The municipality was formerly a barrio of Mangaldan. It was conceived into a municipality in 1909.
Mapandan (meaning plenty of pandan) got its name from “pandan”, a native palm which grew in abundance in the place at that time. The leaves of the pandan add aroma to the cooked rice if cooked with it. The leaves are also stripped and woven into mats.
Mapandan is also a Hall of Famer having been Pangasinan’s cleanest, safest and greenest municipality. It is also the healthiest municipality for having the least number of malnourished children.