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Surigao del Sur
Capitol building in Tandag
Capitol building in Tandag
Flag of Surigao del Sur
Official seal of Surigao del Sur
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 08°40′N 126°00′E / 8.667°N 126.000°E / 8.667; 126.000Coordinates: 08°40′N 126°00′E / 8.667°N 126.000°E / 8.667; 126.000
Country Philippines
Region Caraga (Region XIII)
Founded June 16, 1960
Capital Tandag
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Johnny T. Pimentel (Liberal Party)
 • Vice Governor Manuel O. Alameda, Sr. (Liberal Party)
 • Congressman 1st District Philip A. Pichay (Lakas-Kampi-CMD)
 • Congressman 2nd District Florencio C. Garay(Liberal Party)
 • Total 4,932.70 km2 (1,904.53 sq mi)
Area rank 23rd out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 561,219
 • Rank 52nd out of 81
 • Density 110/km2 (290/sq mi)
 • Density rank 67th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 2
 • Municipalities 17
 • Barangays 309
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Surigao del Sur
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 8300 to 8318
Dialing code 86
ISO 3166 code PH-SUR
Spoken languages Surigaonon or/and Tandaganon, Kamayo, Cebuano, Manobo languages, Tagalog, English
Website www.surigaodelsur.gov.ph

Surigao del Sur (Tagalog: Timog Surigao; Cebuano: Habagatang Surigao; Surigaonon/Tandaganon: Probinsya nan Surigao del Sur) is a province in the Philippines located in the Caraga region in Mindanao. Its capital is Tandag City.[3] Surigao del Sur is located at the eastern coast of Mindanao and faces the Philippine Sea.


Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the aborigines of the province were the Mamanua and Manobo. Later, Austronesian peoples from the Visayas came to settle with the natives. It was with the arrival of the immigrants that the province acquired its name from one of the natives, Saliagao who are now known as Surigaonon, who lived near the mouth of the river. The name Saliagao was later pronounced Surigao by the inhabitants.

It is also said that long time ago, some Visayan fishermen forced by the strong current of the Surigao Strait, sought refuge in one of the huts somewhere in the province. The Mamanua who thought that these fishermen wanted to occupy the hut by force said “Agaw”, the term which was later given a prefix “Suri” by an immigrant.

Surigao formerly, was extended from what is known as Agusan, including the islands east of it and the northern regions of Davao and the capital of the province that time was Caraga and so the Spaniards called the people Caragas.

The aborigines of Surigao del Sur were a conglomeration and mixture of different racial types, namely: Mandaya, Mamanua, Mansaka and Manobo. These racial groups were of Malayan-Indonesian ancestry which took place thousand years ago. In the course of their migration, these primitive nomads were believed to have separated their ways in some portions of the archipelago in a spirit of adventure and search for food (i.e., during the pleistocene of the glacial ages). It was believed further that they first settled in the northern island of the country who later took their bancas and reach the shores of Mindanao particularly in the Provinces of Surigao and Davao. They scattered among themselves in spots either in pairs or by family clans, retaining their own customs, dialects and ways of life.

There was no trace of exact dates and places of arrival. But it was known that this group of people were very nomadic and were the remnants of the present Mamanua and Manobo found in the wilderness of the northern part of Davao bordering the Province of Surigao. Their migratory movement was said to have come from the hinterlands of Agusan and along the foothills of western and southern part of Surigao del Sur. It was pointed out that the cause of migration was due to famine and occurrence of death from diseases believed caused by evil spirits.

The Province of Surigao del Sur was created as the 56th Philippine province on June 19, 1960 by virtue of Republic Act 2786 and was formally organized or separated from its mother province, Surigao del Norte, on September 18, 1960.[4]

At the time of its inception, it was classified as 4th Class province with an annual income of over P300,000.00. Seven years later, because of rapid increase of revenue collection particularly from the logging ventures, it has been reclassified as Ist Class B and in 1980 as Ist Class A with an estimated annual income of around P13,000,000.00. Presently, it is reclassified as 2nd Class with a revenue adding up to P315,888,300.63.

Recaredo B. Castillo was the appointed the first governor and subsequently elected governor and Vicente L. Pimentel as the first elected congressman. Johnny T. Pimentel is the ninth and incumbent provincial executive.

Originally the province had 13 municipalities. In subsequent years, six more were added raising the number to 19 with Tandag as the capital. Now, two of its municipalities have been elevated to cities; the first was Bislig City. In 2007 Tandag was granted cityhood but it was nullified via a controversial decision by the Supreme Court a year later. In 2009, Tandag would get back its city status after the SC reversed its own ruling on December 22, 2009..


The province is located along the northeastern coast of Mindanao facing the Pacific Ocean between 125°40' to 126°20' east longitudes and 7°55' and 9°20' north latitudes. It is bounded on the northwest by the province of Surigao del Norte, on the southeast by Davao Oriental, on its eastern side by the Philippine Sea, and on the west and southwest by the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

Land area[edit]

Ricefield in Cantilan

The land area of the province is 493,270 hectares (1,218,900 acres),[1] representing 27.75 percent of the total land area of Caraga Administrative Region and about 5.14 percent and 1.74 percent of the total land area of Mindanao and Philippines, respectively. It is elongated in shape extending from the northeastern part of Carrascal to the southernmost municipality of Lingig. It is approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi) in length and 50 kilometres (31 mi) at its widest point which runs from Cagwait to San Miguel. Municipal-wise, San Miguel has the biggest land area accounting for 11.08 percent of the total provincial land area while Municipality of Bayabas has the smallest constituting about 0.64 percent only.

Of the 5,230.50 sq. kilometers land, only 1,703.72 sq. kilometers or 32.22 percent are classified as alienable and disposable (A and D) while 3,583.523 sq. kilometers or 67.78 percent are forest land. Tagbina has the biggest share of alienable and disposable land with 234.21 sq. kilometers or about 56.51 percent of its land area followed by Hinatuan with 202.52 sq. kilometers or 63.56 percent of its land area.

The Britania Group of Islands

Out of the 3,583.523 sq. kilometers of forest land, 636.076 sq. kilometers are protection forest, 2,582.43 sq. kilometers production forest, 12.68 sq. kilometers are non-forest agriculture and 352.337 sq. kilometers are for non-forest mining. As of today, the province still has vast area of remaining old growth and mossy forest.


The province falls under Type II climate of the Philippines, characterized by rainfall distributed throughout the year, although there is a distinct rainy season which begins from the month of November and ends in March. However, the climatic behavior of the province for the past few years has shown variations wherein the onset of the rainy seasons no longer occurs on the usual time. Months with low 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.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Surigao del Sur is divided into 17 municipalities and two cities, which are further subdivided into 309 barangays. There are two congressional districts encompassing all cities and towns.

City or
District[5] Area
(per km²)
No. of

Barobo 2nd 242.5 43,663 180.1 21 8309 3rd 8°32′11″N 126°07′14″E / 8.5365°N 126.1206°E / 8.5365; 126.1206 (Barobo)
Bayabas 1st 117.84 7,779 66 7 8303 5th 8°58′03″N 126°16′58″E / 8.9674°N 126.2828°E / 8.9674; 126.2828 (Bayabas)
Bislig 2nd 331.8 96,578 291.1 24 8311 3rd 8°12′42″N 126°19′00″E / 8.2116°N 126.3166°E / 8.2116; 126.3166 (Bislig)
Cagwait 1st 214.1 18,899 88.3 11 8304 4th 8°55′06″N 126°18′06″E / 8.9183°N 126.3017°E / 8.9183; 126.3017 (Cagwait)
Cantilan 1st 240.1 30,231 125.9 17 8317 2nd 9°20′05″N 125°58′33″E / 9.3348°N 125.9757°E / 9.3348; 125.9757 (Cantilan)
Carmen 1st 160.01 10,287 64.3 8 8315 5th 9°13′43″N 126°01′00″E / 9.2286°N 126.0168°E / 9.2286; 126.0168 (Carmen)
Carrascal 1st 265.8 16,529 62.2 14 8318 4th 9°22′06″N 125°56′55″E / 9.3683°N 125.9487°E / 9.3683; 125.9487 (Carrascal)
Cortes 1st 127.08 15,541 122.3 12 8313 4th 9°16′29″N 126°11′25″E / 9.2747°N 126.1904°E / 9.2747; 126.1904 (Cortes)
Hinatuan 2nd 299.1 38,731 129.5 24 8310 2nd 8°21′56″N 126°20′09″E / 8.3656°N 126.3358°E / 8.3656; 126.3358 (Hinatuan)
Lanuza 1st 290.6 11,857 40.8 13 8314 4th 9°14′01″N 126°03′37″E / 9.2336°N 126.0604°E / 9.2336; 126.0604 (Lanuza)
Lianga 1st 161.12 28,905 179.4 13 8307 4th 8°37′58″N 126°05′34″E / 8.6327°N 126.0928°E / 8.6327; 126.0928 (Lianga)
Lingig 2nd 305.17 31,544 103.4 18 8312 2nd 8°02′15″N 126°24′44″E / 8.0375°N 126.4121°E / 8.0375; 126.4121 (Lingig)
Madrid 1st 141.2 14,888 105.4 14 8316 4th 9°15′45″N 125°57′49″E / 9.2624°N 125.9635°E / 9.2624; 125.9635 (Madrid)
Marihatag 1st 312.5 17,926 57.4 12 8306 3rd 8°48′02″N 126°17′55″E / 8.8005°N 126.2985°E / 8.8005; 126.2985 (Marihatag)
San Agustin 1st 277.28 20,655 74.5 13 8305 4th 8°44′37″N 126°13′19″E / 8.7435°N 126.2220°E / 8.7435; 126.2220 (San Agustin)
San Miguel 1st 558 36,287 65 18 8301 1st 8°56′03″N 126°02′23″E / 8.9341°N 126.0396°E / 8.9341; 126.0396 (San Miguel)
Tagbina 2nd 343.49 34,812 101.3 25 8308 2nd 8°27′26″N 126°09′32″E / 8.4573°N 126.1590°E / 8.4573; 126.1590 (Tagbina)
Tago 1st 253.28 33,993 134.2 24 8302 2nd 9°01′10″N 126°13′59″E / 9.0195°N 126.2331°E / 9.0195; 126.2331 (Tago)
Tandag 1st 291.73 52,114 178.6 21 8300 5th 9°04′47″N 126°11′51″E / 9.0798°N 126.1976°E / 9.0798; 126.1976 (Tandag)
 †  Provincial capital and component city      Component city      Municipality
  • Coordinates mark the city/town center vicinity, and are sorted according to latitude.
  • Income classifications for cities are italicized.

Mineral resources[edit]

Surigao del Sur is endowed with metallic and non-metallic minerals, among which are copper, gold, chromite, cobalt, nickel and lead zinc. The non-metallic minerals include limestone, coal and feldspar, clay diatomite/bentomite and coarse/fine aggregates. There are small and large scales mining activities in the province. One of the corporations operating in a large scale is the Marc Ventures Mining Development Corporation located at Carrascal and Cantilan operating in an area of 49.7389 sq. kilometers on gold mining. Another is the CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, also in Carrascal, which focus on gold and nickel mining in an area of 35.64 and 48.6916 sq. kilometers, respectively. The Carac-an Development Corporation, also in Carrascal, with an area of 506.3764 sq. kilometers Small scale mining activities are found in the municipalities of Barobo, Carmen and San Miguel.


Population census of
Surigao del Sur
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 452,098 —    
1995 471,263 +0.78%
2000 501,808 +1.36%
2007 541,347 +1.05%
2010 561,219 +1.32%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

Surigao is home to the Mamanwa and Manobo tribe. Their dances are showcased in a local festival called "Sirong Festival", held especially during the town fiesta of Cantilan. The Sirong Festival depicts the early Christianization of the early Cantilangnons (the Mamanwas and Manobos) wherein the natives tried to defend their land against Visayan invaders.

The Mamanwas and Manubo, the ethnic tribe of Surigao, have been converted to Christianism long ago, during the early times of the Spanish conquest.


Surigaonon or/and Tandaganon is spoken in most part of Surigao del Sur (except in the City of Bislig, Municipalities of Barobo, Hinatuan, Lingig and Tagbina wherein most of the inhabitants are descendants of Cebuanos who migrated from Visayas who speak Cebuano and the natives who speak Kamayo a different language but distantly related to Surigaonon).

Cebuano, Tagalog, and English are also widely spoken throughout the province.

Coastal fishing


Surigao del Sur is one of the suppliers of agricultural items such as rice, bananas and some tropical fruits. Copper, chromite and silver are also found here. Marine and aqua culture is very abundant in the province as well. It is one of the primary livelihood of the native people in the place as the province is well known for producing seafood and sea by-products.


Bislig's main tourist attraction is the Tinuy-an Falls, known as the little "Niagara Falls" of the Philippines. It is a white water curtain that flows in three levels about 55 meters high and 95 meters wide. Its unique natural formation once appeared in the International Travel Magazine. It is also known as the widest waterfall in the Philippines.

Surfing in Surigao del Sur is widely known and has been one of the local tourist attractions. This extreme sport can be found in Cantilan and Lanuza. Another sport being played is the skimboarding in which several municipalities have been attracting tourists.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.philippinecountry.com/provcitmun.html#ssur
  4. ^ "Republic Act No. 2786 - An Act to Create the Provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. 19 June 1960. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Province: Surigao del Sur". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010 (Caraga)" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surigao_del_Sur — Please support Wikipedia.
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8579 news items

Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:56:15 -0800

Two mild earthquakes shook the province of Surigao del Sur this morning, February 10, 2016, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. The Phivolcs bulletin said a 3.4 magnitude earthquake occurred 97 kilometers (km ...

Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:32:08 -0800

Butuan City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed more troops in Surigao del Sur to beef up the four Army battalions that are already patrolling areas believed to be infested by New People's Army (NPA) rebels. The elite-Scout Ranger ...


Sun, 31 Jan 2016 23:32:07 -0800

Respondent Philip Pichay is ineligible to hold and serve the office of member of the House of Representatives for the First Legislative District of Surigao del Sur. Petitioner Mary Elizabth Ty-Delgado is declared the winner for the position of the ...


Mon, 01 Feb 2016 22:33:45 -0800

THE Supreme Court has unseated Representative Philip Pichay after finding out that his rival, Mary Elizabeth Ty-Delgado, was the rightful winner in the 2013 congressional race in the first district of Surigao del Sur. In an en banc decision penned by ...


Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:18:57 -0800

The Philippine Army has deployed an additional battalion to Surigao del Sur amid pressing concerns on the insurgency situation. Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson for the Army's 4th Infantry Division, said the 16th Infantry Battalion led by Ltc ...

Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin
Sat, 16 Jan 2016 18:26:15 -0800

BUTUAN CITY — A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook Surigao del Sur in Northeastern Mindanao on Sunday morning (January 17, 2016), as reported by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in its bulletin. According to Phivolcs, the ...
Manila Bulletin
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 06:09:17 -0800

Tandag City – Communist insurgency in Surigao del Sur remains a primary concern for the government in its efforts to ensure honest, peaceful, and orderly national and local elections on May 9, 2016. Declassified intelligence reports stated that ...


Mon, 11 Jan 2016 19:45:00 -0800

MANILA, Philippines -- A farmer shot dead his own father after a fight in their village in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur Sunday night, police reported belatedly. Caraga regional police spokesman Superintendent Daniel Puesca, in a report reaching the ...

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