Before the coming of the Christian settlers from Cebu,
Glan was a vast virgin forest and wide cogonal terrain. It
was inhabited by a few ethnic groups mostly B’laan and
Muslim natives, the first occupying the hinterlands and the
latter the coastal plains.
Glan started on October 8, 1914, as Agricultural Colony
No. 9 of the colonization project of the then Commonwealth
government. During its early stages, local affairs were solely
in the hands of the colony superintendent, but as the
colonists and their needs multiplied, the functions of
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”. Accounts have it that in the
olden days Glan was a favorite hunting grounds of Moro
royalty, datus, and other game-loving Muslim luminaries.
There were more deer in the locality than in any
other place around the bay. Since 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 was derived the present name “Glan”.
The greatest name that could be linked with Glan is Don
Tranquilino Ruiz of Alegria, Cebu. He was the sole architect
that shaped the foundation of Glan’s destiny for being the
only colony superintendent to be appointed from the start of
the project in 1914 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
tribulation 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 to be appointed deputy
governor and was succeeded by Ireneo Lopez of Kling
(Kiamba) who was named district Mayor of Glan in
1939. Lopez, a coconut and abaca planter, is best
remembered by the people of Glan for his nipping in the bud
a nascent Moro uprising against the Christians in the barrio
of Sapu in 1942
Businessman Emilio Alegado, however, holds the
distinction of being the first local to be appointed Glan
district mayor in 1945, three weeks after the atomic bomb
was dropped on Hiroshima leading to the end of World War
II. He was succeeded by Mr. Clemente Lapaz in 1946.
On August 1, 1947, Glan became a barrio of the newly
established Municipality of Buayan up to July 26, 1949. It
was quite a reversal of roles, for Buayan had been a barrio of
Glan for 22 years, from 1914 to 1936. On July 27, 1949,
however, President Quirino signed Executive Order No. 250
establishing Glan as a regular municipality. Its first
appointed officials were: Jose Hombrebueno, Mayor; Emilio
Alegado, Vice Mayor; and Clemente Lapaz, Joaquin Ruiz,
Filomino Lara, and Datu Alimudin Maguindanao, councilors.
In 1952, the first election of municipal officials was held,
with Jose Hombrebueno as first elected mayor. In the 1955
elections, Emilio Alegado was voted mayor and served for
three consecutive terms up to 1965 when he met his
untimely demise. He was succeeded by Eustaquio Cariño,
who served Alegado’s unexpired term up to 1967.
Since its existence, first as a district and then as a
regular municipality, Glan had been a part of Cotabato
Province. On July 14, 1966, Republic Act No. 4849 was
passed creating South Cotabato into a separate province
comprising Glan and 10 other municipalities. However, it
was not until the regular elections of November 1967 that
South Cotabato elected its first set of officials and functioned
as a regular province beginning on January 1, 1968.
Also, the 1967 election brought Atty. Enrique D. Yap,
Sr. as the first duly elected mayor of Glan under the new
province of South Cotabato and served as such until 1986,
when he was replaced by Atty. Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. as
OIC-Mayor following the EDSA People Power Revolt.
Atty. Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. went on to win as
municipal mayor in the local elections subsequently held in
1988 and served up to March 16, 1992. In 1992 he ran and
won as Provincial Board Member of South Cotabato. His Vice
Mayor, Victor D. Siao, succeeded him briefly as acting
In the 1992 synchronized elections, Atty. Enrique D.
Yap, Sr. returned as municipal mayor and served for three
consecutive terms until his death on April 12, 2000. Atty.
Leoncio R. Caballero, Jr. , who was elected Vice Mayor in the
1998 local elections, took over as Mayor by law of
May 19, 1992 saw the birth of Sarangani Province
composed of seven municipalities, namely: Maitum, Kiamba,
Maasim, Malungon, Malapatan, Glan, and Alabel as the
In the May 2001 elections, former Sarangani Provincial
Board Member and son of the late Mayor Enrique D. Yap, Sr.,
Enrique B. Yap, Jr., was elected Municipal Mayor, with
Venancio Wata, Jr. as Vice Mayor.
Mayor Enrique B. Yap, Jr. was succeeded in 2010 by his
younger brother, the incumbent Mayor, Victor James B. Yap,
Sr. Their elder sister, Vivien B. Yap, is the incumbent Vice
At present, Glan--dubbed the "Coconut Queen of the
South"--is moving every inch closer to its desired destiny to
be the aqua-marine and tourism center of SOCKSARGEN and
eventually the first city of Sarangani Province.