Atok - DILG-CAR Official Website

Municipality of Atok, Benguet



Vice Mayor: MARSON S. LAY-AT
Land Area (in Hectares): 21,499
Total Population*: 19,242
No. of Registered Voters**: 8,634
Income Class: 4TH CLASS
No. of Barangays: 8


History and Government


The name of the municipality of Atok is derived from its location. It is a short term of the native dialect “Nay patok shi chontog” which means "on the mountain top". “Atok” was the name of the place and was the seat of the Spanish colonial government in the area which was headed by an official called “Presidente” or “Kapitan”.


Politically, Atok is divided into eight barangays, namely: Abiang, Poblacion, Caliking, Naguey, Topdac, Paoay, Pasdong and Cattubo. The original barrios were Atok Central (Poblacion), Naguey, Abiang and Caliking. Naguey came from the native grass “Nagnakey” which abounds in the place. Abiang means a native pack for rain protection. Caliking came from the word Sangleking, a light material easily carried. Paoay means a plane and grassy land. Topdac is from the word Toblac, a genus parasitic wild plant.


1 Abiang 1,766
 2 Caliking 3,155
 3 Cattubo 2,674
 4 Naguey 1,723
5 Paoay 4,181
6 Pasdong 1,078
7 Poblacion 2,045
8 Topdac 2,620
*   - 2010 NSO Census of Population
**  - 2010 Partial Data from COMELEC


During World War II, Atok was the scene of fierce pitch battles between the guerilla forces of the 66th Infantry and the Japanese Imperial Forces. The terrain along the Halsema Highway is ideal for the guerillas to mount ambushes and other tactical offensives against the Japanese. True to their noble tradition of bravery - as in the legend Bala-tek - the two-headed monster who was killed by use of fire and a vat and the killing of the bandit-rustler Chamikday which accordingly put an end to banditry and lawlessness. The people of Atok responded to the call to arms accordingly and made untold sacrifices for the sake of freedom against a common enemy. The people supported the guerillas by giving them food and shelter and by acting as couriers, among other things. So real and menacing were the activities of the guerillas that they slowed down General Yamashita’s retreat. Long before the 66th Infantry was called to help fight the Japanese forces at Bessang Pass, it wrought havoc and inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy in this part of the country. The valor of the Igorots in the struggle against a foreign invader is recorded in history and Atok takes pride in saying that it helped break the “Tiger’s” back. It is not too much perhaps to claim that Atok is the “Vanguard of Freedom in Benguet”.


Through the years, Atok was led by different municipal mayors. Record says that the different local chief executives who ran the town are: Silsil (1892-1893), Damsis (1894-1895), Anuma Pool (1898-1899), Bohao Belit (1899-1900), Guiniguin (1901), Marino Mora (1902), Primitivo Aguncharao(1903), Bayas Dongog (1904), Gumangan Pinaw-an (1905), Marino Mora (1906-1907), Alipio Peso (1908-1909), Belit Palasi (1910-1911), Petaran Pechay (1912-1913), Alipio Peso (1914-1915), Kinelmo Boras (1916-1917), Macay Ag-agaya (1918-1919), Piopioan Palasi (1920), Tiotioen Balyaw (1921), Esdao Binonga (1922-1924), Bayas Dongog (1925-1927), Pedro Cagui-ing (1928-1930), Moltio Kintos (1931-1933), Jose Mencio (1934-1936), Kinalman Velasco (1940-1942), Alfredo Bayas (1942-1944), Mateo Sison (1945-1946), Felipe Tiotio (1947-1949), Alfredo Alumno (1950-1952), Aurelio Casinto (1953-1955), Asingco Moltio (1956-1959), Alfredo Alumno (1960-1967), John Haight (1968-1986), Orlando Smith (appointed, 1986-1987), Colantes Bacbac (OIC, 1987-1988), Orlando Smith (1988-1991), Colantes Bacbac (1991-1992), and Johnny Uy, the mayor from 1992 to the present.


Its Land


Atok is centrally located in the heart of the province of Benguet. It is bounded by the municipality of Kibungan and Buguias on the north, the municipalities of Kabayan and Bokod on the east, the municipality of Kapangan on the west and the municipality of Tublay on the south. Its boundaries with the adjacent municipalities are points in corners of the straight boundary line which are found in the mountain tops, mountain sides, saddles/ridges in the mountain hills.


Atok has a land area of 22,385.4958 hectares with 2/3 of it having a 40-60% slope, characterized as hilly to mountainous, with 1/3 of it or 60% above slope characterized as rugged mountain areas. The highest point in the Philippine Highway which is 7,400 feet above sea level located at Km. 53, Cattubo. The highest elevation in the municipality is 7,400 feet above sea level near the boundary of the municipality with the municipality of Kabayan. The lowest elevation is 600 meters above sea level located along the Amburayan River at barangay Naguey.


Like any other municipality of Benguet, Atok belongs to the Type I of climate classification characterized by two pronounced seasons - wet and dry. Dry season starts in November and lasts in April while wet season extends from May to October.


Its Inhabitants


There are 14,862 inhabitants (1995 census) of Atok belonging to Ibaloi, Kankana-ey and a few other ethno-linguistic groups. According to oral tradition, the Ibalois came from the Kabayan Tribe while the Kankana-eys and the other tribes came from the municipalities of Buguias, Bakun and Mankayan, all in the province of Benguet.


Its Economy


The municipality's agricultural land comprises approximately 46.058% of the total municipal land area or 10,310.33 hectares. Forest area is 34.876% or 7,807.17 hectares. At present, some portions of the forest areas are already converted into agricultural areas and are being planted to vegetables and other rootcrops. Of the total agricultural land, only 1,453.00 hectares are being used as croplands planted to vegetables, rootcrops and palay. Vegetable products include cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and pechay. In areas with no irrigation, farmers cultivate their areas only once a year during the rainy seasons. Those with available irrigation throughout the year, however, could have at least 3 croppings a year.


All agricultural products of the municipality are marketed in Baguio City and in La Trinidad at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post.


Aside from agriculture, industries present in the municipality are basket weaving, bamboocrafts and blacksmithing. Commercial establishments in the municipality include restaurants, bakeries, cockpits, dental clinics, photo studios, pharmacies, gasoline stations, livestock and meat stores, billiard halls, auto-repair/vulcanizing shops, tailoring shops and beauty parlors.


In addition to the commercial establishments, there are also 21 consumer cooperatives in all population centers of every barangay and in big sitios. Paoay has a big multi-purpose cooperative store known as the Atok Multi-purpose Cooperative, Inc. which offers all kinds of consumer goods including farm implements, serving not only the needs of the municipality but the neighboring municipalities as well.


Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest

  • Abiang Burial Caves
  • Haight’s Place
  • Philippine Pali
  • Naguey Rice Terraces
  • Sayangan Market


By: DILG-CAR, Copyright 1999
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Land Area (sq. Km.): 19,611.10
Population (2010): 1,616,867
No.of Registered Voters: 832,131
No.of Provinces: 6
No.of Municipalities: 75
No.of HUCs: 1 (Baguio)
No.of Component Cities: 1 (Tabuk)
No.of Barangays: 1,176
Legal Basis of Creation: EO 220
Date of Creation: 07/15/1987
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