Municipality of Socorro


In the eastern part of the Bucas Grande Island lies the municipality of Socorro.  Its people are vigorous and hard working.  The main products of this town are coconut and rice.  Its people are chiefly dependent on these products and on fishing for their livelihood.  The area is rich in mineral deposits such as ore covering 50 hectares, nickel 60 hectares, iron and gold covering 70 hectares, all of which are underdeveloped.  Some of its people are engaged in home industries such as mat, basket and hat making, which are sold in the market in Surigao City.
    In 1924, Socorro hit the limelight when a band of religious fanatics (Colorums) rose in revolt against the government.  A band of more than a thousand fanatics led by Francisco Bernales, alias Lantayug, with bolos called “linantip”, almost completely annihilated a platoon of soldiers sent to Socorro to drain the Colorum’s sacred bathing pool called “tangke.”  Only 2 members of the platoon who where aware of the colorums tactics were left alive.  In retaliation, then, Governor Pedro Coleto wired Gov. Leonard Wood reporting the Socorro incident.  Governor Wood immediately sent troops under Col. Bowers, who in turn mercilessly shelled Socorro, where many of the Colorums perished.  The survivors continued their plan to seize the municipal and provincial governments of Surigao town.  They were surprised and annihilated by constabulary forces in Tubod, where now lies a common grave of sixty four Colorums.  This was sufficient to disband the fanatics society.
    The island where Socorro is found belongs to parcel IV of the mineral reservation.  In 1960, Socorro became a separate entity from the mother municipality of Dapa

    “Bunga” was the ancient name of the place, which means fruit. A popular folklore says that the name “Socorro” was delived from the Spanish priest’s plea for “help” when the sailboat he was boarding with his church worker-companions was about to capsize due to gigantic waves brought about by the coming thunderstorm while approaching towards the sitio to officiate mass on a Sunday morning in 1920 . The said priest and company were saved by the brave men of the place who rushed to the scene notwithstanding the wrath of nature. Such heroic acts prompted the priest to name the place “Socorro” in honor of the fearlessness of the men and as a way of paying tribute to the populace who were willing to offer help and assistance to others even in times of danger. Since then, the sitio, which was converted into a barrio, rose from a sleepy settlement into a progressive locality. On February 22, 1961. Socorro was granted the status of a municipality with the entire Bucas Grande Island as its jurisdiction with the signing of Executive Order No. 219 by then President Diosdado Macapagal.
    Socorro, same as with other places, had a history to e proud of. But unlike its contemporaries, Socorro’s history is written in blood. A group with religious proclivity called the Cofradia de Sagrado Corazon de Jesus settled in the island in 1917 from Maasin,Leyte. The earlier settlers joined the group. But the leader of the Cofradia broke up with the oman Catholic Church and joined the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in 1923. The enraged Catholic priest in Dapa reported to the Provincial Constabulary Command in Surigao that a colorum group in the island will rebel against the government. A troop was sent to the island but committed atrocities and the islanders retaliated. A military mission was sent from Dapa and some members were killed. Another encounter occurred in January 1924 resulting to the death of 16 soldiers and 40 local men. The American colonial government later sent men to attack and later negotiated the surrender of the local combatants.
    The municipality is composed of fourteen (14) barangays covering an area of 12,445 hectares. The town proper located in the eastern side of the island nestles tranquilly along the seashore of a bay where one can behold the first ray of sunlight arising out of the bosom of the Pacific Ocean in the wee hours of the morning. It has nine (9) comely natural attractions, with the Sohoton Lagoons emerging as the most popular, as well as three (3) man-made attractions that enticed a number of tourists to flock to the island. Its populace numbering 15,208 based on the 1995 census,are mostly immigrants from Leyte, Bohol, Cantilan and Tago towns in Surigao del Sur and Mainit and other towns of Surigao del Norte. The islanders are noted for nurturing and practicing the “Bayanihan” way of life, a proud legacy of their forebeas, whereunto, each and every socorronhon vow to uphold and pass on to the next generations.

    Land Area: 12,445 has.
    Mun.Waters: 34,000 has.
    Population: 17,932 (2000 NSO survey)
    No.of Barangays: 14
    Congressional District: District I, Surigao del Norte
    Classification: 5th Class
    The Municipality of Socorro, which comprises the whole island of Bucas Grande, province of Surigao del Norte, Caraga Region is situated at latitude 9º 33’ 49” – 9º 47’ 00” and longitude 125º 58’ – 126º 04’ 30”. It is 60 kms southeast of Surigao City. It faces the Pacific Ocean to the east (direct east towards Saipan), and the red mountain (Iron Mountain) of Mindanao in the west. In the north. It is bounded by the Municipality of Dapa (Siargao Island), and in the south by the Carrascal Cantilan peninsula and sea water.
    The Municipality has a total land area of 12,445 hectares. The Municipal Seawater of Socorro is estimated at 20,000 hectares. Its expense is situated at latitude 9º 32’ 15” – 9º 47’ 00” and longitude 125º 52’ 00º.
    How to get there?
    Pump-boat ride:
   •     Surigao to Socorro trip
            12:30 noon at Pantalan #2 (daily)
   •     Dapa to Socorro Trip
            7:30 – 8:00 A.M. (daily)
            3:00 – 4:00 P.M. (daily)
   •     Cantilan to Socorro Trip
            9:00 – 10:00 A.M. (daily)



    Maze of interconnected clear water pools clasped by karst hills of almost uniform shape. Most hill are thickly vegetated and wonderful water zoning like a city. Rock formation and caves along the waterways with some cultural importance.

    Scattered along the coast from Nakawit point to Poblacion Socorro. The rock island have Sculptural effect. Those with lush vegetation Have effect of dish gardens floating in the sea.

    Intermittently Characterized the coast from Nakawit point to Socorro town center. Mostly Set againts karst cliffs with thick vegetation, Many are still intact forest. Some border deep Bays

    Communal housing units set-up by cooperatives amidst coconut and pineapple farm management has high human-interest value. Trails to mangrove area brook and revived forest.

    Maybe the most accessible intact limestone forest in the country. Extra-ordinary biodiversity of plants. Shelter such endangered species like tarsier, hornbill, cockatoo, civet cat and sea hawk.

    There are 13 but 3 accessible. Clear water and surrounded by thick forest making these ideal trekking destinations. The three (3) are connected to the sea by underground channels and are reputed to shelter the the highly endangered salt-water crocodile. Unstudied physical and biological characteristics.

    Landmark Site of series of fighting Between the troops of American colonial Administration and native people .But the Landmark needs cleaning and sprucing up.

    the waterfall can be a beauty to see from the sea during rainy season when the stream flow is high.

    Has good potential for small to medium size pelagic species (tuna and mackerels) and deeper water of about 20 to 25 miles of the island can yield large ones, marlins, dolphin and yellow fin tuna.

    The island is blessed with numerous Mangrove grown up to more than 40 feet High as big as a mature coconut tree.

    Numerous undiscovered / unknown caves.

    A Swimming pool teemed with cool waters Source from multiple springs situated in the Scenic sitio tugop, Barangay Taruc Constructed through “Bayanihan System” In 1953 by Don Albino B. Taruc and Refurbished in 1997 under the leadership Of his son, Hon. Dominador L. Taruc, Incumbent vice-Mayor.