The present Municipality of Luna was once a part of Tawit, Mountain Province. It was formerly called “Macatel’ which means ‘itchy waters’ in the Ibanag dialect of the Cagayan people who used to fish in the swamps around Macatel (now Poblacion) and Zumigui. The first town executive then called the Municipal District President, Antonio Barroga, an Ilocano migrant from Ilocos Norte was not satisfied with the ‘Macatel’ name of the town. With the advice of the Municipal Secretary, he and the Municipal Council passed a municipal council resolution renaming the town ‘Macatel’ to ‘Luna’ in memory and honor of the late Ilocano General Antonio Luna.
Being one of the oldest towns of Apayao, the municipality can be considered as the mother town of the adjacent municipalities of Pudtol, Sta. Marcela and Flora. The once large area of the municipality was significantly reduced with the creation of the above-mentioned new municipalities.