The name Tagkawayan is said to have been derived from the phrase “taga-kawayan” which during the early Spanish period was the name given to the people living in Tagkawayan. The early settlers of Tagkawayan were the ‘aetas’ or ‘agtas’ in the native Visayan or Bicol tongue. It is the practice of these early settlers to hold their merry- making in an open field along the seashore where they drink native wine while dancing and singing around a bonfire. To make this event more festive and spirited, they invite other tribes that abound along the settlements bordering the Ragay Gulf. To do this, they will tie a piece of cloth in a bamboo pole, climb the ‘mataas-na-bato’ and make signals to invite other groups to join in the merrymaking which they locally called ‘lungkasan’. The place where they usually make the signal for an invitation is called ‘kawayan’ and the people living there were called ‘taga-kawayan’ which ultimately became Tagkawayan.

During the early Spanish period, the place was predominantly inhabited by the aborigines called ‘aetas’, who roamed along the Cadig Mountain which form part of the Sierra Mountain Ranges extending from the north to the southeast part of Quezon Province. However, people from Ambos, Camarines Norte as well as from Ragay, Camarines Sur and from the Bondoc Peninsula migrated to the place which was abundant with forest and other minor forest products.

During the turn of the century until the period it was created, Tagkawayan thrives well on lumber and minerals so that it becomes the melting port of almost all groups of people with Tagalogs and Bicolanos predominant. Ilocanos, Pampaguenos and even Visayans migrated to the place to seek greener pastures which they have found in abundance in the place. Logging and lumbering and later plywood manufacturing, mining, fishing and agriculture became the chief source of livelihood.

Before 1941, Tagkawayan was only a barrio of Guinayangan, Quezon. Being a barrio with large area, it was consisted principally of four (4) sitios:

  1. Aggrupacion—now called Barangay Poblacion, where the seat of the Local Government is located;
  2. Tagkawayan-Bato—now Barangay Munting Parang and Barangay Rizal;
  3. Tagkawayan-Sabang—now called Barangay Sabang;
  4. Tagkawayan-Ilaya—now consisted of Barangays Sta. Cecilia, Aliji, Colong-Colong and Mahinta

On December 31, 1940, the late President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive Order No. 316 whereby certain barrios of Guinayangan was separated and created into a municipality with seat of the local government located at Tagkawayan, thus the former barrio was formed into a town. Due to certain deficiencies noted, three (3) months later, a supplementary Executive Order No. 330, dated March 4, 1941 was issued also by President Quezon. Don Tomas B. Morato, owner of the Sta. Cecilia Sawmills, Inc., appointed first Mayor of Quezon City and first Congressman of then Tayabas, now Quezon in the first Congress of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946 and Don Guillermo Eleazar, former Justice of the Peace of Guinayangan, were with other leading persons, the principal sponsors in creating barrio Tagkawayan of Guinayangan, Tayabas, now Quezon into a municipality.

After deliberation in 1947, it seemed that certain barrios particularly Aloneros need to be returned to the mother municipality and to correct such deficiencies, after liberation in 1947, President Manuel A. Roxas issued Executive Order No. 78, dated August 12, 1947, making the Cabibihan River as the natural boundary between the daughter municipality and the mother municipality, Guinayangan, now under renamed Quezon Province.

Tagkawayan is now a first class municipality by virtue of the Department of Finance Order No. 23-08 dated July 29, 2008. The municipality with its estimated annual income of Php185, 255, 541.67 in the last three years is able to sustain its growth. Now, the municipality is thriving with a booming economic and tourism atmosphere and with people that cares for its environment.

– Administrative Code of 2019, Chapter II, Section 14