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The Surigaonon people are an ethnolingustic group who inhabited on the eastern coastal plain of Mindanao, particularly the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands. They are also present in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and in Davao Oriental. They are part of the Bisaya people, who constitute the largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group in the country.


Currently, the Surigaonons number about 1,000,000 (estimates) based on the population of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and some speakers of Agusan del Norte.

Their ancestors were the Austronesian-speaking immigrants who came from South China during the Iron Age. The Surigaonons are Visayans. Their language closely resembles Cebuano, albeit with some local words and phrases. Hence, it is considered by most linguists to be a separate language, the Surigaonon language. Because of the mass influx of Cebuano settlers to Mindanao, they also speak Cebuano as second language since Surigaonon is a Visayan language, other languages are Tagalog, and English as third languages. The vast majority of Surigaonons are Roman Catholics, very few are Muslims in contrast to its very closely related Tausug brothers which are predominantly Muslims.

Below is a table which demonstrates that Surigaonon is more related to Tausug than Cebuano
English Filipino (Tagalog) Tausug Surigaonon Cebuano
What is your name? Ano ang pangalan mo? Unu in ngān mu? Unu an ngayan mu?/siman ang ngayan mu? Unsa ang pangan nimo?
My name is Muhammad. Ang pangalan ko ay si Muhammad. In ngān ku Muhammad. An ngayan ku ay Muhammad/ Ang ngayan ko si Muhammad. Ang pangan nako ay Muhammad.
How are you? Kumusta ka na? Maunu-unu nakaw? Kumosta na ikaw? Kumusta na ka? / Nagunsa na man ka?
I am fine, (too) Ayos lang ako. Marayaw da isab. Madayaw da isab aku (Tandaganon) or Marajaw ako (Surigaonon). Maayo ra ko.
Where is Ahmad? Nasaan si Ahmad? Hawnu hi Ahmad? Hain si Ahmad?/ Haman si Ahmad Asa si Ahmad?
He is in the house. Nasa bahay siya. Ha bāy siya. Sa bayay sija. Sa balay sya.
Thank you Salamat. Magsukul. Salamat. Salamat.
‘I am staying at’ or ‘I live at’ Nakatira po ako sa. Naghuhula’ aku ha. Naghuya aku sa. Nagpuyo ako sa.
I am here at the house. Nandito ako say bahay. Yari aku ha bay. Jari aku sa bayay. Ni-a ko sa bay.
I am Hungry. Nagugutom ako. Hiyapdi' aku. In-gutom aku./ Tag gutom aku. Gi-gutom ko.
He is there, at school. Nandoon siya sa paaralan. Yadtu siya ha iskul. Jadtu sija sa iskuljahan. Tu-a sya sa iskul.
Person Tao Tau Tau Tawo
River Ilog Sug Suyug Suba


The Surigaonons have a culture similar to the Cebuanos. Pre-Hispanic Surigaonons are very fond of ornamental designs and displays. Most Surigaonons are agriculturalists.