Originally, Polanco’s name was “Layawan” derived from the river traversing the area called Layawan. However, the settlers changed it to “Tillated” which was taken from an existing identity of a creek located in the center of Poblacion.
Polanco came from the Spanish Missionary named Fr. Polanco who came and established Christian Missions and principally erecting a chapel. His deeds was unforgettable, thus the people renamed the place after him.
Back then, Polanco was one of the barangay of the municipality of Dipolog. With the strong representation of Governor Serapio Datoc, on August 22, 1951, Executive Order Number 467 was signed by the former President of the Philippines, His Excellency Elpedio Quirino, creating Polanco a municipality.
The municipality is lying on the northeastern part of the province, located 8 kilometers from Dipolog City. It is bounded in the northwest by the city of Dipolog; in the northeast by the city of Dapitan, in the south by the municipality of Sergio Osmena, in the east by the municipality of Piñan and in the southwest by the municipality of Katipunan.
The municipality has a total land area of 22, 532. 9104 hectares and is classified as agricultural land. Some parts of Polanco are plain especially in the rice land areas and some are mountainous like barangays of Linabo, Maligaya, Milad, De Venta Perla and Dangi. Two prominent rivers traverse the length of the municipality: Layawan River and Dipolog River, both rivers flow into the Sulu Sea at Poblacion of Dipolog City situated along the river banks are the corn granaries of the municipalities.
Polanco has two (2) festivals conducted in each year: Pasalamat “Sinulog sa Polanco” and El Toro Festival which will be held on the last Sunday of January and every 2nd week of December, respectively. Each festival has different concepts. Pasalamat Festival replicates Sinulog in Cebu City which showcases different customs and traditions in the Philippines. While El Toro festival showcase the different farming traditions of Filipinos. These two (2) festivals are just a piece of the most visited festivals in the province.