Guinobatan was once upon a time a thick, forested area. At the edge of the forest was a small village whose people lived peacefully and prosperously. This village was known far and wide for its GOLDEN BELL, which served to warn the villagers of plundering Muslims.
One day, a man saw a group of Muslims approaching the village. The man raced through the village to spread the news of the coming enemies. Knowing that the objective of the plunderers was the GOLDEN BELL, the villagers quickly ran to the forest and hid the GOLDEN BELL under the a “LANGATONG” tree (the leaves of this tree causes an itching pain and irritations when in contact with human skin). Then, all the villagers fled. When the Muslims arrived, they found only a old lame man who was not able to flee with the villagers. The Muslims searched for the GOLDEN BELL in the chapel but failed to find it. So, they forced the old lame man to tell them where it was hidden and the old man could not do otherwise but to tell the truth. The Muslims searched went to the forest and uprooted almost all the trees in the area, until they reached the side where “LANGATONG” trees grew abundantly. The leader of the Muslims by chance touched the “LANGATONG” leaves and eventually suffered the ensuing uncomfortable itching pain and ran wildly like a mad man. While running, he met a wild sow with litters. The sow, with an instinct to protect her young broad of pigs, made advances to bite the Muslim leader. He was so frightened and ran again and unknowingly hid behind an anthill (home of a colony of large black or red ants). The ants bit him to the extent that he fled shouting for his companions to go away, who were likewise frightened and also ran who accidentally bumped a hanging beehive. The bees bit most of them. The group of Muslims finally fled and never came back.
They believed and spread the news that in the village even the trees, pigs, and insects were brave enough and fought back the people. The GOLDEN BELL was saved and the invading Muslims never conquered the place. When the people returned to the village and saw that most of the trees were uprooted, they began to call the village “GUINABUTAN”, meaning a place where something had been uprooted and that area where the “LANGATONG”. Trees were left untouched as sitio “MALANGATONG” with the passing of time, “GUINABUTAN” became “GUINOBATAN” with twin meaning of either a forested area or a place of armed resistance or combat.