The town of Aritao was previously called “Ajanas”. This name was later changed to Aritao, after an Isinay word “Ari-Tau” (meaning “Our King” originated from a famous Igorot King Mengal). One day, on January 1767, the Intrepid Fr. Manuel Corripio, a Spanish Missionary succeeded in persuading an Igorot King called Ari Mengal and his tribe to live in the lowland which is the seat of the Municipality of Aritao. These people were later converted to Christianity by Fr. Tomas Gutierez.
In the year 1777, there was a merging of Aritao with the adjacent places into one pueblo under the name of Aritao and was approved by the Manila Authorities.
On June 30, 1917, through the initiative of councilor Jose Aleman, the application for township of Aritao to higher authorities has been finally approved by the Secretary of Interior.
Inauguration of Aritao as a township cherished the beautiful memories of Aritao’s grandeur and prosperity, and became one of those 2nd class regular municipalities through an order coming from the Secretary of the Interior.
An influx of numerous immigrants from Pangasinan, Ilocos Region, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Mountain Provinces settled here.
Development Pillars History
The history of Aritao written by Gregorio F. Zaide ceased in the year 1934. Since then, the continuation of significant events was not reduced into writing.
The researchers were able to gather some information on significant events during each administration. Hence, this Aritao Development Pillars’ history:
Hon. Ignacio Galindez, 85 years old, a resident of Aritao and former Board Member of Nueva Vizcaya was interviewed. He clearly attested to have witnessed some significant events that happened during the past administrations and gave a glimpse of the past.
It was in 1935 when he was then a Grade V pupil and a shoe shine boy of Jacinto G. Fragata who was the first elected official addressed as Municipal Mayor and also the first leader who came from a barrio of Aritao (Cutar). His term expired in 1937. Previous leaders came from the rural area of Aritao (Poblacion) and they were then addressed as Township President.
Other new sets of officials took their seats after the election in 1937. Pedro M. Madayag was the proclaimed Mayor. However, another mayoralty candidate and a retired teacher protested. He allegedly stressed that his alias “Salapi” was not counted in his favor so he made the protest. A re-count was done. Soon after, and considering the “Salapi” votes, he was proclaimed by the COMELEC as the winner. Jose “Salapi” M. Bungubung took his oath of office and Pedro M. Madayag was unseated. His term of office ended during the outbreak of war (World War II) in 1941.