Location: Northeast Mindanao, Philippines|
Province: Surigao del Norte
Region: XIII (CARAGA)
Coordinates: 09°47′N 125°29′E
Total Land Area: 245.30 km2(94.71 sq mi.)
City’s Nickname: City of Island Adventures
Founded: June 29, 1655
Cityhood: August 31, 1970
Districts: 1 (2nd District of Surigao del Norte)
Time Zone: PHT (UTC+8)
Zip Code: 8400
Dialing Code: 86
Surigao City is the capital of the province of Surigao del Norte. Its three main islands indeed can boast a lot of adventures, namely: Siargao, Dinagat and Bucas Grande.
View Surigao City in a larger map
When I decided to book for my Siargao Trip, I was thinking that Surigao City is just simply a jump-off point to reach my desired and long-dreamed destination. I was only excited for Siargao though I read some information about Surigao del Norte. It was my first time to be in this place. Together with my couple friend, we boarded Air Philippines flight from Manila to Surigao City.
Based on my series of research, I learned the following: "That the City of Surigao was formerly known, according to Fray San Juan Francisco de San Antonio as Banahao, San Antonio, in his “Chronicles” written in 1738, described Banahao as located at the northern head of Mindanao within there is a good port for ships called Bilan-bilan. Banahao was part of the old district of Caraga which became the Politico-Military District of Surigao with Tandag (presently, the capital of Surigao del Sur) as its capital. In its original size during the Spanish era, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte up to Gingoog River in Misamis Oriental according to the Philippine Commission Report of 1901, Surigao was ten times bigger than Rhodes Island and three times bigger than Connecticut. Because of repeated attacks by Moro pirates, the provincial capital was within the defensive perimeter of the Spanish Naval Squadron in Cebu and Ozamis.
Surigao officially became a town when it became the permanent residence of the Recollects on February 1, 1751 when all the canonical books were moved from Siargao to Surigao. “The first canonical books bore the signature of Fr. Lucas dela Cruz.” Previously, the place was Justa “Vista” of the Parish in Caolo (Siargao).
Surigao is named after the old province (district) of the same name (Surigao). There are many versions regarding the meaning of Surigao: how this was derived. Like Sulo which names current (Sulog). Surigao probably came from Spanish word Surgir, meaning swift water or current. With the division of Surigao into two province, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte, the municipality of Surigao became the capital of Surigao del Norte. It became a chartered City on August 31, 1970.
Going back, as our flight was early in the afternoon, we decided to have an overnight in the city. It is a typical provincial city and its vibrance is due to the presence of schools and universities in the area, namely: Saint Paul University, Philippine Women University, San Sebastian College, STI College, St. Jude Thaddeus Institute of Technology and a few others. It also has several banks and the common fastfood chains in Manila like Jollibee, McDonalds, Chowking and a few others. We checked in at an affordable hotel and unwind in their famous Luneta Park the whole afternoon. We also visited its Tourism Office and went to souvenir stores for pasalubong.
The city itself has no attractions but I find Surigao City's beauty when I returned back to it coming from Siargao Island boarding Fortune Angels Ferry with its departure at 6:00 A.M. and arrived Eva M. Macapagal Passenger Terminal Port of Surigao City at 8:45 A.M., so early for our flight back to Manila at 2:40 P.M.
The pictures below were taken while we were on board the ferry boat. They reveal much of the beauty of Surigao.
HOW TO GET THERE
BY AIR: Airphilippines flies daily from Surigao to Manila and vice-versa, and Surigao to Cebu and vice-versa every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Cebu Pacific likewise flies every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Surigao to Cebu and vice-versa. Cebu Pacific flies every Monday and Friday at 10:40 A.M. from Cebu and returning from Siargao (Sayak Airport) at 11:50 A.M. and vice versa.
BY LAND: Buses from Pasay City have trips going to Surigao several times a week via Lipata Ferry Terminal. Daily bus trips from Surigao City to Butuan, Cagayan de Oro City or Davao City are also available at regular intervals only up to Surigao City. Roro and ferry are available for Surigao City – Siargao Tirp.
BY SEA: Passenger boats direct from Manila and Cebu City are also available daily. And from Surigao City, passenger boats and Roro are available daily at 6:00 A.M. and 12:00 Noon via PPA Port for Roro at Boulevard Port.
Provincial Governor’s Office
Provincial Capitol, Surigao City
Tel. Nos. (086) 826-7778 Telefax (086) 826-0462
Provincial Tourism and Cultural Office
Provincial Capitol, Surigao City
Tel. Nos. (086) 232-6962 local 410; +639088963975
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org