Buguey derived its name from the Ibanag word “Nabugay” which means capsized. Story goes that in the early 1600’s, the sea pirates attacked, plundered the town, and looted the houses in revenge of the Spaniards who attacked them in Mindanao and Sulu. They came to see the biggest bell, the Sta. Barbara bell installed at St. Anne Church, one of the oldest churches built in 1610. They forcibly took the bell as a present to their Sultan. En route to the high seas, a strong gust of wind from the northwest blew fiercely that the Vinta carrying the huge bell sank in the Babuyan Channel. The people who witness the mishap shout with joy in their Ibanag dialect “Nabugay Ira”. The incident that happened to the Moros reverberated even to the distant areas and the word “Nabugay” became and accepted name of the town, but evolved to its present term “Buguey” as time passed by.