Quick Facts on Ligao City
- LAND AREA: 117.14 km2 (45.23 sq mi)
- POPULATION: 104,914 (As of 2010)
- NO. OF BARANGAYS: 55
- MAJOR INDUSTRY: Agriculture, agri-based industries, trading and commercial activities
The name Ligao is derived from the local word "ticao", once an abundant tree whose poisonous leaves were used to catch fish in rivers or creeks. Most Ligaoeños, however, believe that the name Ligao was originally "licau" which means to take the long way around or to turn away from the ordinary or usual route.
Ligao started as a small settlement known as 'Cavasi' in the 16th century. It grew in population as it attracted natives from nearby settlements. Eventually, power struggles among ambitious and aggressive leaders caused trouble as they created divisions among the settlement. There arose five divisions led bymaginoos (chieftains): Pagkilatan, Maaban, Sampoñgan, Makabongay and Hokoman. Peace was only restored when Chieftain Pagkilatan was appointed supreme leader over the entire settlement with the approval of the other chieftains.
The town was founded as a barrio of Polangui in 1606, being ceded to Oas in 1665, and finally becoming an independent municipality in 1666. It gained city status on March 24, 2001, after a plebiscite with an overwhelming Yes vote of 17,754 as against 1,387 No votes.