Mahaplag is politically subdivided into 28 barangays.
HISTORY OF MAHAPLAG
Mahaplag is a valley between mountain ranges. These mountains and hills have tributary rivers and creeks to the principal river known as Layog River whose main outlet to Abuyog is a very narrow embankment of solid rocks and a hundred meters high on both banks.
The town of Mahaplag was named after the Mahaplag River which is situated at the entrance of the poblacion. The word Mahaplag is an acronym of two dialect words, “Mahapla” and Kaplag.” “Mahapla” means destruction or failure while “Kaplag” means success.
The early inhabitants of the place were mostly farmers dependent on the forest products abundant in the area. However, they were more dependent on the river which they believed could either bring them destruction or progress. The failure or success of their livelihood depend on this river. If the weather was bad, the rushing flood waters would wash out every plant resulting in no harvest at all bringing misery to the people. But when the water would recede, it would bring them fertile soil giving them a good harvest and thus bring happiness and contentment to the people. The same held true for those who depended upon the forest for their livelihood.
Mahaplag was unknown in the past years but through the strong representations of the late Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez, Executive Order No. 308 dated July 21, 1958 was signed, creating the Municipality of Abuyog, together with 17 other barrios. The exploitation of its rich timber by three logging and sawmill companies led immigrants to settle on the logged-over areas.
On October 11, 1958, the municipality was formally inaugurated with the following officials: Hon. Angel Gubat, Mayor, Cayetano Bartolini, Vice-mayor, Ismael Lleve, Ruperto Bajora, Maximi Carowana and Casiano Gablines, councilors.
Mahaplag is considered a cosmopolitan place having gained the experience of having different breeds of personalities, creeds and culture. From the western portion of Leyte came the Cebuano-speaking people; from the eastern portion came the Leyte-Samarnons (warays); and from the southern portion came the mixed people of Southern Leyte and Mindanao Island. The influx of these people were due to their desire to seek the opportunity of owning a small farm to cultivate. The mixture of different personalities caused a difficulty in the maintenance of peace and order during the first five years of its creation.
Findings reveal that the ancient settlers were Mangyans but were wiped out for unknown causes. The second group of settlers were popularly known as the Argawanons and Dalaguitnons from Cebu.
Mahaplag has a total of twenty-eight barangays distributed equally on agricultural lands. Barangays along the highway are more densely populated than those in the interior areas.