Agusan del Norte

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Agusan del Norte, officially the Province of Agusan del Norte (Cebuano: Amihanang Agusan; Butuanon: Probinsya hong Agusan del Norte; Tagalog: Hilagang Agusan), is a province in the Caraga region of the Philippines. Its capital is the city of Cabadbaran with several government offices located in the city of Butuan. It is bordered on the northwest by Butuan Bay; northeast by Surigao del Norte; mid-east by Surigao del Sur; southeast by Agusan del Sur, and southwest by Misamis Oriental.


Spanish and American era

Map of Agusan province in 1918

Prior to its creation as an independent province, Agusan, as it was once undivided, was under the jurisdiction of Surigao province during the Spanish colonial period. In 1911, Agusan was separated from Surigao by the American government, creating the Agusan province.[1]

World War II

During World War II in 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Northern Agusan.

In 1945, Filipino soldiers of the 6th, 10th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 107th and 110th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the 10th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary together with the recognized Agusan guerrilla fighter units against the Japanese forces beginning the liberation in Northern Agusan during World War II.

During the war, a unit of the joint Philippine-American defense force were located at Manot, Talacogon, in the interior of the Agusan Valley.


In 1967, Republic Act 4979 divided Agusan into two independent provinces: Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.[2]

On August 16, 2000, the seat of provincial government was transferred from Butuan City to Cabadbaran through Republic Act 8811,[3] although the province is yet to complete the transfer of provincial services and functions to the new capital.


Landscape in Tubay

Agusan del Norte is situated in Mindanao's western section of Caraga. It is bordered on the northwest by the Butuan Bay; northeast by Surigao del Norte; mid-east by Surigao del Sur; southeast by Agusan del Sur, and southwest by Misamis Oriental. Agusan del Norte has a total land area of 2,730.24 square kilometres or 1,054.15 square miles. When Butuan is included for geographical purposes, the province's land area is 3,546.86 square kilometres (1,369.45 sq mi).

The central portion of the province forms the lower basin of the third longest river in the country, the Agusan, its mouth located at the Butuan Bay. Consequently, the terrain surrounding the river features flat to rolling lands. Mountainous terrain dominate the northeastern and western areas.[1]

The country's fourth largest lake, Lake Mainit is situated at the northern border between the province of Surigao del Norte.[4]

Administrative divisions

Agusan del Norte comprises 10 municipalities and 1 component city.

The city of Cabadbaran is the officially designated capital of the province per Republic Act 8811.[3] The highly urbanized city of Butuan is geographically within but administratively independent from the province.

Ph fil agusan del norte.png
City or municipality Area Density Barangays
km2 sq mi /km2 sq mi
Buenavista 475.61 183.63 130 340 25
Butuan 816.62 315.30 410 1,100 86
Cabadbaran 214.44 82.80 340 880 31
Carmen 311.02 120.09 67 170 8
Jabonga 293.00 113.13 79 200 15
Kitcharao 171.92 66.38 110 280 11
[[Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte|LasTemplate:NbspNieves]] 582.69 224.98 49 130 20
Magallanes 44.31 17.11 470 1,200 8
Nasipit 144.40 55.75 290 750 19
[[Remedios T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte|RemediosTemplate:NbspT. Romualdez]] 79.15 30.56 200 520 8
Santiago 275.61 106.41 88 230 8
Tubay 138.09 53.32 180 470 13
TOTAL 2,730.24 1,054.15 130 340 166


The population of Agusan del Norte in the 2015 census was 354,503 people,  making it the country's 64th most populous province. It had a density of 130 inhabitants per square kilometre or 340 inhabitants per square mile.

When the highly urbanized city of Butuan is included for geographical purposes, the province's population is 691,566 people, with a density of 195 inhabitants per square kilometre (510/sq mi).


In 2013, the Diocese of Butuan (Catholic-Hierarchy) reported that Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion of the province comprising roughly 71% of the population and significant minority belongs to Iglesia Filipina Independiente with 10% . The remaining beliefs usually belong to other Christian denominations as well as Islam.


The economy of the province is dominantly agricultural, major crops of which include rice, corn, coconut, abaca, banana and mango.[5]


Agusan del Norte has two congressional districts encompassing its 10 municipalities and 1 component city, as well as the highly urbanized city of Butuan.

District Representative[6] City or municipality District population
1st Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun
  • Butuan
  • Las Nieves
2nd Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba
  • Buenavista
  • Cabadbaran
  • Carmen
  • Jabonga
  • Kitcharao
  • Magallanes
  • Nasipit
  • Remedios T. Romualdez
  • Santiago
  • Tubay


The province has many beaches in Cabadbaran and the municipalities of Carmen, Buenavista, and Nasipit. Mount Hilong-Hilong, one of the tallest in the province, is located in Cabadbaran.

From the top of Prayer Mountain (Mount Pongkay), visitors can have a panoramic view of Cabadbaran which includes buildings, churches, rivers and the sea. The Agusan River, the longest in Mindanao and the third longest in the Philippines is in Butuan City. Looming southwest of the Agusan Valley is Mount Mayapay, a mountain plateau. The ancient Balangay boats were found in Butuan, excavated in the Balangay Shrine across the Masao River from Bood Promontory. They played a major role because of Butuan being a port city. Since its discovery, the Balangays have become an icon of Butuan. The Kaya ng Pinoy, Inc. recreated the Balangay boats and have sailed it as part of their project, the Balangay Voyage.


  1. 1.0 1.1 (1995) "The Provinces; Agusan del Norte", Fast Facts about Philippine Provinces, The 2000 Millenium, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines: Tahanan Books. ISBN 971-630-037-9. 
  2. Republic Act No. 4979; An Act Creating the Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur (17 June 1967). “Section 1. The Province of Agusan is hereby divided into two provinces, to be known as Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.”
  3. 3.0 3.1 Republic Act No. 8811; An Act Transferring the Capital and Seat of Government of the Province of Agusan del Norte from Butuan City to the Municipality of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte (PDF).
  4. "Caraga lawmakers push for Lake Mainit Development Authority", MindaNews, 2 October 2014. “Lake Mainit, the fourth largest lake in the country, occupies an area of 17,060 hectare and straddles the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.” 
  5. Agricultural Crops. “Major agricultural crops in Agusan del Norte are rice, corn, coconut, abaca, banana and mango. The province also produces cassava, durian, pineapple, coffee, vegetables and root crops. The three highest producing crops are coconut, banana and rice with corresponding production of 75,184.35 MT, 43,924.92 MT and 26,151.81 MT, respectively.”
  6. House Members; 17th Congress.