About Caraga


Caraga
is an administrative region of the Philippines, on the northeastern portion of the island of Mindanao, designated as Region XIII. The Caraga Region was created through Republic Act No. 7901 on February 23, 1995. The region is composed of five provinces: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands; six cities: Bayugan, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Surigao, Tandag, Bislig; 67 municipalities and 1,311 barangays. Butuan City is the regional center.

The region has a total land area of 18,846.97 km². This represents 6.3% of the country's total land area and 18.5% of the island of Mindanao. 47.6% of the total land area of the region belongs to the province of Agusan del Sur. Of the total land area, 71.22% is forestland and 28.78% is alienable and disposable land. Major land uses include forestland comprising 31.36% and 23.98% of agricultural and open spaces.


History

The "Kalagans", called "Caragans" by the Spaniards, occupied the district composed of the two provinces of Surigao, the northern part of Davao Oriental and eastern Misamis Oriental. The two Agusan provinces were later organized under the administrative jurisdiction of Surigao and became the independent Agusan province in 1914. In 1960, Surigao was divided into Norte and Sur, and in June 1967, Agusan followed suit. While Butuan then was just a town of Agusan, the logging boom in the 1950s drew business to the area. On August 2, 1950, by virtue of Republic Act 523, the City Charter of Butuan was approved. It is reported that during the early years of the Caraga region, its inhabitants came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Migrants from the Visayan and Luzon provinces later settled in the area. Most of its inhabitants speak Cebuano and reside in the rural areas.


Political Divisions

Caraga is subdivided into five provinces and Butuan City.


Province
/City
 Capital Population
(2010) 
 Area
(km²)
 Agusan del Norte Cabadbaran City 332,487 1,773.2
 Agusan del Sur Prosperidad 656,418 8,966.0
 Dinagat Islands San Jose 126,803 3,009.27
 Surigao del Norte Surigao City 442,588 1,936.9
 Surigao del Sur Tandag City 561,219 4,552.2
 Butuan City ----- 309,709 817.3

Natural resources

Rich in natural resources, the region has large tracts of land available for development. The region is noted for its wood based economy, its extensive water resources and its rich mineral deposits such as iron, gold, silver, nickel, chromite, manganese and copper. Its leading crops are palay, banana and coconut.

It has excellent tourism potentials because of its unspoiled and beautiful beaches, abundant and fresh seafood, ancient and historical landmarks, hot and cold springs, evergreen forests and balmy weather.

 

Major products

Its long stretch of shoreline promises abundance in production of fisheries and aquatic products. With its large tract of fertile lands, the region has a great capacity in producing varied commercial crops as well as livestock and poultry. Major agricultural products of the region are palay, corn, coconut, gold, banana, rubber, oil palm, calamansi, prawns, milkfish, crabs, seaweeds and mango. Caraga's proximity to Cebu and Manila makes it a favorable shipping point for products to and from these markets. Nasipit Port can serve as a secondary shipping hub to Cagayan de Oro when traffic volume from other points in Mindanao increases. With a roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ferry service now in place, Surigao City serves as a vital transportation link for trucks and buses bound for Luzon.


Tourist Attractions

Surfing
Lying at the edge of the Philippine archipelago, Siargao is reputed as the surfing capital of the Philippines, and hosts an annual international surfing event. Its waves combine the best features of top-rated waves of Hawaii's fabled "pipeline" and the top-billed waves of Indonesia. The huge and powerful "pacific rollers" have 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. Other excellent breaks, which offer the adventurous surfer top-class exploratory surfing without crowds, are found in the towns of Cantilan, Tandag and Lanuza.


Island-hopping
Hop from island to island while you discover the picturesque landscapes and feast on the rich marine delights like the fresh blue marlin, crabs, squid, seaweeds, giant clams and lobsters. Once in Caraga, you can take your pick of which to visit. The alluring islets and islands of Guyam, Daku, Naked or Pansukian, La Janosa, Pig-ot, Dinagat, Bucas Grande,Britania and the General island in Cantilan have white-sand beaches and are ringed by teeming coral reefs that are ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

The region's tropical treats include a boat ride along the naturally-carved water channels amidst the jade-colored lush of mangrove forest in Barangay Manjagao; a journey to the floating village of Barangay Dayasan, and to Buenavista Cave; and a visit to the tropical island paradise of white sand beach, deep blue crystal water in Sagisi island. The Britania in San Agustin-Surigao del Sur hosts 25 unspoiled islets and islands of sugary-white sand and clusters of limestones hills, much like the fabled hundred islands in pangasinan. After having enough sightseeing, swimming and snorkeling, you can spread your picnic blankets in the sand and eat with gusto amidst the serenade of slashing waves and the whispering winds. But you have to bring your food and drinks since there are no restaurants yet in the islands.


Spelunking

The limestone karst bedrock of some areas in Surigao and Agusan provinces (particularly in the towns of San Agustin, Tagbina, Lianga, Rosario, and Bislig) features dozens of caves, but none of these are regular destinations for recreational cavers. Located within the towns of Tagbina and Bislig, Banbow and Tatol caves (which are ranked the 6th and 9th longest caves in the Philippines) have recently been declared by the Japanese cave explorers as the third longest cave in the country. Further expeditions are expected as more cave systems are discovered. Some of the most frequently visited and accessible caves in the region are Buenavista and Silop Caves in Surigao City and Libas Cave in Jabonga-Agusan del Norte. These caves have impressive limestone formations and naturally carved stalagmites, stalactites and columns.