Dinagat Islands, the "Mystical Island, Province of Love"

Dinagat Islands is an island province in the Philippines located in the CARAGA Region or Region XIII in Mindanao. Its capital is San Jose and is the center of local affairs. The province is located on the south side of Leyte Gulf. Leyte is to its west, across Surigao Strait, and Mindanao is to its south. Its main island, Dinagat, is about 60 km from north to south. The province is known as "Mystical Island, Province of Love", where you can find different wonders with its natural and fascinating beauty and loving people.

Map of the Philippines

Map of Dinagat Islands
History

Dinagat Islands had been a part of the First District of Surigao del Norte Province until becoming a province on its own on December 2, 2006 with the approval of Republic Act No. 9355, the Charter of the Province of Dinagat Islands, in a plebiscite.

On February 11, 2010 the Supreme Court of the Philippines declared the creation of Dinagat Islands Province null and void on grounds of failure to meet land area and population requirements for the creation of local government units. Dinagat Islands then reverted to Surigao del Norte Province. On March 30, 2011, however, the Supreme Court reversed its ruling from the previous year, and upheld the constitutionality of RA 9355 and the creation of Dinagat Islands as a province (Wikipidia).

Dinagat Islands Province is composed of seven municipalities, including the provincial capital, San Jose. Its six other municipalities are Dinagat, Loreto, Cagdianao, Libjo (Albor), Basilisa (Rizal) and Tubajon. The oldest among other municiplities is the Municipality of      Dinagat, which formally established on 1855. (Click here to view the  full history of Dinagat Islands)


 

Geography

Located in the northeast of Suriago del Norte, Dinagat Islands is separated physically from the mainland of Surigao City by a narrow channel, which takes about 45 minutes to cross by pumpboat from the Surigao City Port  to San Jose Port. Dinagat Islands is one of the smallest island provinces of the country with a total land area of 1,036.34 km2 (400.1 sq mi).

Sundayo Beach/Cave
Dinagat Islands is also famous for its caves, resorts, and beaches. Clear blue waters, white sand and marine life rivals that of Boracay. One of the famous are the Bitaug Beach, Lake Bababu, Puerto Prinsesa Beach & Hagakhak Cave in Basilisa, Tagberayan Beach, Sayaw Beach, Legaspi Water Falls, Hinabyan and Leandro's Beach Resort in Cagdianao, Talisay Beach in Tubajon, Quano Blue Lagoon and Quano Cave, Ben Paz Mountain Resort and Oasis Islet Resort in Libjo, and the Cab-ilan Beach & Cab-ilan Gamay Beach in Dinagat. The province is also surrounded with beautiful islands and islets. Famous among are the Cab-ilan Island in Dinagat, La Isla Aga and Lalaking Bukid in Basilisa, Kisses Islets in Libjo and the Stingray Islet and Puyo Islet in San Jose.

Demographics

Old setlers of the province are called "Lumad". Residents of Dinagat Islands are called "Dinagatnon". Dinagat Islands is predominantly a Cebuano-speaking province. However, towns facing the Surigao del Norte are Surigaonon-speaking particularly the municipalities of Dinagat and Cagdianao due to their proximity to the province of Surigao del Norte. Influences of the Cebuano and Boholano languages with a Tausug accent can be traced. A majority are able to speak English.
 
Culture, People and Arts

Dinagat Islands is rich in structures, buildings and landmarks that are remnants of a once affluent lifestyle. Most notably of which are the Galeto Ancestral Home in Tubajon and the Divine Master Shrine in San Jose, built by the benevolence and volunteerism of the members of the famous believers of Ruben E. Ecleo, Sr., the PBMA, Inc. (Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Inc) members who are dominants in the province. Other landmarks are the Cuarenta Pulang Lupa and the Islander Castle in San Jose, the Biray-biray Rock Formation and Lalaking Bukid in Basilisa, Bat Sanctuary and the Babaeng Bukid in Tubajon, the Kisses Islet of Libjo and the Campintac Landmark in Loreto,

Divine Master Shrine
Islander Castle

The Dinagatnons' joie de vivre is manifested in the various festivals all over the province, foremost among which is famous is the "Bugkusan sa Isla...Dinagatan Festival", the provincial festival that brings together the 7 municipalities in a showcase of history, arts and culture, tourism, trade, commerce and industry, beauty and talent as well as games and sports.

Government

House of Representatives: Ruben B. Ecleo, Jr. (2010-Present)
Governor: Glenda B. Ecleo (2010-Present)
Vice Governor: Geraldine Ecleo Villaroman (2010-Present)

See Also:

Official Website of Dinagat Islands: 

Facebook Page (Dinagat islands):  

Facebook Page (Province of Dinagat Islands Tourism Council (PDITC): 
http://www.facebook.com/PDITC

Wikipedia: