The Municipality of Maramag, Bukidnon :
Maramag is a 1st class municipality in the Province of Bukidnon, Philippines. According to the Population Commission 2000 census data, it has a population density of nearly 87,000 people in almost 20,000 households. We will appreciate more about Maramag, Bukidnon if we will consider by knowing first its background. The following is its Political and Cultural history;
Political and Cultural History
Maramag from “Ag Ramag” a contracted Manobo term for “Ag Ramag Ki Dini”, which as freely translated, means “Let us eat our breakfast here.” The story as officially published by the late Prescioso Velez Abellanosa Sr. (a former municipal mayor) goes that the Manobos were constantly in conflict with the Maranaos for supremacy over the locality. Each time they set out for the battle they would stop on the bank of Pulangi River where flat stones that serve as their tables abound the area. Atop of these, they would draw their plans and eat their breakfast. This habit becomes their practice that even in times of peace and as a sign of good faith, these “Lumads”, the natives or early settlers invite others who happen to pass by to partake meals with them. Maramag then was a picnic ground were one can rest and take his meal as a short respite either from travel, trekking, hunting and trapping or from battle.
Through the years, even Christians (referred to as “Dumagats“, literally seaborne/ people coming from the shoreline) started to come and settle near the place. They too would stop and eat their meals on these big flat stones during hunting trips or as they travel on foot from one valley to another. As more and more Christian settlers occupied the surrounding places, Ag Ramag became more commonly called as Maramag – a homonym or a contraction of the original Manobo term “Ag Ramag”.
The political history of the municipality traced back in 1916 when the late Deputy Governor Cenon R. Paulican positively declared that people from different parts of the country began settling in the area. Years later, the people informally elected a leader among them as the initial local government to stand as the local administrators. They called their leaders “Captain”. These leaders normally retained in the office for as long as their political abilities and faithfulness to duty would allow; Monarchial in so many ways although an election process is in place. This system was still adopted up to the Second World War.
In 1945, the first appointed Mayor was installed to head the municipal government followed by two others. The first election for the position of the Municipal Mayor was held in 1951. The election for the members of the Barrio Council was held in 1955. From then on, ten other Municipal Mayors were either appointed or elected in the past 56 years up to the present.
Maramag was formally created as a municipality through Executive Order No. 272 issued by then President Carlos P. Garcia on July 1, 1956. The Poblacion of Maramag was formerly located in Barangay Base Camp, three (3) kilometers away from the present Poblacion. After the World War II and upon the completion of the Sayre Highway, people started to move along the highway in a linear settlement and later concentrically formed on what is the known as the Poblacion today. The Poblacion of Maramag is fragmented into two (2) Barangays, the Barangay North and the South Poblacions.
The municipal boundaries between Maramag, Pangantucan and Kibawe were established in 1935 by the then deputy Governor Cenon Paulican. Then, Maramag, with the organization of the former barangays Don Carlos and Quezon into regular municipalities, was reduced to its present area of about 58,198.98 hectares. As reported too, in the late sixties, a Memorandum of Agreement between Maramag and Valencia, Bukidnon was forged as to their common boundaries. Purportedly, the Lumbo Creek, as it flows to the Pulangi River defines the demarcation between the two municipalities.
The current seat of the government of Maramag consists of two barangays: the North and South Poblacion. When the Central Mindanao University (CMU) is transferred to Musuan, Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon from Managok, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, the municipality became the host of the premier agricultural school in Mindanao.
The municipality likewise served as the nucleus of the major national roads of the province to the different places of Mindanao namely: the Bukidnon–Wao (Lanao del Sur) road the Bukidnon – North Cotobato Road and the Bukidnon – Cagayan de Oro Road.
Maramag boasts its agricultural importance to the development of the province most especially on sugarcane production. It is where the Crystal Sugar Milling Corporation is located with a rated capacity of 6,000 tons per day. As of 1999, the total area planted to sugarcane was 20,500 hectares, which ranked as the number one crop. Corn ranked as second with 10,800 hectares planted and rice accounted as the third major crop in the municipality with the irrigated areas reaching 4,900 hectares.
The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) Pulangi IV Hydroelectric Plant with a rated capacity of 255 megawatts is found in Maramag. The Power Plant contributed power supply to the Mindanao Grid. This Hydroelectric Power Plant generates its power from the Pulangui River.
In terms of environment, the municipality plays a vital role in the protection of the Bukidnon Watershed. Thirty percent of the land, approximately 17,340 hectares, of Maramag has been designated as forest land. These include the protected forest (10.45%), production forest (85.85%) and buffer zones (3.7%). The forest area categorized under the NIPAS is the 1,939.62 hectares which is confined in the Mt. Kalatungan Range, the third highest mountain in the country.