Surigao Del Sur

THE PROVINCE AT A GLANCE

BRIEF DESCRIPTION
One brochure describes Surigao del Sur as a "kaleidoscope of superlatives…with… perfectly balanced natural resources and breathtaking scenery."

Hilly ranges (about 46% of the province’s land area) fall from Diwata Mountain to an irregular coastline with bays at Lanuza, Lianga, and Bislig. Mountains and highlands account for 16%, uplands for 17%, and lowlands for 21%. Not far offshore lies the "Philippine Deep," one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches at 10,057 m. Cave formations and waterfalls dot the landscape.

The northeast trade winds prevail almost year-round with stronger winds blowing during the season when rains are heavier, from November to January. Although still outside the typhoon belt, typhoons have historically strayed to visit once every two or three decades.

BRIEF HISTORY
Old folks still like to recount how some Visayan fishermen, forced by strong currents in what is now known as Surigao Strait, sought refuge in one of the huts somewhere in the province. The Mamanwas thought the fishermen wanted to occupy the hut by force or agaw. This term was given the prefix "suri" by an immigrant. Combined together, the word Suri-Agaw was formed. In time, it was shortened to Surigao. Still, another version recounts that before the Spaniards came, Surigao del Sur was created as the 56th Philippine province on June 29, 1960 by virtue of R. A. No. 2786 and was formally separated from its mother province, Surigao del Norte, on September 18, 1960.

Before the Spaniards came, the original inhabitants of the province were the Mamanwas and Manobos. Later, our Malay brothers from the Visayas came to cattle with the natives. It was with the arrival of the immigrants that the province acquired its name from one of the natives. Saliagao who lived near the mouth of the river. This name Saliagao was later pronounced Surigao by the inhabitants. It is also said that long ago, some Visayan fisherman forced by the strong current of the Surigao strait, sought refuge in one of the huts somewhere in the province. The Mamanwas 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.

LANGUAGE/DIALECT
Major dialect is Surigao-non although majority still speak the Cebuano. Some tribes found in Surigao are the Manobo, Ubo, Bilaan and Mandaya.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES
Surigao is known largely of its logging and wood processing industries. There are important mineral deposits, including iron ore reserves at Punta Tugas, said to be the largest in the hemisphere, perhaps on the planet (an estimated two to three billion metric tons.)

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Philippines.

 

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