PUDTOL —A year before it turns a ‘senior citizen’, one of the oldest municipality of Apayao celebrates its 59th foundation anniversary on Thursday with a grand parade at the Pudtol town proper followed by a simple program at the new gymnasium.

Originated from the word “Putol” which means ‘Beheaded” as old folk says angry Mandayas later known as Isnegs beheaded a priest when a pregnant native woman had an abortion upon hearing for the first time the sound of a newly installed bell in the church built by the Spaniards.

Then, a group of Ibanags settled in the place but pronounced “Putol” to “Futol” which was later corrupted by the Ilocanos to “Pudtol”.

Composed of diverse community such as Isnegs, Ilocanos and Ibanags covering 22 Barangays, the municipal government of Pudtol led by town mayor Batara Laoat managed to reunite local communities here and move on towards agricultural development.

With the theme, “Sustaining our Oneness, Leads Pudtol to Progress,” Apayao Governor Elias C. Bulut Jr. lauded officials and residents here for living up to the tradition of unity and cooperation . “With unity, there is harmony and with harmony, there is strength which leads to prosperity,” Bulut said in his message.

“With all the clashes and challenges, the good deeds and victories, we congratulate you for reaching this far. Next year, Pudtol will already be considered a ‘senior citizen.’ Being senior often denotes the declining of strength and deterioration of mental prowess. Yet, this is by far the opposite of an institution like the local government unit of Pudtol,” he added citing the present leadership remains dedicated and vigorous in implementing various changes in the municipality and be at par with the other advanced municipalities in Cordillera.

From the old municipal district of Tawit which existed since 1908, the Municipal District of Pudtol was created by virtue of Executive Order 217, signed by then President Ramon Magsaysay in December 3, 1929.

Based on online records obtained from the Department of Interior and Local Government, the first set of appointed municipal officials of Pudtol were inducted into office in February 1957 with Emilia Almasan as the first municipal mayor.

On March 31, 1959, then President Carlos Garcia signed Executive Order 335 converting the municipal district of Pudtol into a regular municipality making it the first municipality in Kalinga and Apayao to attain such status. Leilanie G. Adriano/PNA