Agusan del Sur – Land of Golden Opportunities

Agusan del Sur known also as “Land of Golden Opportunities” is one of the Philippine’s largest provinces – the 4th largest province in the country and the largest province in Caraga Region. The other provinces of Caraga are Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and the newly-created Dinagat Islands.

The province is subdivided into 13 municipalities and a one newly-declared city. The place is abundant with natural resources that are mainly consists of agricultural lands, marsh lands and vast forests. Until now, it serves as the main agro-processing center and a perfect tourist destination for those nature lovers who love mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, springs, and waterfalls.

If you want to know more about Agusan del Sur, you can simply use this article as your guide. This will help you understand the different cultures, discover tourist destinations and other information about the province.

The Place, Its Land Area and Population

caragamap agusan del surAgusan del Sur is said to be the home of ethnics and is indulged with various cultures. The province is dominated by five group of peoples who were early settlers and these are the Mamanwa, Bagobo, Aeta, Manobo and Higaonon.

It primarily consists of 896,550 hectares of flourishing forests that gives best supply of oxygen. Its four big municipalities such as Loreto, La Paz, Esperanza and San Luis occupy 60% of land area, while the rest includes Bunawan, Prosperidad, Rosario, San Francisco, Sta. Josefa, Sibagat, Talacogon, Trento, Veruela and Bayugan City get the remaining 40% of the province.

Disposable and alienable land represents 24% of the total land area while 76% are forestlands. Moreover, the commercial and settlement areas already occupy several forestlands.

In addition, the Agusan River also flows unreservedly. It is the reason why it is called as Agusan. The word “Agusan” came from the term “agasan”, it simply means “where the water flows”.

When it comes to the cultural history, it is mainly influenced through Madjapahit Empire. This can be outlined through various discoveries including the pure gold old icon of a certain woman called Golden Tara. At present, the province has total inhabitants of 559,294 and with annual growth rate of 1.79%.

Economy

With regards to the economy of the province, workers in Agusan del Sur usually engaged in forestry and agriculture. One of its main agricultural crops is the fruits, rice and corn. Similar to other provinces, rice occupies the biggest cultivated area having 243.85 kilometers in irrigated rice land. On the other hand, the area dependent on rainfall has 163.73 kilometers. As estimated, the production of rice covers 1,072,456 people and it therefore means that totally oversupplied against the total population in the province.

In addition, one of its abundant crops is banana. They also produced banana chips and engaged in various investments. Rubber and abaca productions are also common commodities that are suitable due to its climatic condition and have marketing potentials.

The province also has the biggest plantations of palm oils in the Philippines. It covers over 11,800 hectares and both private and government sectors take part to the improvement of its plantations. They have some reforestation projects to sustain the demands for match splints and veneer. They also set up several factories for the production of palm oil. Above all, they process various indigenous materials and transform it into handicrafts; gold into stunning jewelries; and crops and fruits into several food items. In addition, the province also offers several agro-industrial products that can truly help in achieving the growth of the economy.

Highlights of the Province

Agusan del Sur also covers attractive waterfalls that are widely preferred by the tourists and these are the following:

Gibong River – It is an opening to the Binaba Falls that also provide as the water irrigation to several rice fields. River banks are rich of untouched vegetation as you make the journey the flowing river.

gibong river
Credit: prosperidad.gov.ph

Bega Falls – According to the legend, this falls is known as the refuge for stunning mystical women. It also covers with abundant and bright forest breeze. It also considered as the hidden treasure. Because of its calm surroundings and pristine waters, you will completely feel its essence and beauty to uplift your tired spirit. Bega Falls was a haven of nature and mountain trekkers because of its jungle paradise in a one clad of Mother Nature. Adventurers started walking into the river channel meeting 18 falls, wild fauna and flora, thick forest and wild birds before embracing Bega Falls, the three-tiered falls.

bega falls
Credit: prosperidad.gov.ph

Binaba Falls – It is one of the most attractive waterfalls in Agusan del Sur. It is located at the middle of the jungle with fresh waters coming from the natural springs. Right now, it is being developed to appear like a suitable swimming pool. Through this, peoples from the nearby towns started flocking and enjoy the clear cold water emitting from the deep of the earth flowing onto a rock of limestone.

binaba falls
Credit: prosperidad.gov.ph

Tugonan Falls – The word “tugon” means promise and located at Barangay San Lorenzo. It covers innate wonder that captivates the preference of the tourists. It mainly described as the bliss of nature with various orchids, ornamental and towering plants.

tugonan falls
Credit: prosperidad.gov.ph

In addition, the Agusan Marsh is also one of the highlights of Agusan del Sur. It is one of the most significant ecological wetlands and finest eco-tourism destinations in the Philippines. The Agusan Marsh is the largest in the Philippines found at the center of the Agusan Basin in Mindanao. During summer season, numerous migratory birds came from Russia, China and Japan are coming to escape the chilly winter winds in northern hemisphere. Overall, there are 200 distinct species of migratory birds and wild animals species every year, making it a transient point for visiting species living from the other side of the globe.

agusan marsh, agusan del sur
Credit: Bob Tan

Agusan Marsh is a throng of nature lovers because of the presence of wide vast of water envelope with wild fauna and flora living in a natural habitat. Living in a modern world will compensate the beauty of nature when visiting Agusan Marsh like living in a world where Adam and Eve resides.

Cultural Heritage in Agusan del Sur

naliyagan festivalAside from these, festivals are also one of its tourist’s attractions. The Naligayan is a local term which means most loved or chosen one. The Naligayan Festival is performed to celebrate the anniversary of the province. It is an annual celebration that started since 1993. During the festival, people participate to several competitions. The typical examples of these are the motor cross racing, air soft tournaments, and off-road races.

Aside from Naligayan Festival, Agusan del Sur also celebrates Kaamulan Festival. It is being commemorate every first Sunday of January. During the festivals, the residents dance to portray their tribal life. In addition, they also celebrate the Santikan Festival yearly in the municipality of Trento. It also includes numerous friendly competitions and other activities.

Other Tourist Spots

agusan marshAgusan del Sur not an ordinary province because of its fascinating destinations and tourists spots. Aside from the famous festivals and other places, the province is also best for mountain trekking. Mount Diwata is one of the well-known mountains that add pleasures to all the people who plan to visit the province. Mount Diwata also offers not only cold and hot springs but also perfect sceneries.

The discovery of ‘Lolong’ the largest crocodile in the world which was officially announced by a team of crocodile expert from National Geographic Channel in the town of Bunawan became the hotspot tourist destinations. Lolong was discovered on September 3, 2011 in Agusan Marsh on the part of Bunawan town forcing town mayor to build Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Center to accommodate increasing visiting local and international tourists.

lolong the largest crocodile

Everyone who desires to travel in this province feels great pleasure and satisfactions. Additionally, the province also covers 34 water falls excluding 34 lakes, 4 springs, 14 caves and various cascades and lagoons. As you can see, there are several spots and tourist destinations you can visit. You can easily reach the place through understanding its geographical and historical background.

With the presence of the tourists spots and other destinations, people prefer to visit this place. Unlike other destinations, Agusan del Sur provides excellent ambiance and sceneries that truly marks to all the day-tripper. In fact, because of its amazing nature destinations, the province can acquired great income and truly enhances their economy.

Agusan del Sur can be easily reach from Butuan City as the center of Caraga.