Mandaon is situated on the western coast of the Province, part hidden by Pagbulungan point to the northwest and Cagmasoso to the wouthwest. Formerly, a part of Milagros, Mandaon was created by Executive Order No. 337 on May 1, 1949. Gleaned from the latest Census, it has a population of approximately 33,219 which includes the barangays of Alas, Ayat, Bat-ongan, Bugtong, Buri, Cabitan, Cagmasoso, Can-omoy, Centro, Dayao, Guincaiptan, Laguinbanwa, Lantangan, Looc, Mabato-bato, Maolingon, Nailaban, Nanipsan, Pinamangcaan, Poblacion, Pulo Dacu, San Juan, Santa Fe, San Pablo, Tagpu, and Tumalaytay. of Masbate
Mandaon is derived from the word "MANDOAN" which means the "LANDMARK". It is said that during the days when business was lucrative many years past, people from other islands used to come and trade here. Still used to the crude ways in finding their way to a place by rendering familiar landmark in the absence of a present - day navigation aid, they learned to refer to a certain mountain not far from the town and called it "MANDOAN". Eventually it became the name of the community and still much later it became as "MANDAON".
Mandaon has a wide expanse of agricultural land characterized by rolling hills and wide valleys. The wide hilly portion are lush with cogon and this natural attribute has spawned the raising of cattle. The wide fertile valleys attracted many who took up rice farming and for a time, Mandaon, was known as the "rice bowl" of the province. The extensive coastline stretching from Bugton in the north and Looc in the south has given many inhabitants a rich source of fish for their needs. The water facing Mandaon is now the happy fishing ground of commercial fishermen from the other island provinces, particularly Iloilo, Capiz, and Romblon. Commercial fishing boats from as far as Manila are regular callers to the local water, whre a rich harvest of fish and other sea foods are taken from the sea.
Mandaon is rich in minerals, there was a time when manganese was mined in Ayat, and in Lantangan, it was disclosed that substantial deposits of Chromium and Uranium are in evidence. However, it is still out of the question whether this hidden wealth will be exploited in the foreseeable future.
Mandaon were peopled by Sibuyanons and Hilongos, with the later predominating the population. The dialect in the southern part is influenced by the Hilongos, in the east by the Cebuanos, and the north by the Bicolanos. It is not uncommon to hear people in the town expressing themselves in their respective dialects with ther attendant peculiarities. nevertheless, it is evident that these influences have not affected the harmonious relationship that is happening in other areas with common tongue.
Mandaon is accessible by road from the nearby town of Milagros, Aroroy, Balen, and from the capital city of Masbate. Motorized bancas , which have been gradually but surely replace by driven boats are used to connect the coastal barangays and towns. With the advent of the advance facilities, so goes the development of the municpality and the neigboring islands.
Mandaon is also proud of the fact that it was chosen to be the site of Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State Colleges of Agricultural and Technology (DEBESMSCAT).