Component City
City of Tandag



Map of Surigao del Sur with Tandag City highlighted

Location within the Philippines

Coordinates: 09°04′N 126°11′E / 9.067°N 126.183°E / 9.067; 126.183Coordinates: 09°04′N 126°11′E / 9.067°N 126.183°E / 9.067; 126.183
Country Philippines
Region Caraga (Region XIII)
Province Surigao del Sur
Congr. districts 1st district of Surigao del Sur
Cityhood 23 June 2007
Barangays 21
  Mayor Alexander T. Pimentel
  Vice Mayor Ruel D. Momo
  Total 291.73 km2 (112.64 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2010)[3]
  Total 56,364
  Density 190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 8300
Dialing code 86
Income class 5th class
Website www.tandag.gov.ph

Tandag, officially the City of Tandag and often referred to as Tandag City, is a fifth income class city and the provincial capital of the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines, on the island of Mindanao. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 56,364 people.[4]

The city celebrates the "Diwatahan Festival" on the third week of January in honor of Señor Sto. Niño. It also celebrates "Araw ng Tandag" every September 10 showcasing the city's blissful achievements through the years.

Farming and fishing are the main economic activity for most of the people in Tandag. Chief farm products are rice, corn, and coconut. Livestock and poultry raising are also important sources of income. Tandag has a national secondary airport and a seaport.


Houses in Telaje near Capitol Road

Tandag City is located along the northeastern coast of Mindanao Island facing the Philippine Sea. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of Cortes and Lanuza, on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by the towns of Tago and San Miguel, and on the west by the province of Agusan del Sur. It is located 448 nautical miles from Manila and 150 nautical miles from Cebu. The distance from Surigao City in the north to Tandag is about 200 kilometres (120 mi) and 331 kilometres (206 mi) is the distance from Davao City to the south.

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.


The municipality falls under the Type II of climate in the country, which is characterized by rainfall distributed throughout the year, with a negligible short dry season.

Wet season is highly pronounced from September to February with an annual average rainfall of 458.94 millimetres (18.069 in) and an average temperature of 26.3 °C (79.3 °F). Dry months are from March to August.


Tandag is politically subdivided into 21 barangays.[2] Majority of the barangays are considered rural areas.

  • Awasian (Tandag Airport)
  • Bag-ong Lungsod (Poblacion)
  • Bioto
  • Bongtud (Poblacion)
  • Buenavista (includes Mahayag)
  • Dagocdoc (Poblacion)
  • Mabua (Poblacion)
  • Mabuhay
  • Maitum
  • Maticdum
  • Pandanon
  • Pangi
  • Quezon
  • Rosario
  • Salvacion
  • San Agustin Norte
  • San Agustin Sur a.k.a. Dawis
  • San Antonio
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • Telaje (Poblacion)



Many versions have been given regarding the name of Tandag. One such version said that Father Calan, Father Encarnacion and another priest were on their way to visit chieftain Suba to baptize his people. When one of the missionaries asked a native rowing their boat what name of the place was with fingers pointing downward, the native who naught the priest meant the school of fish, answered "tamda", meaning look down. This name later became Tandag. Father Encarnacion, the member of the group was later killed by the natives.

The other version says that when De la Vega landed in Tandag to subdue the ferocious Caragas as the rebellios natives were called then, he did not know the name of the place so he inquired from the native who was gathering the leaves of herbs locally known as tangad. The native who did not understand Spanish answered hesitantly "tangad". Later, the name was changed to Tandag.

Another story tells a group of Spanish soldiers and missionaries who lost their way. When they asked for correct direction, the natives who could not understand a word they said only laughed at them all while saying the word "tank", meaning lost. Thus the name Tandag aptly means lost.



Surigao del Sur Provincial Capitol, Tandag City
Population census of Tandag City
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 34,351    
1995 39,222+2.52%
2000 44,327+2.66%
2007 50,459+1.80%
2010 52,114+1.18%
2015 56,364+1.50%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][14][15]


Major languages spoken are Tandaganon (a language closely related to Surigaonon) and Cebuano (Mindanao variant). Filipino and English are widely used in schools, businesses and government offices.

Culture and festivals

Diwatahan Festival


Lamp posts in Boulevard, Tandag City
Provincial Capitol during Holiday Season

Other notable places of interests


City proper


By air

Bachelor Tours 402 Davao - Tandag with Wi-Fi onboard

By land

By sea



Basic Education

3rd Year department grounds of Jacinto P. Elpa National High School (JPENHS) with the Principal's Office going to the left and the Main Library going to the right.



Sister city


  1. "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Province: SURIGAO DEL SUR". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  4. https://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-philippine-population-2015-census-population
  5. Virginia Hansen Holmes, Guerrilla Daughter (Kent, Ohio: Kent State U. Press, 2009), pp. 127, 168.
  6. Kent Holmes, Wendell Fertig and His Guerrilla Forces in the Philippines: Fighting the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2015), p. 72.
  7. Republic Act No. 9392 of 15 March 2007 Charter of the City of Tandag
  8. G.R. No. 176951 et al. (First appeal) of 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.
  9. Napallacan, Jhunex (2008-11-21). "Cities' demotion worries DepEd execs". Cebu Daily News. Inquirer.net. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  10. G.R. No. 176951 et al. (First reversal) of 21 December 2009
  11. 1 2 Republic Act No. 9009 of 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.
  12. 1 2 G.R. No. 176951 et al. (Second appeal) of 15 February 2011 League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC
  13. G.R. No. 176951 et al. (Final Resolution) of 28 June 2011 Supreme Court has directed the Clerk of Court to forthwith issue the Entry of Judgment
  14. "Province of Surigao Del Sur". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  15. https://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-philippine-population-2015-census-population
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