Caraga is an administrative region of the Philippines, on the northeastern portion of the island of Mindanao, also called Region XIII. It is bounded on the north by the Bohol Sea; on the south by the provinces of Davao, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental of Region XI; on the west by Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental of Region X; and on the east by the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
The CARAGA Region was created through Republic Act No. 7901 on February 25, 1995. The region is composed of five provinces: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands; six cities:; Bayugan, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Surigao, Tandag, Bislig 67 municipalities and 1,311 barangays. Butuan City is the regional center but later considered as another province because of its highly urbanized area.
TOTAL LAND AREA The region has a total land area of 18,846.97 km². This represents 6.3% of the country’s total land area and 18.5% of the island of Mindanao. 47.6% of the total land area of the region belongs to the province of Agusan del Sur.
POPULATION,RELIGION,LANGUAGEAND CULTURAL GROUPS Based on the final results of the 2012 census, the total population of the region was 2,293,480. Agusan del sur registered the largest population and Surigao del norte was the lowest. Surigaonon is the primary language that is inherent to the region, is spoken by 33.21% of the households, followed by Butuanon by 15%; Kamayo, by 7.06%, and Manobo, by 4.73%. Cebuano is widely spoken by 33.79% of the households in the region. The rest speak Boholanon, by 5.87%; Hiligayon, by 2.87%; and other dialects by 7.20%.
The dominant religion in the region was Roman Catholic accounting from 79% of the total household population in the region. The majority of the inhabitants of the region are of Visayan heritage. Minority groups are manobos with 43.35% of the population of ethnic minorities, the Kamayo, Higa-onon, Banwaon, Umayamnon, and Mamanwa and were mostly occupied in Agusan del sur.
NATURAL RESOURCES AND MAJORPRODUCTS Agusan del Norte Lake mainit, Agusan and aciga rivers Historica lattractions include the Balangay Shrine Museum, theDiocesan Liturgical Museum, and Butuan Regional Museum, whose exhibitsdate back to the 11th Century. Agusan del sur Agusan River and the Agusan Marsh, Binaba Falls, Mt. Diwata Hot and Cold Springs, the Gibong River, thegiant Toog trees in San Francisco, and the underground river near the capitalof Prosperidad.
Surigao del norte Siargao Island Surigao del sur white beach and lazuna bay
Rich in natural resources, the region has large tracts of land available for development. The region is noted for its wood based economy, its extensive water resources and its rich mineral deposits such as iron, gold, silver, nickel, chromite, manganese and copper. It has excellent tourism potentials because of its unspoiled and beautiful beaches, abundant and fresh seafood, ancient and historical landmarks, hot and cold springs, evergreen forests and balmy weather.
Its long stretch of shoreline promises abundance in production of fisheries and aquatic products. With its large tract of fertile lands, the region has a great capacity in producing varied commercial crops as well as livestock and poultry. Major agricultural products of the region are rice, corn, coconut, gold, banana, rubber, oil palm, calamansi, prawns, milkfish, crabs, seaweeds, soy beans, coffee, abaca and other high value crops.
ATTRACTIONS SURFING SIARGAO-reputed as the surfing capital of the Philippines, and hosts anannual international surfing event. Its waves combine the best features of top-rated waves of Hawaiis fabled "pipeline" and the top-billed waves of Indonesia. Island-hopping Hop from island to island while you discover the picturesque landscapesand feast on the rich marine delights like the fresh bluemarlin, crabs, squids, seaweeds, giant clams and lobsters. Once in Caraga, you can take your pick of which to visit. The alluringislets and islands of Guyam, Daku, Naked or Pansukian, La Janosa, Pig-ot, Dinagat, Bucas Grande,Britania and the General island in Cantilan havewhite-sand beaches and are ringed by teeming coral reefs that are ideal forswimming and snorkelling.
Mountain-biking Great trails run all around the Cities of Butuan and Surigao, Surigaodel sur, Agusan del Norte and Siargao. There are regular cross-country anddownhill competitions done in these areas which are participated by local andinternational bikers. Trekking Mt. Mas-ai and Mt. Hilong-Hilong are the best sites for trekking ormountain climbing. The views from the mountains are superb, taking in thefull scope of the vast lower Agusan Valley. Close to Mt. Mas-ai lies thepicturesque Lake Mainit, which is considered the fourth-largest lake in thecountry, with a total land area of 147 km².
Scuba diving Scuba diving is a new sport in the region, the coasts of Surigao offerinteresting dive site while the islands of Sagisi and Corregidor are excellentfor snorkelling activities. Spelunking Located within the towns of Tagbina and Bislig, Banbow and Tatolcaves (which are ranked the 6th and 9th longest caves in the Philippines)have recently been declared by the Japanese cave explorers as the thirdlongest cave in the country.
Bird-watching The Agusan Marsh in Agusan del Sur is the biggest marsh in thecountry and is host to diverse species of birds. Events and Festival The events and festivals offer an experience in color andcharacter, giving a good view of the rich culture that makes up Caragasheritage.
ECONOMY OF THE REGION Caraga’s economy posted the fastest growth among the country’s 17 regions with an accelerated rate of 9.6 percent in 2011 from 7.4 percent in 2010. The region’s impressive growth was fueled by the 9.7 percent expansion of its Service sector and the rebound of its Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing Sector to a growth of 3.4 percent in 2011 from a decline of 9.6 percent in 2010.
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