Province Foundation Day in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur Date in the current year: June 19, 2024

Province Foundation Day in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur The Philippine provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur celebrate their respective foundation anniversaries, Surigao del Norte Day (Araw ng Surigao del Norte) and Surigao del Sur Day (Araw ng Surigao del Sur), on the same date, June 19, because they were created by splitting the province of Surigao in half.

Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur are provinces in the Philippines situated in the Caraga region of Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. Until 1960, they were a single province named Surigao. The etymology of this name is unclear. According to one theory, it derives from the word suligao, which means “spring water”, likely a reference to the Surigao River. Another theory suggests it derives from the Visayan word suyogao or surogao, which means “water current”. Either way, the name has something to do with water.

The first Europeans to set foot in the area were members of the Magellan expedition in 1522. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos attempted to conquer the region in 1543, but failed because of the natives’ resistance. Jesuit missionaries visited the area in 1597, but didn’t succeed in converting many locals.

The conquest of the region began in earnest in 1609, when the Spanish launched a full-fledged expedition and created the district of Carago, named after the Kalagan people that made up the majority of its population. It comprised the present-day provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands, the eastern part of Misamis Oriental, and the northern part of Davao Oriental. The Augustinian Recollect missionaries established a permanent mission in Surigao in 1622.

In 1860, the Spanish established six military districts in Mindanao. The third district, named the East District, comprised the areas of the present-day provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur. In 1870, the East District was renamed the District of Surigao.

During the Philippine Revolution, the Spanish governor of Surigao peacefully turned over his authority to the provisional Philippine government, and Spaniards left the district by December 24, 1898. Over the next couple of years, Surigao was engulfed in a rivalry between two Filipino military commanders. The defeat of the Philippines in the Philippine-American War and subsequent American occupation put an end to this rivalry.

The American administration of the Philippines officially created the province of Surigao on May 15, 1901. In 1907, parts of the provinces of Surigao and Misamis were split to create the province of Agusan. During World War II Surigao, along with the rest of the Philippines, was occupied by the Japanese Empire.

On June 19, 1960, the Congress passed Republic Act No. 2768, dividing the province of Surigao into two provinces, Surigao del Norte with the capital in Surigao City and Surigao del Sur with the capital in Tandag. The Act went into effect on September 18, 1960, but both provinces celebrate the anniversary of its passing as their founding anniversary.

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Surigao del Norte Day, Surigao del Sur Day, foundation anniversaries, regional holidays, holidays in the Philippines