Before the coming of the Christian settlers from Cebu, Glan was a vast virgin forest and wide cogonal terrain. It was inhabited by few ethnic groups mostly B’laan and Muslim natives, the first occupying the hinterlands and the later the coastal plains.
Glan started in October 8, 1914 as Colony No. 9 of the colonization project of the government. During its early stages, the administration was solely in the hands of the colony superintendents, but as the colonists and their needs multiplied, the functions of the government passed into the hands of the deputy governor, who, invariably, was the commanding officer of the local force of the Philippine Constabulary.
The town’s name is a corruption of the Moro word “Magalang” meaning, sharp. An account has it that in the olden days Glan was a favorite hunting grounds of Moro bluebloods, datus and other game-loving Muslim big-shots. There were more deer in the locality than in any other place around the bay. Anything can happen when two or more groups meet, it was but prudential for the men to have their bolos, arrows and other bladed weapons always sharp. In time, the place came to be called “galang” short for “Magalang” or a place of sharp weapons, and from it the present name “Glan” was corrupted.
The greatest name, that could be linked with Glan is Don Tranquilino Ruiz of Alegria, Cebu. He was the sole architect that shaped the foundations of Glan’s destiny for being the only colony superintendent to be appointed from the start of the project to its final abolition in 1928. He was with the colonists through thick and thin in the trying years of the colony and shared with them all the trials and privations attendant to a pioneering life. Under his guidance the pioneers soon became exporters of corn.
Finally in 1938 the post of deputy governor passed into civilian hands when Dr. Martin Ortuoste of Cotabato succeeded Col. Julian Esquejo of Binalonan, Pangasinan. Mr. Rafael Albano was the last civilian deputy governor when he was succeeded by Ireneo Lopez of Kling who was appointed district Mayor of Glan in 1939. Lopez, the coconut and abaca magnate is best remembered by the people of Glan for his nipping in the bud an alleged Moro uprising against the Christians in the barrio of Sapu in 1942.
In 1945, however, business tycoon Emilio Alegado whose appointment came three weeks after Hiroshima, bears the distinction of being the first domestic talent to become the town’s number one citizen. He was so loved by the people for his honestly and sincerity to service. Mr. Clemente Lapaz, succeeded Emilio Alegado in early 1946 and may go down in local history as the busiest mayor the town ever had.
From August 1, 1947 to July 26, 1949, Glan was a barrio of the new municipality of Buayan. It was the dark days of this town, a disconsolate episode and all the more sickening to the conscience for since 1914 to 1936, Buayan was a part of the municipal district of Glan. One of the reasons for transforming Glan into a barrio was that the municipal revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1947 did not reach the targeted amount. But on July 27, 1949, President Quirino signed Executive Order No. 250 making Glan a new regular municipality, thus the rebirth of Glan.
The first appointed officials in 1949 were: Mayor - Jose Hombrebueno, Vice – Mayor Emilio Alegado, Councilors: Clemente Lapaz, Joaquin Ruiz, Filomino Lara and Datu Alimudin Maguindanao.
In 1952, the first election of municipal officials was held with Mr. Jose Hombrebueno as first elected mayor. The 1955 election catapulted Mr. Emilio Alegado as the next local chief executive of the municipality and served for three (3) consecutive terms where he met his untimely death before the expiration of his term which made Mr. Eustaquio Cariño as Mayor through succession.
Glan then, was part of Cotabato province since its existence as a district and later on as a regular municipality. On July 14, 1966 however, Republic Act No. 4849 was passed and approved separating South Cotabato from its mother province of Cotabato with eleven (11) municipalities (Glan was one of these municipalities) under its territorial jurisdiction. But it was not until the regular elections of November, 1967 did South Cotabato elect its first set of officials and functioned as a regular province beginning January 1, 1968.
Also, the 1967 election brought Atty. Enrique D. Yap, Sr. as the duly elected mayor and considered as the first elected mayor under the new province of South Cotabato and served as such until the 1986 EDSA revolution which made Atty. Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. as OIC mayor replacing the incumbent by virtue of the order of the Ministry of Local Governments.
Atty. Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. was formally elected as municipal mayor in the 1988 local elections. He served up to March 16, 1992 when he decided not to run as municipal mayor and opted to run as board member of the province of South Cotabato. From then up to June 30, 1992, Vice Mayor Victor D. Siao, Sr. acted as municipal mayor.
The synchronized elections in 1992 brought again Atty. Enrique D. Yap, Sr. as municipal mayor and served for three consecutive terms until his untimely death on April 12, 2000 where Atty. Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. took over the seat as municipal mayor by law of succession.
On May 19, 1992, however, we saw the birth of Sarangani Province separated from the mother province of South Cotabato composed of seven (7) municipalities, namely; Maitum, Kiamba, Maasim, Malungon, Malapatan, Glan and Alabel as the capital town. From then on, the new province progressed tremendously together with the seven municipalities.
In May 2001 election, former member of Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sarangani and the son of the late Mayor Enrique D. Yap, Sr., Hon. Enrique B. Yap, Jr. won the mayoral contest overwhelmingly besting four (4) mayoral candidates, a fate unprecedented in the political history of Glan.
Today the people of Glan is yet to realize their dreams and aspirations under the leadership of a young, dynamic and energetic leader whose development direction is geared towards the general welfare of its constituents and the generations to come.
Glan at present is moving every inch closer to its desired destiny to be the aqua- marine and tourism center of SOCKSARGEN and eventually the first component city of