 1992 elections, a new set of elected public officials were installed. The election made Pyang Singcoy as Municipal Mayor again, Datu Mohamad Pangolima as Municipal Vice Mayor and Norberto Butiong, Felipe Pulanco, George Sambaga, Marcial Saladero, Capistrano Ampo, Paulito Coliao, Juanito Montecillanos, and Emilio Ledama as Municipal Council Members. A few months later, Datu Mohamad Pangolima died on a tragic car accident at barangay Tuyan. Norberto Butiong was then installed as Municipal Vice Mayor, as the widoed spouse of the late Datu Mohamad Pangolima filled in the vacancy of the Municipal Council Composition.

After a year, the new set of elected officials initiated the computerization of the key officers of the local administration and the improvement of its communication and transportation facilities. A new Nissan Power Pick-Up and a Jeepy Vehicle were purchased for the use of the municipal mayor and the Municipal Budget Officer, respectively. Three base radio transceivers were provided to various officials and employees. Three 100cc Kawasaki motorcycles were provided for tax collectors.

The completion of the world class asphalt pavement of the National Highway from General Santos City to Malapatan contributed much to the increase of local revenues and in local tourism, mostly along the coastal barangays.

About Malapatan

Malapatan is a first class municipality in the province of Sarangani, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 72,386 people. As of 2010, it has a total voting population of 35,569 voters.

Malapatan is bounded on the west by Sarangani Bay, on the east by Davao del Sur, on the north by Alabel, and on the south by Glan.