The poetic name of Besao is Golinsan while the name Besao is believed to have come from the word “buso” meaning headhunters. In olden days, many places in the Cordillera were known to be headhunters and they were could buso or busol and the Besao people were believed to have been headhunters; hence, the word buso which later became Besao. Besao is located within the Gran Cordillera Central range so it has a mountain terrain generally of moderately steep to very steep slopes with irregular height and altitude; the highest peak is Mt. Caman-ingel. Besao is bounded on the north by Tubo,Abra , on the south by Tadian Municipality, on the east of Sagada town, and on the west of Quirino, Ilocos Sur. Its distance from the capital town of Bontoc is 28 kilometers and one can reach this place via Besao-Sagada road and Besao-Tadian road.

Other Information

Majority of Besao people belong to the Episcopal Church (Anglican). The first church in this town is St. Benedict’s church , built in Kin-iway, Besao in 1908. Later , these American Anglican missionaries established the primary school in 1909 and opened the St. James High School in 1913.

Besao is one of the municipalities to have and Official Municipal Hymn that is sung every fiesta and on  other occasions. The lyrics of this Municipal Hymn were composed by Theresa G. Villanueva and the music was composed by Rev. Daniel P. Carino.

All in all, Besao has 16 public elementary schools and 2public and 2 private secondary schools. Besao boasts of many  educated citizens who are now occupying key positions in the government service and also in private institutions.

Current Officials

Mayor: Wellington  B. Pooten

Vice Mayor: Harry Balliaga


  • John Lopsoten
  • Reymundo Beyden
  • Willie Biswilan
  • Orville Estangki
  • Buyagan Buyagan
  • Marcos Mangalay
  • Sylvia  Yongaan
  • Carpio Pekas

Besao East

BESAO EAST BARANGAY Besao Proper is subdivided into two barangays: Besao East and Besao West. Besao East is subdivided into three sitios namely Mong-o(upper),Tanguid(middle) and Law-ingan(lower). Mong-o is where the Besao Elementary School and pre school is found. It is also here where you can find your way going to Soquib another Barangay of Besao. …

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