History of the Municipality of Cagdianao

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On the southern tip on the east side side of Dinagat Island lies the municipality of Cagdianao. Most of the area is mountainous, particularly from Barangay del Pilar to Barangay Legaspi. Bounded in the south by Gabek Channel and to the north by Gaas inlet.

No wonder all its barangays are settled either along the coast or nestled in a valley.

During summer when the southwest monsoon is blowing, the weather is very lazy and the surrounding seas is so peaceful that it looks like sleeping oil. This is were Cagdianao got its name which started as "CADA DIA DANAW" meaning peaceful lake until it was coined into Cagdianao.

Though Cagdianao is mountainous the early settlers lived a life of comfort because of the abundant resources of the place. The forest used to be abundant in lumber, rattan, daingan (wood risen) and orchids which found its way to Cebu, Bohol, Surigao and even Manila. Wild animals such as wild hogs and deer roamed in droves. The Ocean boasted a phlethora of marine life like jijing, lobster, squid, octopus, crustaceans and edible shells. The people are naturally gregarious, hospitable, industrious and peace loving. The local dialect is Surigaonon which has some semblance to the Visayan language.

The main sources of livelihood are fishing and agriculture. The settlers cultivated the valleys into ricefields and planted the coastal flat lands and hillsides with coconut and other crops which yielded a bountiful harvest. Fishing was chiefly for consumption, especially that the method of preservation then was only salting under the heat of the sun. Only during the month of October when jijing is in season where fishing become commercial. Logging, previously was the occupation in the northern barangay, but was marginalized due to total log ban.

Religion was introduced at the early years of the 20th century. The first Aglipayan Church was erected in 1902 under the leadership of Bishop Simfroso Montemayor. Few years later, Catholic Missionaries came and in 1926 the construction of the Catholic Church was completed. The elected patron saints are Sts. Peter and Paul, both evangelists in their own right. They are seen as a symbol of hope after repentance, courage and strength in prepagation of Christianity. Fiesta is celebrated in their honor every June 29, just after the harvest season.

Though Cagdianao can be considered a fledgeling municipality, it can measure up against any other municipality within Surigao del Norte in terms of progress and development.
It was settled in the latter part of the 19th century by families of Matias Longos, Domingo Litang, Marianito Lerog, Fortunato Menil and Leon Petallo. The previous settlement was the Daan Lungsod, but due to inadequate water sources, they moved southward to the present location of Barangay Poblacion. Soon, the settlement grow that it was created into a barangay of the Municipalitv of Dinagat. The first Teniente Encargado was Matias Longos. the grandfather of former Mayor Jose J. Longos. He.was succeeded by Domingo Litang, Fruto Menil, Narciso Menil and Leon Petallo. The following years saw the steady growth of Cagdianao, Adjacent coast were occupied by the pioneers, descendants and new migrants which were lured by its .natural abundance. By this time the community leaders believed that Cagdianao, is ready to separate from its mother town and become a municipality itself. Assemblies were made to further this plan of independence, but due to undisclosed reasons, the initial attempt failed. But when Prospero Borja, Mayor of Dinagat lost the elections, he hastened all efforts to create Cagdianao a municipality

The municipality of Dinagat was formally established in 1855 occupying the territorial boundaries of the entire Dinagat Island. From 1890 to 1990 its boundaries were gradually reduced giving rise to six municipalities , Loreto, Cagdianao, Libjo, Basilisa, Tubajon and San Jose.
In December 23, 1959 Cagdianao became a municipality by virtue of Executive Order 367 issued by the late President of the Philippines Carlos P. Garcia upon recommendation of the Provincial Board of Surigao based on resolution No. 63 series of 1959 of the Municipality Council of Dinagat. It includes Barangays Laguna, Sta. Rita Nueva Estrella, Del Pilar, Boa, Valencia, Legaspi, Cabungaan, Maatas, Tigbao, and Poblacion. Sitio Tagbirayan became Barangay San Jose in 1971, Sitio Maribojoc into Barangay Mabini in 1981 and Sitio Alangalang into Barangay R Ecleo Sr.

A plebiscite for the creation of Dinagat Island into a province was held on December 2, 2006 for all registered voters of Surigao del Norte. There were 69,943 “Yes” votes and 63,502 "No" votes from the 297000 registered voters or about 45%.. As a consequence the Province of Dinagat Islands was soon after proclaimed. Click here to download a copy of the proclamation notice (will need Acrobat to read)

In February 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the law declaring the Province of Dinagat Island was unconstitutional, as the necessary requirements for provincial land area and population were not met. So Cagdianao reverted back to being part of Surigao del Norte again. Click here to read newspaper report


Consequently this decision was reversed by the Supreme Court and the Province of Dinagat Islands was reinstated Click here to read newspaper report

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