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Cabadbaran, officially the City of Cabadbaran, (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Cabadbaran), or simply known as Cabadbaran City, is a 6th class city and capital of the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 73,639 people.[3]

City of Cabadbaran
Panorama view of Puting Bato
Skyline of Cabadbaran
Cabadbaran Plaza
Panorama view of Puting Bato, Skyline of Cabadbaran, and Cabadbaran Plaza.
Official seal of Cabadbaran
City of Golden Hearts
Map of Agusan del Norte with Cabadbaran highlighted
Map of Agusan del Norte with Cabadbaran highlighted
Cabadbaran is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°07′N 125°32′E / 9.12°N 125.53°E / 9.12; 125.53Coordinates: 9°07′N 125°32′E / 9.12°N 125.53°E / 9.12; 125.53
Country Philippines
RegionCaraga (Region XIII)
ProvinceAgusan del Norte
District2nd District
Barangays31 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorJudy Amante
 • Vice MayorRey Jamboy
 • Electorate43,153 voters (2016)
 • Total214.44 km2 (82.80 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total73,639
 • Density340/km2 (890/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)85
Climate typeTropical rainforest climate
Income class6th city income class
Revenue (₱)505.2 million  (2016)
Native languagesCebuano, Agusan, Higaonon, Mamanwa, Surigaonon

Founded in 1894, the city rose from its Spanish period beginnings to become the premier town of Agusan del Norte. Its rich cultural heritage is evident in its preserved colonial period houses and its archaeological collections.

On August 16, 2000, the seat of provincial government was transferred from Butuan to Cabadbaran through Republic Act 8811,[4] although the provincial government still holds office in Butuan City, pending the actual transfer of provincial offices to the new capital. Cabadbaran was officially declared a city in 2007.



Cabadbaran lies 9 degrees north latitude and 125 degrees and 30 minutes east longitude in the northeastern part of Mindanao. Its boundaries are Tubay and Santiago to the north, Butuan Bay to the west, Magallanes and R. T. Romualdez to the south, and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur to the east. It is 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Butuan. It is generally flat with rolling hills and swamplands in its western part. The highest of all mountains in the Caraga region, Mount Hilong-Hilong (with an altitude of 2,012 metres (6,601 ft) above sea level), rises in this city.


Cabadbaran is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.

Barangay map of Cabadbaran City
  • Antonio Luna (1,208)
  • Bay-ang (1,368)
  • Bayabas (1,329)
  • Caasinan (1,543)
  • Cabinet (1,965)
  • Calamba (2,684)
  • Calibunan (3,919)
  • Comagascas (3,907)
  • Concepcion (1,114)
  • Del Pilar (5,967)
  • Katugasan (1,508)
  • Kauswagan (2,902)
  • La Union (6,530)
  • Mabini (5,875)
  • Mahaba (1,450)
  • Poblacion 1 - Jose Rizal (872)
  • Poblacion 2 - Sampaguita (599)
  • Poblacion 3 - Snra. Candelaria (2,124)
  • Poblacion 4 - Perpetual Succor (1,731)
  • Poblacion 5 - A. Bonifacio (911)
  • Poblacion 6 (1,368)
  • Poblacion 7 (2,301)
  • Poblacion 8 - Cadena de Amor (385)
  • Poblacion 9 (3,841)
  • Poblacion 10 - Mango (364)
  • Poblacion 11 - Santan (561)
  • Poblacion 12 - Sunflower (2,263)
  • Puting Bato (2,710)
  • Sanghan (2,926)
  • Soriano (1,979)
  • Tolosa (5,435)


The city belongs to the Second Climatic Type of the Corona Classification. No definite dry season in the place and maximum rainfall occurs from October to January. The average rainfall is 171.29 millimetres (6.744 in) per month, average annual temperature 28 °C (82 °F).


Spanish periodEdit

Traces of 12th century villages can be found near the waterways that pass through the territory of Cabadbaran. No records are found before the Spanish colonization except for a site in Sanghan where Chinese ceramics from 15th to 16th century were found.

Cabadbaran was first mentioned by the Spanish as a small village chosen by the Spanish authorities to be turned into a reduction called "La Reunion de Cabarbaran" in 1867. The reduction was mostly populated by people from Southern Agusan. Then in 1879, the reduction was disbanded. The inhabitants of the reduction went back to their places of origin while the remaining migrated to Tubay.

In 1880-1881, the reduction was revived by Father Saturnino Urios, but was named Tolosa to honor Father Urios' hometown in Spain. In 1880, Tolosa was headed by the Teniente del Barrio Don Eduardo Curato. He petitioned to the Spanish authorities for the township application of Tolosa to be approved. In January 31, 1894, the petition was approved. The population and the economy grew, which was driven by agriculture and commerce. But the growth suddenly came to a halt when the revolution against Spain started. No significant turmoil affected the city until the coming of the American forces in 1901.[5]

American periodEdit

When the Americans arrived, Spanish forces were forced to surrender. Included with them was Capt. Andres Atega. Under the Americans, the town was called again as Cabadbaran (according to Don Andres Atega's proposal).

In 1903, the public education system was established with George Bohner as the first American teacher. Public health also improved when Dr. Pedro Malbas was appointed as the Public Health Officer in the 1920s and constructed sanitary toilets, deep wells and drainage canals. Public infrastructure was also improved by the Americans.

Then in the 1935 Constitutional Convention, Apolonio "Oyok" Curato, a lawyer, represented Agusan. He then became the Governor and Congressman of the province of Agusan.

The local economy grew when it started producing abaca from coconut plantations established by the Americans. Rice was also grown and remained as staple crop grown in the fields up to this day. The Agusan-Surigao road opened in the 1930s and several bus lines started public service along this route.[5]

World War IIEdit

Cabadbaran had been occupied at one time by those resisting the Japanese occupation of Mindanao.[6] Eventually the Japanese occupied it. On January 17, 1945, combined American and Filipino troops including recognized guerrillas fought a force of Japanese troops on the road between Cabadbaran and Butuan. The Japanese were in the process of reinforcing their garrison at Butuan. The guerrillas retreated when Japanese reinforcements arrived. The guerrillas also had depleted their ammunition.[7]

On March 31, 1945, Major Juan Rivera and a guerrilla detachment attacked the Japanese at Cabadbaran; the Japanese abandoned the post after an hour-long battle.[8]

The general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary was active on 1945 to 1946 in Cabadbaran during and aftermath of World War II.


During the 11th Congress (1998–2001), Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33 municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on a further 24 bills converting 24 other municipalities into cities.

During the 12th Congress (2001–2004), Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 9009 (RA 9009), which took effect on 30 June 2001. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from ₱20 million to ₱100 million. The rationale for the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, "the mad rush" of municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the Internal Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are incapable of fiscal independence.

After RA 9009 went into effect, the House of Representatives of the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from the ₱100 million income requirement in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress ended without the Senate having approved Joint Resolution No. 29.

During the 13th Congress (2004–2007), the House of Representatives re-adopted former Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the Senate for approval. However, the Senate again failed to approve the Joint Resolution. Following the suggestion of Senator Aquilino Pimentel (Senate President), 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills each contained a common provision exempting it from the ₱100 million income requirement of RA 9009 –

Exemption from Republic Act No. 9009. — The City of x x x shall be exempted from the income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009.

On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February 2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June 2007. These cityhood bills lapsed into law on various dates from March to July 2007 after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo failed to sign them.

The point of law at issue in 2007 was whether there had been a breach of Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, which provides –

No province, city, municipality, or barangay shall be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.

– and in each case the established criteria were far from met.

In November 2008, Cabadbaran and 15 other cities lost their cityhood after the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted a petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared unconstitutional the cityhood law (RA 9434) which had allowed the town to acquire its city status.[9] The Supreme Court ruled that they did not pass the requirements for cityhood.[10][11]

On 10 December 2008, the 16 cities affected acting together filed a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court. More than a year later, on 22 December 2009, acting on said appeal, the Court reversed its earlier ruling as it ruled that "at the end of the day, the passage of the amendatory law" (regarding the criteria for cityhood as set by Congress) "is no different from the enactment of a law, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting law/s, effectively decreased the already codified indicators."[12] Accordingly cityhood status was restored.

But on 27 August 2010, the 16 cities lost their city status again, after the Supreme Court voted 7-6, with two justices not taking part, to reinstate the 2008 decision declaring as "unconstitutional" the Republic Acts that converted the 16 municipalities into cities. A previous law required towns aspiring to become cities to earn at least ₱100 million annually, which none of the 16 did.[13]

On 15 February 2011, the Supreme Court made another volte-face and upheld for the third time the cityhood of 16 towns in the Philippines.[14]

Finally, on 12 April 2011, the Supreme Court, in an en banc ruling delivered in Baguio City, affirmed the finality of the constitutionality of the 16 cityhood laws by resolving that:

We should not ever lose sight of the fact that the 16 cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but have also complied with the requirements of the LGC prescribed prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9009.[13] Congress undeniably gave these cities all the considerations that justice and fair play demanded. Hence, this Court should do no less by stamping its imprimatur to the clear and unmistakable legislative intent and by duly recognizing the certain collective wisdom of Congress. WHEREFORE, the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011) is denied with finality.[14]

On 28 June 2011 the Supreme Court directed the Clerk of Court to issue the entry of judgment on the cityhood case of 16 municipalities.[15]


YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 2,737—    
1918 10,921+9.66%
1939 20,254+2.98%
1948 18,886−0.77%
1960 26,216+2.77%
1970 34,729+2.85%
1975 36,770+1.15%
1980 42,695+3.03%
1990 46,370+0.83%
1995 51,905+2.14%
2000 55,006+1.25%
2007 61,564+1.57%
2010 69,241+4.37%
2015 73,639+1.18%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][16][17][18]


The Baug Carp Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCBMPC) Cabadbaran Branch

Cabadbaran produces several agricultural crops such as rice, corn, coconut, abaca, banana, and mango. The city has the biggest area planted with coconuts in Agusan del Norte with 18.46% of the total land area planted with the crop.

The Cabadbaran also has a booming economy based on agro industry, commerce and trade, source of several export and industrial products; it has also varied ecotourism destinations ranging from Caraga's highest peak, mile long tunnels to adventure tourism sites.


Like the popular destinations situated on neighboring provinces, Cabadbaran experiences a growing ecotourism industry. Annual climbs to reach CARAGA's highest peak Mt. Hilong-Hilong (2,012 meters above sea level) has been organized by trekkers and mountaineers, there are also organized climbs to Mt. Mas-ai, a plateau located in Puting Bato which has a mountain top lake. Locals have also put up white water tubing adventures along Cabadbaran River including rappelling at some of the steep falls located at the foot of Mt. Hilong-hilong. Mt. Pongkay, which is a hill that can be seen from the city proper, can be a great destination for families who wants to experience the value of the Holy Week's penance and devotion. It is also a destination for mountain climbers and for those people who wants to see the panoramic view of Agusan del Norte and Butuan Bay.

Cabadbaran also has cheap inland pools by local residents that is an alternative to inland resorts. Many of these pools have sprouted through the years because of Cabadbaran's abundant fresh water which the city is known for. The city is also a beach destination for people from neighboring municipalities because of its crystal clear water and gray sandy beaches. The city has multiple hotels as well like Loreta's, Gazebo, and Casa Alburo.

Although Cabadbaran does not yet have any mainstream fast food restaurants, the city has various restaurants that offers Filipino, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine, an alternative to people who wants to have their fine dining locally than in the neighboring Butuan City.

Festivals and celebrationsEdit

Dagkot Festival
  • Charter Day Celebration - held annually every July 28 to commemorate the cityhood of Cabadbaran.
  • Dagkot Festival - It is the sole important event during the fiesta celebration of Cabadbaran City. The weeklong festivity features socio-civic activities, sporting events, trade fairs and capped by a grand street dancing parade and competition to celebrate the historic past and the bright future that awaits the city also in honor of Nuestra Seniora de Candelaria.
  • Musikainan Food and Music Festival - It is a celebrational tribute to the city's "culture and history as well as the local's cooking tradition".[19]


The entirety of Cabadbaran speaks Cebuano. There are also significant number of people who speak Surigaonon, for these people have lived or have ancestries from the northern municipalities and speak in a variety of the Jabonganon, Mainitnon and Gigaquitnon dialects of the Surigaonon language. Hiligaynon, Waray, Manobo languages, Butuanon, Boholano dialect, and Maranao have also less significant speakers in the area while English and Filipino are also widely used spoken.


Cabadbaran City Hall

Provincial Seat of GovernmentEdit

After the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte attain the reclassification of their land conducted by the Dept. of Agriculture (DA) in Brgy. Sanghan, Cabadbaran City where the new Capitol building will be constructed, the land conversion by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will soon follow. It will feature a modern design, including an employees village at the back of the new building intended for the provincial employees.

List of mayorsEdit

The list of mayors that took office in Cabadbaran starting in 1896.[20]

Name Year of Term
Eduardo M. Curato* 1896-1902
Luis L. Cabrera 1904-1905
Mariano Alaan 1906-1908
Antonio C. Dagani 1908-1909
Adolfo C. Mortola 1910-1911
Fabian B. Monteroso 1912-1913
Angel M. Manlapaz 1917-1919
Saturnino D. Curato 1919-1924
Fidel C. Dagani 1925-1928
Fabian D. Mora 1928-1931;1938-1940
Jose Baylin 1932-1934
Servano S. Jongko 1935-1936
Regino J. Batitang 1936-1938
Felixberto C. Dagani 1941-1951;1963-1985
Alejo P. Rabuya 1946
Leonardo R. Corvera 1951
Teofilo D. Curato 1952-1959
Julio Carlon 1959-1960
Basilisa Atega-Kittilstvedt 1960-1963
Bienvenido C. Milan 1963
Alan M. Famador 1985-1986
Abelardo M. Carloto 1986-1992
Ernie M. Ceniza 1987
Rosario M. Amante 1992-2001
Herman M. Libarnes 2001-2007
Dale B. Covera** 2007-2016
Katrina Marie O. Mortola 2016–2019
Judy Amante 2019–present
*The first municipal mayor.

**The first city mayor.


By landEdit

Cabadbaran city is accessible by bus from Bachelor Express or Surigao Bus via Butuan-Surigao routes or vice versa. There are also vans, jeep and multi-cabs that have routes towards both Surigao City and Butuan City which are stationed in the City Transport Terminal.

By air and seaEdit

Currently the city has no sea and airports. Cabadbaran can be reached by air from Manila and Cebu via Butuan City which is 30 kilometers away. From the Visayas, it can be accessed via the Nasipit Municipal Port in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte (60 km) or via the Lipata Port and Verano International Port both in Surigao City (79 km) through the Maharlika Highway


Public SchoolsEdit

  • Alfonso B. Dagani Elementary School
  • Antonio Luna Elementary School
  • Bay-ang Elementary School
  • Bayabas Elementary School
  • Caasinan Elementary School
  • Cabadbaran South Central Elementary School
  • Cabinet Elementary School
  • Calamba Elementary School
  • Calamba National High School
  • Calibunan Elementary School
  • Comagascas Elementary School
  • Concepcion Elementary School
  • Del Pilar Elementary School
  • Del Pilar National High School
  • Katugasan Elementary School
  • Francisco C. Jongko Elementary School
  • La Union Elementary School
  • Lusong Elementary School
  • Mahaba Elementary School
  • North Cabadbaran Central Elementary School
  • Pirada Elementary School
  • Puting Bato Elementary School
  • Sanghan Elementary School
  • Soriano Elementary School
  • Antonio C. Dagani Central Elementary School
  • Cabadbaran City National High School
  • La Union National High School
  • NORCACES Integrated School (Evening Opportunity High School)

Private SchoolsEdit

  • Agape Christian Academy
  • Bishop Haden Institute
  • Cabadbaran Baptist Academy
  • Candelaria Institute of Technology of Cabadbaran Inc.
  • Mindanao Institute

Colleges and UniversitiesEdit

Notable PeopleEdit

Sister citiesEdit


  1. ^ "City". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Province: Agusan del Norte". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2015). "Caraga". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Republic Act No. 8811; An Act Transferring the Capital and Seat of Government of the Province of Agusan del Norte from Butuan City to the Municipality of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte" (PDF). Congress of the Philippines (official website). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b "History of Cabadbaran". Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  6. ^ Virginia Hansen Holmes, Guerrilla Daughter (Kent, Ohio: Kent State U. Press, 2009), p. 73.
  7. ^ Kent Holmes, Wendell Fertig and His Guerrilla Forces in the Philippines: Fighting the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2015), pp. 116-7.
  8. ^ Kent Holmes, p. 119.
  9. ^ Republic Act No. 9434 (12 April 2007), Charter of the City of Cabadbaran
  10. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (18 November 2008), Consolidated petitions for prohibition assailing the constitutionality of the subject Cityhood Laws and enjoining the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and respondent municipalities from conducting plebiscites pursuant to the Cityhood Laws. (First appeal)
  11. ^ Napallacan, Jhunex (2008-11-21). "Cities' demotion worries DepEd execs". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  12. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (21 December 2009), League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (First reversal)
  13. ^ a b Republic Act No. 9009 (24 February 2001), An Act amending section 450 of Republic Act no. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, by increasing the average annual income requirement for a municipality or cluster of barangays to be converted into a component city.
  14. ^ a b G.R. No. 176951; et al. (15 February 2011), League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (Second appeal)
  15. ^ G.R. No. 176951; et al. (28 June 2011), Supreme Court has directed the Clerk of Court to forthwith issue the Entry of Judgment (Final Resolution)
  16. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Caraga". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  17. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Caraga". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  18. ^ "Province of Agusan del Norte". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Musikainan". Retrieved 2016-06-10.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Cabadbaran Mayors". Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved 2016-06-10.

External linksEdit