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					Surigao del Norte

Brief History

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
Surigaonon culture.

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.

Five years later, Ruy Lopez de Villabos landed in the same region. His navigator, Bernardo de la Torre,
named it Cesaria Caroli in honor of the reigning Spanish Monarch, Carlos V. The name, however
persisted since the Spaniards preferred to call it Caraga after its chief inhabitants.

The Jesuit Missionaries in 1597 tried to evangelize the people of Butuan (Agusan) and Caraga
(Surigao), with much difficulty and intermittent success. They were followed in 1622 by the Agustinian
Recollects who established parishes in Tandag and Bislig in 1642. The Recollects stayed until 1875,
then the secular priest took over followed by the Benedictine Monks from 1893 to 1908.

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.

The Land

With a total of 273,902 hectares or 2,739.02 square kilometers, Surigao del Norte ranks third in the
Caraga Region in terms of land area which is equal to 0.99% of the total land area of the Philippines.

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.

It is composed of 27 municipalities where Surigao City is the provincial capital.

The Resources

The province boasts of lush virgin forests, a long stretch of white sand beaches with world-class surfing
sites, magnificent rock formations, and abundant marine life.

Surigao del Norte has the biggest deposits of nickel, gold, chromite, iron, gravel and sand, limestone and
The rich and fertile land predominantly produces agricultural crops such as rice, coconut and rootcrops.
Livestock and poultry-raising are also the main source of livelihood.


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.


Since the capital of the province is Surigao City, access to the entire province is essentially the same as
the access to its capital. Please refer to the rate and schedule of air, land and sea transportation.

Distance of Municipalities from the Provincial Capital


 MUNICIPALITY                DISTANCE (In kms.)
 *Alegria                    48
 *Bacuag                     46
 *Basilisa                   26
 *Burgos                     96
 *Cagdianao                  28
 *Claver                     61
 *Dapa                       72
 *Del Carmen                 56
 *Dinagat                    24
 *Gen. Luna                  81
 *Gigaquit                   58
 *Libjo                      56
 *Loreto                     78
 *Mainit                     43
 *Malimono                   35
 *Oilar                      93
 Placer                      33
 *San Benito                 81
 San Francisco               12
 *San Isidro                 98
 *San Jose                   32
 *Sta. Monica                112
 *Sison                      19
 *Socorro                    65
 *Tagana-an                  29
 *Tubajon                    65
 *Tubod                      36
 * Island municipalities with converted distances

Tourist Attractions

GENERAL LUNA (Siargao Island). A bewitching 27 kilometer stretch of sugar-white beaches,
sapphire seas and natural coral barrier that keeps the inlet waters placid. At high tide, tube-like waves
from the Pacific Ocean can be heard and seen. A perfect destination for surfing during the months of
November to January and Island hopping adventure from November to January.
GUYAM ISLAND (Siargao Island). Across the General Luna Beach is an islet with powdery-white
sand and a cluster of coconut trees. It can be reached by pump boat in less than 10 minutes. It offers a
good view of the incredibly powerful waves of Siargao Island. A few meters away from the island, one
can go surfing and do other sports activities.

DAKU ISLAND (Siargao Island). A wonderful island adjacent to Guyam Island which only takes
about 5 minutes by pump boat. It is an ideal location for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

DEL CARMEN (Del Carmen). The Crocodile Sanctuary of the Philippines. It is the home of the
biggest crocodiles in the country. These crocodiles can be usually found in Del Carmen’s vast and
preserved mangrove forest.

SOHUTON CAVE (Bucas Grande Island). This enchanting cave is half-submerged in water most of
the time and accessible only during low tide. Inside is a lagoon with countless islets and crystal waters
that sparkle with the bright reflection of the sun. Lush vegetation abound in its periphery.

MAGPUPUNGKO BEACH (Siargao Island). Situated in a cove facing the Pacific, the place is
surrounded by limestone and granite sculptures. During low tide, its pockmarked limestone floor reveal
pools of assorted shapes and sizes resembling basins, barrels, tubs and ponds.

Lake Bababu (Basilisa, Dinagat). Situated between Puerto Princesa and Melgar in Basilisa, this
mountain lake is a sight to behold, the steep descent (and ascent) add thrill to an avid adventurer.
Surrounded by huge wall of granite, small caves are in great abundance. Lush vegetation dominates the
virginal periphery.

Santa Monica Waterfalls (Sta. Monica, Siargao). A gentle burst of falling water amid the tranquillity
of a tropical forest - this is an apt description of this waterfalls. The well preserved natural environment
is another come-on.

Aling Cayao Island (Claver). A solitary island just 21 km. away from the poblacion of Claver. It stands
in the deep blue seas like a sentinel in the southern portion of the province. The corals are well-
preserved and the beach is pristine white.

U.S. LANDING AVENUE. A Strategic area in the Municipality of Loreto where U.S. Liberators
landed and fought against the Japanese Imperial Army stationed in the place. A few miles from the
island is Surigao Strait - the historical landmark where hundreds of Japanese Naval Ships sank due to
massive bombardments by the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

PIG-OT HIDE AWAY RESORT. A cluster of islets that look like broken emeralds slapped on the
aquamarine surface of the water. The islets are connected with a wooden bridge. As one strolls, he/she
will witness the different aquatic species gliding and hiding behind coral reefs. This hideaway is indeed
heavenly specially for the adventurous, leisure seekers, and nature lovers.
MINI-DAM PARK (San Jose, Dinagat). Seven dams of graduated elevations are carved out of cliffs.
Stones are perfectly laid out and fitted by human hands. The whole mountain is exquisitely landscaped
adding beauty to the place.

SURIGAONON HERITAGE MINI-MUSEUM. (PPA-Surigao City). A collection of ancient
archaeological   diggings like burial coffins jars and antique Chinese kitchen wares are showcased in
that mini-museum. Some of these artifacts were unearthed in Panhutungan, Placer.

Other Tourism Attractions

Rock Formations (Pilar and Libjo)
Hot Spring (Mainit and Placer)
Mountain Lake (Tubod)
Waterfalls (Alegria, Bacuag, Tubod, San Francisco and Sison
Lake Mainit (Alegria and Mainit)

Sports Activities / Special Interests

SCUBA DIVING. For adventurous divers, the coasts of Surigao offer interesting dive site while the
islands of Sagisi and Corregidor are excellent for snorkeling activities.

SPELUNKING. Guano Cave & Lagoon, Libjo. Situated on a mountain, it has a lagoon within which
remains unexplored. Steep climbs are expected on the way to the cave.

SURFING. Lying at the veritable edge of the Philippine archipelago, Siargao is reputed as the Surfing
Capital of the Philippines that host the annual international surfing event. Its waves combine the best
quality features of top-rated waves of Hawaii’s fabled “ pipeline” and the top-billed wave of Indonesia.
The huge and powerful “pacific rollers” has been ranked among the top five breaks in the world,
including the “Cloud Nine” which is considered one of the world’s top surfing waves.. For more
information about Siargao Island, please refer to ANNEX 6.

SEA KAYAKING. Siargao first became famous for its surf, so kayakers who like big waves have a field
day here. There are also mangrove swamps in the island where you can paddle both in the main channel
and through narrow passages in the mangroves while seeing some wildlife and enjoying the serenity of
the place. The first is just behind the Pansukian Tropical Resort while the other one is in del Carmen,
where the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the Philippines is located. The “must see” place in
Caraga where you can paddle around spectacular limestone formation to a point where you can enter a
narrow channel which soon becomes a cave is in Sohoton Cave and lagoon in Bucas Grande Island,
which is more than an hour boat ride from Siargao. Since the sport is new here, only Pansukian Tropical
Resort offer kayak tours in several locations around Siargao.

MOUNTAIN BIKING. Great trails run all around Surigao del Norte. There are regular cross- country
and downhill competitions done in the area which are participated by local and international bikers.
Butuan or Surigao- based bikers regularly tour the rugged terrain of the region and are eager to show
their routes to new comers.

Events & Festivals.

SIARGAO INTERNATIONAL SURFING CUP. (Last week of September or First Week of October /
General Luna, Siargao Island). Some of the most spectacular surfs in the world are found in Siargao,
which hosts this annual international competition.

Luna, Siargao Island). The “Surf Island” of Siargao hosts its annual international cross country and
downhill mountain biking competition.

LORETO LANDING. (Loreto, Surigao del Norte).

Tourism Facilities

The province has available standard hotels, inns, lodging houses, convention facilities, recreational
facilities, shopping centers, souvenir shops, travel agencies, communication facilities, and other support
services. Most of the tourism related establishments are found in Surigao City while some are widely
distributed in selected towns of Surigao del Norte. Please refer to ANNEX 5 & ANNEX 6 for the list of
tourism related establishments

Whom to inquire?

Anybody contemplating a trip to Surigao should contact the Department of Tourism, Caraga Regional
Office at the Ground Floor, Grateful Realty Corporation Bldg. at #088 Pili Drive, Butuan City with
telephone numbers: (063-85)341-8413 or (085)225-5712 or (telefax) (085) 815-6040. You can send an
e-mail to or

You can also coordinate directly with the local tourism offices listed below or with the local officials in
a specific locality.

Tourism Assistance Center, Luneta Park, Surigao City, Tel.No. (086) 826-8064 or Telefax at (086)

Provincial Tourism Officer-Surigao del Norte, Provincial Capitol, Surigao City, Tel.No. (086) 231-
9271, Fax No. (086) 826-4371.


Brief History

The province of Agusan del Sur once shared one governance with its sister province, Agusan del Norte.
However, Republic Act 4969, enacted on June 17, 1967, divided the Agusan province into two: Agusan
del Sur and Agusan del Norte.

Agusan’s pre-hispanic history was greatly influenced by the Madjapahit Empire. This can be attested
through the discovery of the Golden Tara in 1960, in one of its towns, which is Maasam, Esperanza.
The 8-inches gold image, that was retrieved along the river of Esperanza, originated from the
Madjapahit Empire.

The aborigines of Agusan were the ancestors of the present-day Mamanwas who were driven to the
hinterlands by the waves of Malay immigrants from nearby Borneo, Celebes and Malaysia. These
people, in turn, sought the protection of the interior jungles because of the forays and the constant raids
of Moros. Being a sea-faring people, they confined themselves to the coastal areas where they started
settlements, leaving the forestall area to the other native tribes.


As of 1995, the population count for Agusan del Sur is 514,736. It is composed of 99, 048 households
with an average household size of 5.3. The province population growth is 3.85% with a population
density of 59.75.


Based on the records of the National Integration Commission, the Aeta, Mamanwa, Bagobo, Banwaon,
and Manobo are the five tribes who are found in Agusan del Sur. However, most of the Agusanon
speak Cebuano while some use Boholano and Ilonggo. English is usually spoken in conversations with
foreigners, in offices, and educational institutions.

Among the five existing tribes in the province, only Manobo and Banwaon or Higaonon Tribes are
distinctly identified since they live along the National Highway and river towns of Davao del Norte
while others live in the town of Esperanza towards the boundaries of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.

The Manobo

The Manobos have medium built/stout bodies with light brown-straight hair and brown eyes. This was
the result of the inter-marriages among Duyag-Batang, Talaandig and Mamanwa aborigines and the
Indonesians during the reign of the Madjapahit Empire, plus the inter-marriages of the natives with the
Malay River people during the Sri Visayan Empire and the Chinese traders who came to Agusan in the
11th and 12th Centuries. The coming of the Spaniards had also contributed to this racial and cultural
The manobos have their own dialect, which is a mixture of a native dialect and an acquired foreign
language. The name “Manobo” is influence by the Malay River People. These people are called
“Mansuba”, from the word “suba”, the malayan term for river. Therefore, “Mansuba” literally means
“people living near or in the river (most of them live on floating houses). Later on, Mansuba is
shortened to Manuba, which eventually took its masculine gender which is Manobo.

The Higaonon-Banwaon Tribe

Higaonon-Banwaon Tribe is the second largest indigenous community in Agusan del Sur. Higaonon is
derived from the native word “gaon”, which means mountain or literally, it means “The mountain
people”. They are somewhat nomadic, traveling from one mountain to another, looking for fertile soil
for a better harvest.

The Higaonons have medium built bodies with an average height of 5 ft. & 2 inches tall and a lighter
skin complexion as compared with the other tribes in the province. Quite a number of them have a
recognizable European features, aqualine nose, deep-set eyes and prominent cheeks, a legacy of the
intermarriage between the natives and the spanish conquiestadores. Generally, they are warm and
friendly people but when intimidated, they are the fiercest warrior. Higaonons are good hunters and

The Banwaon is a relative to the Manobo tribe. Banwaon is derived from the word “banwa”, meaning
village or country or they are called the village settlers. So, while the Higaonons occupy the mountains
of Esperanza, the Banwaons live in the lowlands and upstream of Maasam, Libang and Adgawan
Rivers. Just like the Manobos, they are adept in fishing and farming and they have similar features with
the Manobos.

Being neighbors, these two tribes were constantly in conflict with each other. In order to resolved the
tribal differences, the datus of the two tribes allowed their constituents to intermarry. Eventually, the
intermarriages between Higaonon and Banwaon had resolved the conflict, bringing forth the Higaonon-
Banwaon Tribe.

The Land

It has a total land area of 896,550 hectares or 8,965.50 square kilometers, with flat and rolling
topography crisscrossed with rivers. The Agusan River is the largest and cuts the province into two
along North-South direction.

Political Subdivision

Agusan del Sur occupies a portion of the Northern Mindanao Region bounded on the north by Agusan
del Norte, on the east by Surigao del Sur, on the South by Davao del Norte and on the west by Misamis
Oriental and Bukidnon.

The entire province has a lone congressional district, which is composed of 14 municipalities and 314
barangays. Its capital town is Prosperidad where the Provincial Government Center is situated.

The Resources

Agusan del Sur is maybe one of the country’s richest gold deposits. It contributes to the estimated 5.5
billion metric tons of metallic and non-metallic ore reserves Caraga region possesses. Other minerals
found in the area are limestone, marble, gypsum, manganese, phosphate rock, coal, andesite rock,
chromite, quartz, gold, white clay, and sand & gravel.

As part of Caraga region, it is also known to have the largest established timberland hectarage
nationwide. In fact, it is envisioned to be the next timber corridor and food bowl in the region. Its major
forestry and agricultural products are exotic tree species, rice, corn, coconut, cacao, coffee, banana,
palm oil, and other agricultural resources.


The province is landlocked and can be reached only by land transportation through the Davao-Butuan
National Highway. Three minor roads also provide access for travelers coming from Tandag, Lianga,
Barobo, and Bislig in Surigao del Sur. One road connects the southwestern part of the province and
Asuncion, Davao del Norte. Although the Agusan River is a potential highway for travelers to the
province, there is no existing ferry facilities regularly servicing passage from Butuan City or Davao del
Norte through the river.

The province is adequately linked to its neighboring provinces. Its municipalities are likewise
interconnected with paved roads, except for La Paz and Loreto which are accessible through a motorized
flat boat from the mini-ports of Bunawan and Talacogon. Most barangays are also connected to the main
road arteries.

Since the major entry point of Caraga is Butuan City (74 kilometers away from Prosperidad), access to
the province from Cebu or Manila is essentially the same as the access to its regional capital.

Distance of Municipalities from the Provincial Capital

      MUNICIPALITY            DISTANCE (In kms.)

      Sibagat                 49.88
      Bayugan                 32.28
      Prosperidad             8.90
      San Francisco           6.10
      Rosario                 22.25
      Bunawan                 47.66
      Trento                  65.04
      Sta. Josefa             77.42
      Veruela                 91.88
      Loreto                  83.94
      La Paz                  62.38
      Talacogon               34.42
      San Luis                43.60
      Esperanza               46.00

Tourist Attractions

MT. MAGDIWATA (San Francisco). This mystical mountain stands 633 meters high, perfect for a “fun
climb” to regular mountaineers. It is San Francisco’s sole-source of potable water supply and is a
recipient of the DENR’s reforestation program dubbed as Billion Tree Act. It has an area of 1,658
hectares covered with lush forest and an array of wild, rare tropical flora and fauna. A scenery of nature
in perfection, the mountain’s peak offers a panoramic view of Agusan del Sur and its neighboring
provinces. From a distance, Mt. Magdiwata poses as a backdrop of San Francisco.

BINABA FALLS.                A 10-minute motorboat ride from the mini-wharf of the Gibong Recreation
Center where the crystal clear water displays the nakedness of nature’s uninhibited wealth.
MT. DIWATA HOT & COLD SPRING. Surrounded by nature’s preserved forest, the area is a 4
kilometer hiking distance from the Maharlika Highway. It offers not only an impressive scenery but a
natural medicine to tired urbanites and nature lovers.

AGUSAN MARSH. The largest marshland in the Philippines holding up to 15% of the country’s
freshwater. This mystical wetland is the home of indigenous Manobo people who live in clusters of
wood and bamboo houses built on rafts of floating logs. For bird watchers, the marsh is “a must visit”
destination. Purple herons, storks, sea eagles, wild ducks and other migratory wetland birds from the
Southeast Asia Region will be seen during the months of November to January. Exotic flora and fauna
and other endangered species like the dinata, a soft-shelled giant turtle, and sailfin lizard also exist in
this wildlife sanctuary.

LAKE HIMBANG. It is more than an hour drive from the Maharlika Highway going to Lake Himbang
in Talacogon. The lake is an alternative destination of Agusan Marsh. The thrill of riding a motorized
small boat or a wooden-boat (made of a log) while admiring the tranquility and view of the lake plus a
relaxing meal at the floating cottage are some of its attractions, which you would never want to miss.

MT. DIWATA PARK AND CAMPSITE. A preserved watershed forest three kilometers from San
Francisco, it is known to have a virgin tropical forest areas.

Sports Activities / Special Interest

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING / TREKKING (Mt. Magdiwata, San Francisco). A minor climb with a
height of about 633 meters above sea level, it provides a scenery of nature in perfection.

BIRDWATCHING (Agusan Marsh). Being a home to migrant birds during winter time, flocks of birds
such as purple herons, storks, sea eagles, wild ducks and many endangered species can be seen in the
area particularly during the months of November, December, and January. Agusan Marsh is accessible
by boat through the Simulao River at Bunawan.

SHOOTING (Patin-ay, Prosperidad). There is an available shooting range located at the PNP Provincial
Headquarters, Patin-ay, Prosperidad. Accommodations can be done through the office of the Provincial
Directorate, PNP, Agusan del Sur.

Events and Festivals

NALIYAGAN (June 12-17, Government Center, Prosperidad). The festival depicts the Agusanon
culture and heritage. Natives from far-flung areas of the province participate in the festivity by
displaying their skills and gracefulness in a natural way. A trade fair showcasing the province’s own
products also takes place at the Naliyagan Plaza.

SANTIKAN (June 12-15, Trento). Santikan is a Manobo word which means “to strike” or “ the striking
of two hard objects to create fiction or fire”. It is to this essence that the festival is highlighted by
different friendly competitions throughout its duration.

KAHIMUNAN (First Sunday of January, Bayugan). Local version of Sinulog of Cebu, the main
attraction of this particular festival is the street dancing. The dances are focused on Agusan del Sur’s
indigenous culture.

KAAMULAN (September 23, Salug, Esperanza). This is a yearly convergence of all tribal leaders in
Agusan del Sur. The festival’s highlight is the performance of authentic tribal rituals by the tribal priests.

LAKE HIMBANG FESTIVAL ( October, Talacogon).

Accommodation/ Other Tourism Facilities
Agusan del Sur has a very limited type of accommodation facilities. There are no hotels or pension
houses in the area but this is not a reason of not going there because there are many lodging houses and
homestays at very affordable rates.

Convention/Function Facilities

Government Center, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

San Francisco, Agusan del Sur

Travel Agencies

At present, there are no existing travel agencies in the province. However, the proximity of Agusan del
Sur to Butuan City facilitates any travel arrangements of the guests or tourists who want to explore the
province. Further, the Regional Tourism office in Butuan City will also assist travelers going to any part
of Agusan del Sur.

Other Information

FILIPINAS PALMOIL PLANTATION & PROCESSING, INC. (Agusan del Sur). This is the largest oil
palm plantation in the Philippines with an area of 8,000 hectares. It also operates an oil mill inside the
plantation that processes the produce or fruits harvested from the oil palm plantation.

The oil palm tree is a native of Africa. At present, Malaysia has the biggest land area planted to oil palm
with Indonesia running second and fast catching up. The oil palm tree thrives in areas with continuous
rainfall and adequate sunlight throughout the year. The oil palm tree bears fruit three (3) years after
planting and has an economic life of at least 25 years. The products derived from oil palm are crude
palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK).

PROVIDENT TREE FARMS, INC. OR PTFI (Talacogon & San Luis, Agusan del Sur). Since 1967,
PTFI has been in the forefront of tree plantation development, forest protection and scientific research in
the Philippines. In the process, the company converts degraded forest areas and brush land into
flourishing and productive plantations. These activities have a positive impact on the lives of the natives,
their families and the surrounding community. It also supports environmental protection through the
management of ecologically sound and viable forest plantations as a renewable source of forest
products. It was in 1991 that PTFI started its operations in Agusan del Sur covering a total land area of
20,770 hectares.

Whom to inquire?

Anybody contemplating a trip to any cities or provinces of Caraga should contact the Department of
Tourism, Caraga Region-XIII, Ground Floor, Grateful Realty Corporation Bldg. #088 Pili Drive, Butuan
City with telephone numbers: (085) 341-8413 or (telefax) (085) 815-6040. You can send an e-mail to or

You can also coordinate directly with the local tourism office in Patin-ay Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur at
Tel.Nos. (085) 3437268 & 3437369 or with the local officials in a specific locality.

Brief History

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”
and “suriagaw” 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”.

But now, no matter how Surigao got its name, it is a fact that Surigao del Sur, being a marvel in terms of
natural resources, is already an indispensable part of the Philippine map.

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

Provincial Delineation

No. of Municipalities                -      18 mostly located along coastal areas
No. of City                          -      1
No. of Barangays                     -      309
Congressional Districts              -      2
Income Class                         -      2nd

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 Miguel) and CARCANMADCARLANCORTAN (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


Religious, Cultural and Historical Attractions

         Aside from its wealth of natural resources, the province of Surigao del Sur boast of century-old
structures, monuments and churches to satisfy the discerning taste of history and culture buffs.

         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 privately-owned 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 man-made 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 eco-destination 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.


1. Ave Maria Falls          -         Carrascal
2. Canlumawag Falls         -         San Jose, Bislig City
3. Kambawi Falls                      -        Pamanlinan, Bislig City
4. Mendezona Falls          -         San Jose, Bislig City
5. Secret Falls                       -        Burboanan, Bislig City
6. Sian Falls               -         Sta.Cruz, Bislig City
7. 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 “kolo”, 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.

Hagonoy Island – a 1.7 hectare island with a perimeter white sand. It is a 20 minute ride by a motorized
banca from Mangagoy, Bislig City. An island filled with coconut and green trees, it is surrounded by a
beautiful white beach and a blue, crystal clear and calm water ideal for swimming.

Huyamao Island – presently owned by the nine heirs of the late Teodoro Urbiztondo, this private
majestic island is covered with very fine white sand. This is located in front of Baybay, Cantilan
shoreline. From there, one would not fail to notice the white sand along the mountain island that is
compatible to the sand bar of Camiguin. Its water is so pristine; one can even clearly see the sea bed
while riding a banca.

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.

2 Linongaw Islands – These are big and small islands that tower over Tandag. These are veritable
havens of white sand, multi-faced rocks fringed with skyscraping trees dominated by monkeys and
singing birds, being the habitat of age-old bats.


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 swimming.

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.


Caguyao River – located in Caguyao, Bislig City, it is good for swimming and picnics. It is surrounded
with natural scenic beauty along its meandering river channel.

Dinayhugan River – utilized as a dam of the National Irrigation Administration in the 1990’s, it is now
best enjoyed by picnickers, rafters and cruisers. Rafts are available at the site. There is a cave nearby
that holds large deposits of guano and treasure trove of relics. Fossils, artifacts and other anthropological
curiosities which include tell-tale remains of the ancient church are also found inside the cave.

Enchanted River – Located in Talisay, Hinatuan, it is an awesome deep river inside a thick forest with
very cool, placid blue waters which allows the viewing of beautiful fishes underneath. This river inspired
the composition of the song “Enchanted River” by a local composer.

Suhoton Underground River – located in San Vicente, Bislig City. It is an underground river from a

Tago River – the longest river in Surigao del Sur. It snakes up to the heart of the Diwata Mountain in the
west passing the hinterland town of San Miguel. It’s approximately 60 kilometers in length from the
mouth of Tago to the municipality of Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte.


Bogac Spring – Located in Barangay Poblacion in Barobo. It has clear brackish water with scenic
background and swimming area.

Malinawa Cool Spring – it is located in the municipality of Cantilan. A very cool spring surrounded by
beautifully arranged big flat white rocks around the pool equipped with hower rooms, cottages and a
mini convention center. The spring is constantly flowing 90 liters of fresh water per second. It is a 5
minute ride from the national highway.

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.

Libuac Spring – located in Tagbina.


Estuarine Wetland Park – located in Baybay, Bunga, Lanuza.

Iron Mountain Road – it is locally known as “Noventa”. It is the site of the biggest iron deposit in the
whole country. It is a 25 kilometers serpentine road, with an altitude of about 900 feet above sea level.
The road leads to the highway boundary of Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte.
Laswitan – Art materials-made pools with clear undiluted seawater. They abound with a variety of fish.
Laswitan is quietly nestled in between a mountain. The seawater enter the three pools during high tide
through a narrow passage and through the frequent splashing of the giant waves that push the mountain
rock. Laswitan is located in Barangay Madrelino some five kilometers away from the poblacion. To
reach the area from the main road, one would walk nearly half kilometer and pass through steep slope.

Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary – located in Cagmino, Sibahay, Lanuza

Lanuza Surfing Paradise – located at Zone I, IV, Habag and Sibahay in the municipality of Lanuza.


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 attractions.


Ka’liga Festival - SDS-every June 19 - a thanksgiving dance festival of the Manobo Tribe

Diwatahan Festival         - Tandag
                           -Every 3rd Sunday of January
                           -A Tandag version of Sinulog in Cebu City

Kaliguan Festival           - Cagwait
-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                    - Tagbina
                           - Every 27th of June
-A common Manobo ritual used for opening a kaingin, rice planting,
 harvesting and other farming activities.

Pahinungod                 -Carrascal
Festival                   -Every 14th-16th of July
-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           -Hinatuan
                            - Every 28th of August
-The art of performing the ritual of “ladong” 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

Kalumunan                  -San Agustin
Festival                   - Every 28th of August
-A reunion of relatives and friends during town fiesta of San Agustin celebrated through street dancing,
“tabo” of farm products and a choral competition participated by neighboring towns.
Kadagatan                   - Cortes
Festival                    - Every 25th of July
-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            -Cantilan
                           -Every 15th day of August
-War dance between Muslims and Christians reflecting the Christianization of the early Cantilangnons.
Uniquely portrayed here is the “Escrima” (Arnis) and “Alabacion” (Chanting to a Goddess).


Carrascal                 -   Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish
Cantilan                  -   Immaculate Conception Parish
Madrid                    -   San Isidro Labrador Parish
Carmen                    -   Saint Vincent Parish
Lanuza                    -   San Antonio de Padua Parish
Cortes                    -   Saint Louise de Gonzaga Parish
Tandag                    -   San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish
Tago                      -   La Purisima Concepcion Parish
San Miguel                -   San Miguel Archangel Parish
Bayabas                   -   San Ignacio de Loyola Parish
Aras-asan                 -   San Antonio de Padua Parish
Marihatag                 -   Santo Nino Parish
San Agustin               -   San Agustin Parish
Lianga                    -   Santo Nino Parish
Diatagon                  -   Saint John the Baptist
Parish Barobo             -   Mother of Mercy Parish
Tagbina                   -   Mother of Perpetual Help Parish
Hinatuan                  -   San Agustin Parish
Lingig                    -   Santo Nino Parish
Bislig City               -   Saint Thomas de Villanueva Parish
Forest Drive              -   Saint Joseph the Worker Parish


GPM Sports Complex – located at the heart of Tandag, was named after the former governor of the
province Gregorio P. Murillo. The sports complex is equipped with modern facilities. It has an Olympic
size swimming pool including basketball, volleyball and sipa courts, an oval and a grandstand.


        One can reach other parts of the country and the world through internet, fax, landline (TETCO,
PLDT, PHILCOM, SANAGTEL and RCPI) and wireless communication (SMART and GLOBE).
Major courier companies like LBC, JRS have branches in Tandag and Bislig City.

Radio Stations

AM      -DXJS Radyo ng Bayan – Capitol Hills, Tandag, Surigao del Sur
FM      -DXJR Planet Energy – Paradise Heights, Telaje, Tandag, Surigao del Sur
        -DXAR Alternative Radio – Osmena St., Tandag, Surigao del Sur
         -DXJB Alternative Radio – Osmena St., Tandag, Surigao del Sur


Clarit Medical Clinic                   - Medical Mission Group
Viemma Medical Clinic                   - Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center
Cuartero Hospital                       - Tandag Doctor’s Clinic
Polymedic Hospital in Cantilan          - Madrid District Hospital
Marihatag District Hospital             - Lianga District Hospital
Hinatuan District Hospital              - Bislig District Hospital
Cortes Community Hospital               - San Miguel Community Hospital
Lingig Community Hospital


TJ Oasis Beach View Resort                                       - Carrascal
Shacene and Pension House & KTV Bar                              - Tandag
Muyco’s Resort by the Bay                                        - Tandag
Playa Pacifico Beach Resort                                      - Tandag
Malinawa Cool Spring and Mini-Convention Center                  - Cantilan
Kansilad Beach Resort                                            - Lianga
Selades Apartelle & Catering Services                            - Tandag
Zyphora Garden Hotel                                             - Cantilan
Extreme Beach Resort                                             - Cagwait
Cagwait Beach Resort                                             - Cagwait
Mahayag Beach Resort and Apartelle                               - Tandag

Best Buys

TT & Co. Inc.                                                    - Tandag
Ultra Star Marketing                                             - Tandag
Fedy Mart                                                        - Tandag
V. Guerra                                                        - Tandag
CPD Collections                                                  - Tandag
Sunlight Marketing                                               - Tandag
Bright Star Inc.                                                 - Tandag
De Lara Agsam Crafts                                             - Lanuza
VG Lambo Magkono Woodcraft                                       - Aras-asan, Cagwait
NKC Office                                                                - Cagwait
Smartshop                                                        - Tandag
WSS                                                                       - Tandag
Saralee                                                          - Tandag
Natasha                                                          - Tandag
Raffles and Co.                                                  - Tandag
Avon                                                                      - Tandag
Sundance                                                         - Tandag
Ferdhome Business Venture                                        - Tandag


Y Bar                                                   - Tandag
Kaptayn’s Bar and Grill                                 - Tandag
Sidlakan Beach Resort                                   - Tandag
Expat’s Café                                            - Cantilan
Hillary’s Café                                          - Cantilan
Shacene Pension House, Restaurant and KTV               - Tandag

Surfing Siargao

SIARGAO ISLAND, Surigao del Norte. The unspoiled teardrop shaped island called Siargao is the
shangrila of adventurers and nature lovers. It is the surfing capital of the Philippines, which is 800
kilometers Southeast of Manila.

Siargao, which many surfers claim has the best and most consistent surf in the Philippines, has made an
eccentric entry into the world of surfing arena. Through the success of the First International Surfing
Cup in 1996, Siargao is now one of the world’s great frontiers for surf exploration. Its most popular
break is “cloud nine”. Surfing is best from July to November when strong waves are in constant

Siargao is the largest of a group of islands emerging as one of the finest water sport destinations in the
country. Aside from the surfing, there is sea kayaking, long stretch of white sand beaches, hidden caves
and lagoons, mangrove swamps, magnificent rock formations, and mountain lakes.

The most striking feature of the island is the existence of several endangered and rare species of flora &
fauna such as the well known Philippine Crocodile, marine turtles, sea cow, the attractive fire and
century orchids and the “iron wood” or magcono. It has the biggest mangrove reserve in the Philippines
covering 8,760 hectares and vast areas of coral reef with rich marine resources.

In 1992, the island was proclaimed a protected area (Protected Landscape and Seascape Category) under
Republic Act 7586 (NIPAS Act of 1992), which will provide the legal basis for pursuing plans for the
conservation and continuous protection of the island’s natural resources.


Siargao Island is politically under the jurisdiction of Surigao del Norte, a province located at the
Northeastern portion of Mindanao which lies between 125 50’ East Longitude and betweem 9 30’ and
10 0.5’ North Latitude. It is bounded on the north by Dinagat Island, on the south by mainland part of
the Province of Surigao del Norte, on the east by Hinatuan Passage, and on the west by Surigao Strait
and the province of Southern Leyte. Stretching along its southeastern coast is the Philippine Deep, the
greatest known depth within Philippine waters at 11,094 meters below sea level.


Siargao Island has an approximate land area of 67,726 hectares including Bucas Grande Island Island
and all coastal barangays. It consists of nine (9) municipalities with 131 barangays.

Breakdown of the areas as follows:

MUNICIPALITY                             AREA (IN HECTARES)                       NO. OF BARANGAYS

BURGOS                                   3293                                     6
DAPA                                     9808                                     29
DEL CARMEN                               13994                                    19
GENERAL LUNA                             4126                                     20
PILAR                                    7706                                     15
SAN BENITO                               3970                                     6
SAN ISIDRO                               5834                                     12
SOCORRO                                  12445                                    13
SANTA MONICA                             6550                                     11
TOTAL                                    67276                                    131

The prevailing climate type of the island falls under Type II which is characterized by no pronounced
dry season but with a very pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January. Siargao receives
the highest amount of rainfall during December while June is the driest month.


The five major dominant religions of the island are Roman Catholic, Philippine Independent Church,
Iglesia Ni Cristo, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and Jehovah’s Witness.


Siargao Island has a total population of 83,100 comprising 19.16% of the total population of Surigao del
Norte with 15,109 households (as of 1995). As the commercial and trade center, Dapa town has the
highest population among the municipalities with 15,500 inhabitants having 2,818 households while
General Luna, which is known as the tourist destination in the island, has 12,500 with 2,273

Communication Facilities

Communication facilities are limited in the area. The form of communication widely used by the
municipalities is the telegraphic transfers through Radio Telecommunication, postal services and
incoming radio broadcast. Recently, direct long distance calls can be done through the following:

RCPI – Dapa                                           PT&T - Dapa
Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte               Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
Telecommunication                                     Telecommunication
Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte               General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte


There are inter-island water vessels plying between Siargao/Bucas Grande Islands and Surigao City.
Passenger jeepneys, motorized boats, and “habal-habal” or motorcycles serve commuters bound to any
point of destination in the island.

Some Surf Spots in Surigao

CLOUD NINE (General Luna). A world-Class right hand break that offers machine like barreling
perfection. It works on any swell with southwest winds. The waves have big thick peaks that rise
abruptly, hallow out and break heavily in just two meters of water. When the swell is from the right
hand direction, the peak produces an equally good left break.

PILAR. This is a series of lefts in front of the town wharf, but it needs huge swells on the reef before it
starts working. This is an alternative surfing area when the swells are too big in other areas.

NEIL’S SPOT (Pilar). A well shaped right hand break at the base of a small island near the town of
Pilar. Protected from big swells and northeastern winds, the waves are usually 40% smaller than the
outer reef breaks like cloud 9. It is a good alternative when the outer swells are too huge and risky.

ROCK ISLAND (General Luna). Another right hand break. The swell wraps around the base of a
small rock island about 1.5 kms. offshore. It hallows out and bowls over into superbly into high speed
sections that will sometimes deliver 2 m rides. It is an excellent high performance wave that can hold
swells up to a double overhead. It is at its best at 2 to 3 meters.
PANSUKIAN REEF (General Luna). Located just 20 minutes by banca south of General Luna, this
reef offers an open right hand break that needs a swell of 2 meters or more to work. When the wave is
big, it has a great inside barrel section. However, one has to keep watch of strong currents.

LA JANOSA ISLAND (General Luna).           There are some fun lefts in front of La Janosa barrio and
some powerful lefts on the east coast.

ANTOKON ISLAND (General Luna). A perfect left wraps 180 degrees around tiny Antokon Island.
Large swells are needed before waves break cleanly. The breaks are less powerful from the usual
intensity of the bigger waves from other breaks. There is also an excellent right hand break on the
opposite side of Antokon Island.

TUASON POINT (General Luna). There are long powerful lefts on a shallow reef at the base of
Tuason Point. In bigger swells, expect board snapping power. This surfing area is for experienced
surfers only. Tuason Point works well at any swell size, but is best at 2 to 3 meters.

General Luna : The Surfing Capital of the Philippines
(Source: General Luna Community-Based Tourism Master Plan)


Legends have it that this town had been known as CABUNTOG in ancient times. There was even a
popular legend of a huge bell of a local church that when rung it can be heard as far as the mainland in
Mindanao. Its sound allegedly summoned the Muslim raiders. To protect itself against this depredation,
the local folks decided to get rid of the bell. They did so by dumping the same at the Campujong River.
Dumping is “buntog” in the local dialect, hence, the name.

Records, however, tell a different tale. General Luna, then known as Cabuntog, enjoyed a peaceful as
well as a bloody era. The original inhabitants of the place belong to the group of people known as the
“Caragans”. They subsisted on fishing and farming. They lived a life that was relatively peaceful until
the arrival of the Spanish colonizers and other colonizers sometime in the 15th century.

August 1, 1929 marked as the official day of the formal entry of General Luna as an organized unit of
government in the modern Philippine Government System. The succeeding years saw the peaceful
change of government through the electoral processes except during the Japanese occupation and EDSA

Geographic Location

Mainland General Luna is situated at the southern side of Siargao Island, Province of Surigao del Norte.
It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Pilar, on the south by the small islands of Daku and La
Januza, on the west by the Municipality of Dapa and on the east by the Philippine Sea. It is 16
kilometers away from the Municipality of Dapa (the entry point to the island) and approximately 40
nautical miles from Surigao City.

Land Area

General Luna, the newly discovered surfing paradise, occupies a total land area of 5,998 hectares and
sea area of approximately 21,847 hectares. The town has nineteen (19) barangays with puroks 1-5
considered as poblacion barangays, with inland and coastal barangays namely: Anajawan, Babitoonan,
Consuelo, Corazon, La Januza, Daku, Libertad, Magsaysay, Malinao, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Suyangan,
and Tawin-tawin. The mainland barangays comprise 87.25% of the municipal’s total land area while the
island barangays occupy 765 hectares or 12.75%. Barangay Consuelo has the biggest area with an
estimated land area of 769 hectares or 12.82% and the smallest barangay is Poblacion 1 with an
estimated area of only 94 hectares or 1.56%. (Source: DENR-13/ 1998 / Provincial Assesor).

General Luna has a Type II climate characterized by no pronounced dry season but with maximum rain
period from November to February. Dry period is from May to September. The municipality
experiences an average of 12-25 rainy days per month.

Population: 12,554 (as of 1995).

Where to stay?

NAME& ADDRESS                      No. and type of rooms            No. of   No. of   Rates per day
Contact Person & no.                                                Room/    Extra
                                                                    beds     Beds
buntog Lodge & Cottages            -3 de luxe aircon cottages                15       1,650/cottage
Takbo,General Luna, Siargao        (4 pax/cottage)                                    200/extra pax
Island                             -2 ordinary aircon                                 880/cottage
Surigao del Norte                  cottages good for                2        2        150/extra pax
                                   2 pax
(beach front)                      -1 aircon log cabin for 10 pax                     2,500/cottage
Mayor Cecilia L. Rusillon          -1 aircon log cabin              10       5        200/extra pax
Mobile No. 0919-                   for 20 pax                                         5,000/cottage
5021662 or call Miriam             -20 non-aircon rooms with        20       5
Podadera                           beds (bunkhouse)                                   165.00
Cell # 09193632507                                                  3        15
Or Mr. Vic Solloso,
Cell No. 09196708193
Cheri Nicole Beach Resort          -4 aircon rooms with toilet &    14/22    8        1,200/2 pax
General Luna, Siargao Island       bath
Surigao del Norte                  -2 rooms w/ electric fan &                         1,000/2 pax
(bech front)                       toilet and bath
Ignacia Tesado                     -1 native cottage with T&B                         400/pax
Cell No. 0918-2444407              and 3 beds
Drop Inn Beach Resort              - 5 non-aircon rooms with        5        5        800/2 pax
General Luna, Siargao Island       double beds                                        300/pax min
Surigao del Norte                                                                     (non-peak)
   (surf site)                                                                        100/extra
Malou Ryan
Cell # 0918-5789739
Jade Star Beach Resort             - 2 aircon rooms                                   1,500/5 pax
General Luna, Siargao Island       - 5 non aircon                                     165/pax
Surigao del Norte                                                                     110/extra
(beach front)                                                                         bed/foam
Delfin Quintas
Mobile # 0919-2344367
Villa Ernesto Beach Resort         -2 units aircon rooms            11/72
General Luna, Siargao Island       (seaside)                                          1000/2 pax
Surigao del Norte                  -1 room aircon                                     1200/3 pax
     (beach front)                 -7 rooms /4 pax with electric                      1500/family
Simeon Castrence                   fan                                                1500/6 pax
Cell # 0919-3750399                -1 non aircon 10/pax                               200/extra pax
                                   -4 US tents/5 pax                                  150/pax
Acoy and Joy                   -3 non aircon rooms with       2           165.00/pax
General Luna, Siargao          ceiling fan, toilet & bath
 Island, Surigao del Norte
(beach front)
Joy Escamillan
Sagana Beach Resort
     General Luna, Siargao
Island, Surigao del Norte      -2 Big room good for 4 pax/    2           2,000
(surf site)                    room
Gerry & Susan Degan. Cell      --2 aircon rooms good for 2    2           2,000
Nos.                           pax/room
09198095769                    -2 small non-aircon room       2           1,500
09195142693 or                 good for 3/pax per room
Shat’s Guest House             -1 A/C cottage for 4 pax       7/22    6   1,500/cottage
General Luna, Siargao          -1 A/C room(twin sharing)
 Island, Surigao del Norte     -2 non A/C rooms                           1,000/room
(beach front)                  -attic room
Jocelyn Abadilla                                                          500/room
Cell # 09202175726                                                        165/pax
Traveller’s Pension House      -3 aircon rooms                            1,500/rm/5 pax
General Luna, Siargao Island                                              100/extra pax
Surigao del Norte              -3 non-aircon rooms                        750 for 4 pax
Mila Camingue                                                             100/extra pax
Cell # 09195648185
N & M Lodge Beach Resort       -3 non-aircon rooms            3/3     6   500/room/3 pax
General Luna, Siargao Island   3 pax per room                             150/extra pax
Surigao del Norte
(beach front)
Marife Noguerra
Cell # 09191684716
Or 09205612855
Traveller’s Beach Resort       4 aircon rooms                 14/80   6   1,500/room
General Luna, Siargao          4 non-aircon rooms                         750/room
Island, SDN (beach front)
Mila Camingue
Cell # 09195648185

Tuazon Point Cottages          2 front cottages/3 pax         6/14    6   1,000/cottage
Catangnan, General Luna,                                                  (150/extra)
 Siargao Island, Surigao del   -2 duplex/2 pax/room                       800/room
Norte                                                                     (150/extra)
(surf site)
Prop.Teresa de Leon
Mgr. Charlita David
Cell # 09196878396
Jungle Reef Surf Resort        -1 duplex 2 rooms                          550 for 2 pax
Catangnan, General Luna,       -2 cottages                                550 for 2 pax
 Siargao Island, Surigao del   -1 bunkhouse                               200/pax
Emilito Adolfo
Cell # 09198095774
Lyn Lyn Lodging House          -1 cottage w/ 3 beds/ 3 pax                150/pax
     & Beach Resort            -4 cottages w/ 2 beds/ 2 pax
Catangnan,General Luna,        (with electric fan)                        150/pax
Siargao Island, Surigao del
Norte (beach front)
Prop. Marcelinda E. Cagadas
Caretaker, Pilar Crisologo
Cell # 09194855890
Patrick’s On The Beach            -6 cottages                     9/15      18            100 to 150/pax
General Luna, Siargao Island                                                              300 / cottage
Surigao del Norte (beach front)
Elizabeth T. Mikoleiczik
Cell # 09204024356
or 09203311472
Ocean 101 Bar, Restaurant &       -1 aircon room/2 pax            15/15     15            1,000
Accommodation                     -3 ordinary room /pax                                   700
General Luna, Siargao Island,
SDN, (surf site)
Pelopy Alipayo
Cell # 09198268837
Pansukian Tropical Resort         -3 non-aircon garden cottages   9/24      6             -US$150/pax
General Luna, Siargao Island                                                              (single)
SDN (beach front)                 -6 aircon tropical pagoda                               -$120/pax
Erlinda Escosura                  cottages                                                (double)
Cell # 09189039055                                                                        -$100/pax (triple)
Or 09194130751                                                                            -$210/pax
Website: http://www.                                                                      (single)                                                                         -$180/pax
vision/pansukian                                                                          (double)

Wildrock Surf Camp, Resort        -3 aircon rooms/4 pax/room      12/23     20            1,500/room
& Cottage                         -3 non-aircon 2 pax / room
General Luna, Siargao Island                                                              500/room
Surigao del Norte
Mayet Limbo
Cell # 09196522680
Siargao Pacific View Lodge        -6 rooms                        7/20      8             50.00 to
(Homestay)                        -1 family room (8 pax)                                  100.00/pax
General Luna, Siargao Island                                                               (4 pax)
Surigao del Norte
Mrs. Daisy O. Ravelo
Cell # 09203160612
Satur & Honor Lodging House       -1 aircon room/3 pax            4/15                    1,000/2 pax
General Luna, Siargao             -1 cottage/4 pax                                        550/cottage
Island,SDN (beach front)          -1 duplex cottage                                       165/pax
Honorina Escamillan

Lodging Houses / Inns / Resorts

     Cloud 9 Green Room                                    Siargao Pensionne House
     Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte                          Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte

     Blue Room-Cove Surf Camp                              Maite’s Beach Resort
     Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte                          Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte

     BRC Beach Resort                                      Tuazon Point Beach Resort
      Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte                            Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte

      Jadestar Lodging                                        Pisangan Beach Resort
      Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte                            Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte

      The Surfer’s Choice                                     Siargao Pacific Beach Resort
      Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte                            Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte

      Latitude 9                                              Pig-ot Hide-Away Beach Resort
      Dapa, Surigao del Norte                                 Libjo, Surigao del Norte

      Tranquility Beach Resort
      Bacuag, Surigao del Norte

How to get there?

From Manila, there are daily flights to Cebu, then connect with either the Supercat fast ferry or any
regular passenger boats to Surigao City. There is also a daily flight to nearby Butuan City via Philippine
Airlines , then a 2 ½ hr.-bus ride to Surigao City.

Upon reaching Surigao City, there are daily fast craft transfers to Dapa town in Surigao Island; then a
short jeepney or motorcycle ride to General Luna town, the surf site.

Boats also ply the Manila-Surigao and Cebu-Surigao route.

Where to dine?

San Miguel Beach Club/Café                                    Maridel’s Restaurant
General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte               General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Tabing Dagat                                                  Isla Kamayan
Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte                       Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Health Services

There are four district hospitals in Siargao Island located at 1) Dapa, 75 beds, 2) Socorro, 10 beds 3)
Del Carmen, 10 beds, and Pilar, 25 beds.

Whom to inquire?

Anybody contemplating a trip to Surigao should contact the Department of Tourism, Caraga Region-
XIII, Ground Floor, Grateful Realty Corporation Building, # 088 Pili Drive, Butuan City with telephone
number: (063-85) 341-8413 or (telefax) 815-6040. You can send an e-mail to or

You can also coordinate directly with the local tourism offices listed below or with the local officials in
a specific locality.

City Tourism Assistance Center, Luneta Park, Surigao City, Tel.No. (086) 8268064, Fax No. (086)

Provincial Tourism Officer-Surigao del Norte, Provincial Capitol, Surigao City, Tel.No. (086) 2319271,
Fax No. (086) 8264259.

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