Municipality of Mankayan

Mankayan Municipal Hall

The Municipal Building of Mankayan was conceived by the Municipal Administration of 1968-71. It was built on 1972.   It was once dubbed  as  the most beautiful edifice in Benguet because of its structure, being the first of  its kind.   It is also believed  that  the Provincial Capitol of Benguet  was  patterned after it.


In the olden days, Mankayan was a thickly forested area wherein hunters from neighboring places frequented in search for wild animals.

According to stories of the old folks passed from generation to generation, there were hunters from “Awa”, Buguias who pursued and harassed a deer in the thick forest of Nangkayang. The deer fell into a deep ravine where the hunters found it. They spent the night roasting and feasting on the deer meat leaving their fire burning through the night. The following morning, the hunters were surprised to find out that the rocks they used to elevate their fire were malleable. They brought home samples of these rocks and fashioned tools and artifacts out of it and bartered them with commodities coming from the lowlands.

Rich Spanish businessmen from the lowlands took notice of these products and asked the native traders where they got their copper. The native traders simply replied “Nangkayang” which means way up to the eastern mountains. “Nankayang” eventually became “Mankayan”.

Legal Basis of Its Creation

The origin of Mankayan shows a close link to the development of mines in the area. Resident natives referred to the area as “Magambang” which means the area is rich of “Gambang”, the local term for copper.

Mankayan was then a barrio (Rancheria) of the Province of Lepanto, with Cervantes as the provincial capital. A.J. Cleveland’s translation of the Spanish records revealed the names of the governadorcillos of the different Rancherias in the area. Some of them were Tibaldo of Mankayan, Mendoza of Tubo, Lancungan of Balili, Bauaqui of Data, Tambana of Bulalacao, Paduan of Tabbac and Bagnagan of Patpat (Eveland 1905).

During the early years of the American regime, Mankayan became part of Lepanto-Bontoc Province in 1903.

In 1913, Mankayan was established as a municipal district in the sub-province of Benguet and as such came the official recognition of its first local government executives.

On June 16, 1950, pursuant to Republic Act 1302, Mankayan District was converted into a regular municipality. At present, it is among the 13 municipalities of the Province of Benguet when the old Mountain Province was sub-divided into four provinces on June 18, 1966 through Republic Act No. 4695.


Mankayan Municipal Hall Sub-Office

Abatan. Guinaoang, Mankayan, Benguet

Historical Background

The history of Mankayan was greatly associated and influenced by  several  factors such as the discovery of copper and gold, immigration due to epidemic, trade, and inter-tribal conflicts.

Mankayan was first reached by the Spaniards in 1668 when a group led  by Admiral Pedro Duran de Montforte, composed of 100 Spaniards, 2,000 Indios and 3 Agustinian friars ventured to discover the mines.

Sometime in 1833, Galvey was able to pinpoint  the  Igorot Mines  in Gambang, Suyoc and Mankayan. He sent samples to the Spanish authorities in Spain prompting the Spanish Queen to issue a Royal Decree creating a commission led by Sainz de Baranda to undertake the exploration of the mines.

On February 3, 1850, Engineer Don Antonio Hernandez made    an  investigation on  the ore deposits, mapped  out  the route  and  collected samples which  confirmed  the  existence   of copper in Mankayan.

On March 26, 1856, Senior Tomas Balbas y Castro applied for the demarcation of  the properties and on July 1856 reached an agreement with the different Rancherias  paying an  amount of Five Hundred Pesos (P200) and guaranteed employment of natives in the mines at regular fixed rate. Such agreement, approved by the government,  led to  the creation  of   a stock  company “Sociedad Minero-Metalorgical Cantabro Filipina-de Mancayan” in 1862. Senior Balbas  was appointed director-general of the company. (Eveland 1905:19).

Sometime  in 1864,  the  Spanish   Government  issued   a   mining regulation   to      govern the  operation of the  mines in the Philippines. Governadorcillos  Tibaldo  of  Rancheria Mankayan, Mendoza of Tubo, Lancungan  of Balili, Bayabau  of  Bato,  Tambana of Bulalacao, Padduan of Tabbac  and  Bagnaken  of Patpat became signatories to a mining agreement  with the Spaniards.

On January 1900, after the Spanish-American war, a group of Americans reached Mankayan and saw the rich mineral ore.  Among the group  was  Leonard Lehlbech  who conducted examination of the area and its ores. This venture was later made successful by John Muller and Victor Lednickey.

In 1932, the Halsema Road  was  opened  to vehicular  traffic  primarily  to  make the  mines accessible.

The mining boom in Mankayan began in 1933. Marsman  and  Company formed the Suyoc  Consolidated   Mining  Company.  American Corporate led  by    Victor Lednickey  established  the  Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company on September 26, 1936.

In 1942, when Japan invaded the Philippines, Japanese soldiers took immediate control of the mines in Mankayan due to the importance of copper needed to supply the armaments of the Japanese Imperial Army.    The  Mitsui Mining Company  of Japan opened the Suyoc and  Lepanto   Mines and renamed it as the “Mitsui Mankayan Copper Mines”. They operated the mines until 1945.

After the  war,  Lepanto Consolidated  Mining  Company  assumed  the    mining operations and started rehabilitation works on the mines.

Since  then   the  town of  Mankayan  grew  and  developed  alongside   the two companies. Projects by both the government and the private sectors were initiated. The area which was once a thickly forested sanctuary of wild animals has now become a complex community.

Natural Attractions found in



See also: Man Made Attractions Found in Mankayan


The Lepanto Airstrip located at Pukitan Barangay Paco of Mankayan  is just a minute walk away from the amenities of the Lepanto CPJ Complex. This serves as  the private landing area of the Lepanto Mining Company’s  fast travel operations .



The Lepanto Mines Golf Course is located at Barangay Sapid of Mankayan. It has 18 holes and the only golf course  found north and outside Baguio City. This  is just five minutes ride from Plaza, Poblacion and about 2 hours  and a half from Baguio City. This has already been classified as the existing  tourist spot of the Municipality of Mankayan.  



Nayak Twin Decline Tunnel. Is a man-made cave which offers opportunities to explore the underground tunnels of the Lepanto Mining Company. This is also an added attraction to the Lepanto Golf Course which  has a walking distance of only  5 minutes .



The Amburayan District Pistol Association Inc.  Shooting Range is an added amenity to the Lepanto Mine Golf Course where it is located.  Founded by the late Municipal Judge of Mankayan, Judge Thomas A. Rufino on September 1, 2005.



Palidan Slides.is located just below the Mong-o Burial Ground. Also known as the Grand Canyon of Palasaan.  Palidan was once a mountain of lime soil and   the riding arena of Kankana-ey Horse Riders (Cowboys). In the olden days, folks claimed that  a flock of different kinds of birds flew away from this place and did not return. One or two months later  the place suddenly eroded  and looked like a lake. The place continued to erode time after time until it  became the grand canyon of Palasaan.



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Am-am View Deck. Is a big boulderstone on top of a mountain at Barangay Balili of Mankayan overlooking the mountain ranges of the eastern part of Ilocos Sur where the historic  Bessang Pass and Tirad Pass are located. It also offers the spectacular sceneries of the hills and mountains of Tadian and Bauko municipalities of Mountain  Province; the majestic Abra River ; and the  vegetable gardens surrounding the area. Added interest underneath the view deck is an old tomb  with coffin made of a thick old pine wood that never deteriorated  in centuries .



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John and Kenny Farm Enjoy an educational tour at the John and Kenny Farm at Cada, Balili, Mankayan, Benguet and be engrossed with the phenomenal vegetable plateaus around its area. Also experience the art of farming by doing it yourself and feel the true miracles of sprouting vegetables serving us in our daily food sustenance. 

Barangay Balili is one of the most largest supplier of vegetables in the country being directly delivered to Baguio City and Manila. Organic products of John-Kenny Farm has already entered the global industry of agriculture, supplying other Asian countries.



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Mada-ew Falls is located at Bedbed, Mankayan, Benguet.   You can capture  this fascinating  scenery from Patpat Barangay Tabio of Mankayan which faces  the mountain ranges of Barangay Bedbed  and Balili. Getting into this place offers you the adventure of trekking, camping, and swimming   along the  exciting rivers of  Deccan and Mada-ew. 

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Mankayan Veterans Post  

Memorial Marker 

Poblacion, Mankayan, Benguet 


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Mong-o Burial Ground.is located at Palasaan, Suyoc, Mankayan, Benguet. It has man-made burial caves which were formed from big rocks piled concavely on top of the other. Folks claimed that there were actually 4 (four) burial caves made on this ground but only two exist now. They believed that the others might have gone when its nearby mountain named Palidan, a once riding arena for Kan-kanaey horse riders (cowboys) eroded. The Mong-o Burial Ground was believed to be the first Kankanaey ancient graveyard.  


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