Municipality of Tagana-an

Tagana-an was created back in the seventeenth century, the earliest town in the province of Surigao.  The town was inhabited with few embarcaderos.  The earliest settlers were people who evaded the Moro pirates.  Tagana-an is a good place to stay, safe from the Moro pirates.

            As years went by more families settled in the place.  The people from other provinces, especially Leyte and Bohol came to stay in the town.  The name was changed from Tago-anan meaning “preparation for”, to Tagana-an.  The town expanding westward became a big and thickly populated.  Lands were donated for the church, town plaza and the municipal hall.

            During the war years from 1942 to 1945, Tagana-an played the role again as hiding place.  This became the haven of food exchanged during the war years.

            The pride of the municipality is her new concrete church, the most modern church in Mindanao and maybe one of its kind in the Philippines.

           Tagana-an was first established as a Pueblo in 1876, and the first Capitan del Pueblo was Miguel Alfon. The first Paish Priest was Padre Jaime Plana, S.J. a respected parish priest in the Caraga, who celebrated the first town fiesta in July 16,1877, in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Camel. The town also celebrates the day of St. Joseph, every Mach 18-19th. Prior to this, Tagana-an was a Visita of Placer along with Timamana, Talavera, and Mainit.

           The Pueblo of Tagana-an was reverted into a barrio of Placer in 1903 by the American government when, upon the downfall of the Spanish era, the people evacuated when an epidemic struck in along with many towns in Surigao-Caraga, and people refused to return to the area.

           Only on June 22, 1947, after lobbying for some 31 years, was Tagana-an re-created as a Municipality by virtue of Republic Act. 194, defining, that the barrios of Tagana-an, Banban, Talavera and Opong, and the sitios of Libas, Cawilan, Dijo and Himana-ug, are separated from the Municipality of Placer, and constituted into the Municipality of Tagana-an in the Province of Surigao.

           Counting therefore, from 1876 to 1905, (29 years) and from 1947 to the present (56 years), Tagana-an celebrates 75 years as a Municipality, and 126 years as a Parish.

           Early account narrate that the early settlers of the Municipality, hiding from Moro Jihad fighters (1650-1780), inhabited the so-called Embaracadero or landing area at the mouth of Mangagao River. Thus the area was originally called “Tago-anan” which meant a hiding place. Through the yeas, the town was called “Tagana-an”, probably from the word Tagana, or “in reservation for”.

           The early settlers had a religious leader called “Pandi” who presided over ceremonies particularly during harvest. The offerings were followed by the “Sirong”, a ritualistic dance of thanks and joy for a bountiful harvest . He also made “apong” or prayer of intercession for the sick.

           The conquistadors of the West passed by the Hinatuan Passage along the coast of Surigao, mostly on their way from the Spice Island to the northern coast of Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon.

           In 1512, the Portuguese under Francisco Serrano, who came 9 years earlier than Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. In this the era, other Portuguese navigated in these waters like Garcia Jofre de Loaisa with Sebastian del Cano in 1526, Alvaro de Saavedra, 1528, Juan Pinto, 1534, and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in 1567 poised for the Philippine conquest on Order of the King.

           These sailors one way or the other used Mahaba Island as navigational reference as it is written in the map of Father Pedro Murillo Velarde. At one time, they landed in neighboring Nonoc, Surigao, Bucas Grande, and other neighboring settlements.

           The exploits of the Portuguese are much less know, but the religious impact of their teachings in our present social life may be worth examining.

           Tagana-an is a coastal – estuarine town located at the eastern portion in the mainland of the Province of Surigao del Norte. It shares common boundaries with Surigao City, Sison and Placer in the mainland, Bucas Grande and Siargao islands off the seawaters of Hinatuan Passage.

           Tagana-an is located at Longtitude 125 deg 35’ East and Latitude 9 degree 40 minutes and 25”.

           Tagana-an is about 29 kilometers from Surigao City along the main highway. The Poblacion and coastal area is located 7 from the junction at lower libas. Another road passes through the rustic coastal barangays of Surigao City, known as the Arellano district.

           Tagana-an has varied topographic features: rolling hills, mountains and watersheds, rice and coconut lands, mangroves, estaries, rivers and deltas. Municipal water consist of 10,000ha. Where 1,000ha. Could be available for mariculture. There are forested Karstick islands, caves, coral reefs, and beaches awaiting discovery and development.

           Along the highway, Tagana-an is the most acessible town from Butuan City and Surigao of for its ecological type. The Municipal Planning and Development Office projects that local tourism may eventually evolve on aqua-culture farms.


Municipal Plaza – Poblacion
Church – Poblacion


Mangroves Forest – Opong -Boating, Scientific trips and Research
Corals – Himamaug – Snorkelling
Coral Reefs – Opong – Diving, research
Talavera Beach – Talavera Island – Picnics,snorkelling
Tinago Island – Banban, Opong -Diving.Sailing
Hinatuan Island -Exploration. Island is an ultramaffic type characterized by lateritic soils, mancono trees, endemic species of orchids. Coves may be good for outings.
Cave – Cave exploration


“Adlaw nan Tagana-an” – June 22, 2003 – Mardi gras, cultural activities – Bicycle race, Handicap race, Lapulapu, coconut , Bakhaw, o harvest dances

           In general, a tip to Tagana-an from Butuan or Surigao City can be accomplished in one day. If the activity planned lasts for more than a day, accommodations may be arranged. The use of tents is also viable.

           PHILCOM operates a public calling station. For mobile communications, cellular services for Smart and Piltel are marginally available in many area.


  • Tagana-an to Suhoton Direct from the Mainland, Tagana-an is the shortest way to Suhoton within the mainland Caraga, along the highway. Recommended for tours, 10-15 persons
  • Talavera Beach is just 5 minutes from Sagisi Beach via Surigao City, or about 45 minutes from Tagana-an good for a small group tour.
  • Opong Mangroves can be reached by lightboat in 5 minutes. Good for coral watching, Kayaking. Good for school exposure trips, scientific studies.
  • Tinago island are small islands made up of limestone characterized by karstic or Jagged surfaces. Hardly vegetation cling to the surface for suvival, making the Island look like big rock gardens strewn in places. There are coves and small beaches and islets for recreation purposes directly accessible from the mainland for small groups.


  • Talavera Beach
  • Banog island
  • Mangrove-Opong
  • Island
  • Morning sunrise at Hinatuan Island
  • Coral-Opong
  • Tinago Islands
  • Talavera – Poyopoyo Reef, Banog reefs
  • Mancono


  • Lapulapu
  • Lobster
  • Gold Processing
  • Rice – Himamaug
  • Coconut view
  • Crab fattening
  • Mango and Pineapple crops