Republic of the Philippines

City of Cauayan

  • Philippine Standard Time

Historical Development of the
Province of Isabela

Researched by:
Troy Alexander Gozum Miano, DPA

Commissioned by:
Hon. Mayor Bernard Faustino La Madrid Dy
Philippine Copyright 2014 September 8


In the beginning, the land now known as Cauayan City in the mid-southern part of the Province of Isabela in Cagayan Valley Region in Northern Philippines, was first roamed and settled by dark skinned and kinky haired pygmies who arrived in the island of Luzon during the Stone Age about 25,999 years ago. The Negrito Atta (Aeta) peoples of modern times were relatives of the first settlers of northeast Luzon.

Between 200 B.C. and 300 A.D., colonizing expeditions of Indo-Malay peoples, the forefathers of the founders of Cauayan, arrived along the northern coast of Luzon. The Gaddang people were one of the many Indo-Malay tribes. They found the Cagayan River watershed sparsely occupied by long-established Aeta, while the hills were already populated by the more-recently arrived Igorot (thought to originate from Taiwan as late as 500 B.C.). The Indo-Malay colonists practiced swidden (slash-and-burn based shifting cultivation) farming, and developed successful littoral and riparian societies as well; all economies which demand low population density. Whenever there were population increases following economic success or continued in-migration, the Indo-Malays were forced to move. Over many generations they spread inland along the Cagayan River and its tributaries. As Gaddangs occupy lands further away from the mouth of the river than most Indo-Malay groups, they may be considered likely to have been among the earliest to arrive.

The Gaddangs were the founding citizens in the City of Cauayan including the towns of Angadanan, Luna, Alicia, Santiago and parts of Aurora, Gamu (Dalig), Reina Mercedes, Naguilian, and Tumauini.  The name derives from a combination of the words ga which means “heat” and dang which means “burned” referring to their much darker complexion compared to other peoples of the Cordilleras and Cagayan valley.


On February 13, 1565, the fifth Spanish expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1502-1572) conquered Cebu, Panay, the neighboring islands in the Visayas and finally Manila on May 19, 1571. Legazpi’s nephew, Captain Juan de Salcedo (1549-1576) conquered the regions along Laguna de Bay, Paracale (now a town in Camarines Norte), Ilocandia until he reached Cagayan via the coastline of northern Luzon.

In 1583, Cagayan, from where the future Isabela province and the City of Cauayan would be carved, was recognized as an alcaldia and officially called La Provincia del Valle de Cagayan with the old settlement of Lal-loc (christened Ciudad de Nueva Segovia and officially named as Lal-lo) as the capital.

In 1591, Don Luis Pérez Dasmariñas entered La Irraya by way of Nueva Vizcaya. La Irraya (Addaya and Yrraya in other manuscripts) region comprised the vast area from Tuguegarao in Cagayan province up to the present Gamu town. In 1594, upon orders of Governor-General (1590-1593) Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, Captain Fernando de Berramontano invaded and conquered the Irraya. The territory;

however, of what is now Cauayan City was not conquered by the Iberians for the next 100 years and the Gaddangs roamed freely in their domain.

In 1702, a mission led by the Dominican Frays Jose Rezabal, Baltazar Andueza, Juan Pinta and Andres Gonzales reached Carig in an attempt to colonize Llanuras del Diffun. The plains of Diffun, now known as central-southern Isabela, comprised all settlements south of Irraya: Callering (now Reina Mercedes), Cauayan, Angadanan (now Alicia), Camarag (near Echague), Lappau, Carig (now Santiago) and San Luis (now a barangay of Diadi town near the Cordon boundary).

On May 25, 1736, the Dominicans led by Fray Diego dela Torre left Ilagan after he was commissioned by Dominican Provincial Jeronimo Ortiz to go to southern Isabela and get the consensus of the natives for a project to cross the Caraballo to Nueva Ecija. He reached Itugod on May 27, then to Cauayan (old site – Calanusian) and then to Carig. Fulatao (Fulatan in other manuscripts) of Carig, Danao of Gapat (a mountain village halfway between Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya) and later Ansimo of Ambayan (in the mountain of Abungol) helped in the establishment of the route going to the Augustinian mission of Bujay (in Aritao town) passing through the settlements of Dappar, Sicaddanun, Sipatol (now San Luis of Diadi town) to Lumabang (Solano), Bayombong then to Bujay. Fray Dela Torre created the mission of Santa Cruz de Paniqui which comprised the Llanuras del Diffun and Paniqui which was from Calanusian (then the old site of Cauayan and now part of Reina Mercedes town) to Bayombong. The missionaries established a road network starting from Itugud to Calanusian, passing through Cauayan, Angadanan (now Alicia), Camarag and Carig to Dicapol crossing the Caraballo Heights to Bagabag passing by Bujay and finally crossing the Caraballo del Sur over to Pangasinan. The Dominicans called these activities entradas. Disguised as an Igorot, Fray Jose Tomas Marin had the honor of first crossing the mountains from Carig to Aritao. The first entrada led to the unsuccessful negotiations with the Mengal Ansimo of Carig.

On July of 1737, to renew negotiations with the Yogads and Gaddangs, four missionaries, Frays Manuel Moliner, Jose Tomas Marin, Romualdo Molina and Luis Pedro de Sierra, were sent from Manila. Accompanied by their military escorts, they penetrated Yogad territory along the Magat River from Itugod. On the banks of the Magat in Cauayan, they held meetings with Mengals Ansimo of Ambayon, Fulatao of Carig and Dibulag of Dibulag. The mengals refused them passage and imposed severe conditions. This was recorded as the second entrada.


The first missionary to stay for some days in Cauayan was Dominican Fray Diego de la Torre, then vicar of Ilagan. He was ordered by Father Provincial to explore the territory of Diffun (southern Isabela) for missionary work. Fray De la Torre left Ilagan on May 25, 1736, passed by Itugud and arrived in Cauayan a few days after. The reception of the Gaddangs were not propitious. They burned the hut where he was supposed to stay.

In 1738, Fray Diego de la Torre returned to Cauayan in the company of three other Dominican missionaries; Frays Luis de Sierra, Jose Marin and Romualdo Molina. This time their stay was more profitable through the help of an influential Gaddang woman “who helped the religious, let them stay in her house, favored them with her influence and defended them against those who desired to do them harm.”  

But the priest who could be considered Cauayan’s founder was Fray Antonio del Campo, O.P. In one of the official reports: “Fray Antonio del Campo can be considered the founder of the towns from Cauayan to Bayombong. He wrote much about said towns, the roads, etc.”

On September 8, 1739, Cauayan was founded civilly with Calanusian as the first town site. The new pueblo was located, according to Frays Manuel Moliner and Jose Tomas Marin, by the right bank of the Magat River “about seven leagues from Itugud (Gamu), and about two leagues from the first village of the Kalingas called Carig, and about one and one-fourth league from Itugud River.” The pueblo started its operation the following year in 1740.

Vague and little information were gathered from the descendants of the early inhabitants. Three of the remembered early natives were the families of Enrique Baligod, Sebastian Canciller and Salvador Macaballug. Enrique Baligod headed the pioneers and he was later succeeded by Sebastian Canciller who eventually served as gobernadorcillo for two termsOther recorded gobernadorcillos were: Don Jorge Layug (1848), Don Sebastian Canciller (1860s; two terms), Don Fructuoso Gannaban (1866), Don Manuel Dalauidao (July 27, 1887-1889) and Don Eustaquio Canciller (June 23, 1890-1893).  Believed to be the first barrios of Cauayan were: Turayong, Labinab, Duminit, Baringin, and Culalabat all situated near the Cagayan River.

Towards the end of Spanish rule, Cauayan had houses made of wood, seven of which had galvanized iron for roof. Like in other old towns, Cauayan had a tabacalera tobacco warehouse with galvanized roofing. It had a Tribunal (municipal hall) and schools for children.

Cauayan’s inhabitants by the end of Spanish rule were 2,162 living in the poblacion and its barrios, namely: Tagaran, Mabantal, Tanga, Diraya, Fuhu, Gaggabutan, and Amunabacan.    


On April 22, 1741, Cauayan was officially accepted as an ecclesiastical mission. Cauayan was the first town the Spanish missionaries established in the Diffun area (southern Isabela) and because the first missionaries of Cauayan came from Aragon, an autonomous community in Spain where Our Lady of the Pillar was specially revered, they dedicated Cauayan to La Virgen del Pilar. Up to present, La Virgen del Pilar continues to be Cauayan’s patron saint.

Fray Antonio del Campo was Cauayan’s first vicar and was also the Superior of all the mission of Paniqui, which started from Cauayan and ended in Bayombong. In 1739, Fray Del Campo made the first baptisms in Cauayan. Of these baptisms, Fray Campo wrote: “On the day of St. Hyacinth (August 17), Fray Sierra and I went to Cauayan to begin the mission which the Chapter had entrusted to us. On the day of the nativity of Our Lady (September 8), we started baptizing two children, five and six years old; from that time on others were baptized, and people began coming from the mountains to this town.”

After seven years, in 1746, the Alcalde Mayor Don Juan de Varona y Velazquez stated in an official report that the town of Cauayan had “141 new baptized Christians, 9 catechumens, and 2 reconciled apostates.”


The Church of stone and bricks of Cauayan was built from 1825 to 1830 by Fray Juan Prieto. The convent was also built by him with solid materials but this was felled down by the American bombs during World War II. Part of the Church, the side of the presbytery and sacristy, was also hit. The top of its beautiful belfry fell down in an earthquake.    

Other popular missionaries who served the Church were: Frays Paulino (1866), Miguel Bonnet, Perez, Antonio, Fidel, and Fray Proceso T. Cortes (1898).


Etymologically Cauayan means “bamboo” or “bulo” in the Ilocano language. It was derived from the Gaddang word kawayan. The town was so called because “it was founded along a plantation of bamboos”. Old tradition recounted that “Bulod, Sipat, Bungkol and Marabulig creeks were boulevards of bamboo trees and it was a common sight to see crocodiles basking in the early morning sun under the clusters of bamboos.”

The origin on how the pueblo was named had another version. One day the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary disappeared. For many weeks, a tireless search was undertaken but it was nowhere to be found. Then on a day in October, the image was found among the bamboo groves. Not a single sign of mishandling or scratch was detected on the image. To perpetuate the memory of the incident, the locality was named “Cauayan” referring to the bamboo groves where the holy image was recovered.


The original Cauayan was founded by the Spaniards at the right bank of the Magat River, while its second location – which is also its present – was by the left bank of the Cagayan River. It was in 1768 that the Cauayan site was transferred from its original site to the place where it presently occupies. Jose Brugues described the location of the first and second Cauayan as follows: “Cauayan, which in the beginning was in the banks of Magat, 7 leagues from Gamu and 2 from Carig (now Santiago City), is now in the left bank of the Ibanag River (Cagayan River) in a pleasant plane which is elevated, 125’18 longtitude and 16’17’30 latitude.”

According to Julian Malumbres, the old location of Cauayan along the Magat River was known to the people of his time as Lubbunan na Cauayan, which means the place where the town of Cauayan was.

The reason for the transfer of Cauayan were the attacks of the Gaddangs and the Igorots. The Spaniards had been invading the Gaddangs of the Mallig plains and the Igorots in the mountains of the Cordillera. The Gaddangs and Igorots retaliated by attacking the Spanish settlements near them like the Spanish-controlled settlements along the Magat River. For reason of security and safety, the Spaniards decided to transfer their settlements away from the Magat River to the banks of the Cagayan River farther from the Cordillera Mountains. For this reason too, Angadanan, Camarag and Carig were placed farther away from the Magat and the Cordillera. The transfer of the the towns changed the route of travel from Ilagan to Nueva Vizcaya and to Manila.  


Like the other towns of southern Isabela, Cauayan was formed out of the natives – the Gaddangs that came down from the hills. Fray Antonio del Campo wrote that in June 1741 he went to Cauayan and with the help of soldiers went to the mountains to bring down to the lowland settlement of Cauayan pagans as well as Christian apostates who had fled from Tagaran and Anaccuan.

Fray Del Ocampo related that 150 armed soldiers came to Cauayan, 90 of whom were under the Master of Camp in Ilagan while 60 were added to the 90 from among the new Christians of Cauayan for the purpose of subduing and forcing the Gaddangs of the hinterlands to go down and live in the Spanish-held settlements of the plains. Fray Del Campo also stated that there were soldiers stationed in Cauayan who suffered from lack of food and supplies.

To the Gaddangs who were forced by arms to become inhabitants of Cauayan, were added Christian natives from the already Christian towns of Cagayan province, induced with privileges to live in Cauayan.


In its first years, Cauayan was a lonely and solitary place. In a letter to the Dominican Provincial in Manila dated September 13, 1737, Frays Moliner and Marin referred to Cauayan as a “desert”.

Cauayan later gained strategic importance when it became the center of the Dominican apostolate in Diffun. The missionaries stationed in Cauayan went to found other missions in Diffun, most important of which were: Lappau (near what is now Ramon town), Camarag (near Echague), and Carig (now Santiago City). It was from Cauayan where the armies came for the conquest of the Igorots of the Cordillera. As Malumbres wrote: “This town was the most important of the towns of the plains of Diffun, becoming the residence of various missionaries who would go out to the hills of Diffun and Carig to convince the pagans scattered over the vast plain to go down and form the present towns of southern Isabela.

According to Malumbres, in the third part of the 19th century, the people of Cauayan got divided into factions at odds with one another. To bring them under control, the alcalde mayor punished them with forced labor in the construction of roads and in the cultivation of tobacco fields. In a report to Governor-General Manuel Blanco Valderrama dated May 28, 1874 in Tumauini, the Alcalde Mayor Don Francisco Alaminos wrote: “The mission of Cauayan is formed by semi-barbarian natives, so much so that not one of them possess the necessary qualities to perform even mediocrely the office of gobernadorcillo. Since I took possession of my office, I strove to soften them by reprimands by some small fines and by having them occupied in the general road of the province and in the cultivation of their tobacco fields. The result is that these divisions are disappearing faster than expected giving me the attractive hope that the divisions which are so harmful to the interests of all be totally terminated.”


On December 13, 1781, the Tobacco Monopoly was implemented by Governor-General (1778-1787) José Basco y Vargas but Cagayan Valley was prohibited to plant tobacco from 1785 to 1797 which brought adversity to the natives because the principal profitable product of the valley was tobacco. The residents of Cauayan were affected by the regulation. 

On March 30, 1785, Mengal Lagutao of Angadanan and wife Magaya together with Mengal Baladdon (Yogad priest and medicine man), the Christian – Juan Gumpin, Mengal Manganusu and Mengal Baguatan (Bagguadon in other manuscripts) all three of Camarag led a rebellion against the Spanish authorities because of the forcible relocation of Camarag, the tribute and the ban in cultivating tobacco. Lagutao also convinced his brother Onofre Liban, gobernadorcillo of Angadanan who was sick of smallpox, to join his cause. The rebellion spread to the whole district of Paniqui with eight hundred Yogads armed with bows and arrows and campilans from Camarag, Carig and Angadanan joined Lagutao’s rebellion which started in Karulay, now a barangay of Echague town.

On April 5 of the same year, native commandant Mateo Cabal led five hundred soldiers from Gamu, Furao, Calanusian, Cauayan, Carig, Bagabag, Lumabang (now Solano) and Bayombong and engaged Lagutao’s forces at Rancho Payac, now a barangay of Jones town. Lagutao was killed together with his brother and nephew and eleven others in this encounter while Baladdon and others escaped towards the Sierra Madre. Eighty were captured and on the following day another battle took place where over a hundred rebels were killed.

On May 1797, adecree partially lifted the ban on tobacco cultivation with only the town of Ilagan authorized to plant tobacco for the monopoly.  Other decrees followed that gradually allowed the other towns of the valley to plant tobacco. The extent of the cultivation of tobacco increased in the next thirty years until the region became the largest single producer of high grade tobacco in the country. In the 1831 document of tobacco planters in Cagayan Valley, Cauayan had seven barrios planting tobacco, 314½ tributes with 45 tributes per barrio.


On June of 1741, the vicar of Ilagan, Fray Antonio del Campo, went to Cauayan escorted with soldiers from the capital of Lal-lo. Together with Fray Luis Pedro de Sierra, they went up the mountains and convinced and brought down to Cauayan pagans as well as Christians apostates who had fled from Tagaran and Anaccuan.

On December 1, 1742,Fray Martin Hernandez wrote to his superiors that after encountering much opposition from the native leader Malboran who defied the missionary’s incursion to the Gaddangs, the brave native finally promised to settle down to Abbag (old name for Calanusian) with his followers.

On April 19, 1743, Fray Martin Hernandez reported to his superiors that he had hired a master sculptor in Manila to make the image of Saint Anthony of Padua for the settlement of Calanusian.

On May 4 of the same year, Calanusian, formerly known as Abbag, was officially founded by the Dominican Martin Hernandez and was accepted as an ecclesiastical mission under the patronage of Saint Anthony of Padua. Abbag means on the other side which referred to its location from Gamu and Furao were located on the other bank of the Magat River. The name Calanusian was derived from a tree species of white ebony called canusi which abounded in the locality. With the prefix ca and suffix an, the term means a grove of white ebony.

On April of 1754, Don Juan Cauilian subdued the pagan Gaddangs of Siffu (Mallig plains) who continued to harass and did damage to Christian communities in the towns of Cauayan, Carig and Lappau.


On May 24, 1839, the alcaldia of Cagayan was divided upon the creation of the province of Nueva Vizcaya which comprised all towns from Ilagan to Aritao in Caraballo del Sur including the visita of Palanan (then a part of Nueva Ecija province) and Catalangan. Cabagan and Tumauini remained to be part of Cagayan province. Camarag became the capital of the newly created province of Nueva Vizcaya up to 1856. The term nueva means new while Vizcaya refers to the province of Vizcaya (spelled Bizkaia in the Basque language) in northern Spain. Bizkaia means mountainous. On April 10, 1841, the division of Cagayan was confirmed by a royal decree. The old town of Cauayan became a part of the new province.


From 1831 to 1847, the Igorots (of the present Ifugao province), especially the Mayoyaos and Silipans, launched an attack which were so ferocious, continuous and covering a wide area. These Igorot tribes who inhabited the steep mountains of Quiangan (now spelled Kiangan), Silipan, Mayoyao and Bungian (now Aguinaldo) assassinated travelers and attacked towns from the Caraballo mountains to Calanusian (formerly the poblacion of Cauayan) and impede the people from cultivating their fields and pasturing their work animals in the meadows. The Igorots beheaded 6 Ibanags from Gamu, 20 from Ilagan and 9 in Furao. Furthermore, they beheaded 68 Yogads in Carig, 26 in Camarag, 21 in Angadanan, 18 in Cauayan and 7 in Calanusian. Moreover, the same tribe beheaded 64 Gaddangs in Bagabag, 12 in Lumabang (now Solano) and 29 in Bayombong. On August 9, 1846, Dominican Fray Juan Rubio was ambushed and decapitated by the Igorots of Mayoyao.  Fray Rubio was on his way to his new post in Camarag along the Carig-Camarag road by the Caliguian (now Caligdigan) River.


Governor-General (1844-1849) Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa (1795-1851), upon receipt of the petitions of the missionaries and the principalias of Paniqui (Carig, Bagabag, Solano and Bayombong), visited the whole of Cagayan Valley and assessed the Igorot problem. He instructed the construction of the fort of Begona (now Barangay Oscariz in Ramon town) between the present boundary of Ifugao and Isabela in the hill called Dangaran. He also assigned “his best aid and perhaps the best soldier that then existed in the whole archipelago”, Don Mariano Oscariz, as military governor of Nueva Vizcaya.

On February 27, 1847, Governor-General Clavería granted the amnesty request of Dominican Fray Remigio Rodriguez de Alamo (known as the “motor and soul of the province”) for the people living in the mountains particularly in Catalangan who would go down to settle in the Christian towns within one month after the receipt of the governor’s order. A good number of families went down to live in the towns of Cauayan and Ilagan.

On March 29 of the same year, Governor Oscariz left the fort of Begona with 107 soldiers, 4 civilian guards, 323 armed civilians. They reached Appacan and destroyed fields of tobacco, camote and gabi. On April 2, they burned 100 houses and destroyed many fields in Langayan and 30 houses in Ijigu.

On April 5, many groups of Igorots sued for peace. Governor Oscariz, knowing that the peace pacts were always pretentions, asked for the presence of the principalias together with all their women and children. After the two-thirty in the afternoon deadline, no women and children came so he started the destruction and burned fields and houses. The following day, Chief Matingin with his wife, son and grandson, Chiefs Menguet and Bilango and other principalias surrendered and requested for peace. Governor Oscariz gave the conditions of surrender and was accepted by the Mayoyaos the following day. The killing of settlers and Christians of Isabela ended with the military campaigns with peace prevailing in the place.

On July 19, 1848, a two day celebration was conducted in Camarag to honor Don Mariano Oscariz, military governor of Nueva Vizcaya and “Conqueror of the Igorots”. It was attended by the six missionaries of Nueva Vizcaya; gobernadorcillos of Ilagan (Jose de San Vicente), Gamu (Juan Caulian), Furao (Domingo Enrp), Calanusian (Juan Evangelista), Cauayan (Jorge Layug), Camarag (Marcos Layugan) and Carig (Diego Palang); employees of the province; natives from the other parts of the province;  and Mayoyao, Kiangan, Negrito, Ilongot, Silipan and Gaddang natives.


In order to facilitate the work of the missionaries in the evangelization of the Cagayan Valley and upon the recommendation of Governor-General (1850-1853) Juan Antonio de Urbiztondo y Eguía (1803-1857), a royal decree was issued during the administration of Governor-General (1854-1856) Manuel Crespo y Cebrián which created the province of Isabela on May 1, 1856.

The new alcaldia consisted of the towns of Cabagan, Tumauini, Ilagan, Gamu, Calanusian, Cauayan, Angadanan, Camarag, Carig including Catalangan and Palanan. The new province was named Isabela de Luzon in honor of Her Royal Highness Queen Isabella II of Spain. The old town of Ilagan became the capital of the new province.


On March 18, 1878, by virtue of a Royal Order, the old settlement of Calanusian was established civilly. On January 20, 1886, the old settlement of Itugod founded by Fray Pedro Jimenez, which was originally named Abbag, renamed to Callering then to Calanusian and finally to Reina Mercedes in honor of Her Majesty Queen Mercedes, wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain, was ecclesiastically separated from the mother-town of Cauayan.

In 1928, Antatet (site of old Alamo pueblo) was approved as a municipal district of Cauayan. On September 28, 1949, the Municipal District of Antatet was created into a regular municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 267 signed by His Excellency President Elpidio Quirino. The name of the new town was changed to Luna in honor of General Antonio Luna y Novicio (1866-1899), hero of the Philippine Revolution.

In 1942, Barrio Marasat Grande which was then a part of the old town of Cauayan, and the neighboring barrios were incorporated to form a municipality called Yoshisawa. After Liberation, all parts of the territory were reverted back as barrios of Santiago town. These territories became the Municipality of San Mateo on March 17, 1946.

On November 5, 1949, Barrio Cabatuan, originally Ambatuan, and its integral parts were separated from the mother-town of Cauayan by virtue of Executive Order No. 293 signed by His Excellency President Elpidio Quirino in Malacañang.

The vast territory of Cauayan was reduced to about 336.40 square kilometers after the segregation of Reina Mercedes, Luna, Cabatuan and the northeastern portion of San Mateo.


On October 25, 1879, a decree of Governor General (1877-1880) Domingo Moriones  y  Murillo  Zabaleta  y  Sanz,   marqués  de  Oroquieta (1823-1881) gave lands to the religious orders for the purpose of fomenting the production of tobacco. The Augustinians were given 14,000 hectares of land in the present towns of Reina Mercedes, Luna and Cauayan.

On June 25, 1880, the tobacco monopoly was abolished all over the islands including that of Isabela. Because of free enterprise, the Chinese came in full force in Cagayan Valley. On January 15, 1881, Governor-General (1880-1883 & 1897-1898) Fernando Primo de Rivera y Sobremonte (1831-1921) issued a decree allowing Ilocanos to migrate to Cagayan Valley. Droves of Ilocanos came to Isabela and started opening tobacco fields near the Cagayan River.

On January 26, 1881, the Compania General de Tobacos de Filipinas or Tabacalera was established to continue the export of leaf tobacco and take over the cigar factories owned by the Spanish government. The tabacalera bought from the government all the tobacco factories in Manila, which wielded into a single factory called La Flor de Isabela which was one of the largest of its kind in the world. The three tobacco haciendas were: Hacienda San Antonio in Ilagan which was the largest and named in memory of Don Antonio Lopez y Lopez, 1st Marques de Comillas (1817-1883); Hacienda Santa Isabel also in Ilagan which was named in memory of a daughter of Don Lope Gisbert; and Hacienda San Luis in Cauayan.


In 1887, a portion of Barrio Mabantad of about 3,940 hectares, was acquired by the Compaña Casal owned by Mr. Antonio Casal for 22,000 pesos. Mr. Federico Corea was appointed as the first administrator of the hacienda. Mr. Corea, named the locality as San Luis after Saint Louis Bertrand, O.P. (1526-1581; Luis Beltrán), a Spanish Dominican who preached in South America during the 16th century, and is known as the “Apostle of the Americas”. 

The population of the hacienda grew and the area was converted into a formal barrio of Cauayan.  In 1909, the compaña expanded the area of the hacienda with the purchase of 19 hectares from Mrs. Engracia Maragun de Lacaste. In 1910, another 540 hectares were bought from the government (Friar Lands Estate).

The three families: the Lelina, Lardizabal, and Valdez had been fortunate to establish the first community in the hacienda. Instructions were given to heads of these pioneering families to recruit and encourage families who wish to migrate to the hacienda from the Ilocos region. As a remuneration of their efforts, these recruiters were paid in cash and given prominent positions as capataces of cabecerias when the hacienda was subdivided into districts or cabecerias for administrative purposes. Other clan resided in the barrio; the Pauig, Fariñas, Encarnacion, Factora, Albano, Mina, and Fontanilla families.

To insure efficient administration of the hacienda, San Luis was sub-divided into cabecerias. They were: Cabeceria Especial, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 (called Lanna by administrator, Sr. Jose Callejas), 11, 12, 14, and 15. Each cabeceria was head by a capataz who received orders from the administrator and relayed to the people of the hacienda. The capatazes were the supervisors of the administrator and they received compensations and commissions.

In the poblasyon of San Luis (called Cabeceria Especial) stood the first administration building. However, in 1913, the edifice was razed to the ground by fire. In its place, a more spacious building was constructed. In time, when the compaña acquired enormous business footing, other big buildings were constructed. In 1923, the Catholic Church was erected. A school building was also constructed to provide the farmers’ children their elementary education with Mr. Pio Tominez as the first teacher.

The barrio of San Luis is situated along a conspicuous curve of the Cagayan River on the northeastern part of Cauayan. It is about five kilometers away from the municipal ferry at Turayong, the old river port.


On August 25, 1898, Colonel Daniel Mata Tria Tirona (1864-1939) was assigned by President (1899-1901) Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (1869-1964), in Cagayan and Isabela. He was subsequently appointed as military governor of Cagayan and Isabela and held the rank of brigadier general.

On September 1, of the same year, Isabela Spanish Governor Perez left Ilagan at five o’clock in the morning with P11,368.58 passed through Cauayan, Echague, Carig and retired his thirty-five guardia civils to Bayombong upon learning that Tuguegarao was captured by the revolutionary forces led by General Tirona on August 31. Governor Perez was captured in Bayombong ending the Spanish domination in the valley.

Eighteen Dominican missionaries from the parishes of Ilagan, Tumauini, Cabagan Nuevo, Cabagan Viejo, Reina Mercedes, Angadanan, Cauayan, Echague, Carig, Gamu, Santa Maria, Naguilian, Cordon, Catalanganes and Oscariz were imprisoned by the revolutionary forces. The Dominican priest from Cauayan was Genaro Perez, age 40 and worked in the parish for six years.

The following served as municipal capitan of Cauayan: Don Marcelo Raymundo (1893-1895), Don Juan Gannaban, Don Martillano Passilan, Don Marcelo Simeon, Don Ricardo Telan, Don Francisco Bucag, Don Francisco Ambatali and Don Santiago Respicio (who later became the first municipal president of Reina Mercedes town, 1913-1917).


During the Philippine-American War (1899-1901), it was in the province of Isabela where the last pages of the war took place particularly in the remote coastal town of Palanan. Cauayan was not directly touched by the forces of President Emilio Aguinaldo. Some accounts; however, stated there were some Katipunan forces (old army of Aguinaldo) which caused casualties to American soldiers stationed in the town center of Cauayan particularly the case where two Negro-American soldiers disappeared. During this period Don Domingo Damatan served as town head (1898-1900).

On August 24, 1901, civil government was established in Isabela (with the passage of Act No. 210 which extended the provisions of “The Provincial Government Act”) and in Cauayan with Don Eustacio Canciller as municipal president (1900-1902). Others who served as municipal president were: Don Pascual Dalupang (1902-1904), Don Leon Banigan (1904-1907), Don Bernardo Cadiz Dacuycuy (1907-1910), and Don Mariano Bucag (1910-1913). Official city library portraits; however, shows that Don Bruno Dalauidao served as Cauayan municipal president from 1900-1903. There are no available official records from 1914 to 1925. However, in the same official city library portraits, Don Bernardo Dacuycuy served from 1915-1917; Don Mariano Bucag served from 1918-1920; and Don Prospero Cortes served from 1921-1923.

Others who served as town head were: Don Raymundo Zipagan (1926-1929), Don Simplicio Albano (1929-1932), Don Prospero Cortes (1932-1935), and Don Felipe Bucag (1935-1938). However, official city library portraits reveals that Don Calixto Damatan also served from 1936-1937.

Under the Commonwealth government, the official title for the town head was changed from municipal president to municipal mayor. Honored to serve the Municipality of Cauayan as mayors were: Hon. Guillermo Blas (1938), and Hon. Zoilo Cuntapay (1938-1941). On November 11, 1941, Federico Padron Acio was elected mayor. Acio, however, was not able to serve his term since the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the Valley including Isabela after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.


On December 9, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army conducted bombing raids over the Philippines including Tuguegarao in Cagayan. The following day, they landed in Aparri and proceeded southwards to the direction of Isabela to Cauayan.

On January 8, 1942, the United States Forces in the Philippines, Northern Luzon (USFIP NL), the famous guerilla unit, was organized. The combined elements of the 11th Infantry, 71st Infantry, and Troop C of the 26th Cavalry were led by Major C. Everett Warner (promoted to lieutenant colonel), Captains Guillermo Nakar (1905-1942) and Manuel P. Enriquez (both promoted to major). Nakar’s 2nd Batallion held line from Balete Pass (now Dalton Pass) to Bato Ferry (Bambang-Bayombong boundary) while Enriquez’ 1st Batallion occupied the line from Bato Ferry to Aparri which included Isabela passing through Cauayan. The combined forces were known as the 1st Guerilla Regiment. It was later renamed to 14th Infantry USAFFE in recognition of their combat achievement in Tuguegarao on January 13.

On April 9 of the same year, Bataan fell and the infamous Death March began in Mariveles. Numerous Isabelino soldiers and volunteers including citizens of Cauayan suffered and died in this horrific walk that ended in Capas, Tarlac. A number were fortunate to escape. 

Cauayan offered the best position for the establishment of the headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry 34th Division Guerilla Unit, Isabela Area. The maintenance of this unit was responded spontaneously by the freedom loving civilians despite the punishment that the Japanese Imperial Army inflicted on those who they caught helping the guerillas.

Appointed municipal mayors of Cauayan during the Japanese Occupation were: Hon. Jose Mendoza Canciller, Hon. Basilio Pacaba (1943-1944); however, official city library portraits shows Hon. Cecilio Pacaba as municipal mayor from 1942-1944, and Hon. Lucas Banigan (1944-1945).

On June 15, 1945, the 11th and 14th Infantry Regiments, USAFIP NL, has cleared almost all the valley west of the Cagayan River from Cauayan north to Aparri (in Cagayan province) and had gained complete control over Route 11 from Bontoc (now part of Mountain Province) to the valley. Most of the Japanese combat troops left in the valley north of Cauayan were members of the Yuguchi Force, an under strength RCT of the 103rd Division. Upon the fall of the division’s defenses at Oriung Pass, the Yuguchi Force had started south from the vicinity of Aparri, apparently intending to cross to the west side of the Cagayan River near Cauayan and make its way to Yamashita’s last-stand area via Route 389 to Banaue town (now part of Ifugao province) on Route 4. The 7th Infantry Regiment, 34th Division, Guerilla Unit stationed in Cauayan was instrumental in facilitating the mapping operations of the USAFFE liberating forces.


Mayor Federico P. Acio was re-instated as town head of Cauayan after the surrender of Japan. His vice mayor was Hon. Juan A. Guerrero and the councilors were: Hon. Felipe Bucag, Hon. Jose Castillo, Hon. Pablo Marcelo, Hon. Leon Babaran, Hon. Eustaquio Dalupang and Hon. Lucio B. Genez with Mr. Epifanio A. Acosta as municipal secretary. In 1947, Hon. Leon Babaran was appointed vice mayor in place of Vice Mayor Guerrero.  Appointed councilors were: Hon. Jaime Abogado, Hon. Lorenzo Aquino and Hon. Alfredo Tumakder in place of the vacancies made by Hons. Babaran, Bucag, and Genez. Mr. Narciso Acosta also briefly served as municipal secretary and in some records Mr. Teodulfo Duran Rumaboa was also municipal secretary. However, other records reveal that Hons. Leon Babaran and Teodoro Laggui served as appointed mayor in 1947.


The first local elections after World War II was held on November 11, 1947. Hon. Jose Acosta Africano was elected municipal mayor of post war Cauayan. His vice mayor was Hon. Alfredo Tumakder. The councilors were: Hon. Leon Gallo, Hon. Jose Castillo, Hon. Aurelio Cortes, Hon. Jose Dalog, Hon. Nicolas Almirol, and Hon. Severo Cabugsa Macugay with Mr. Jose Canciller as municipal secretary. 

When the Barrio of Cabatuan became a regular municipality on November 5, 1949, councilors residing from the new town namely: Hons. Gallo, Castillo, Almirol and Macugay, resigned from the Cauayan municipal council. They were replaced with the appointment of Hon. Pablo Rivera, Hon. Amancio Panis, Hon. Vicente Ballesteros, and Hon. Marcelo Pascua.

A son of Cauayan emerged as Isabela’s lone district representative in Congress, Hon. Samuel F. Reyes who was elected on November 8, 1949.

On November 13, 1951, Mayor Africano was elected to his second term together with Vice Mayor Tumakder. The elected councilors were: Hon. Teodoro Laggui, Hon. Daniel Sibayan, Hon. Elias V. Lelina, Hon. Pedro Cristobal, Hon. Mariano F. Foronda, Hon. Aurelio Cortes, Hon. Sebastian Agcaoili, and Hon. Osmundo Dalog with Mr. Francisco Babas as municipal secretary. 

In the municipal council records for the term 1952-1955, Coun. Osmundo Dalog served for only a year and was replaced by Hon. Jose Dalog who also served only for a short period of time. Coun. Jose Dalog was replaced by Hon. Rufino Liggayu who served the unexpired term. Furthermore, Coun. Agcaoili did not finish his term and was replaced with the appointment of Hon. Emiterio Pascua. Moreover, records shows that Councilors Laggui, Sibayan, Lelina, Cristobal, Foronda and Agcaoili were not around in 1953 and the names of Hons. Pablo Rivera, Armacio Panis, and Marcelo Pascua were listed instead.


On December 29, 1949, Cauayan and the rest of Luzon experienced one of the greatest earthquakes remembered in the history of the region. The terrain opened up and created big ditches swallowing everything on its path. Deep wells crumbled and the water from within sprung like fountains high in the air.  Recorded at intensity VII, the epicenter of the earthquake was located instrumentally in the vicinity of 17°00’N latitude and 121°38’E longitude in Isabela province west of the Cagayan River. The first major shock occurred at 11:05 in the morning. Over fifty aftershocks were felt in the vicinity of the epicenter the following week. The earthquake was decidedly of tectonic origin due to readjustments of the rock strata within the earth’s crust. Water and sand came out of fissures in the ground and gave off a sulphurous odor due to rotting vegetation in the lower deposits.


In the elections of November 8, 1955, Hon. Tranquilino Dalupang was elected municipal mayor of Cauayan. His vice mayor was Hon. Pablo Perez and the councilors were: Hon. Aurelio Cortes, Hon. Alfredo Tumakder, Hon. Eulogio Damatan, Hon. Juan Alzate, Hon. Martiniano Deza, Hon. Pastor Albano, Hon. Vicente Talosig, and Hon. Leticia Lintao (married in 1959 to Mr. Valencia) with Mr. Francisco Babas as municipal secretary. 

In the local elections of November 10, 1959, Mayor Dalupang won a second mandate from the people of Cauayan together with incumbent Vice Mayor Perez.  The councilors were: Hon. Vicente Talosig, Hon. Eulogio Damatan, Hon. Federico Ramones, Hon. Teodoro Laggui, Hon. Mariano Foronda, Hon. Romulo Gines, Hon. Melecio Asis, and Hon. Olito T. Ordoño with Mr. Francisco Babas as municipal secretary.

Hon. Jose M. Canciller occupied the seat vacated by Coun. Ramones in 1961 while Hon. Faustino Ng Dy was appointed councilor in lieu of Coun. Laggui in 1963.


In the November 12, 1963 local polls, appointed Councilor Faustino Ng Dy emerged as the new mayor of Cauayan. His vice mayor was Hon. Herminio R. Albano and the councilors were: Hon. Mariano Foronda, Hon. Eulogio Labog, Hon. Jose M. Canciller, Hon. Olito T. Ordoño, Hon. Alejandro Uy, Hon. Robert A. Bonoan, Hon. Arsenio Tumbaga, and Hon. Bagnos Tactay with Mr. Francisco Babas as municipal secretary.

Mayor Dy won a second term in the elections of November 14, 1967 with Hon. Francisco Dalupang as his vice mayor. The councilors were: Hon. Carlos Accad Uy, Hon. Prudente B. Cuntapay, Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, Hon. Mariano Foronda, Hon. Ricardo Canceran, Hon. Robert A. Bonoan, Hon. Eulogio A. Labog, and Hon. Bagnos Tactay with Mr. Pedro Sibayan as municipal secretary.

A son of Cauayan, former Isabela Congressman Samuel F. Reyes won as provincial governor. The first citizen of Cauayan to garner the post.     

By law of succession, Coun. Carlos Accad Uy became municipal vice mayor on November 1969 in lieu of Vice Mayor Dalupang. Hon. Hilarion P. Uy was appointed in the vacant slot in the council. Also in 1970, Hon. Olito T. Ordoño was appointed councilor in place with the seat vacated by Coun. Labog.  

In the November 10, 1970 elections, a son of Cauayan town was elected delegate in the 1971 Constitutional Convention (Con-Con). Hon. Benjamin C. Reyes was one of the five chosen to represent the province of Isabela in the constitutional convention.  

Mayor Faustino Dy resigned to file his certificate of candidacy for governor in the local elections of 1971. By virtue of the law of succession, Vice Mayor Carlos Uy assumed the mayorship of Cauayan on September 16 of the same year.


The November 8, 1971 local elections catapulted Hon. Carlos Accad Uy as municipal mayor of Cauayan with Hon. Herminio R. Albano as his vice mayor. Four of the councilors were proclaimed on time while the remaining four waited for the special elections in the far-flung barrios of Cauayan. The first four were: Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, Hon. Mariano Foronda, Hon. Prudente B. Cuntapay, and Hon. Juanito U. Fernandez. On February 16 of the same year, the ballots for the remaining four were counted and they occupied the last four slots in the council. They were: Hon. Robert A. Bonoan, Hon. Diosdado Bueno Ramirez, Hon. Elindo A. Santos, and Hon. Elias V. Lelina. Mr. Juan I. Delmendo was appointed as municipal secretary.

In the same elections, another son of Cauayan, former Mayor Faustino N. Dy, was elected as provincial governor of Isabela.

The term of Mayor Carlos Uy and the rest of the officialdom of Cauayan were extended after December 31, 1975. Additional seats in the council for sectoral representations were filled up by: Hon. Elizardo I. Delmendo, Hon. Valentin V. Uy, Hon. Cecilio L. Bartolome, Hon. Simeon Tomas Dela Cruz, Hon. Gregorio G. Domingo, Hon. Gregorio T. Tumabat, Hon. Leoncio Nolasco Dalin, Hon. Manuel L. Dumrique, and Hon. Manuel Villanueva, Jr. (Kabataang Barangay President). The official name of the “municipal council” was Filipinized by President Ferdinand Marcos into “sangguniang bayan”.

On June 1, 1977, Mr. Roberto A. Bonoan was appointed Kalihim ng Sangguniang Bayan in lieu of Juan Delmendo.

In the municipal session records, Vice Mayor Herminio Albano’s name was not recorded on December 17, 1776 and was assumed resigned. The following councilors also left their post: Couns. Mariano Foronda (September 6, 1976), Prudente Cuntapay (June 2, 1977), Juanito Fernandez (1978), Gregorio Tumabat (1978) and KB President Manuel Villanueva, Jr. (1978). Cauayan had no municipal vice mayor from December 17, 1976 up to February 29, 1980.

The nation’s first elections for provincial and municipal officials since the declaration of martial law were held on January 30, 1980 with Mayor Carlos Uy re-elected as town head of Cauayan. His vice mayor was Hon. Benjamin de Guzman Dy and the councilors were: Hon. Diosdado B. Ramirez, Hon. Manuel L. Dumrique, Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin, Hon. Cecilio L. Bartolome, Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, Hon. Antonio Nacupay De Luna, Hon. Gregorio G. Domingo, and Hon. Elias V. Lelina with Mr. Roberto A. Bonoan as municipal secretary. The new set of officials assumed office on March 1, 1980.

Hon. Manuel A. Angoluan was elected Kabatang Barangay President on August 1980 while Hon. Simeon T. Dela Cruz as Association of Barangay Captains President on January 1981.


On March 13, 1983, Vice Mayor Benjamin Dy assumed the mayorship of Cauayan after Mayor Carlos Uy was appointed Assistant Provincial Health Officer in Ilagan. On April, Coun. Diosdado Ramirez resigned his post and the vacancy in the council was filled up with the appointment of Hon. Ysmael Garcia Atienza. On November 30, 1985, Coun. Manuel Angoluan resigned from office and was replaced by Hon. Ferdinand O. Cadiente on December 2. Cauayan had no municipal vice mayor from March 13, 1983 to May 21, 1986.


The aftermath of the People Power Revolution of 1986 replaced the municipal officials of Cauayan. Hon. Diosdado Bueno Ramirez assumed as OIC-mayor while Hon. Manuel L. Dumrique as OIC-vice mayor. The OIC-councilors were: Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin, Hon.  Cecilio L. Bartolome, Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, Hon. Antonio N. De Luna, Hon. Gregorio G. Domingo, Hon. Elias V. Lelina, Hon.  Ysmael G. Atienza, and Hon.  Ferdinand O. Cadiente with Mr. Roberto A. Bonoan as municipal secretary. This term covers from May 21, 1986 to February 28, 1987.

The Department of Local Government (DLG) appointed a new set of officers-in-charge from March 1 to November 30, 1987. Hon. Paulino Santos Sawit was appointed OIC-mayor while Hon. Sebastian S. Abregado as OIC-vice mayor. The appointed councilors were: Hon. Jacinto S. Simbran, Hon. Gloria C. Franco, Hon. Arturo Rañeses Toledo, Hon. Arlene Ayroso, Hon. Saniat B. Salvador, Hon. Orlando L. Celi, and Hon. Benito M. Ambatali with Mr. Juan I. Delmendo, Jr. as municipal secretary. From August 3 to November 30, 1987, the position of vice mayor was vacant.

However, official city records reveal that there were two mayors in Cauayan from September 1, 1986 to February 26, 1987. MLG Minister Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. revoked the appointment of OIC-Mayor Diosdado Ramirez on September 1, 1986 and on the 20th of the same month and year Hon. Paulino Sawit took his oath as town caretaker. As per records in the city library archives, Mayor Sawit conducted session after he was sworn in until before the settlement of the issue of “two mayors and officials” on March 1 of the following year.

ABC President Simeon T. Dela Cruz and KB President Ferdinand O. Cadiente continued their services and attended municipal sessions through the OIC period.

To oversee the first elections after the People Power Revolution, DLG Secretary (1987-1991) Luis T. Santos appointed new batches of local officials on December 1, 1987. Hon. Simeon Tomas Dela Cruz was OIC-mayor while Hon. Eugenio V. Asirit as OIC-vice mayor. The councilors were: Hon. Lorenzo C. Rodriguez, Hon. Benjamin G. Calibuso, Hon. Dominador I. Cabacungan, Hon. Quirino C. Laggui, Hon. Robert C.  Bautista, Hon. Segundo P. Suerte, Hon. Eugenio G. Aurelio, and Hon. Michael G. Meris with Mr. Juan I. Delmendo, Jr. as municipal secretary.


On January 18, 1988, Hon. Benjamin G. Dy emerged as winner in the mayoralty race with Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin as vice mayor. The elected councilors were: Hon. Constante Edrozo Foronda, Hon. Ysmael G. Atienza, Hon. Rolando R. Bucag, Hon. Antonio N. De Luna, Hon. Cecilio L. Bartolome, Hon. Marcelino C. Montano, Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, and Hon. Miguel C. Lacuna with Mr. Juan I. Delmendo, Jr. as municipal secretary.

In the March 28, 1989 barangay elections, Hon. Faustino G. Dy III won as barangay captain and eventually got elected in the municipal and provincial level as representative of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC). Barangay Captain Ruben C. Tumbaga represented the ABC in the municipal council of Cauayan in lieu of Barangay Captain Dy.

According to city archives records, in the October 2, 1989 session, Hon Francisco Mallillin replaced Coun. Ronaldo Bucag. Hon. Cesar G. Guzman, Jr. sat in the municipal council as ABC President and Hon. Mario A. Ladores as Kabataang Barangay President.      

Senior Councilor Constante Foronda resigned early January of 1992 followed by Vice Mayor Dalin on January 15, 1992. Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member (Ex-Officio, ABC) Hon. Faustino G. Dy III was appointed on the 20th of the same month and year to fill up the position of municipal vice mayor. On March 9 also on the same year, Hon. Constante Aliwalas Foronda, Jr. was also appointed councilor to fill up the vacancy in the council. 

On March 18, 1992, Mayor Benjamin Dy resigned his post to file his certificate of candidacy for governor of Isabela. Vice Mayor Faustino Dy III by virtue of the law of succession became mayor of Cauayan. Former Vice Mayor Leoncio Dalin was appointed to his old post as municipal vice mayor. 


Hon. Faustino G. Dy III emerged victorious in the May 11, 1992 national and local elections. His vice mayor was Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin. Elected councilors were: Hon. Constante A. Foronda, Jr., Hon. Francisco Nicolas Mallillin, Hon. Ysmael G. Atienza, Hon. Antonio N. De Luna, Hon. Cecilio L. Bartolome, Hon. Basilio B. Reyes, Hon. Miguel C. Lacuna, and Hon. Ruben G. Tumbaga.

The Sangguniang Kabataan election was held on December 2, 1992, emerging triumphant was Hon. Faustino A. Cabauatan. On the May 9, 1994 barangay elections, Hon. Mario A. Ladera represented the ABC in the municipal council.

On February 20, 1995, a bill was passed into law, Republic Act No. 7891, dividing the province of Isabela into two new provinces to be known as Isabela del Norte and Isabela del Sur. The municipality of Cauayan was proposed as the new capital of Isabela del Sur. However, a referendum was held on June 20 of the same year and the people of Isabela and Cauayan voted not to divide the province.

Mayor Dy won his second term in the May 8, 1995 midterm local elections with re-elected Vice Mayor Leoncio N. Dalin. The Councilors were: Hon. Ysmael G. Atienza, Hon. Constante A. Foronda, Jr., Hon. Irene B. Maramag, Hon. Homer Dela Cruz, Hon. Cezar G. Guzman, Jr., Hon. Francisco Nicolas Mallillin, Hon. Antonio N. De Luna, and Hon. Cecilio L. Bartolome.

Hon. Alina R. Visaya was elected on May 6, 1996 and was eventually elected as Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President. Hon. Ruben G. Tumbaga was elected as barangay captain on May 12, 1997 and was elected Liga ng mga Barangay (LMB) President. 

In the May 11, 1998 elections, Mayor Dy won his third term with Hon. Constante A. Foronda, Jr. as his vice mayor. The elected councilors were: Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin, Hon. Carlos O. Chan, Hon. Alejandro Quicho Uy III, Hon. Edgar Mariano De Luna, Hon. Cezar G. Guzman, Jr., Hon. Edgardo Ordoñez Atienza, and Hon. Eugenio Vea Asirit.


On February 28, 2001, the old pueblo of Cauayan was created into a component city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9017 (House Bill No. 8328 & Senate Bill 2243) signed by Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with incumbent Mayor Faustino G. Dy III as the first city mayor. On March 30 of the same year, the ratification of Cauayan as a component city of Isabela was overwhelmingly affirmed through a plebiscite. By virtue of law, additional two seats were created to the eight slots in the Cauayan council.


In the May 14, 2001 local elections, Hon. Caesar de Guzman Dy was victorious as the first elected city mayor of Cauayan. Hon. Diosdado B. Ramirez was his vice mayor and the city council was composed of Hon. Leoncio N. Dalin, Hon. Carlos O. Chan, Hon. Edgar M. De Luna, Hon. Edgardo O. Atienza, Hon. Eugenio V. Asirit, Hon. Alejandro Quicho Uy III, Hon. Michael John C. Delmendo, Hon. Joselito O. Ortiz, Jr., and Hon. Edwin Gonzales Lucas.

After the barangay and SK elections on July 15, 2002, Hon. Victor G. Dy won as LMB President while Hon. Charmlaine A. Ordoñez won as SKF President.

In the May 10, 2004 local elections, Mayor Caesar Dy won his second term together with re-electionist Vice Mayor Diosdado Ramirez. The elected city councilors were: Hon. Edgar M. De Luna, Hon. Jose L. Abad, Hon. Leoncio Angoluan Dalin, Jr., Hon. Francisco Nicolas Mallillin, Hon. Severino Baccay Asirit, Hon. Alejandro Quicho Uy III, Hon. Reynaldo L. Uy, Hon. Felix C. Reyes, Hon. Salcedo Tagala Foronda, and Hon. Michael John C. Delmendo.

Mayor Caesar Dy won a third and last term on May 14, 2007 midterm elections. The elected vice mayor was Hon. Bartolome Agonoy Mallillin and the city councilors were: Hon. Leoncio A. Dalin, Jr., Hon. Jose L. Abad, Hon. Proceso J. Cortes, Hon. Reynaldo A. Uy, Hon. Michael John C. Delmendo, Hon. Eugenio Baccay Asirit, Jr., Hon. James B. Maramag, Hon. Ruben G. Tumbaga, Hon. Edwin G. Lucas, and Hon. Bernard D. Vitriolo.

In the October 29, 2007 barangay and SK elections, Hon. Victor G. Dy was re-elected LMB President and Hon. Victor Miguel C. Dy as SK Federation City President.


Former Governor Benjamin Dy was elected on his third term and first term as city mayor of Cauayan on May 10, 2010. His vice mayor was re-elected Vice Mayor Bartolome Agonoy Mallillin and the elected regular members of the city council were: Hon. Leoncio A. Dalin, Jr, Hon. Alejandro Q. Uy III, Hon. Jose L. Abad, Hon. Edgar M. De Luna, Hon. Reynaldo A. Uy, Hon. Francisco N. Mallillin, Hon. Eugenio B. Asirit, Jr., Hon. Ruben G. Tumbaga, Hon. Edwin G. Lucas, and Hon. Salcedo T. Foronda.  

The October 25, 2010 barangay and SK elections catapulted LMB President Victor Dy on his third term with Hon. Krystyna Louise C. Dy as SK Federation President. SK Dy; however, was elected SK provincial head with an ex-officio seat in the Sangguniang panlalawigan. Her seat in the city council was filled up by Hon. Samantha Ezra L. Dalin.


Mayor Benjamin Dy succumbed to an illness on February 16, 2013 and by law of succession, Vice Mayor Bartolome Agonoy Mallillin assumed the mayorship of Cauayan City. His term ended on June 30, of the same year. Senior Councilor Leoncio A. Dalin, Jr. assumed the position of city vice mayor. No appointment filled up the vacancy in the council.


Hon. Bernard Faustino M. Dy was elected as city mayor of Cauayan on May 13, 2013 together with third-termer Vice Mayor Bartolome Agonoy Mallillin. The city council was composed of Hon. Edgar Mariano De Luna, Hon. Francisco Nicolas Mallillin, Hon. Alejandro Quicho Uy III, Hon. Marco Paolo Arriola Meris, Hon. Salcedo Tagala Foronda, Hon. Eugenio Baccay Asirit, Jr., Hon. Bagnos Antonio Maximo, Hon. Edwin Gonzales Lucas, Hon. Gil Aquino Guzman, and Hon. Danilo Baccay Asirit.

In the October 28, 2013 barangay elections, Hon. Victor H. Dy, Jr. was elected LMB President. On March 11, 2016, Vice Mayor Mallillin dies in office. By law of succession, Senior Councilor De Luna assumed as vice mayor. No appointment filled up the vacancy in the council.

In the May 9, 2016 national and local elections, Mayor Bernard Faustino M. Dy was re-elected with coming back Hon. Leoncio A. Dalin, Jr. as his vice mayor. The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod were: Hon. Edgar Mariano De Luna, Hon. Marco Paolo Arriola Meris, Hon. Garry Gundran Galutera, Hon. Edgardo O. Atienza, Hon. Francisco Nicolas Mallillin, Hon. Alejandro Quicho Uy III, Hon. Danilo Baccay Asirit, Hon. Salcedo Tagala Foronda, Hon. Reynaldo A. Uy and Hon. Bagnos Antonio Maximo.