Municipality of Pilar

The municipality of Pilar is relatively an infant municipality, having been created only on October 28, 1953 by an Executive Order.  It was formerly a barrio of the Municipality of Dapa.

          The town is situated at the eastern sea-coat of the island of Siargao on the side of a small gulf directly facing the vast Pacific Ocean, and approximately 200 nautical miles from the Philippine Deep.  The main occupation of the people is farming.  Copra is the chief product, with rice ranking next.  The countryside abound with coconut trees, camote and other crops, hundreds of hectares of mangrove swamps remain untapped.  Sea crabs, oysters and other river and swamps products are also in abundance.

          The town is composed of 15 barangays with a total approximate population of 10,246 (186) persons.  There is a complete secondary school in the Poblacion which caters to the educational needs of the youth.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
    The Municipality of Pilar is relatively an infant municipality having been created only on October 31, 1953 by Executive Order No. 638 issued by President Elpidio S. Quirino. It was a barrio of the Municipality of Dapa.

    The brains of creating Pilar as a municipality were its prominent citizens. It was conceived during the barangay fiesta of San Roque on August 15, 1953 in the residence of Jose Gonzales where the Mayor of Dapa (where Pilar then belonged), Vicente Rocolcol and Mayor Gaudencio Plaza of General Luna were guests. The Pilarnons present were Primo Literato, Pedro Gerona, Queterio Trigo, Francisco Española, Odon Escuyos, Alejo Literato, Artesiano Tesiorna and Jover Polangco. Prominent women of Pilar were also present during that conference.

    The group outlined the initial action to create or make Pilar a town. The legal aspect of the plan was to undertaken by Councilor Emiliano Escuyos, the representative councillor of Pilar who passed a resolution to create Pilar as a Municipalit which was unanimously approved not only by the Municipal Council of Dapa but by the Provincial Board of Surigao as well. 

    Then follows the tedious and gruelling work of gathering data and separating all Tax Declarations of the then barrio of Pilar which rested on the shoulders of Samuel Trigo and Roman Penera, with the help of Bernardino Alberca who later became the first Municipal Secretary of Pilar.

    After two months of hard work, each requirement was completed, submitted and followed up in Manila. Per records, Pilar became a Municipality in October 31, 1953 by virtue of Executive Order No. 638, to wit:

    “Pursuant to the provisions of the Section of the Revised Administrative Code there is hereby created in the Province of SUrigao a Municipality to be known as the Municipality of Pilar to consist of the barrios Pilar, which shall be the seat of Government, Caridad, San Roque, Maasin and Salvacion and the sitios, which shall hereafter be known as the barrios of Mabini, Consolacion, Dayaohay, Jaboy, Datu, Kalipayan and Buyak, all of the Municipality of Dapa, Surigao.

    The Municipality of Pilar shall begin to exist upon the appointment and qualification of the Mayor, Vice Mayor, and a majority of the Councilors thereof, and upon the certification by the secretary of Finance or the Provincial Treasurer of Surigao that said Municipality is financially capable of implementing the provisions of the minimum wages law and at the same time providing for all the statutory obligations and ordinary essential services of a regular Municipality.

    Done in the city of Manila, this 31st day of October, in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Three and of the Independence of the Philippines, the eight.”

(SGD.) ELPIDIO S. QUIRINO
President of the Philippines

    This historical document had been the primary instrument in the long and tedious process of making Pilar as it stands today.

POCKET PROFILE
    Land Area: 9,985.70 hectares
    Population: 8,129 (as of 1995)
    No. of Barangays: 12

GEOGRAPHY
    The municipality of Alegria lies on the Eastern side of Siargao Island. The largest island of the province of Surigao del Norte, it is bounded in the East by the Pacific Ocean, approximately 200 nautical miles from the famous Philippine Deep. On the Southeastern side is the Municipality of General Luna, on the Southern portion is the Municipality of Dapa, on the Western portion is the Municipality of Del Carmen and finally on the Northern side is the Municipality of San Isidro. 

    It is composed of fifteen (15) barangays, eleven (11) of which are classified as rural – Caridad, Datu, Jaboy, Maasin, Mabini, Dayaohay, Consolacion, Katipunan, Salvacion and San Roque and classified as urban barangays are Punta, Asinan, Centro and Pilaring. 

    Pilar has a total registered voters of 4,500 as of last election from the total population of 8,129 (1995 NCSO data) and a total land area of 9,985.70 hectares (NCSO data). It is characterized by rugged and mountainous terrain, with the poblacion barangays relatively flat. Further down the long narrow water passage is a vast mangrove swamp and marshland and the others permanently wet areas.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
SITE ATTRACTIONS

MAGPUPUNGKO BEACH AND ROCK FORMATION
    Located just 2 kilometers from the poblacion area, this beach has always been a symbol of majesty of the seas which carved out this rock formation. The area has fine emerald glittering seas perfect for swimming, sun-bathing, snorkeling and other recreational activities.

TAGBAYANGA ISLET

LUKOD BEACH

TAGLUNGNAN BEACH

DATU WATER FALLS

LAMBOG WATER FALLS

MANGROVE FOREST

    A ten-hectare mangrove forest located in Barangay Poblacion.

SAN FLOWER LAKE
    Located in Barangay Jaboy, this lake is another attraction in this municipality that is slowly gaining the attention of tourists

SUPPORT SERVICES

TRANSPORTATION:
    The town is accessible by passenger vehicles whether jeepneys or motorcycles. Whether from the north or west-southwest, several towns and barangays can be passed when getting to the town of Pilar. One has a choice of which vehicle to take, there are jeepneys and the local motorcycle called the “habal-habal” that can transport individuals to any part of the island.

    The town has a wharf which is also utilized as a fish landing since marine transportation in the area is very risky considering the rough waves. There are no other transportation facilities available in the area except for land transport vehicles that will take passengers to nearby Dapa.

MEDICAL AND HEALTH FACILITIES:
    The town has one main Health Center located at the Poblacion that offers general consultation and preventive measures. It also has Rural Health Units that offers pre and post natal care, family planning, nutrition program and immunizations, among others, and serving 6 nearby barangays and 4 Barangay Health Stations. These are manned by 1 Health Officer, 1 public nurse, 3 rural health midwives and 1 rural sanitary inspector.

COMMUNICATION SERVICES:
    A public calling station, Philcom, serves the public from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily. This telecommunication office can receive and contact both international and domestic calls. The existing SMART cell site also provides telecommunication access to the residents of the town.

BANK SERVICES:
    The Green Bank of Caraga located at Barangay Poblacion along the national highway is open to serve its clients from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM from Monday to Friday.

CHURCH SERVICES:
    Churches of all religious sects can be found in the town to cater to the residents’ spiritual needs. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic. Other religious groups existing are Iglesia Ni Kristo, Philippine Independent Church, Assembly of God. United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Baptist Chuch, Jehovah’s Witness, and the Seventh Day Adventist.

POST OFFICE:
    Opens from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays only.

SECURITY SERVICES:
    The Philippine National Police Station is located at the heart of the poblacion.