The name “Bontoc” is derived form an old creek called Bontoc creek near the present Roman Catholic Cemetery where old “pueblo” called Daan Lungsod existed during the early Spanish regime.
Before the coming of the Spaniards, Bontoc was then a total wilderness where few aborigines lived and wild animals roamed. When the Spaniards came, they found scattered warring tribes of primitive Malays who settled in prosperous villages near the mouth and along the fertile plains of the historic Salog river basin. They then successfully subjugated these warring tribes and immigrants and founded a cluster of villages which later on formed the nucleus of the Barrio of Bontoc.
As far as history could recall the most popular among the ancient warring chiefs, was Mariano Barcelon who was nicknamed as “Tahug”. He was acclaimed to be the bravest of the braves. His name was a terror to the Moro pirates that swarmed Philippine waters during the 16th century.
During the Spanish time up to the early part of the American regime, Bontoc was ruled by a succession of native “Cabezas de barangay”, a unit government organization during that time. Bontoc was at that time a tributary “pueblo” belonging to the old town of Libagon which governed the people for many years both in civil and religious matter by a line of “capitanes or gobernadocillos.
The cabezas de barangay who governed this little pueblo also earned for themselves the honor of being called “capitan” by their own people. The church wielded tremendous power at that time in the affairs of the government. Any person who offends the clergy or disobeys religious order is severely punished.
Among the well-known capitanes who controlled the reins of the local administration of this barrio were: Hilario Barcelon, Manuel Leyes, Romualdo Tubia, Florentino Flores, Felipe Aguilar and the last well-known cabeza or capitan was Gerardo Faelnar popularly known among the people as Capitan Dadoy whose administration lasted up to the early days of American occupation.
Shortly after the coming of the Americans, Bontoc became a unit barrio of Sogod, Leyte. On June 15, 1959, she became a regular municipality by the operative provisions of Republic Act No. 522.
SALIENT FACTS ABOUT BONTOC MUNICIPALITY
• It is the seat of the famous Resistance Movement during the Japanese Occupation whose General Headquarters was at Mamingao, upper Banahao under the command of Colonel Ruperto K. Kangleon.
• Sitio Trece of this municipality is the historical place where a truckload of Japanese soldiers on patrol was completely annihilated during the Japanese Occupation.
• The only municipality created in 1950, tentatively classified as 3rd class “F” in the province with an average annual budget of over P15,000.00.
• It has an estimated area of around 181.37 square kilometres and is the greatest farming region in the entire Sogod Bay towns.
• It has the longest stretch of rich alluvial plain drained by the Salog River in entire south Leyte sector.
• It is a tobacco and abaca-producing region in the Sogod Bay towns.
• It has an excellent harbour by reason of its geographical location
Bontoc is politically subdivided into 40 barangays (districts).