Midsayap was derived from a native term which means (Mid) Center and (Sayap) Hat. Midsayap means a hat at the center – just like a hill centrally located at the Municipality which slopes through the plains in a shape of a hat. Other version relates that Midsayap came from a Muslim term which means “person wearing a hat”. From 1912 to 1926, Midsayap was then a district of Dulawan and Pikit. Originally, Midsayap was inhabited by Muslims from the descendants of Sultan Ali Bayao from the lineage of the great Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat I. The seat of their Sultanate was established at Libungan Torreta (now part of Pigcawayan).

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In 1927, a Philippine Constabulary (PC) Commander assigned in the area, Ist Lt. Catalino Javier, initiated the development of some portions of the municipality. Seeing the natural bounty of the area, he invited settlers from Luzon and Visayas to migrate in the area. The first wave of settlers who dared develop the wilderness was the late Antonio Labasan from Zambales. Among his companions were 23 interrelated families, the Dumlaos, Flautas, Fernandezes, QuiÑones,Fermils, Fantones and Documos who settled at Sitio Salunayan and Bual . Visayan settlers from Pikit also came to settle at Bual – the place of Datu Guiambangan Dilangalen. The Visayan migrants were headed by Gregorio Bingil, Julio Anito and Tomas Cantoy. The idea of making Midsayap as a separate political district from the mother municipalities of Dulawan and Pikit was envisioned in 1930 by a group of Christian PC enlisted men who were assigned at Camp Ward. Their efforts, through the support of the deputy governor and military governor was realized in 1936.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 66 dated November 25, 1936, Midsayap was created as a separate municipality. On January 1, 1937, it was inaugurated with the late Lorenzo Gonzales as the first appointed municipal mayor. In 1939, Juan Jaranilla became the first elected Mayor of the Municipality. Mayor Jaranilla served until 1941.

Midsayap started with 71 barangays. Later, it was trimmed down to 42 when Libungan was separated from Midsayap in 1936. At present, Midsayap has 57 barangays. Population settlements were concentrated on the barangays of Sinawingan, Salunayan, Bual, Kapayawi, Barongis, Kimagango, Kiwanan, Katingawan, Ulamian, Baguer, Kapinpilan, Olandang, San Mateo, and Baliki. The following years showed the growth of the newly formed town. Gradually, new towns has been created. These are Pigcawayan or Pigkawayan, Libungan, Alamada, and lastly in 1982 Aleosan.

Midsayap is the largest municipality in the province of North Cotabato. This fast-growing town is one of the oldest settlements of migrants from Luzon and the Visayas, thereby giving its reputation as the highly heterogeneous society in this once Muslim-dominated place of Mindanaon.

This 14th Congress of the Philippines, Rep. Emmylou ‘Lala’ J.Taliño-Mendoza filed last February 7, 2008 the House Bill 3539 in the House of Representatives which will create the Municipality of Midsayap as CITY OF MIDSAYAP; as the second component city of the Province of Cotabato. This bill is currently pending on the Committee of Local Government since February 19, 2008.