Region XIII
Caraga Region
Regional Profile:
• Adventure
• experience, or simply an escapade from the
humdrum of urban living, venture no
more - CARAGA is it.
• Caraga is named after the historic
CARAGA an old territory in northern
Mindanao of which Surigao was once part
of. The Term is derived from the word
KALAGAN, the name of people believed of
Visayan origin. The Term KALAGAN is
derived from two Bisayan words, namely:
KALAG and AN which means soul or
people and land respectively.
• The passages of Republic Act 7901 on
February 23, 1995 made possible the rebirth
of the Caraga Administrative Region or
Region XII. It embraces the three (3) Cities:
Butuan City, Surigao City, and Bislig City
and four (4) Provinces: Agusan del Norte,
Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and
Surigao del
Travel Information:
WG&A Manila Nisipit Monday Thursday
Nasipit Manila Wednesday Saturday
Surigao Manila Wednesday Saturday
Manila Surigao Monday Thursday
Sulpicio Lines Surigao City Cebu Thursday
Surigao City Davao Monday
Surigao City Manila Thursday
Fast Craft
Fortune Jet Surigao Dapa 5:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m.
Dapa Surigao 8:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m.
Montenegro Surigao Dapa 5:00 a.m., 12:00 nn.
Shipping Lines Dapa Surigao 8:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m.
PAL Manila Butuan Manila 1 Flight Daily
CEBU PACIFIC Manila Butuan Manila 1
Flight Daily
ASIAN SPIRIT Manila Surigao Manila
Mon., Wed., Fri., & Sat.
Cebu Surigao Cebu Mon., Wed., & Sat.
Cebu Tandag Cebu Tue., Fri., & Sun
Provincial Profile:
Surigao del Sur
Surigao del Norte
Surigao city
Agusan del Norte
Agusan del Sur
Butuan city
Surigao del Sur:
• Old folks still like to recount how some
Visayan fishermen, forced by strong
currents in what is now Surigao Strait,
sought refuge in one of the huts somewhere
in the province. The locals or Mamanwas
thought the fisherman wanted to take the
hut by force or “agaw―
. This term was
given the prefix “suri―
was formed. In time it was
shortened to Surigao.
• Still another recounts that, before the
Spaniards came, the original inhabitants were
the Mamanwas and the Manobos. The
Visayans then came and settled on the island
with the natives. One of the natives was
Saliagao, who lived by the mouth of the river.
From his name came “Surigao―
• Surigao del Sur was created as the 56th
independent Philippine province on June 19,
1960 by virtue of House Bill No. 3058 also
known as Republic Act No. 2786 authored by
then Representative Reynaldo P. Honrado. It
was formally created and inaugurated on
September 18, 1960 at the capital town of
Tandag, the seat of the Provincial Government.
Its first appointed and elected Governor was
the late Recaredo B. Castillo, followed by the
late Governor Adela Serra Ty.
• Surigao del Sur is naturally advantaged. It is
located in the northeastern coast of
Mindanao facing the Pacific Ocean. It is
approximately 300 kilometers in length and
50 kilometers at its widest stretch.
• It is bounded on the northwest by the
province of Surigao del Norte, on the
southeast by Davao Oriental; on the east by
the Pacific Ocean; and on the west and
southwest by the province of Agusan del
Norte and Agusan del Sur. The Diwata
Mountain Ranges lines the northwestern
boundaries of the province.
• Capital town - Tandag
Land Area - 4,552.16 sq. kms.
Population - 501,808 (2000)
Population Density - 110
Population Growth - 1.26
Literacy Rate - 94%
Languages and dialects - English, Cebuano,
Filipino and Surigaonon
Political Subdivisions:
• Municipalities are grouped into three clusters
based on their common resource potentials,
proximity and accessibility to common trade and
service centers, the BIBAHILITA (Bislig, Barobo,
Hinatuan, Lingig and Tagbina), the
MACASALTABAYAMI (Marihatag, Cagwait,
San Agustin, Lianga, Bayabas, Tago and San
(Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza,
Cortes and Tandag).
• The province falls under the second type of
climate in the Philippines characterized by
rainfall that is distributed throughout the
year. Months with low level of rainfall are
from July to October with September as the
driest month. Wet months are from
November to June with January as the
wettest month.
• Religious
• Cultural and
• Historical Attractions
• The 175-year old Church of San Agustin in
the town of Hinatuan, the San Nicolas de
Tolentino Cathedral in Tandag, the
municipal halls and town plazas backed up
by rich and colorful stories of how these
edifices were able to stand the ravages of
time, are just some of the cultural/historical
attractions which the province has to offer.
• Station of the Cross – located at Kabiton-an,
Brgy. Consuelo, Cantilan, this place is really
ideal to those who want to reflect on how the
Lord Almighty sacrificed himself to save
mankind. It is a climb uphill with a chapel atop
the mountain partly overlooking the majestic
Pacific Ocean. Praying in every station is not
just healthy for the soul but for one’s
physical health considering that the last station
and the chapel is located hundreds of feet
above sea level.
• Immaculate Conception Parish – One of the
best designed Catholic Churches in the
country. It is located at the heart of Cantilan.
Beside it is a remnant of an old church
constructed in the 1700’s which was
converted into a park.
• Old Tribunal Building – it is the old tribunal of
Cantilan built in 1879 which was now converted into
a Municipal Hall of Cantilangnons.
• Municipal Park of Cantilan – it is where you can
see the 21/2 meter cannon with 130 cm. in diameter
placed as historic relic. It is one of the 100 cannons
brought from Jolo and Borneo by the natives of
Cantilan during the Spanish regime as a tool against
Muslim pirates.
• Shrine of World War II Heroes – it is where the
names of the Cantilan heroes were engraved.
• Adhika Beach – located in Barangay Habag in
the Municipality of Lanuza. It is a privatelyowned beach resort with cottages and rest house
for visitors who will rest overnight (RON).
• Barcelona Beach – it is a unique black sand
beach with picnic huts located just 30 minutes
away by pumpboat from Mangagoy, Bislig City.
• Baucawe Beach and Winding Road – it is a beach
resort situated in Lianga. The winding road leading to
the beach serves as its unique attraction.
• Cagwait White Beach – it is a U-shaped beach with
powdery white sand and a wind swept sea with
crystal clear water baptized by the famous pilot
Charles Lindberg as the “Waikiki Beach―
of the
Philippines. This is the site of the annual
“Kaliguan Festival―
. It is a 40-minute ride from
the capital town of Tandag.
• Dapdap Beach – located in Dapdap, in the
Municipality of Barobo.
• Mahayag Beach – situated just 8 kilometers
north from the capital town of Tandag.
Mahayag is a coastline purok of Barangay
Buenavista. The beach resort is one end of the
cove occupying about a hectare in area. The
place is ideal for holding seminars or family
reunions. One can idle the time away by
boating, fishing or swimming on the manmade pools at the sea.
• Tandag Beach – located right in the
capital town of Tandag, it is guaranteed to
enchant all beach lovers with its grey sand
and crystal clear waters. It is a nature
lover’s paradise, a promised adventure
for snorkels and diving enthusiasts.
• Campamento Cave – Located in Silop,
Gamuton in the municipality of Lanuza
• Hercules Wall – Located in San Jose in
Bislig City, it is a 2-3 meters wide passage
in between solid high rocks, stones and
other natural grown trees in the area.
• Pagbutuanan Cave – located in Brgy.
Wakat, Barobo.
• Tagbina Cave – Located underneath a rocky
mountain where the Municipal Hall of Tagbina town
is perched, overlooking the expanse of territory
comprising the jurisdiction of the town. The portal of
the cave is visibly seen as one goes uphill on the
concrete road leading to the Town Hall. The cave has
long been in existence as one product of nature and
has been a haven for birds and other forms of life that
dwell in labyrinth-like places.
Other caves are the San Isidro Cave and the Km. 3
Cave both located in Bislig City.
• Balinganga Falls – it is located in the
communal forest of Barangay Cancavan in
Carmen streamlining the verdant and
sprawling mountain. It is unique in
CARCANMADCARLAN considering that
one could only and truly enjoy the cool and
refreshing crystal clear water and see the
splendor and awesome beauty of nature
after a breathtaking trek.
• Bao-bao Falls – it is located in Lianga. Once
developed, kayaking is the ideal activity at this
beautiful and challenging clear water. The site offers
a natural splendor of an unspoiled environment.
• Busay de Mabuhay Falls – located in Barangay San
Roque in San Miguel. It is like a pitcher-full of water
poured over a cup-like place where very deep, cool
fresh water invites one to take a swim. Located in the
midst of the jungle, this waterfall offers a mini cave
underneath the flowing water that can accommodate 3
to 4 persons.
• Tinuy-an Falls – located in Barangay
Borboanan in Bislig City. It is known to be the
“little Niagara Falls―
. It signifies the
multi-layered river bed of stones skillfully
crafted by the “Unseen Hands―
. Tinuy-an
is the widest waterfall in the entire Mindanao.
It is a 3-tiered waterfall in the middle of a thick
forest. It is like a 4-storey building with the
expanse of a cathedral and a pool in the
bottom, the size of a football field.
• Magkawas Falls – located in the
Municipality of Lanuza. A five-minute hike
from the national highway is an ecodestination that offers a gradual accelerando of
nature’s beauty. This wonderful falls
makes one irresistible to take a refreshing dip.
• Sipangpang Falls – located in Barangay
Cabangahan in the municipality of Cantilan. A
hydro-power potential considering its waterfall
cascading from a height of 22 meters
Ave Maria Falls - Carrascal
Canlumawag Falls - San Jose, Bislig City
Kambawi Falls - Pamanlinan, Bislig City
Mendezona Falls - San Jose, Bislig City
Secret Falls - Burboanan, Bislig City
Sian Falls - Sta.Cruz, Bislig City
Sibaroy Falls - Sibaroy, Bislig City
• Ayoke Islet – this is part of Barangay Isla
General Luna (General Island), an island
barangay of Cantilan. It is famous for
, a fruit similar to langka but
different in taste. It is where the lighthouse
of the town is located to guide fishermen
and passenger ships passing the area.
• Bag-ong Banwa (Double B) – this is also part of
General Island fronting the Pacific Ocean. Its
shoreline is covered with very fine white sand. It has
cottages to accommodate visitors. A big cave can also
be found where stalactites and stalagmites are so
abundant. This is a 30-minute boat ride from Cantilan
• Bat Island – also known as Mangkagangi Island. It
is located just two miles east of Tandag. It has
enticing white beach, guano-filled caves and bats
inside, offering a unique experience to all adventure
seekers. Just a few meters from the island is a deep,
blue sea which is ideal for scuba diving.
• Britania Islands – located in the municipality
of San Agustin. It is composed of more than a
dozen beautiful islets with splendid vegetation
and white beaches. The intact coral formation
offers a beautiful snorkeling and scuba diving
sports activities.
• Casarica Island – a pristine white beach with
crystal clear waters which is only a 10-minute
ride by pump boat from Consuelo Port.
• Kabgan Island – located in Sua in the municipality
of Barobo. A mile long pristine white sand beach,
multicolored reefs, good for scuba diving, swimming
and fishing.
• Turtle Island – it is located in the municipality of
Barobo. It is an 8 hectare beach where multicolored
reefs abound. It has white sand, blue waters teeming
with marine life. Viewed from a distance, the shape
and formation of this island is like a huge turtle
floating in the Pacific Ocean. It is ideal for snorkeling
and scuba diving. It is accessible by pump boat for
about 30 minutes.
• Blue Lagoon – situated in General Island,
Cantilan, this province, the lagoon has a
deep blue crystal clear water safely
enclosed by an island.
• Danao Lake – Located atop the mountain
of General Island. This is good for those
who love hiking, nature tripping and
• Forester’s Park – located in Bislig City. It
has a vast tree plantation of different dipterocarp
species such as falcata, bagras, mangium, etc. and
natural grown trees.
• Mini Forest Park – located in front of the
municipal hall of San Miguel.
• Municipal Tree Park – located in Marihatag.
• Bogac Spring – Located in Barangay Poblacion
in Barobo. It has clear brackish water with scenic
background and swimming area.
• Marga Hot and Cold Spring – located in Brgy.
Castillo in the municipality of San Miguel. An
amazing source of hot water sprouting from
underneath the ground flowing side by side with a
cold spring. The heterogeneous mixture of water is
an ideal medicinal treatment for those with health
problems. It is where one can find hot spring all
year round.
• Ancestral House – located in Barangay
Poblacion, Lanuza.
• Carac-an Bridge – The longest bridge in Surigao
del Sur and Surigao del Norte. Its length is 481
meters and located in the municipality of Madrid.
• Rizal Fish Port – located in Rizal, Barobo.
• Subterranean Canal – this canal is found in
Madrid with the bridge and tunnel as its
• Kaliga Festival
Surigao del Sur
June 19
A thanksgiving dance festival of the Manobo Tribe
• Diwatahan Festival
3rd Sunday of January
A Tandag version of Sinulog in Cebu City
• Kaliguan Festival
A yearly activity in honor of St.John the Baptist
highlighted by beach dancing and a search for Perlas
ng Kaliguan beauty pageant. There are also sports
activities at the beach which include pinoy games,
ball games, swimming and boat racing.
• Taephag
June 27
A common Manobo ritual used for opening a kaingin,
rice planting, harvesting and other farming activities.
• Pahinungod Festival
July 14 - 16
This is the mardigras which is performed
around the streets of
Carrascal. The dancers with an array of select
ethnic dance steps
and a kaleidoscope of costumes would offer
their movements and
songs to their beloved Patronness, Our Lady of
Mount Carmel.
• Paladong Festival
August 28
The art of performing the ritual of
conducted by a “ladongan―
a person who has the power and ability to cure
as medium to call the spirits abian and relay
the wishes to the clients through an offering.
• Kalumunan Festival
San Agustin
August 28
A reunion of relatives and friends during town fiesta
of San Agustin celebrated through street dancing,
of farm products and a choral competition
participated by neighboring towns.
• Kadagatan Festival Cortes
July 25
A yearly festival of Cortesanons done through street
dancing, to promote continuing awareness of people
in the conservation and protection of natural
resources especially marine life.
• Sirong Festival
August 15
War dance between Muslims and Christians
reflecting the Christianization of the early
Cantilangnons. Uniquely portrayed here is
the “Escrima―
(Arnis) and
(Chanting to a Goddess).
Campamento Caves
The Centennial
Ancestral House
Kawhagan Beach
Sohotan Cave
Hamburger Island
Sohotan Sea Urchins
Surigao del Norte:
• The winds of change that swept the
province from the four corners of the world
has witnessed the meeting of diverse local
and foreign influences which nurtured the
emergence of a unique and distinct
• In 1538, the eastern coast of Mindanao which
included the present province of Surigao del
Norte was visited by the Portuguese explorer
Francisco de Castro, who found the place
inhabited by the Caraga tribe who were
believed to be Visayan of origin.
• The ancient district of Caraga, which was
established in 1609, comprised all of Surigao
del Norte, Surigao del Sur, the Northern part of
Davao Oriental and Eastern Misamis Oriental,
Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.
• In 1860, six military districts were established
in Mindanao. Surigao and Agusan, including
the territory lying between Butuan and Caraga
Bays, formed the third district called the East
District which was changed in 1870 to Distrito
de Surigao.
• By the end of the Spanish rule in 1898, the two
Agusan provinces were organized as a single
politico-military commandancia named
Butuan, with the administrative jurisdiction of
Surigao. In 1901, this commandancia became a
sub-province of Surigao, and in 1907, Agusan
became a separate province.
It was on June 19, 1960, through Republic Act
2766 that Surigao province was divided to
form Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte.
• While the Philippine population is growing
at 2.32% from 1990-1995, the
provinces’ population has been growing
at a slower rate of 0.70% per annum during
the same period. As of 1995, Surigao del
Norte has a population of 337, 294.
Political Subdivision:
• Surigao del Norte is a group of islands at
the rim of the Asian continental shelf. It is
located at the northeastern tip of Mindanao
facing the Philippine Deep. It is bounded on
the north and east by the vast Pacific Ocean,
on the south by the Provinces of Agusan del
Norte and Surigao del Sur, and on the west
by the historic Surigao Strait.
• The Surigaonon is of rich Malay stock with
a sprinkling of Chinese, Japanese and Arab
blood. Glints of European and American
influences are also evident in the
Surigaonon's appearance and culture. With a
population of almost 467,228 the lines
between stocks can not be accurately
• Other than its numerous tourism potentials,
Surigao has one of the Philippines’ most
colorful ethnic tribes; the Mamanwas. Their
dances are showcased in a local festival
called as “Bonok-Bonok―
, held on the
occasion of the feast of San Nicolas de
Toletino which is observed annually every
September 10.
• The Bonok-Bonok depicts the native folks’
merry-making to show gratitude to their pagan
gods for a bountiful harvest and good health.
• The province is also working for the
preservation of cultural artifacts. A collection
of ancient archaeological diggings like burial
coffins jars and antique Chines kitchen wares
unearthed in Panhutungan, Placer is on public
display at the Surigaonon Heritage MiniMuseum located at the Boulevard, Surigao
• Mangrove is the major theme in the coastal areas
of the province. The salt-water loving trees form
interminable marine forests covering 17,473
hectares along the coasts of the mainland and the
islands of Siargao and Dinagat. The province also
boosts a variety of marine ecosystems like the lush
seagrass beds and coral reefs which are relatively
healthy and intact, supporting a rich diversity of
marine flora and fauna.

Region XIII