Surigao, Philippines

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Surigao, Philippines

Region: Surigao del Norte

Geographic Coordinates: 9.789700, 125.496000
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.
Population: 171107
Language: Filipino

Surigao is a coastal city in the northeastern region of Mindanao, Philippines. It serves as the capital of Surigao del Norte and is a gateway to Siargao Island, One of the country’s top tourist destinations. The city has a rich history dating back to pre-colonial times when it was known as Saliagao, Meaning a place where water current runs fast. Later on, Spanish colonizers renamed it Surigao after establishing a fort in 1655 for defense against pirates and other foreign invaders. Today, Surigao is a bustling city with modern amenities and infrastructure.

Its economy largely depends on mining and agriculture, Particularly coconut farming. The fishing industry also thrives due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Surigao boasts several beaches that are popular among locals and tourists alike such as Mabua Pebble Beach featuring smooth stones instead of sand; Basul Island Beach Resort offering crystal clear waters perfect for swimming; and Day-asan Floating Village where visitors can experience living on stilts above water.

Siargao Island near Surigao is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines attracting surfers from all over the world with its famous Cloud 9 wave – named after a chocolate bar – which can reach up to 12 feet high during peak season (September-November). Aside from surfing, Siargao also offers island hopping tours that take visitors to nearby islands like Naked Island and Daku Island; diving expeditions showcasing rich marine life; relaxing on white sandy beaches like General Luna Beach or Magpupungko Rock Pools.

For those interested in culture and history, Surigao has several landmarks worth visiting such as the Surigao City Museum showcasing exhibits about its history & culture including artifacts from World War II’s Battle of Surigao Strait. Overall, Surigao offers something for everyone – natural wonders & cultural treasures making it an excellent destination in Mindanao.

Important Landmarks

  1. Siargao Island is renowned for its world-class surfing waves, stunning beaches, and lagoons.
  2. Tinuy-an Falls is a majestic three-tiered waterfall located in Bislig City.
  3. Mabua Pebble Beach is a unique beach with smooth pebbles instead of sand.
  4. Sohoton Cove National Park is an ecotourism destination that features caves, lagoons, and marine life.
  5. Bucas Grande Island is an unspoiled island with clear waters, white sand beaches, and coral reefs.
  6. Day-asan Floating Village is a community built on stilts over the water.
  7. Surigao del Norte Provincial Capitol Building is an iconic building located in the heart of Surigao City.
  8. Punta Bilar Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding waters.
  9. Basul Island is an uninhabited island surrounded by crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts to explore.
  10. Guyam Island- A small but picturesque island located off the coast of Siargao known for its palm trees, powdery white sand beach, crystal-clear water and rock formations ideal for photoshoots.

Primary Industries

  1. Mining – Surigao is known for its abundant mineral resources such as nickel, gold, copper, and chromite.
  2. Fishing – The city is surrounded by bodies of water making it a prime location for fishing activities.
  3. Agriculture – The fertile land in Surigao is suitable for growing crops such as rice, corn, coconut, and bananas.
  4. Tourism – The city boasts of beautiful beaches and islands that attract tourists from all over the world.
  5. Trading – Surigao serves as a gateway to other parts of Mindanao making it a hub for trading activities.
  6. Manufacturing – Some companies have established manufacturing plants in the city producing products such as cement and construction materials.
  7. Service sector – Various service-oriented businesses like hotels, restaurants, banks and financial institutions are available to cater to the needs of locals and tourists alike.

Noteable History

Historical Events:

  1. Battle of Surigao Strait – A naval battle fought between the United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II on October 25, 1944.
  2. Establishment of the Diocese of Surigao – The Diocese of Surigao was established on September 8, 1960.
  3. The Great Fire of Surigao – A devastating fire that occurred in February 1991 which destroyed many buildings and homes in the city.

Notable People:

  1. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile – Born in Gonzaga, Cagayan but raised in Liloan, Southern Leyte; he spent his early childhood years in Surigao City where his father was a district engineer.
  2. Congressman Prospero Pichay Jr. – A former congressman who represented the first district of Surigao del Norte from 2007 to 2019.
  3. Francisco T. Duque III – Born in Tubajon, Dinagat Islands; he is a physician and currently serves as Secretary of Health under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Other notable figures from Surigao include:

  • Jose Barba (poet)
  • Arturo Paciente (painter)
  • Vicente Lluch (composer)

  • Sports Teams

    1. Surigao del Norte Provincial Sports Team – This team represents the province of Surigao del Norte in local and national sports competitions such as Palarong Pambansa and Batang Pinoy.
    2. Surigao City Basketball Team – This basketball team represents the city of Surigao in local leagues and tournaments. The team has won multiple championships over the years.
    3. Siargao Island Surfing Team – Siargao Island is famous for its world-class surfing waves, attracting surfers from all over the world. The island has its own surfing team that competes both locally and internationally.
    4. Philippine Beach Volleyball Team – Some of the country’s top beach volleyball players hail from Surigao del Norte, including siblings Jade Becaldo and Kevin Juban who represented the Philippines in international tournaments.
    5. Mindanao State University-Surigao City Campus (MSU-SCC) Athletics Team – MSU-SCC is a state university located in Surigao City that fields teams to compete against other schools within Caraga Region XIII or even beyond region-wide competitions like SCUAA meet (State Colleges Universities Athletic Association).

    Cultural Events

    1. The Bonok-Bonok Maradjaw Karadjaw Festival is a vibrant street dancing festival that takes place every September 9 in honor of San Nicolas de Tolentino, the patron saint of the city.
    2. The Hinatuan Enchanted River Festival is an annual celebration held in May to showcase the beauty of the famous Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
    3. Sayaw sa Pagkakaisa is a cultural dance competition held every February in Surigao City featuring various dances from different municipalities and schools.
    4. The Siargao International Surfing Cup is a world-class surfing competition that takes place annually on Siargao Island, which is known as one of Asia’s best surfing spots.
    5. Araw ng Surigao del Norte is a week-long celebration held every June that features cultural shows, sports events, beauty pageants, and trade fairs to commemorate the founding anniversary of the province.
    6. The Kawayan Festival lasts for a month during August and highlights bamboo products and crafts made by local artisans from Bislig City in Surigao del Sur.
    7. Kaliga Festival is celebrated annually on January 15-16 by locals from Tandag City to honor their patron saint Sto.Niño de Tandag through parades, processions and street dancing performances.
    8. Bugkosan Festivals celebrate unity among different tribes living within Carrascal municipality through parades showcasing their unique culture such as traditional dances, costumes, music instruments, etc.


    • Kinilaw – a dish made of raw fish marinated in vinegar, lime juice, onions and chili peppers. It is usually served as an appetizer or side dish.
    • Lato Salad – a salad made of seaweed that is usually mixed with tomatoes, onions and vinegar.
    • Grilled Tuna Belly – a grilled tuna belly that is seasoned with spices and served with rice.
    • Kakanin – a type of Filipino dessert made from sticky rice that is cooked with coconut milk and sugar.
    • Cafe Laguna Surigao – serves Filipino dishes such as sinigang na hipon (shrimp sour soup), crispy pata (deep-fried pork leg) and adobo (chicken or pork stewed in soy sauce).
    • Cali Pizza – serves pizza and pasta dishes along with Filipino favorites like sisig (pork head meat) and lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly).
    • Bistro Selera – serves Filipino fusion cuisine such as crispy kangkong (water spinach) salad, seafood paella and chicken binakol (coconut milk soup).

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Mabua Pebble Beach
      2. Day-asan Floating Village
      3. Silop Multi-Cabana Resort and Adventure Park
      4. Surigao City Boulevard Park
      5. Luneta Park Surigao City
      6. Sabang Beach Resort and Recreation Area
      7. Sibale Island Eco-Park and Marine Sanctuary
      8. Sagisi Island Eco-Tourism Park
      9. Anao-aon Cold Spring National Park
      10. Mapawa Nature Park


      Go Where The Road Takes You.

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