Before Tandag became a bustling city, it was first inhabited by the Manobos and the Mamanwas who lived along the river banks under the leadership of their chieftain, Suba. When the Spaniards introduced Christianity, Suba and his people were converted. After Legaspi’s final conquest to the Philippines particularly on 1609, the Spanish government sent missionaries to subdue the hostile natives. One of these missionaries was Fr. dela Vega who 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.
By 1650, Tandag became the capital town of Surigao of Caraga, then a district that covered the present provinces of Agusan, the two Surigaos and a part of Davao. As center of faith and capital town, Tandag was fortified with cottas which were erected sometime in the 18th century, within the northern part of the town and near the old cemetary at the western side. These fortifications served as a protection against the attacks of the Moro pirates. However, Tandag still didn’t escaped the attacks of these pirates where the town was almost destroyed.
It was through the Republic Act 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 June 23, 2007, Tandag became a city by virtue of RA 9293.
Population/ Language/ Area
As of 2010, Tandag reached the total population of 52,114.
The municipality of Tandag is located between the coordinates of 9.0833° N, 126.2000° E. It is bounded on the North by the municipalities of Cortes and Lanuza, on the West and South by the municipality of Tago, and, on the East by the Pacific Ocean. It consists of twenty-one (21) barangays. Six of which are urban barangays, five are coastal barangays, four are built-up expansion 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.
Products and Services
Farming and fishing are the main economic activity for most of the people in Tandag. Chief farm products are rice, corn, coconut, abaca, and cacao. Livestock and poultry raising are also important sources of income.
Even though Tandag has a smal population, it still offers great investment opportunities in medium-sized commercial complexes, hotels, resorts and amusement parks, food establishments, food processing, fish canning and deboning, clothing and fashion accessories, and demonstration farms.
- Tandag Boulevard – is best visited at night due to its clorful lamp posts, windy air and various stalls that offer Filipino street foods like fish balls, kwek-kwek, pork barbeque, isaw and lot more.
- Mabua Beach – is the main beach in the city where plenty of locals flock to especially during the Summer because of its accessibility.
- Goldbar Restaurant – this restaurant faces the Pacific Ocean. Some of the restaurant’s best-sellers include Crispy Pata, various seafood dishes like King Crab and Prawns and the classic Halo-Halo.
Festivals and Celebrations
- Diwatahan Festival – an annual event every 3rd Sunday of January in honor of Sr. Sto. Niño depicting the history. Customs and traditions of Tandaganons performed through dances and rituals. Usually participated and supported by the different sectores of Tandag City in celebration of peace, good health, prosperity and love.
- Summer Kite Festival – is celebrated 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.