Caoayan, officially the Municipality of Caoayan (Ilocano: Ili ti Caoayan; Filipino: Bayan ng Caoayan), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 19,574 people. [3]

Municipality of Caoayan
The Caoayan Town Hall
The Caoayan Town Hall
Official seal of Caoayan
Etymology: Bamboo
Pardas Caoayan!
Map of Ilocos Sur with Caoayan highlighted
Map of Ilocos Sur with Caoayan highlighted
Caoayan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°32′49″N 120°22′59″E / 17.5469°N 120.3831°E / 17.5469; 120.3831Coordinates: 17°32′49″N 120°22′59″E / 17.5469°N 120.3831°E / 17.5469; 120.3831
RegionIlocos Region
ProvinceIlocos Sur
District 1st district
Barangays17 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorGermelina S. Goulart
 • Vice MayorPedro B. Belarmino
 • RepresentativeDeogracias Victor B. Savellano
 • Municipal Council
 • Electorate13,530 voters (2019)
 • Total17.42 km2 (6.73 sq mi)
5.0 m (16.4 ft)
Highest elevation
44 m (144 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2020 census) [3]
 • Total19,574
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Income class4th municipal income class
 • Poverty incidence4.05% (2018)[4]
 • Revenue₱86,489,959.53 (2020)
 • Assets₱447,411,189.70 (2020)
 • Expenditure₱90,554,843.45 (2020)
 • Liabilities₱64,431,670.62 (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityIlocos Sur Electric Cooperative (ISECO)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)77
Native languagesIlocano


During pre-Spanish times the port of Pandan was an important trading post for Chinese and inter-island vessels, and one of the commodities once traded there was bamboo. With the arrival of the Spaniards came the project to identify the names of places in the Philippines. Spaniards, patrolling the area for pirates known as tirong, came to a place near the island called Puro, and asked the name of the place. Thinking that the Spaniards wanted to know the name of the bamboo floating in rafts on the Baggoc River waiting to be traded, they answered "kawayan." The Spaniard then listed the place's name as Caoayan.

From that time on, the place's registered name was Caoayan, and has been registered as a barrio of the capital town Bigaan. It became a parish in 1825. The first missionaries that founded Saint Paul College of Ilocos Sur landed in Pandan. A commemorative marker stands at Pandan Port to commemorate the event.


Caoayan, which was once a barrio of Ciudad Fernandina, now Vigan, became a municipality in 1911. Don Dimas Querubin was the town's founder and got elected as the first municipal mayor. He was succeeded by his son, Don Asterio Q. Querubin I, who served for four terms and became president of the Mayors' League of Ilocos Sur.



Climate data for Caoayan, Ilocos Sur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30
Average low °C (°F) 19
Average precipitation mm (inches) 9
Average rainy days 4.6 4.0 6.2 9.1 19.5 23.2 24.0 22.5 21.5 15.2 10.5 6.0 166.3
Source: Meteoblue (Use with caution: this is modeled/calculated data, not measured locally.) [5]


Caoayan is politically subdivided into 17 barangays.[6] These barangays are headed by elected officials: Barangay Captain, Barangay Council, whose members are called Barangay Councilors. All are elected every three years.

  • Anonang Mayor
  • Anonang Menor
  • Baggoc
  • Callaguip
  • Caparacadan
  • Fuerte
  • Luzong East
  • Luzong West
  • Manangat
  • Naguilian
  • Nansuagao
  • Pandan
  • Pantay-Quitiquit
  • Don Dimas Querubin (Poblacion)
  • Puro
  • Pantay-Tamurong
  • Villamar
  • Don Alejandro Quirolgico (Poblacion)
  • Don Lorenzo Querubin (Poblacion)


Population census of Caoayan
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 6,201—    
1918 7,860+1.59%
1939 8,306+0.26%
1948 9,064+0.98%
1960 11,045+1.66%
1970 12,670+1.38%
1975 13,375+1.09%
1980 14,070+1.02%
1990 15,637+1.06%
1995 15,799+0.19%
2000 17,199+1.84%
2007 18,914+1.32%
2010 18,551−0.70%
2015 19,861+1.31%
2020 19,574−0.29%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[7][8][9][10]

In the 2020 census, Caoayan had a population of 19,574. [3] The population density was 1,100 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,800/sq mi).


Caoayan Welcome Arch
A series of roadside eateries just outside of the town's parish church in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur

Due to its geographical location, fishing has been the main source of livelihood of the inhabitants. Next is agriculture where farmers planted onions, tomatoes, rice and corn bound. The town is also known for its loom-weaving industry which dates back before Spanish regime. Palafox and Associates have declared Caoayan as the fish-bowl and onion basket of Ilocos Sur.

Boat-sailing was one of the major industries of Caoayan but was eased out as means of transportation with the onset of modern highways especially those connecting the Ilocos provinces to Manila and the Cagayan Valley. The provincial government has recognized the Caoayano skill by awarding locals who are engaged in boat-making and calesa-manufacturing as living legends of Ilocos Sur.

Currently, LGU-Caoayan has launched the country's first ever One-Barangay, One-Product (OBOP) program. Although its official One-Town, One-Product (OTOP) as per DTI's initiatives is Abel Iloko, only 5 out of the 17 barangays are into loom-weaving. Under Mayor Goulart, the OBOP was designed to give all barangays equal economic development opportunity. Under this program, non- Abel Iloko barangays are empowered to adopt their respective OBOPs depending on the raw materials that are indigenous and abundant in their communities.

The OBOP has now produced a wide array of local products: processed Rosangis (clam shells), Bagoong Ipon, native Cakes and Delicacies, processed peanuts, Pickled Singkamas (turnips), Smoked Tilapia, Corn Husk souvenir items, Water Lily handicrafts, Smoked/De-boned Bangus (milkfish), with others that are following soon. Abel Iloko weavers have also undergone training programs that will enable them to come up with high-end Abel outputs.

Caoayan is also presently riding on the coattails of Vigan, which has been declared as one of the new 7 wonder cities of the world. To be able to get a fair share of the city's tourist influx, Caoayan opened the Pinakbet Farm in Barangay Nansuagao, offering the quintessential Ilokano dish - Pinakbet - as its centerpiece. Currently opened is the Caoayan Choco Surf Point in Barangay Manangat, a resort-type destination that offers surfing and other water-based sports classes, rejuvenating massage and the Black Sand exfoliating rub, and the resto-bar that offers drinks and seafood paella as the chef's choice. These tourism-based projects have been launched to achieve the town's vision of improving all Caoayanos' standard of living through additional revenue and employment generation.


Caoayan, belonging to the first congressional district of the province of Ilocos Sur, is governed by a mayor designated as its local chief executive and by a municipal council as its legislative body in accordance with the Local Government Code. The mayor, vice mayor, and the councilors are elected directly by the people through an election which is being held every three years.

Elected officialsEdit

Members of the Municipal Council
Position Name
Congressman Deogracias Victor B. Savellano
Mayor Germelina S. Goulart
Vice-Mayor Pedro B. Belarmino
Councilors Maria Teresa C. Alquiza
Francis T. Mendoza
Visitacion P. Quilana
Jose Q. Quadra
Romel R. Balallo
Melnan Q. Atendido
Adrian T. Fenol
Demetrio M. Briones

Notable personalitiesEdit

The ancestral house of Don Dimas Querubin, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur's most famous individual.


  1. ^ Municipality of Caoayan | (DILG)
  2. ^ "2015 Census of Population, Report No. 3 – Population, Land Area, and Population Density" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Quezon City, Philippines. August 2016. ISSN 0117-1453. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Caoayan: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Province: Ilocos Sur". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  7. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  8. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  9. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region I (Ilocos Region)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  10. ^ "Province of Ilocos Sur". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  12. ^; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  13. ^; publication date: 23 March 2009; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  14. ^; publication date: 3 August 2012; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  15. ^; publication date: 31 May 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  16. ^; publication date: 10 July 2019; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  17. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  18. ^ "2019 National and Local Elections" (PDF). Commission on Elections. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-06. Retrieved March 11, 2022.

External linksEdit