Municipal Spotlight:
MIDSAYAP, Cotabato

History.  MIDSAYAP was derived from a native term which means (Mid) Center and (Sayap) Hat. MIDSAYAP means a hat at the center - just like a hill centrally located at the municipality which slopes through the plains in a shape of a hat. Other version relates that the name MIDSAYAP came from a Muslim term which means “person wearing a hat”. 

From 1912 to 1926, Midsayap was then a district of Dulawan and Pikit.  Originally, Midsayap was inhabited by Muslims from the descendants of Sultan Ali Bayao from the lineage of the great Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat I. The seat of their Sultanate was established at Libungan Torita (now part of Pigcawayan). 

In 1927, a Philippine Constabulary (PC) Commander assigned in the area, Ist Lt. Catalino Javier, initiated the development of some portions of the municipality.  Seeing the natural bounty of the area, he invited settlers from Luzon and Visayas to migrate in the area. The first wave of settlers who dared develop the wilderness was the late Antonio Labasan from Zambales. Among his companions were the Dumlaos, Flautas, Fernandezes and Documos who settled at Sitio Salunayan.  Visayan settlers from Pikit also came to settle at Bual - the place of Datu Guiambangan Dilangalen. The Visayan migrants were headed by Gregorio Bingil, Julio Anito and Tomas Cantoy. 

The idea of making Midsayap as a separate political district from the mother municipalities of Dulawan and Pikit was envisioned in 1930 by a group of Christian PC enlisted men who were assigned at Camp Ward. Their efforts, through the support of the Deputy Governor and Military Governor was realized in 1936. 

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 66 dated November 25, 1936, Midsayap was created as a separate municipality.  On January 1, 1937, it was inaugurated with the late Lorenzo Gonzales as the first appointed Municipal Mayor. 

Midsayap started with seventy-one (71) barangays.  Later, it was trimmed down to 42 when Libungan was separated from Midsayap in 1936.  At present, Midsayap has 57 barangays. 

Considering its natural bounty, Midsayap which started as a fifth (5th) class municipality now emerged as a promising municipality of Cotabato Province.  Effective July 1, 1996, it was reclassified as a First Class Municipality of the province after it posted an average annual income of P22.8 million for three successive years.

Today, Midsayap is a fast developing growth center of the province.  It now serves as a center of commerce, trade and education servicing the adjacent municipalities of Aleosan, Libungan, Alamada and Pigcawayan and even Pikit. 


Sources of information:
MPDC - Midsayap
     Socio-Economic Profile of Cotabato Province
     LGU-Midsayap Official Website