Date Created: Jan. 20, 1967
Fiesta: August 16
Area: 914.2 ha.
Distance (from the city):9.5 km
Kiwalan is one of the earliest settlements and one of the oldest local government units of Iligan City. Its strategic location makes it suitable for human settlement and economic activities. For this reason, Kiwalan is ever since a vibrant and a dynamic community. This is also the reason why many industries came to establish their operation in the Barangay.
Barangay Kiwalan is bounded on the North by Barangay Dalipuga, to the South by the barangays of ACMAC, Sta. Felomina and Bonbonon, to the East by the barangays of Bunawan and Kabacsanan, and to the West by Iligan Bay.
Known as the agro-industrial center of the city, Kiwalan is host to some heavy industries. Among them is Pilmico Foods Corporation, Iligan Cement Corporation, and Granex Manufacturing Corporation, all located along the Kiwalan Cove.
Pilmico Foods Corporation
Iligan Cement Corporation
Granex Manufacturing Corporation
To the West, Iligan Bay provides wharves and container ship transportation. East of the barangay, coastal land gives way to hills and mountains of minerals and agricultural land for which the area is known.
What Is In The Name?
The origin of the name Kiwalan is not clear. But local stories and even legends are abound trying to piece together many hazy information from the distant past that give ideas on why the barangay is called Kiwalan. The most popular was the word “kilawan”. It is said that the early main occupation of the early Kiwalanons was fishing. After a day’s work, these fishermen would gather and have a “kinilaw,” a fish concoctions mixed with local herbs and spices. Usually they would gather at the original site of “kilawan” which is an island of mangroves at the Kiwalan Cove right fronting the present site of PILMICO. That place was then referred to as “kilawanan” and as time passed the term “kilawanan,” evolved into “kiwalan”.
Kilawan Festival is an annual festivity as part of the Kiwalan Tourism Week in preparation for the upcoming San Roque Feast.
Another account suggests that the name was taken from the Maranao term “pig-ku’alan”. It means the place where the wastes of the rattan used for making mats and baskets were thrown. The early Maranao settlers are engaged in basketry and mat weaving as their occupation.
Original Location of Kiwalan and Its Transfer
Kiwalan or “kilawan” or “pig-ku’alan” is originally located at where PILMICO stands today. The old name of the present Kiwalan was Bae-ilo. In the 1930’s, at the height of logging concessions in Kiwalan, a Kiwalan Lumber Company originally owned by the Araullos and was later on transferred to the Paderangas was established at the original site of “Kiwalan”. When the logging concessions were moved to Kabacsanan and to nearby hinterland areas, said lumber company was transferred to Bae-ilo exactly to where Granex is now located thus opening the logging roads from Kiwalan to Bunawan, Kabacsanan and Hindang. This road is now named as Jose F. Yanez Road. People who would come to Bae-ilo refer to the place as Kiwalan Lumber or shortly “Kiwalan.” It resulted to the lost of the old name Bae-ilo. Old land titles and tax declarations still bear Bae-ilo, the old name of Kiwalan. Later, the Kiwalan Lumber Company was transferred to Camague and now there is a place there named KILUMCO which is the acronym of that lumber company.
Origin of the Name Bae-ilo
The old name of Kiwalan which is “Bae-ilo” is taken from different legends and stories. Firstly, that the name Bae-ilo was taken from the visayan transliteration of the word “baylo” or barter trade. Because of Kiwalan’s location, people from the hinterland areas would come to the place to sell or barter their various produce. Even today this tradition is still practiced through the Kiwalan’s regular Saturday flea market. Recent researches provide that the word is from a Duma-an dialect meaning “Bailo” which also means barter. The Duma-an tribes may have started their settlement in Iligan City long before the Spaniards arrived in the country. Secondly, that the name was taken from the word “Bae Ilo” referring to an “orphaned woman”. According to the legend that long ago a Datu and his wife died leaving their only daughter orphaned. Thus “Bae” means woman and “Ilo” means orphaned. Finally, that the name was taken from the legend of the Princess of Bae-ilo who later on become an enchantress. According to the legend, when this Princess takes a bath at the mouth of the Baeilo Creek and her hair flows from the mouth of the river up to the sea then a child will be drown. Accordingly, the locals called her as “ang babae sa ilog” or shortly “baeilo.”
Old Names of Known Places in Kiwalan
Aside from “kilawan”, “pig-kua’alan”, “bailo” or “bae-ilo”, there are still some places in Kiwalan whose original names are still known or are still used such as “Nadtangkupan”, the old Maranao name of the present day Hardin (Purok 16). “Nadtangkupan” means surrounded by mountains.
Matu-ug which is the name of the creek that bounds Kiwalan with Acmac came from the root word “tu-ug” which is a Duma-an term meaning “nipa” and Matu-ug means “kanipa-an” or there are many “nipa”.
Sitio Lerop is derived from the Maranao term Lu’dup meaning off and on. They are referring to the irregular flow of water from the Tubigan Spring.
There is no Lumad Kiwalanon who had not been to Panaghuyan. It was once a semi-forested area where its fresh water from tiled stones flowed and was once used for drinking and other domestic use by all Kiwalanons. This is the place where the Kiwalanons would commune with nature and other supernatural beings. Despite its distance from the Baeilo or the poblacion proper, the Kiwalanons would go there. According to Florentino Condrado, the name Panaghuyan was derived from the root word “taghuy” or whistle. A legendary bird which he (Condrado) forgot the name would whistle to the people fetching water or taking a bath at the spring. Nobody would attest that he has seen the bird but some would say that they have heard its whistle.
Kalubihon whose area covers part of Kiwalan was derived from the name of the famous Sultan Kalubi who ruled this area up to Cagayan long before the Spaniards arrived. The Sarip family of present day Kiwalan would refer to Sultan Kalubi as their ancestor.
No one could determine the origin of the place Kabalalahan which started from Purok No. 2 up to the entire area of Acmac at NAREDICO. Old folks consider Kabalalahan as a part of Kiwalan. There is also a place in Kiwalan which was once named Maranding which is located at the right portion of the mouth of the Matu-ug Creek.
Elected Barangay Officials
The officials of Kiwalan who acted as Tenientes del Barrio were Lorenzo Baluran, Leon Daguisonan, Ignacio Pabillar and Claro Pabillar. When Kiwalan was officially separated from Sta. Filomena, its first elected Barrio Captain was Santiago Contemplo. Contemplo served Kiwalan for over 20 years. He remained undefeated and was succeeded by Roman Ares when Contemplo stepped down after the fall of Marcos and for health reasons. In 1989 collegial election, Piladelfo C. Villaroya got the highest votes and was chosen, by law, as the Barangay Chairman. Villaroya served from 1989 up to 1997. In 1997, Villaroya was succeeded by Roman B. Etom as Punong Barangay and he served from 1997 up to 2002.
There is no existing record on the succession of the various Barangay Kagawads in Kiwalan. Some are only identified by their names such as Mr. Eufevio Jimenez, Juana Bado Tingson, Honey Raagas, Campong, Fidela Condrado, Fidel Nabong, Tomas Nabong, Felix Canete, Luciana Ermac, Arturo O. Pabillar, Ms. Kwan, Isidro Roperos and others. Before the establishment of the Kabataan Barangay by then President Marcos, there was once a Youth and Sports Committee in the Barangay Council and the recorded Chairman at that time was Luis Bado Tingson. The first Kabataan Barangay President was Sherlita Lariosa. She was succeeded by Rosa Lariosa who was in turn succeeded by Evelyn Contemplo.
Past Leaders of the Barangay
1965-1987 Santiago Contemplo
1987-1989 Roman Ares
1989-1997 Piladelfo C. Villaroya
1997-2002 Roman B. Etom
2002-2005 Roderico Y. Dumaug, Jr.
Source: Brgy. Data, Iligan City and Lanao Del Norte Cultural Atlas