In the absence of a juridical personality, Subano as a tribe has already been dwelling in this place originally named 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 the Poblacion. Spanish Missionary named Fr. Polanco came and established Christian Missions and principally erecting a chapel. He then assigned a priest to continue the conversion of the natives into Christianity thus developing people’s attitudes to have reverence and devotion to God. Such an unforgettable deed, the people renamed the place after him: POLANCO.
At the height of the Second World War in 1941, the seat of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga situated in Zamboanga City was transferred to the municipality of Dipolog. In the month of June 1943, the Japanese Occupation Forces landed at Dipolog and occupied the area. With this outbreak, Gov. Matias Ranillo, who was a native of Dipolog, decided to temporarily station the Provincial Government in Dipolog. Later on, the Provincial Seat of Government was transferred to barangay Polanco due to the massive occupation of the Japanese Imperial Army.