Tandag, Philippines

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Tandag, Philippines

Region: Surigao del Sur

Geographic Coordinates: 9.078900, 126.199000
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 62669
Language: Filipino

Tandag is a captivating city located in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. Nestled along the northeastern coast of Mindanao Island, This vibrant city offers a unique blend of natural wonders, Cultural heritage, And warm hospitality. One of Tandag’s most prominent attractions is its stunning coastline. The city boasts pristine white sand beaches that stretch for miles, With crystal-clear turquoise waters inviting visitors to take a refreshing dip or indulge in various water activities like snorkeling or diving.

One such beach is Britania Group of Islands, Known for its picturesque rock formations and secluded coves that provide an idyllic setting for relaxation. For nature enthusiasts, Tandag offers an abundance of lush greenery and breathtaking landscapes. The Tinuy-an Falls stands as one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the country. Often referred to as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines due to its width and grandeur, It cascades down from three tiers amidst a verdant forest—a sight that will leave you in awe. Delving into Tandag’s cultural heritage reveals a rich history deeply rooted in indigenous traditions.

The city celebrates various festivals throughout the year where locals showcase their vibrant customs and traditions through colorful street parades and traditional dances like Lumad or Kahimunan. These festivals are not only entertaining but also provide insights into their ancestral practices and beliefs. To delve further into local culture, A visit to Tandag City Museum is highly recommended. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts showcasing the region’s diverse history—ranging from pre-colonial times to contemporary art pieces by local artists—an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about Surigao del Sur’s past.

Exploring beyond Tandag itself leads visitors to discover more hidden gems within easy reach. Just outside the city lies Lake Mainit—the fourth-largest lake in the Philippines—surrounded by lush mountains. A boat ride on the lake offers a serene experience, With opportunities to spot migratory birds and immerse oneself in the tranquility of nature. Tandag is known for its warm and welcoming locals. The people of Tandag take pride in their city’s beauty and are always eager to share their culture and stories with visitors.

Whether it’s engaging in friendly conversations or trying out local delicacies at bustling markets, You will undoubtedly feel the genuine warmth and hospitality that makes Tandag an unforgettable destination. Tandag offers a captivating blend of natural wonders, Cultural heritage, And warm hospitality that make it a must-visit destination in the Philippines. From its pristine beaches to majestic waterfalls, Vibrant festivals to insightful museums, This city has something for every traveler seeking adventure or relaxation amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Immerse yourself in the charm of Tandag as you explore its diverse offerings while encountering friendly locals who are sure to leave an indelible mark on your journey through this remarkable part of Mindanao Island.

Important Landmarks

  1. Lake Bababu – A serene lake surrounded by lush greenery, perfect for picnics and boating.
  2. Britania Islands – A group of beautiful islands known for their crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and limestone formations.
  3. Tandag Cathedral – Also known as the St. Nicholas de Tolentino Cathedral, it is a historic church with stunning architecture.
  4. Bao-Bao Falls – A picturesque waterfall located in Barangay San Agustin, offering a refreshing swimming spot amidst nature.
  5. Hinatuan Enchanted River – Although not directly in Tandag but nearby Hinatuan town, this river is famous for its mesmerizing blue waters that seem to change color throughout the day.
  6. Mount Diwata Range Wildlife Sanctuary – A protected area that offers hiking trails and opportunities to spot various species of flora and fauna.
  7. Cabgan Islet Marine Sanctuary – An underwater sanctuary where visitors can go snorkeling or diving to explore vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
  8. Man-made Forest Park – Located in Barangay Mabua, this park features a dense forest with walking trails ideal for nature lovers.
  9. Bitaugan Wharf – Known as Little Batanes, this wharf offers panoramic views of the sea cliffs similar to those found in Batanes province.
  10. Tinago Beach – A secluded beach with clear waters perfect for swimming or simply relaxing by the shore.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Tandag is primarily an agricultural area with a focus on rice, corn, coconut, banana, and other crops. Farming and fishing are significant economic activities in the region.
  2. Aquaculture: The city has a thriving aquaculture industry that includes fish farming, shrimp production, and seaweed cultivation.
  3. Livestock Production: Tandag is known for its livestock production, including poultry farming (chicken and duck) as well as pig and cattle raising.
  4. Tourism: With its natural attractions such as beaches (e.g., Britania Group of Islands), waterfalls (e.g., Tinuy-an Falls), caves (e.g., Hinayagan Cave), and eco-parks (e.g., San Agustin Eco-Park), tourism plays a growing role in the local economy.
  5. Trading & Commerce: Tandag serves as a commercial hub for nearby municipalities where various businesses thrive such as retail stores, markets, supermarkets, restaurants/food establishments catering to both locals and tourists.
  6. Handicrafts & Souvenirs: The city is also known for producing handicrafts made from indigenous materials like bamboo or abaca fiber-based products which serve as souvenirs or export items.
  7. Banking & Finance: Several banks have branches in Tandag providing financial services to individuals and businesses within the city.
  8. Education Sector: Various educational institutions operate in Tandag offering primary schools up to tertiary level education which contribute to employment opportunities locally.
  9. Government Offices & Services: As the capital of Surigao del Sur province in Caraga Region XII – administrative offices are located here providing public services including healthcare facilities like hospitals/clinics along with government agencies’ regional branches serving locals’ needs.
  10. Transportation Services: Transportation-related businesses such as jeepney operators, tricycle drivers, and motorcycle taxis (habal-habal) provide commuting options within the city and nearby areas.

Noteable History

  1. Spanish colonization: Like many other parts of the Philippines, Tandag was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. The arrival of the Spanish brought significant changes to the region’s culture and governance.

  2. Agusan del Sur separation: Tandag was originally part of Agusan province until it became a separate municipality on July 4, 1917. This marked an important milestone in its history as it gained more autonomy and local governance.

  3. World War II: During World War II, Tandag suffered from Japanese occupation like many other parts of the Philippines. The war had a profound impact on the local population and infrastructure.

  4. Gregorio Pilar: One notable historical figure associated with Tandag is Gregorio Pilar, a Filipino general who played a crucial role during the Philippine Revolution against Spain in 1896-1898. He was born in nearby Bulusan town but spent some time in Tandag before joining revolutionary forces.

  5. Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRU): JRU is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Tandag named after Dr. Jose Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines known for his writings and advocacy for reforms during Spanish colonial rule.

  6. Surigao del Sur Provincial Capitol: Located in Tandag City, this provincial capitol serves as an important administrative center for Surigao del Sur province.

  7. Hinatuan Enchanted River: While not directly related to historical events or people, Hinatuan Enchanted River near Tandag is one of its most famous tourist attractions due to its crystal-clear waters and vibrant underwater ecosystem.

These are just some examples of notable historical events and figures associated with Tandag, Philippines; there may be others depending on specific interests or perspectives on the city’s history.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Surigao del Sur Provincial Museum – Located in the heart of Tandag City, this museum showcases the rich cultural heritage and history of the province through various exhibits and artifacts.
  2. Tandag City Hall – The city hall itself is an impressive structure worth visiting. It features a modern architectural design and beautiful surroundings.
  3. Christ The King Cathedral – This magnificent cathedral is one of the landmarks in Tandag City. It boasts stunning architecture and serves as a place for worship for locals.
  4. Baywalk Park – Situated along the coast, Baywalk Park offers a picturesque view of the sea and is perfect for leisurely walks or picnics with family or friends.
  5. Britania Group of Islands – Although not located directly in Tandag City, this group of islands is just a short distance away and is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning rock formations.
  6. San Agustin Church Ruins (in nearby Lubang) – If you’re interested in historical sites, you can visit these ruins which were built during Spanish colonial times but were damaged during World War II.
  7. Hinatuan Enchanted River (around 2 hours from Tandag) – While not within immediate proximity to Tandag City either, this enchanting river with its azure blue waters surrounded by lush greenery is definitely worth visiting if you have time to spare.

Sports Teams

  1. Tandag City United Football Club: Established in 2012, this football (soccer) club competes in local leagues and tournaments. They actively participate in the Caraga Football Association (CARAGA FA) league as representatives of Tandag City.
  2. Tandag City Basketball Team: Basketball is highly popular in the Philippines, and Tandag has its own basketball team that joins local leagues and competitions. The team represents the city during intercity tournaments against neighboring towns.
  3. Volleyball Teams: Volleyball is another widely played sport in Tandag. Local schools often form their own volleyball teams to compete against each other during school-based tournaments or inter-school competitions within Surigao del Sur province.
  4. Athletics Teams: The city’s schools also have athletics teams that participate in track and field events at regional and national levels like Palarong Pambansa (National Games). These athletes represent their respective schools while showcasing their talents at different sporting events.

It’s important to note that due to limited online information about specific sports teams’ histories in Tandag, this list may not be exhaustive or cover all existing or past teams from the area.

Cultural Events

  1. Kahimunan Festival – This festival is held every August to celebrate the city’s founding anniversary. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Surigaonon people through street dancing, cultural performances, and various competitions.
  2. Sinulog sa Tandag – Held every January in honor of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus), this festival features colorful street parades with participants wearing traditional costumes and dancing to rhythmic beats.
  3. Pasalamat Festival – Celebrated every April, this event is a thanksgiving festival that highlights Tandag’s agricultural abundance. It includes a grand parade showcasing different crops and products, as well as various food fairs and trade exhibits.
  4. Karawasan Festival – This month-long celebration in May showcases the culture and traditions of indigenous peoples in Surigao del Sur province, including Tandag City. It features indigenous sports competitions, ethnic dances, arts and crafts exhibits, traditional games, and music performances.
  5. Araw ng Tandag – Celebrated on June 19th each year to commemorate the cityhood of Tandag City in 1967. The event includes a civic parade showcasing local government units’ achievements and services for the community.
  6. Feast of Sts Peter & Paul – Celebrated on June 29th each year with religious processions honoring Sts Peter & Paul at Sts Peter & Paul Cathedral Church.

These are just some examples of cultural events and festivals celebrated in Tandag City throughout the year; there may be others depending on specific events or occasions within the community or surrounding areas.


  1. Kinilaw – a popular Filipino dish made of raw fish or seafood marinated in vinegar, calamansi juice, onions, and spices. It is often served as an appetizer or main course.
  2. Sinuglaw – a combination of grilled pork belly (sinugba) and kinilaw.
  3. Lechon Manok – roasted chicken cooked on a spit over an open fire.
  4. Seafood dishes – Tandag is known for its fresh seafood such as grilled fish, shrimps, crabs, and squid.
  5. Adobo – a classic Filipino dish made with meat (usually chicken or pork), soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices.

Some popular restaurants in Tandag where you can try these local cuisines are:

  1. Makan Ahoi Seafood Restaurant
  2. Grillers Steak House & Restaurant
  3. The Corner Resto Bar & Grill
  4. Balay Pasalubong Center & Native Delicacies
  5. Kusina sa Plaza

Parks and Recreation

Public Parks and Recreational Activities in Tandag

  • Tandag City Plaza – A popular park where locals gather for leisure activities and events. It features a well-maintained garden, benches, and a playground.
  • Mabua Pebble Beach – Located just outside of Tandag, this beach is known for its unique pebble formations instead of sand. Visitors can enjoy swimming, picnicking, or simply relaxing by the shore.
  • Britania Islands – A group of beautiful islands located near Tandag. Visitors can go island hopping, snorkeling, swimming in crystal-clear waters, or simply bask in the sun on pristine white sand beaches.
  • Hinatuan Enchanted River – While not within the city itself (around 3 hours away from Tandag), it is a popular tourist destination nearby. The river’s stunning blue waters are perfect for swimming and diving.
  • Mount Diwata Range Wilderness Park – Ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers as it offers hiking trails with breathtaking views of mountains and forests.
  • Baybay Boulevard – A scenic coastal area with walking paths along the shore where visitors can enjoy strolling or jogging while taking in views of the sea.
  • Tinago Falls – Located around 2 hours away from Tandag City proper but worth visiting due to its natural beauty featuring cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery.

These are just some examples of public parks and recreational activities available in Tandag; there may be more options depending on personal preferences or seasonal events happening at any given time.


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