The municipality of Sagada is classified as a fifth-class municipality in Mountain Province under the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). It was in 1847 that the place was established as a political unit, but it was only on the 25th of June 1963 that the Municipality of Sagada came into existence under Executive Order Number 42.
The Spaniards first came in contact with the people of Sagada during the period of 1625-1700s. The expedition in the area was driven by the search for precious metals such as gold and copper to name a few. It was only during the 1830s when the name “Sagada” came about. It came from a group of Spanish soldiers who came from Besao. They met a man who was carrying a rattan basket for catching fish near Danum Lake. The soldiers asked the man what the name of the municipality was. Thinking that they were asking what he was carrying, he replied, “Sagada”. From then on, the settlement founded by Biag went down on Spanish record as Sagada (Cordillera Almanac, 1999).
The people of Sagada belong to the Northern Kankana-ey ethnolinguistic group, but they commonly identify themselves as Igorots, which means “people of the mountains”. Igorot people are known to be industrious and famous for their work in reference to construction of rice terraces, irrigation canals, vegetable production, cloth weaving, and their use of iron implements. With reference to the Bontocs occupying the eastern part of Mountain Province, the iSagada, together with the other Northern kankana-ey communities on the western section of the Mt. Province, are classified as Applai by the Office of the Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC).
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