THE PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE is located in the Caraga region in Mindanao, Philippines. Its capital is Cabadbaran City and is bordered in the north side by Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur in the east side, Agusan del Sur to the south side, and Misamis Oriental to the west side facing Butuan Bay to the northwest.
“Agusan” was derived from the word “Agasan” which means water flowing to the mighty river or is now known as the Agusan River. The early ancestors of the place were of Mamanwas aborigines until Malay settlers came in from Borneo and Celebes through wooden boats between 4th and 13th centuries. These Malay immigrants drove the mamanwas aborigines to the hinterlands.
Even before the arrival of the Spaniards, the settlers were already trading with merchants as early as the 10th century. There was also a claim that Magellan held the first mass in Masao, Philippines at the mouth of the Agusan River, and not in Limasawa, Leyte.
In the turn of the 19th century, the Agusanons revolted against the Spaniards. Victory was attained however soon after the Americans came and colonized the place till 1913. The Americans converted the place into two separate provinces which is Agusan Del Sur and Agusan Del Norte by virtue of Republic Act 4979, Agusan Del Norte became an independent province on June 17, 1967.
Butuan City was then a component city of Agusan del Norte and was the capital and seat of government in Agusan. However in the year 2000 by virtue of Republic Act 8811, Cabadbaran became the new capital and administrative center of the province.
Agusan del Norte has a total land area of 2,503.9 square kilometers or 259,052 hectares. 69,772 hectares is classified as alienable and disposable while 189,280 hectares are forestlands. Land use is primarily for agriculture with 79,595 or 30.73% of the total land area in Agusan, 3,205.32 hectares or 1.24% for built-up and the other 133,672.57 or 51.60% for various forest uses. A forest area of 17,593.81 hectares is protected and the remaining 7,816.52 hectares are utilized for various special uses.
On the other hand, the current population of the province is 552,849 with an annual growth rate of 1.89% in 52,779 households giving the place a 47th rank in the most populous province in the Philippines. The predominant language used in Agusan province is Cebuano, followed by Bisaya or Binisaya language. Other dialects that residents can speak and understand are Filipino, English, Spanish, Fukienese, Butuanon, Ilonggo, Manobo, Mamanwa, Higa-onon and Maranao dialects. Most of the residents are Roman Catholic believers with 82.07% of the population, followed by Aglipay and Iglesia ni Kristo.
Climate is also moderate having no definite dry season and is strategically located outside the typhoon belt area in the Philippines. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the whole year.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN AGUSAN DEL NORTE
The economic factor in Agusan Del Norte is primarily agricultural based which is also the Philippines leading producer of rice. Other major products are coconut, corn, mango, bananas, palm oil, vegetables, and prawns. The province also has 23 lumber producers and plywood plants operating in Butuan City, thus, the province continues to be a major timber producer despite its extensive deforested areas. Other establishments are based on gathering rattan.
Currently, the local government of the province is transforming the place from a timber-dependent industry to a balanced agri-forestry-tourism industry.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN AGUSAN DEL NORTE
The residents celebrates the Lisagan Festival annually as a re-enactment of the miraculous healing that happened in 1910 to a Mamanwa native while dancing in front of the Blessed Virgin Mary image that came from Barcelona, Spain. The festival showcases Mamanwa dances and healing rituals. Another festivity is the 30 K Baroto Marathon that is celebrated every June 14 to 15 yearly. This is a 2 days paddle race competition of 3-seater canoes. The sports festival is a part of the annual celebration of the Araw ng Agusan Del Norte.
AGUSAN DEL NORTE PRODUCTS
The province boasts of its Fruit Production and Processing such as Banana, Pineapple, Mango production; Banana Chips processing, Banana Flour processing, Banana Ketchup processing, Kaong processing; puree, juice and leather processing. Agusan also has coconut-based industries that are into nata de coco processing, coconut oil mill, diced coconut, coco handicrafts, etc. Other products are based on ceramics, gemstone production, mining, furniture production such as wood, rattan, bamboo, stone and metals; garments and houseware baskets or decors.
MUNICIPALITIES OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE
Remedios T. Romualdez
This scented collection candles, garden candles and all-occasion candle giveaways are also exported.
This is a great adventure activity in which tourists can ideally take into with seven major rivers and 102 kilometers of marine coastline. Canoeing tour package is available.
Goso-on Fish Sanctuary
This is situated in Barangay Gosoon, Carmen which is now a favorite destination of skin divers. It has well-protected coral reefs, thus, various marine life including several exotic tropical fishes can be found here.
Handicrafts at Green Valley Furniture
They are the producer of export-quality hardwood furniture pieces in Agusan.
This Lake has an area of 17,430-hectare situated 80 ft. above sea level with a mean depth of 128 meters. Endemic fishes and native floras can be found here. Ecotourism activities such as canoeing, bird-watching, and cultural contact are also offered.
They also produce export-quality nito and rattan collection baskets, as well as Manobo outfits and Manobo inspired-barongs.
This Mountain is 2,012 meters above sea level situated in the eastern side of Cabadbaran and RTR municipalities. It is also a nesting site of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle. The place is only recommended to climbers with intermediate and expert skills due to its degree of difficulty. The mountain boasts of seven major waterfalls, ancient rock art, giant Anthuriums, undetermined number of virgin caves, habitat of the Philippine wildcat, flying lemur, tarsier, and a microscopic flower not found anywhere else in the world.
This Mountain is 1,860 meters above sea level and is situated in Santiago municipality. It is a 90 degree peak made of solid rock; one has to have appropriate climbing gear and skills to conquer it. This is truly ideal for experienced mountaineers. No one has yet conquered its peak.
The Mountain is 1,624 meters above sea level situated in Cabadbaran. This is ideal for trained beginners.
1,534 meters above sea level and is located in Barangay La Fraternidad in Tubay municipality. Ideal for mountaineering beginners.
Our Lady of Assumption Parish and Museum
This Church was built in 1878 situated in Jabonga. It is now the oldest surviving Spanish church in the entire of Caraga.
The municipalities of Jabonga, Tubay, and Carmen offer a menu of 22 dive sites. Reef life is rich, with soft and hard corals plus abundant reef and pelagic fishes. The profile here ranges from sloping walls to cliffs ranging in depths from 40 ft. to over 100 ft. with generally white sandy floors. The Jabonga and Tubay dive sites has rock formations such as crevices, caves, alleys, overhands, walls ranging from 45 ft. to over 200 ft.
Trinos Beach Resort
This is a new resort located in Tubay.
There are two flights daily to Agusan Del Norte from Manila, and three flights weekly from Cebu.
Air-conditioned buses ply the route from Surigao City, Davao City, and Cagayan de Oro City.
There are daily trips from Manila and Cebu via the ports of Surigao and Nasipit.