1750. The Spanish colonial government started initiating military expeditions in Kiangan, Tuplac, Ibaay (i.e. Bae), Magulang and Burney (i.e. Lagawe) --- then collectively known as Valle del Quiangan --- to subjugate and Christianize the Ifugaos.
1801. The Dominican missionary Fr. Juan Molano described what would be Lagawe as “…another plain, uncultivated for lack of water, beautiful place for a poblacion for it is a land very much higher and clear, somewhat distant from the high mountains that surround it…” and that “…Burney, a town that is an enemy of Quiangan, is very big and is situated three leagues away…”.
1850. The military fort of San Gregorio or New Irun was established. Fr. Ruperto Alarcon then established the first Spanish mission in Burney at the right side of the Ibulao River that was later moved to the right side where present day Lagawe now stands.
At this time, resistance to Spanish rule erupted. The first parochial buildings were burned down by a “crazy” inhabitant of Burney. These were probably rebuilt but were razed again when the Nagacarcans, assisted by the inhabitants of Burney, attacked the fort.
1857-1866. Arrival of Fr. Vicente Sales in 1857 followed by Fr. Joaquin Guixa in 1859, Fr. Antonio Boschmonar in 1860 who established Valle del Quiangan’s first coffee plantation, Fr. Jose Lorenzo in 1865, then Fr. Emilio Diaz de la Quintana followed by Fr. Bonifacio Corujedo in 1866.
1868-1870. This period can be called as the high point of the Ifugao’s war of resistance against the Spanish. Fr. Jose Lorenzo who came to the mission in 1868 was killed in 1869 in Tuplac that was then a sitio of Ibaay. He was replaced by Fr. Victorino Garcia who was abducted and also killed in 1870. A Spanish colonial soldier was also speared to death while another 3 were ambushed and beheaded. When Fr. Hilario Ocio took over, the mission convent was ransacked and again destroyed.
1872. Because of the volatile conditions in Valle del Quiangan, the missions of Ibaay and Lagawe were transferred to the lowland villages of Ibung and Diadi. The Lagawe mission returned, this time under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene, when the Commandancia Politico-Militar of Kiangan was established in nearby Magulang. The mission’s Dominican missionary, Fr. Ildefonso Delagado, built a new convent and acquired land for the plaza and school, and built the first 30 houses of the new poblacion.
1896-1898. Fr. Mariano Urbano became the last Spanish era missionary of Lagawe. All Spanish priests left during and after the Philippine War for Independence.
1946. Arrival of Fr. Gerard de Boeck, a missionary of the Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae (CICM), who established what would become the Don Bosco High School.
1966. Lagawe is designated as the capital town of the newly created province of Ifugao.
PHOTO EXPLAINED: The architecture of Lagawe's modern St. Mary Magdalene church is obviously inspired by the shape of traditional Ifugao houses.