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Philippine Islands

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Region XIII
Island Group Mindanao
Area 18,846.97 km²
- Total 2,293,480
- Density/km² 121.69
Provinces 5
Cities 6
Municipalities 67
Barangays 1,310
Location in the Philippines:


Region XIII or the Caraga Administrative Region is the newest region in the Philippines created under Republic Act No. 7901 on February 25, 1995. It is composed of four provinces: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. The regional center is Butuan City.

Caraga Region is situated in the northeast section of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Bohol Sea, on the south by the provinces of Davao, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental of Region XI, on the west by Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental of Region X, and on the east by the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The region occupies 6.3% of the country’s total land area and 18.5% of the island of Mindanao.

The word Caraga originated from the Visayan word Kalagan; kalag meaning soul or people. The region was called as the “Land of the Brave and Fierce People” by early chronicles because the region has a long history of being brave and fearless. The early inhabitants of the region came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Later on, migrants from the Visayas and Luzon provinces settled in the area.

Majority of the population of the region speaks Cebuano about 43.79%. Other dialects spoken are Surigaonon, Kamayo, Boholanon, Manobo, Butuanon and Hiligaynon. Caraga is home to several minority groups, representing 34.7% of the region’s population. The most numerous were the Manobos. The most dominant religion in the region is Roman Catholic, about 79% of the total household population. Caraga, in general, has no definite dry season. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with heavy rains from November to January. Typhoons might occur on the portion of the region facing the Pacific Ocean.

Caraga is considered as the richest region in terms of natural resources. It sits on 3.5 billion metric tons of metallic and non-metallic reserves. Thousands of hectares are planted with timber trees, oil, palm, abaca, banana, and other commodity crops. Its long stretch of shoreline promises abundance of fisheries and aquatic products.

Despite the richness of its natural resources, Caraga, ironically is one of the poorest regions in the Philippines. To urge economic development, the region adopted a strategy to enhance its competitive advantage and create an environment conducive to business growth.

Caraga has excellent tourism potentials because of its unspoiled and beautiful beaches, ancient and historical landmarks, hot and cold springs, evergreen forests and pleasant weather. While in the region, tourists can choose from a variety of activities, these includes surfing in Siargao, the reputed surfing capital of the Philippines, island-hopping, mountain-biking, trekking, scuba diving and caving.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Caraga are:

City/Municipality Province Area
in km²
Butuan City Agusan Del Norte 816.62 298,378 365.38
Surigao City Surigao Del Norte 245.30 132,151 538.73
City Of Bislig Surigao Del Sur 331.80 102,009 307.44
City Of Bayugan Agusan Del Sur 688.77 95,032 137.97
Prosperidad Agusan Del Sur 505.15 75,390 149.24
San Francisco Agusan Del Sur 392.53 62,881 160.19
City Of Cabadbaran Agusan Del Norte 214.44 61,564 287.09
Buenavista Agusan Del Norte 475.61 53,059 111.56
City Of Tandag Surigao Del Sur 291.73 50,459 172.96
Esperanza Agusan Del Sur 1,355.48 47,659 35.16

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