Region XIII or the Caraga Administrative Region is the newest region created under Republic Act No. 7901 approved on February 23,1995. It consists of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Its cities are Surigao and Butuan.
It has a land area of 18,847 sq. kms. Butuan Bay and Surigao Strait surrounds it on the north, and the Philippine Sea on the east. On the South are the Davao provinces and Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon on the west.Its proximity to other growth areas such as the Cagayan - Iligan corridor and the Davao Gulf Economic Zone is an advantage.
In 2000, its population was 2,076,000 with an increase of 6.42% from its population of 1,942,687. In 1990, there were 947,199 (51%) and 912,982 females.
Majority of the inhabitants of the region are of Visayan lineage. The ethnic residents include the Manobo, the Mamanwa and other tribes.It is reported that during the early years of the Caraga region, its inhabitants came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Migrants from the Visayan and Luzon provinces later settled in the area. Most of its inhabitants speak the Cebuano dialect and reside in the rural areas.
The region in general has no definite dry season. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with heavy rains from November to January. Storms might occur on the northern and eastern portions facing the Pacific Ocean. The rest of the region are relatively typhoon-free.
Rich in natural resources, the region has large tracts of land available for development. The region is noted for its wood based economy, its extensive water resources and its rich mineral deposits such as iron, gold, silver, nickel, chromite, manganese and copper. Its leading crops are palay, banana and coconut. It has excellent tourism potentials because of its unspoiled and beautiful beaches, abundant and fresh seafood, ancient and historical landmarks, hot and cold springs, evergreen forests and balmy weather.
The entire region is connected by roads from and to the major commercial, trading and processing centers of Cagayan de Oro and Davao. Butuan City is being developed as the regional center with modern facilities. There are secondary seaports and airports in the region.
The "Kalagans", called "Caragans" by the Spaniards, occupied the district composed of the two provinces of Surigao, the northern part of Davao Oriental and eastern Misamis Oriental. The two Agusan provinces were later organized under the administrative jurisdiction of Surigao and became the independent Agusan province in 1914. In 1960, Surigao was divided into Norte and Sur, and in June 1967, Agusan followed suit.
While Butuan then was just a town of Agusan, the logging boom in the 1950s drew business to the area. On August 2, 1950, by virtue of Republic Act 523, the City Charter of Butuan was approved.
It is reported[by whom?] that during the early years of the Caraga region, its inhabitants came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Migrants from the Visayan and Luzon provinces later settled in the area. Most of its inhabitants speak Cebuano and reside in the rural areas.
Surigaonon is the primary language that is inherent to the region, is spoken by 33.21% of the households, followed by Butuanon by 15%; Kamayo, by 7.06%, and Manobo, by 4.73%. Cebuano is widely spoken by 33.79% of the households in the region. The rest speak Boholanon, by 5.87%; Hiligayon, by 2.87%; and other dialects by 7.20%. Surigaonon is a local Philippine language spoken in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur and some portion of Agusan del Norte especially in towns near Mainit Lake.
The 1995 census revealed that the dominant...