Municipality of Placer

The sprawling prosperous town of Placer is 34 kilometers from the capital city of Surigao del Norte.  Like most of the towns of the country, it is fraught with legends although most of them have no basis in facts.

          In the unrecorded history of this town, sometime in the early 1800’s when Moro depredations were rampant, when Moro vintas almost succeeded in landing on the shores of the town, a woman of extra ordinary size and height with a gleaming sword appeared on top of Baluarte Island, at the port of the town of Placer.  It was believed that the big extra ordinary woman who repealed the landing horde was Santisima Trinidad, the patron saint of the town.  Thus, the natives were spared from the incursion of the Moro invaders.

          It is said that this town was the first to rise in revolt.  Famous revolutionary leaders as Capitan Emilio Custodio, Capitan Andres Calinawan, Capitan Montano Patiño and Capitan Isidro Custodio were from the place.  During the Amercian-Spanish war, the freedom-fighters were on the side of the Americans.

          Geographically, Placer is just a little town but rich in mineral resource.  Three big barrios of Placer, viz: Mainit, Tagana-an, and Tubod have been created into municipalities.  But in spite of the separation of these barrios from the mother municipality, Placer managed to stand on her feet financially speaking.


The Town of Placer was founded by Captain Felipe Custodio together with Capitan Luis Patino in 1850. The place is a plain, along the shores and surrounded by hills with three (3) creeks, the Egdoy creek, named after the landowner; the Jagimit springs named after a vine and the ando ceek, named after the landowner. The creek enable the people in washing the glacial deposit containing gold. Thus Felipe Custodio named the place “PLACE”, which means, mines and happiness because the people were happy and prosperous enjoying the rich resources of gold, abundant supply on various kind of fish and bountiful harvest from the rice fields.

          Between 1850 to 1860, the Spanish officials wanted to change the name of Placer in honor of Saints. Capitan Felipe Custodio two sons, Marcelino and Domingo who insisted that the place be permanently named “PLACER”, because the people means of livelihood was gold panning, practicing the method of extracting gold. This question was brought to the Spanish Authorities in Manila and fortunately were convinced as they were convinced as they were also interested on gold, thus, in 1860, the name “PLACER” was officially approved and from this time thrust were set forth for progress and development and placer become one of the oldest town in the province being mother municipality of Mainit (1930) and Tagana-an (1947) and the grandmother municipality of Tubod and Alegia .

          The first Roman Catholic church parish priest was Father Ronaldo Sanchez, a Recollect priest in 1860 followed by a Jesuit, Father Antonio Franuto. In 1905 the Philippines Independent Catholic Church played a glorious part in the history of Placer as the town is predominantly Aglipayan. The first Secondary School in Placer was founded and backed by a group whose religious affiliation were Aglipayans. 

          During the American regime turned the economic and progress and development of the town. Mining companies in full operation and some under exploration poured their investments. Like the East Mindanao Mining Company; Mapaso Gold Field; km 73 Mining Company in Layab; and the Suyoc consolidated Mining Company. It was during this gold boom that Placer became the Mecca of the working class, people migrate from other places for employment.


Land Area :8,989 Has
Total No. of Barangays :20
Population :21,542 (as of May 1, 2000)
Classification :4th Class Municipality 
Sea Area :7,305 Has.
Coastal Barangays :10


 Placer municipality is located at the Northeast portion of Surigao del Norte it is bounded on the north by Tagana-an, on the west by Sison, on the south by Tubod and Bacuag and on the East by the Hinatuan Passage.

          It include half of the Masapelid island where three barangays are located and three other smaller islands of Tinago, Banga, and Mahaba. The middle portion is centrally located within the mainland of the province and contains the junctions of major highways to Tandag and Butuan City, so the most of the barangays are accessible via major paved roads.

          It’s topography is hilly with sloping areas and flat terrain. Low rising hills are interspersed by plains.



          Rediscovered sometimes in 1985, when the school toilet of Panhutongan Primary School was constructed, the Contractor accidentally excavated human skeleton, skull and some jewelry’s. In August 1990 when the people was moved by the desire to improved and beautify the school and due to financial constraints agreed to start the operation in the area near the school building and were able to unearthed 3 boat-shaped wooden coffins with human skulls and bones covered with antique plates, tea cups, small saucers, soup bowls, pots, jewelries, bolos and smokes pipe. They also discovered 4 extremeends/remains of wooden post about 1 meter in length and 11/2 feet in diameter and a well built with slabs of stones. Some of the items were donated to the Surigao Heritage Center and the rest were belived to have been bought by unknown persons and are no longer traceable. To preserve the cultural heritage of the town, the LGU ordered to secure the area while awaiting for historian, anthropologist and archeologist to examine and study the origin of the relics.

          The first cultural group organized last 1995 was named “BUYAWANONG PLACER CULTURAL GROUP” to promote the cultural heritage, belief and tourism potentials in the municipality. The group consistently won the Bonok-Bonok competitions sponsored by Surigao City Government for three years, Indak-Indak Festival at Davao City and the famous Cebu’s Sinulog festival under the leadership of Mayor Enrique N. Patino. The group changed its name to “TRIBU PLACERNON CULTURAL GROUP” last 2002 under the leadership of Mayor Donald P. Villejo, Sr. and won also the 2nd place on Cebu’s Sinulog 2002 and 5th place on 2003.


          Has four bedrooms and complete comfort room facilities, a conference room, a canteen and numbers of waiting shed, proper places to relax, feel the cool of the fresh air and overlooking the municipality.


          A 20 minute pumpboat ride from Placer wharf to the marvelous island of Tinago, accentuated by caves with fascinating rock formation, clear sea water and rich coral reefs.


          Situated in Sitio Mapaso. It is about 1.5 kilometer from the town and famous for its curative power for arthritis, rheumatism and skin diseases. There is a boiling spring, hot and lukewarm. When developed, it will be a vital geothermal power source.


          Situated in Barangay Amoslog. It is about one kilometer from the town proper. Its natural idyllic beauty and glittering beach attracts the people.

The WORLD CAVE-IN at the Manila Mining Corporation

          Known in 1976 due to the tragedy that befall to the 5 miners, headed by Engr. Acorda, who were tapped in the underground for 24 days without food. Only 2 survived from that tragedy, Mr. Chato and Mr. Acot.

The GOLD RUSH in Cangomod, Ellaperal

          In 1983, the town caught in a frenzy when gold panners from neighboring towns and far-fling places came to placer to venture for gold. The lust for gold common in man congested the area and made the mountain dangerous due to so much tunneling using drip method. After 6 months of frantic gold panning activities, incessant rains and heavy downpour caused the chain of tunnels to give way. Thus, unaccounted number of people were buried alive.

The MINES VIEW in the Manila Mining Corporation

          An ideal place for Camping, field trip or simply to escape from the humdrum of urban scenery o just pure lazing around.


          Located in Barangay Lakandula. It is a 30 minutes pumpboat ride from the town, viewing the lush greenery of mangrooves and rich coral reefs. It is where the miraculous image of Sr. San Vicente is enshrined. Thousand of people flock to this island to offer prayers, candles and gifts thanking and asking for the miraculous healing and good features.


          Bahay Turista at Balauarte Island with four bedrooms and complete comfort room facilities, a conference room and waiting sheds.


  • Buses and jeepney ply the major roads from & to Surigao City, Butuan City and Tandag.
  • Tricycle, usually motorbike with side car used for barangay destinations.
  • Trisikad, a bicycle with side ca, mainly travel within urban barangays.
  • Rent-A-Car. Recommended for out of town trips.




  • Placer District Hospital, Barangay Ipil


  • Main Center at Barangay Magsaysay
  • Rural Cental at Barangay Badas
  • Rural Center at Barangay Sta. Cruz
  • Rural Center at Barangay Mabini
  • Rural Center at Barangay Tagbongabong
  • Rural Center at Barangay Amoslog
  • Rural Center at Barangay Pananay-an
  • Rural Center at Barangay Lakandula
  • Rural Center at Barangay Ellaperal



  • Modern and efficient communication services such as international and local direct dialing telephone systems and facsimile;


  • PECBC CABLE TV (Central)


  • Bank are open from 9:00 A.M. till 3:00 P.M. Mondays through Fridays
  • Rural Bank of Placer
  • Main Office – Central
  • Branch Office – Badas


  • Church of all denomination serve the religious needs of town residents. Roman Catholic is the predominant religion and Iglesia Filipina Indipendente.


  • FIRE STATION – Barangay Magsaysay
  • POLICE STATION – Barangay Central and Badas
  • AFP HEADQUARTER – Barangay Sta. Cruz
  • BPLK/CVO OUTPOST – 20 Barangays
  • SECURITY AGENCIES – MMC, Barangay Magsaysay