Palanan History, Tourist Spots, Festival, Officials

Palanan is a 1st class municipality of Isabela Province in Cagayan Valley Region, Philippines. It is a coastal town best known as the place where General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippines, was arrested by the invading Americans in 1901.

Palanan Isabela
Palanan Isabela (Photo Credit: Facebook Page)

Profile of Palanan Municipality (Geography)
Location –> 306 kilometers northeast of Manila (See map below)
Neighboring Towns and City–> Divilacan (north), Dinapigue (south), San Mariano and Ilagan City (west)
Area –> 880.24 km2 (339.86 sq mi)
Population –> 17,260 (2015 Census)
Terrain –> Mountainous with coastal plain and river valleys
Industries –> Agriculture, Trading, Tourism
Major Products –> Rice, Vegetables, Poultry, Handicraft, Home-made Food Items
People/Language –> Ibanag, Ilocano, Tagalog, English
Barangays: 17
Revenue (2016) –> 152,996,507.05
Legislative District –> 2nd

Government Officials
Go here to see the elected municipal officials of Palanan.


It is believed that Palanan derived its name from “Palanammu”, the Ibanag term for warning. In the olden days, the Ibanags or the lowland people of Isabela used the term to warn their fellows against the fierce aboriginal people of Palanan, the Aetas and the negritoes. When the Spaniards came, the Ibanags also used the term. Soon the place was called Palanan.

Palanan saw the introduction of Christianity on its soil when Father Blas Palomino and his companions arrived in 1609 and dedicated the place to St. Mary Magdalene. In 1823, the parish of Palanan was organized with St. Mary Magdalene as its patron saint.

In 1900, then President Emilio Aguinaldo took refuge in Palanan and established the national government here. After six months, he was captured by the American forces led by General Frederick Funston with the help of Macabebe Scouts on March 23, 1901.

When Aguinaldo left, Palanan was governed by a certain Inocencio dela Pena followed by Benjamin Ligero. There were other appointed leaders but in 1935, Palanan finally had its first elected mayor in the person of Emilio Cortes. After the war, Aladino Bernardo became the first elected mayor.


Palanan is an agricultural town where farming and fishing are the primary source of income for the local population. Rice, corn, fish, vegetables, and root crops are the chief products. Many households are also engaged in handicraft making especially rattan, nito, bamboo and wood products are produced.

Tourism is a rising industry especially with the opening and improvement of the road that connects the town with Ilagan City.

Tourist Spot

General Emilio Aguinaldo Park and Monument

Agta/Dumagat Village
Dimalicolico Village where one can see observe Sabutan Weavers
St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church

Blue Lagoon

Culasi Sandbar and Estuary

Dicotcotan Beach

Diago Beach

Kanaipang Beach

Mount Palanan
Sabang Mangrove Boulevard
Disadsad Falls

Pinacanauan River


Sabutan Festival

Map of Palanan Municipality

See also: Profile of Mayor Elizabeth Ochoa, Governor Rodolfo Albano III

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