Coordinates: 8°12′47.29″N 126°18′57.38″E / 8.2131361°N 126.3159389°E / 8.2131361; 126.3159389

City of Bislig
Dakbayan sa Bislig

Nickname(s): The Booming City on the Bay
Map of Surigao del Sur showing the location of Bislig City
Country Philippines
Region CARAGA (Region XIII)
Province Surigao del Sur
Districts 2nd district of Surigao del Sur
Barangays 24
Incorporated (town) 1921
Incorporated (city) 18 September 2000
 – Mayor Librado Navarro
 – Vice Mayor Conrad Cejoco
 – Total 488.86 km2 (188.7 sq mi)
Elevation 25 m (82 ft)
Population (2007)
 – Total 106,960
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 8311
Area code(s) 086

Bislig City is a 3rd class city in the province of Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines. Bislig is approximately 208 kilometers northeast of Davao City, 152 kilometers south of Tandag City (the provincial capital) and 158 southeast of Butuan City. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 107,960 people in 18,269 households.

Barangay Mangagoy is the center of trade and industry of the city which has a population of 60,000. It houses national and local banks. Telecommunication such as Internet, cellular phones, cable televisions and leased data lines are well-available in the vicinity of Mangagoy. There are also accommodating inns and hotels, as well as motorized tricycles, jeepneys, and buses ply its concrete roads and highways.

Bislig was the home of the defunct company PICOP Resources, Inc., which was the largest paper mill in Asia and one of the largest in the world. Its concession is a sanctuary of the Philippine Eagle. The permanent shutdown was officially ruled on mid-2008.

A local dialect, called Kamayo is sometimes used by the residents, though they usually use the more general Visayan language of the region.

In 2000, Bislig was converted into a city per Republic Act 8804.[1] It is the easternmost city in the Philippines in terms of geographical location.



Bislig has a rich recorded past, dating back to the dawn of civilization in this part of Mindanao. It has had its rich, turbulent and bloody episodes, but dynamic transition has led to its present social, economic, physical and political structure.

The legendary allusions as to how Bislig got its name date back to the era prior to the coming of the Spanish conquistadors. The town got its name from a forest vine of the rattan family that grew in abundance along the banks of its rivers. This vine was noted for its strength and became known for saving a royal couple who crossed the swollen river in one of their hunting expeditions and who almost died as they were carried downstream by the rushing current. The legend has it that these hunters had already lost hope of surviving until they were able to cling to a vine which was about 1/4 inch in diameter called Bislig. As a sign of thanksgiving, the ruler named this place Bislig.

Historically, Bislig derived its name from the word “bizlin”, a kind of gold, “which is worth two pesos a tael. The weight of a tael is one and one-eight ounces” in the 16th century, which the natives used for trade and barter. Prior to the coming of Spaniards, this terminology was understood in Luzon and in Mindanao. In the report of the Administrator of Royal Properties Andres Mirandaola dated 8 September 1573 sent to King Philip of Spain that “much gold found in the island of Mindanao, District of Butuan, Surigao …” It is believed that this kind of gold found in the rolling hills and mountains of the southernmost portion of Bislig and Agusan Province.

However, historical records shows that the name has been variously spelled by the Spanish chroniclers. Conquistador Miguel de Loarca, in his extreme exploratory survey trip of the archipelago, first mentioned and spelled it "Beslin" in his historical accounts “Relacion de los Yslas Filipinas” in 1582, as well as in the Confirmaciones de Encomienda (1616–1700) which Bislig was under the encomienda of Alferez Juan delas Marianas in 1619. In the “Historia general de los religiosos descalzos del orden de San Agustin” of Fray Andres de San Nicolas in 1664 spelled it "Bislin" and also in the “Historia general… del Orden de San Agustin” of Fray Luis de Jesus in 1681. A Franciscan writer, Fray Juan de San Francisco de San Antonio spelled it "Baslig" in his “Cronicas” in 1738. Other Spanish chroniclers spelled it "Bislic" and "Bisliq".

In the first detailed map of the Philippines in 1749, published in “Historia de la Provincia de Filipinas” by a Jesuit, Father Pedro Murillo Velarde spelled it Bislig, as did in the “Historia General …” of Fray Pedro San Francisco de Assis in 1768 and in the “Mapa dela Provincia de Caraga” by Francisco Alegre in 1751. A complete statistical data of District of Caraga compiled in 1750 spelled as "Bislig", and also in the document titled “Provincia de San Nicolas de Tolentino de Agustinos descalzos dela Congregacion de España y Indias” in 1879.

From the time on, it is known and spelled as Bislig.


The first inhabitants of Bislig were believed to have come from the Agusan Valley in the hinterlands of Mindanao beyond the Magdiwata Mountains. These people used spears, bows and arrows and lived a semi-nomadic life and were called Manobos.

They were ruled during the later part of the seventeenth century by a native leader called "Bagani", meaning a formidable leader. They were very brave, tough and war-like. They also introduced edible crops such as rice, corn and rootcrops to the area.

At the turn of the century, Spanish Colonizers and Missionaries imposed the rule of Spain and brought with them Tagalogs, Ilonggos, and Visayans from the North as members of their expeditionary forces.

Long before it became a town on 1 January 1921 per Executive Order No. 62 issued by Governor General Francis Burton Harrison on 28 December 1920 with Primitivo A. Castillo as its first Municipal President, Vice-President: Sulpicio P. Laurente & Councilors: Ciriaco Alba; Bartolome Alvar; Higino Basañez; Escolastico Carmen; Tomas Masancay; Basilio Dua; Macario Tenchavez. Bislig was already an established political instrumentality or "pueblo" in the Province of Surigao (now Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte). Earlier, the province was a part of an even bigger territory stretching from Northeastern Mindanao down to the island's Southeastern "pueblo" of Caraga and Man-ay in Davao Oriental. Caraga was originally the seat of political, military and religious authority.

Since then efforts were made to improve and develop Bislig until the advent of Citihood campaign in 1999 and by virtue of Republic Act No. 8804 Bislig was converted into a component city duly ratified and approved in a plebiscite conducted in 18 September 2000.

Geography and Culture


Type II Climate characterized by no dry season and with a very pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January. The City enjoys steady weather condition being outside the typhoon belt.


  • Charter Day Celebration
    • Every September 18, the city celebrate its cityhood.
  • Karawasan Festival
    • As part of the Charter Day Celebration, a dream come true for the City Government of Bislig. Karawasan is a festival of ethnic dances depicting the movement of crabs. Karawasan is actually a collective name given to the member of the crab family found to be great in the salty and freshwater of Bislig. The lavishness of such local marine resource has, in fact, made Bislig City known to other places in the country.
  • Mangagoy Fiesta
    • Celebrated every July 19, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul.
  • Sinulog Festival
    • Celebrated every third Sunday of January during the feast of Sto. Niño.
  • Kawadang Festival


Bislig's main tourist attraction is the Tinuy-an Falls, known as the "Niagara Falls" of the Philippines. It is a white water curtain that flows in three levels about 55 meters high. Its critically acclaimed majestic and unique natural formation was once appeared in the International Travel Magazine. Tinuy-an falls is the biggest fall in Mindanao.

A Philippine Eagle found in the city's wild sanctuary

Other known tourist attractions include the white-sand beaches of Hagonoy Island; the Lawigan Beach which faces and considered a part of the Pacific Ocean; the underground river of the Hinayagan Cave; the Togonan Cold Spring which is a 30-minute ride a far from the city proper; the wild sanctuary of the Forester's Park; the wide range waters of the Mone River or the Lake 77 which offers a boat ride tour and a floating cottage for picnic and fishing; and the Florland Highland Resort at Brgy. San Vicente.

Bislig hosts the annual festival called "The Karawasan Festival" during the charter day of the city which features an inter-school ethnic dance competition. Karawasan came from a local dialect which means "movement of the crabs". Karawasan is held every 17th day of September.


Currently, the city is developing a sea port at Barangay Lawigan and Caramcam District in Barangay Mangagoy for the increasing demand of people travelling to other provinces. The concrete runway of the commercial airport can accommodate light commercial planes of the Fokker 50 class, though today the airport is only used for the occasional private plane.

The recent grand winner of Pilipinas Got Talent season 2 (2011) by ABS CBN, Marcelito PoMoy , has given global recognition to Bislig City.


Air travel

Land travel

  • From Davao: Air-conditioned vans may be hired for a 5-hour trip to Bislig City at reasonable rates located in the Ecoland Bus Terminal. Regular trips of Bachelor Express aircon and non-aircon buses also ply the Davao-Bislig route as early as 2:00 a.m. daily.
  • From Butuan: Air-conditioned vans may be hired for a 3-hour trip to Bislig City at reasonable rates located in the City Bus Terminal. Regular trips of Bachelor Express air-con and non-aircon buses also ply the Butuan route as early as 2:00 a.m. daily.

Sea travel

  • Inter-island vessels like the SuperFerry and Sulpicio Lines ply the Manila-Butuan or Cebu-Butuan routes on regular schedules with Nasipit Port as transit point. Air-con vans are available at the wharf and in the Nasipit terminal or a jeepney ride to the Butuan City terminal for the regular bus trips to Bislig.


Some notable and known infrastructures in the city:

Major commercial centers

  • Tony's Super Store
  • G-Mar Commercial Center (Espiritu Street)
  • G-Mar Commercial Center (Barreda Street)
  • Bayalas Commercial Center
  • Estrella Bowling Lane Center and Grocery Store
  • NOVO Jeans and Shirts

Fast food and restaurants

  • G-mar's Fast Food
  • Zam's Food and Fudge
  • Highland Function Farm
  • Dan's Grill
  • Jykhies Chinese Cuisine
  • JM Star
  • KrooKroo Restobar
  • Chicken Inato
  • Nang Titay's Kamayan and Restaurant
  • Whammy Burger
  • Tfanny's Cafe & Restaurant


  • Andres Soriano Memorial Hospital Cooperative, Inc. (Private)
  • Family Medical Clinic - Hospital (a.k.a. Babano Hospital) (Private)
  • Bislig District Hospital
  • Saint Vincent de Paul College General & Maternity Hospital

Banking institutions

  • Philippine National Bank (PNB)
  • Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)
  • Green Bank of Caraga
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)
  • Cooperative Bank of Surigao del Sur
  • Cantilan Bank
  • People's Bank
  • Enterprise Bank
  • Quedancor
  • Rural Bank
  • Bank of the Philippines Island (BPI) (under construction)

Hotels, lodges and inns

  • Pension La Salle
  • Paper Country Inn
  • Hotel One Eleven
  • Shielah's Pension House
  • Casa de Babano
  • St. Francis Pension House (Melasa)
  • Salud Villa Resort
  • Bislig Town House
  • Jen-Jen Lodge
  • Florland Ventures
  • Rainbow Lodge
  • Sleep Inn
  • Violy’s Pension House and Restaurant
  • Yolanda Inn


Private schools:

  • De La Salle John Bosco College
  • Southern Technological Institute of the Philippines
  • Andres Soriano College
  • St. Vincent de Paul Diocesan College
  • Recaredo Castillo College
  • Mangagoy Free Beneficial Pre-school (MFBP)

Public schools:

  • Elementary
    • Mangagoy District I – 6 schools
    • Mangagoy District II – 8 Schools
    • Bislig District I – 11 schools
    • Bislig District II – 24 schools
  • Secondary
    • Mangagoy National High School
    • Bislig City National High School
    • Lawigan National High School
    • Tabon M. Estrella National High School
    • Maharlika National High School
    • Mone National High School
    • San Jose National High School
  • Tertiary
    • University of Southeastern Philippines (satellite campus of USEP in Davao City)

Other media and telecommunications

Telephone lines in Bislig are connected through PLDT, PhilCom and Globelines. Mobile communications are provided by Smart, Talk 'N Text, Sun Cellular, Globe, TM and Sun Cellular.

Bislig City's cable and TV satellite providers are:

While the city's Internet Service Providers are:

  • Smart Broadband
  • Globelines Internet
  • PhilCom DSL and Auto-Access

It has also five local FM radio stations and one AM station:

  • 91.7 Radyo Natin
  • 93.9 SMILE FM
  • 99.3 WOW FM
  • 101.7 REAL RADIO
  • 101.6 KISAW FM
  • DXBL 801 Sunshine Radio


Bislig City is politically subdivided into 24 barangays.

  • Bucto
  • Burboanan
  • Caguyao
  • Coleto
  • Cumawas
  • Kahayag
  • Labisma
  • Lawigan
  • Maharlika
  • Mangagoy (City Downtown)
  • Mone
  • Pamanlinan
  • Pamaypayan
  • Poblacion (Bislig Proper – Seat of the City Government)
  • San Antonio
  • San Fernando
  • San Isidro (Bagnan)
  • San Jose
  • San Roque (Cadanglasan)
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Cruz
  • Sibaroy
  • Tabon
  • Tumanan


External links

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