Barangay Pugwan is one of the 29 barangays of the municipality of Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur that mark the boundaries of the municipality. On its north, it is bounded by Barangay Sta. Cruz; on its south, Barangays Daniel C. Mantos and Timonan of the Municipality of Dumingag; Barangay San Jose on its east; and Maralag, Dumingag on its west.
The barangay is located on the farther inside of the municipality. From the municipal hall located along the highway, you could get to Pugwan on a fifteen-minute ride via habal-habal or side car through a public utility access.
Rice fields, irrigation, rivers and creeks will meet you when you pass through the place. You will know Pugwan when you pass by the bridge made of wood that connects it with San Jose over Tiwalos Creek. This bridge, framed by metal bars but are slabbed by layers of wood, serve as the landmark of Pugwan entry. Passing through this bridge might scare your wits off, but habal-habal drivers already have mastered this skill that you’ll get used to the thrill in no time.
The place is dominantly lowland; its roads mostly unpaved. Rice fields mostly occupy the space for as far as your eyes can reach. Pugwan is made up of seven puroks, the center of which is at Purok 3. where the Barangay Hall Office is found. As of now, the Barangay Health Center is under renovation; therefore, the covered court is made use for activities such as prenatal consultation and immunization.
The basketball court is utilized almost every night for sports. The people are accustomed to do use this for diversionary activities and leisure. At night, the center becomes even more lively as people engage into their simple recreation and sports. Street food vendors operate at 6 pm and the famous Pinoy favorites — isaw, penoy, balot, paa ng manok, fried chicken and more; are being sold on the waiting shed.
Pugwan Elementary School and the Day Care Center are found on Purok 5. Chapels are also seen within the barangay, including the San Isidro Chapel, Assembly of God, Seventh Day Adventist, ATWOC, and United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
Apart from Puroks 2, 3, and 5, the households are already dispersed and are separated by paddy fields. Purok 1 is the farthest and most bounding with Dumingag. The Dipolo and Guitran River flow from there.
History tells that Pugwan was inhabited by Subanens way before Delfin Jamero, the first Christian in the barangay, came to live in it. The name Puguan came from the Subanen word “magpugo,” which denotes a swarming of fish that naturally happens when the creeks almost run dry during El Niño.