Tandag City, Surigao del Sur

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Template:PH wikidata, officially the Template:PH wikidata (Surigaonon: Siyudad nan Template:PH wikidata; Template:Lang-tl), is a Template:PH wikidata [[Cities of the Philippines#Legal classification|Template:PH wikidata]] and capital of the province of Template:PH wikidata, Template:PH wikidata. According to the Template:PH wikidata, it has a population of Template:PH wikidata people.Template:PH census This constitutes 9.52% of the population in Surigao del Sur.[1]

Farming and fishing are the main economic activity for most of the people in Tandag. Chief farm products are rice, corn, and coconut. Livestock and poultry raising are also important sources of income. Tandag has a national secondary airport and a seaport.

Tandag City has a land area of 291.73 square kilometers or 112.64 square miles. This constitutes 5.91% of the land area of Surigao del Sur. The population density of the city is at 193 inhabitants per square kilometer or 500 inhabitants per square mile.[1]


Many versions have been given regarding the name of Tandag. One version states that Father Calan, Father Encarnacion, and another priest were on their way to visit chieftain Suba to baptize his people. When one of the missionaries asked a native rowing their boat what name of the place was with fingers pointing downward, the native thought the priest meant the school of fish. He answered "tamda", meaning look down. This name later became Tandag. Father Encarnacion, a member of the group, was later killed by the natives.

Another version states that when De la Vega landed in Tandag to subdue the ferocious Caragas (as the rebellious natives were called then), he did not know the name of the place so he inquired from a native who was gathering the leaves of an herb locally known as tangad. The native, who did not understand Spanish, answered "tangad". Later, the name was changed to Tandag.

Another story tells of a group of Spanish soldiers and missionaries who lost their way. When they asked for correct direction, the natives, who could not understand Spanish, only laughed at them all the while saying the word "tank", meaning lost. Thus, the name Tandag means lost.


Surigao del Sur Provincial Capitol, Tandag City
  • Long before Tandag became what it is today—the bustling capital town of Surigao del Sur was inhabited by the Manobos and the Mamanwas who lived along the river banks under the leadership of Suba, their Chieftain. Suba was later converted into Christianity by Father Juan de la Encarnacion, a Spanish missionary. After Legazpi’s final conquest to the Philippines in 1609, the Spanish government sent missionaries to subdue the hostile natives. One of these missionaries was Father Juan de la Vega who was assigned to Tandag. In an effort to establish a symbol of authority, Fr. dela Vega erected a stone fort and built a small settlement about a size of a football field enclosed by a stone wall. Out of this settlement rose the town of Tandag, which later on became a center of faith.
  • During this period, Tandag became a port of call to the Spanish Galleon that sailed along the southern part of Mindanao. Until today, it is believed that somewhere underneath the sea near Tandag's Linongao Islands lies a sunken galleon.
  • In 1650, Tandag became the capital town of Surigao or Caraga, then a district that covered the present provinces of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and a part of Davao. As the center of faith and capital town, Tandag was fortified with cottas which were erected sometime in the 18th century. The cottas were placed in the northern part of the town and near the old cemetery on the western side. These fortifications served to protect the town from Moro raids.
  • In several separate attacks between 1754 and 1767, the Moro pirates wrought havoc and destruction to Tandag. Father Jose Ducos, a Jesuit from Iligan, came to the rescue and rebuilt Tandag. He established the Tandag Garrison and restored the Tandag priory. Although a part of the Tandag fort survived, it was demolished during the Second World War. Calamities like typhoons and earthquakes destroyed what remained of it. This explains why there are no remains of these structures that could be seen today.
  • World War II – For much of the war, Tandag was free from Japanese occupation when the American and Filipino military forces surrendered in May 1942. However, on 27 April 1944, about 500 Japanese troops landed by a number of boats a short distance outside town. Most of the residents fled to the mountains nearby when the Japanese arrived. The 10th Military District of the U.S. Army maintained a guerrilla presence in Mindanao in World War II. Capt. Charles Hansen led a small group of guerrillas against the Japanese. Outnumbered, the guerrillas were unable to dislodge the Japanese and about ten days later another group of guerrillas made a second attempt to force the Japanese out. The Japanese remained in town several weeks and left after causing much damage in Tandag.[2][3]
  • Real transformation was finally afforded to Tandag via Republic Act No. 2786, an act that created Surigao del Sur and whose salient measure made Tandag the capital and seat of the provincial government of Surigao del Sur.
  • On 23 June 2007, Tandag, by virtue of Republic Act No. 9392, became a city.




Osmeña Street

Tandag City is located along the northeastern coast of Mindanao facing the Philippine Sea. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of Cortes and Lanuza, on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by the towns of Tago and San Miguel, and on the west by the province of Agusan del Sur. It is located 448 nautical miles from Manila and 150 nautical miles from Cebu. The distance from Surigao City in the north to Tandag is about Template:Convert and Template:Convert is the distance from Davao City to the south.


Tandag is politically subdivided into 21 barangays. Majority of the barangays are considered rural areas. Template:Columns-list



Tandag has a tropical rainforest climate (Af) with heavy to very heavy rainfall year-round and extremely heavy rainfall in January. Template:Clear-left



It consists of twenty-one (21) barangays. Six of which are urban barangays, five are coastal barangays, four are built-up expansions, and six are hinterland barangays. The urban barangays comprise 1,594.10 hectares; 3,464.61 hectares for coastal barangays; 2,233.15 hectares for built-up expansion barangays and 4,964.34 hectares for hinterland barangays.


Major languages spoken are Tandaganon (a language closely related to Surigaonon) and Cebuano (Mindanao variant). Filipino and English are widely used in schools, businesses, and government offices. Template:Clear-left



Commercial retail

Gaisano Capital Tandag
  • Gaisano Capital Tandag is located along Cabrera and Navales Street. Gaisano Capital Group is a shopping mall chain in the Philippines, owned by Cebu-based Gaisano family.
  • TT & Company
  • Prince Town Tandag
  • Ultrastar Supermart

Delivery services

Culture and festivals

Inside San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral
Diwatahan Festival
  • Charter Day is held every 23rd day of June to celebrate the cityhood of Tandag. Different events are held during the day. Laguboh![4] is a drums and lyre corps competition among elementary and secondary schools in the city.
  • Summer Kite Festival – an annual event initiated by the City Government of Tandag enhancing the artistic talent and creativity among the teenagers through the making of fantastic designs of kite enjoying the sun, sand and sea during summer time.
  • Eco Sports Festival – Tandag City is a coastal city, with 10 of its 21 barangays facing the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the City Government of Tandag initiates a three-day event consisting of activities that promote the good care for the ocean. The events are participated by the youth sector, enhancing their skills in different activities like skim boarding, Frisbee, beach volleyball, urban adventure race, and sand castle sculpture making. For the culmination of the Ocean Month Celebration, there are live performances of bands from all over the country.
  • TAMDA Festival – a Tandaganon variation of the word "Tan-awa" which means to "see beneath" or "to take care of". This showcases the correct and historically accurate cultural festival and explains the Tandaganons' art – dances, rituals, music, life ways, and creative expressions. It is an annual event of Tandag City in celebration of the Charter Day held every 23 June.


Provincial Capitol grounds at night

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Lamp posts in Boulevard, Tandag City
  • San Isidro – Busay Falls[5]
  • Bioto – Cold Spring[6]
  • Pangi – Bugsukan Falls & Tagbak stream[6]
  • Salvacion – Abaca Plantation[6]
  • Quezon – Cave, Falls, & Wild Life[6]
  • Maticdum – Falls, Water Spring, Cave, Forest, & Wild Life Conservation[6]
  • San Agustin – Norte Beach Resort & Mangroves[6]
  • Mabuhay – Panugmakan Creek (Potable Water Source) Mt. Resort & Cave[6]
  • Dagocdoc – Board Walk (Dike) & Floating Restaurant[6]
  • Awasian – Ihawan Mt. Spring Resort/Hitaub IP Gawad Kalinga Project[6]
  • Pandanon – Cold Spring[6]
  • Rosario – Andap Falls & Spring[6]
  • Bag-ong Lungsod – Tandag City Boulevard[6]
  • Bongtud – Twin Linungao Island, Mancagangi Island & MPA (Fish Sanctuary)[6]
  • Buenavista – MPA (Fish Sanctuary)[6]
  • Mabua Beach Resort (MPA) – Fish Sanctuary[6]


City proper

Tricycles in Tandag


Tandag Airport

By air

By land

Bachelor Tours 402 Davao – Tandag with Wi-Fi onboard

By sea

  • Inter-island vessel Cokaliong Shipping Lines ply the Cebu-Surigao City routes on regular schedules with Surigao City Port as transit point. Multi-cabs and tricycles are available at the wharf going to Surigao City Integrated Terminal for the regular bus trips to Tandag.

Healthcare facilities


Basic education

Jacinto P. Elpa National High School (JPENHS) garden near its library.
  • Tandag Pilot Elementary School
  • Tandag Central Elementary School
  • Telaje Elementary School
  • Saint Theresa College of Tandag
  • Jacinto P. Elpa National High School
  • Tandag National Science High School
  • Vicente L. Pimentel Sr. National High School
  • Buenavista Nursery School
  • Buenavista Elementary School
  • Buenavista National High School
  • Tandag Christian School, Inc.
  • Tandag City SpEd Center
  • Tandag Science Elementary School
  • Engr. Nestor Ty Memorial Elementary School
  • Bongtud Elementary School
  • Meliton M. Ajos Memorial Elementary School
  • San Jose Elementary School
  • Mahanon Elementary School
  • Mabuhay Elementary School
  • Pandanon Elementary School
  • Carmen Integrated School
  • San Antonio Elementary School

Higher education


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Sports and recreation

Surigao del Sur Sports Center

The Surigao del Sur Sports Center (formerly named as Gregorio P. Murillo Sports Complex) is a multi-sports complex, located near the provincial capitol situated in Tandag City, which has hosted the Caraga Regional Athletic Meet, several times. Meanwile, the Tandag City Gymnasium is an indoor gymnasium located at Luis Perez corner Serra Street, adjacent the local police station.

Sister cities


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tandag City, Surigao del Sur Profile – PhilAtlas.
  2. Virginia Hansen Holmes, Guerrilla Daughter (Kent, Ohio: Kent State U. Press, 2009), pp. 127, 168.
  3. Kent Holmes, Wendell Fertig and His Guerrilla Forces in the Philippines: Fighting the Japanese Occupation, 1942–1945 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2015), p. 72.
  4. Laguboh!
  5. Unknown. Where water falls (en).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 The Capitol City of the Province (en) (2015-01-14).

External links

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