The Municipality of Banayoyo was originally called the “Bacsayan”. How it got the present name “Banayoyo” could be recounted from this story:
Long time ago, indigenous people of Abra and Mountain Province were looking for a place to settle. They found the place located at the western part or tail of the Cordillera Mountain. Lately, they called this place “Bacsayan” which means a settlement area.
As time passed, these people (Tinguian and Igorot Tribes) intermarried. It did not take long; they formed another tribe called Itneg (not registered as of this date). However, both tribes have different dialects. Thus, the result of intermarriage resulted to one dialect derived from Tinguian of Abra and Igorot of Mountain Province (present dialect of the indigenous people of Banayoyo is similar to Abra and the Cordilleras) both from the “Itneg” of the newly formed tribe. The Datu and the Panglakayen (council of elders) then made their own rules based primarily on the cultures of Abra and Cordilleras.
In the South-eastern part of the place, there was a sturdy tree, which the town folks called “Bayoyo”. The Datu and the Panglakayen agreed to build a “Dap-ay” (a structure where the leaders meet or gather for the settlement of problems and disputes among the members of the tribe) and “Pandek” (astore rooms for arms like Pika (Spear), Aliwa (Axe) Pana (Bow and Arrow), Kalasag (Armour) and communal kitchen wares by the tribe like Dongdong (Wok), Duyog (soup bowl made of coconut shell) and others owned by the tribe. In this place, they also practiced the ritual called the “Begnas” a ritual of three (3) days festivity and thanksgiving to “Kabunian” (believed to be the God, Creator of Heaven and Earth), after every productive and fruitful harvest season. The tree called “Bayoyo” is always strong and sturdy, following their belief that the tree brought luck to the whole populace.
Due to old age, the tree died and at that time drought struck the place. Their harvest decreased, famine and hunger were experienced by the people. With their belief that the calamity was caused by the death of the tree, the leaders held a meeting and come up with an agreement to hold another ritual called “Sapu” (Prayer) to find out the cause of their painful and tragic experience. However, they have discovered that their entire ordeal was due to the negligence of some tribal members in giving thanks to “Kabunian”. In a long series of exchange of ideas to amend the sad events that they have undergone, the Datus and Council of Elders decided to change the name of the place “Bacsayan” to “Bayoyo”. The tree somehow is a symbol of unity among all the tribal members under its wide shady branches. It was only during the Spanish Regime that the name “Bayoyo” was changed to BANAYOYO.