(Glossogobius giuris) is a freshwater fish native to Mainit Lake. It is called “biya” in Tagalog and “white goby or tank goby” in English. The term “pidjanga” is also sometimes fondly used to refer to the Mainitnons, the people of the Municipality of Mainit, a town in Southern Philippines. This blog hopes to capture potentials of Migrants Pidjangas for the Development of our Town by attempting to document development issues, folk stories, and current concerns, about the Pidjanga — both the fish and the people.

Old names of places in Mainit

What then is the old name of Mainit? of its Barangays?

The current Poblacion was not the original center of our town. It used to be the "daang lungsod" at the lakeside of present-day Brgy. San Isidro, along the banks of Suba nan Mainit. See my write-up about the Streets of Mainit (An mga Caretera nan Mainit).

Help me in determining the original names of our barangays and see how/why these were renamed.

  1. Binga - used to be part of Cantugas? untl its separation as a Barangay in 19xx?
  2. Bobona-on - Waz idea!
  3. Cantugas - It bears the word "tugas", one of the Philippine hardwoods used to be abundant in Mainit. Basi hamok tugas diri sa una. Puydi isab, someone named "tugas"... and whenever people ask for directions, the would refer "di-on sa kan Tugas"
  4. Dayano - used to be part of Siana? untl its separation as a Barangay in 19xx?
  5. Mabini - Campo (Old Name). The military camp (hence Campo) during World War 2. Named after one of the Philippine Heroes, the brain of the Katipunan, Apolinario Mabini.
  6. Magpayang - Crossing (Old Name)
  7. Magsaysay - The current town center shared with Barangay Quezon. Used to be called Mainit Poblacion (Old Name), until separated as Magsaysay and Quezon in the 1970s? Named after Philippine Presidents.
  8. Mansayao - It bears the word "sayaw" which could mean dance or referring to the a bird "sayao (swallow). Let me guess...if it's dance... probably some phenomenon there (dancing trees? ddancing road? etc) caused mainitnon to call it Mansayao. But if it was the swallows, there must be a cave somewhere where  swallows live and can be observed. 
  9. Marayag - The barrio before Paco. Marayag bears the word "dayag" or climb. I don't recall an uphill road but maybe at some point, before the creation of roads, people have to climb (dayag) before reaching the center of the barrio.
  10. Matin-ao - I am guessing but probably this is based on the clarity of the Mayag River, one of the largest river system of the Pueblo and a main tributary of Mainit Lake. Matin-ao means clear.
  11. Paco - Probably here the neighboring barrios pick-up their wild ferns (paco) for food.
  12. Quezon The current town center shared with Barangay Magsaysay. Used to be calledMainit Poblacion (Old Name), until separated as Magsaysay and Quezon in the 1970s? Named after Philippine Presidents.
  13. Roxas - Agong-ongan (Old Name) comes Agong-ongan River which cuts accross the barrio towards Lake Mainit. The current name was adopted in 1970s (?) after the late President Manuel Roxas, a Visayan.
  14. San Francisco - Hacienda (Old Name)
  15. San Isidro - The old name of this barrio is Perada (Old Name). This was the upper portion (roadside) of Daang Lungsod,  the original Pobalcion of Pueblo de Mainit until the mid-1800s.
  16. San Jose - Used to be called Patag (old name) probably because of habitable plains after an hour of walking up a hill.
  17. Siana - must be an acronym for something related to mining initiated by the Americans.
  18. Silop - Or synonymous to Sayop or Sunset. If you are in the Poblacion, the sun will be seen setting on this barrio.
  19. Tagbuyawan - must be named so because of the presence of gold (buyawan). In early 1900s, the Americans initiated mining. In Early 2000, Australian Mining firms have re-opened mining explorations.
  20. Tapi-an - Hmmm... basin may dako na lungag ngari... tag-Ta-pi-an
  21. Tolingon -I can't find the root word. Is it Toling? or Toli? Tolingon could be a verb just laike balingon (ibaling - or to catch a fish using a net) and pas-anon (carry)
Original: Jan 11, 2008
Mano Noli Lincuna added Crossing (Magpayang) and Perada (San Isidro)
Updated: 26 July 2013
Updated: August 2014

Related post:
Sitios of Mainit

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CBCP News: Mining threatens 4th largest freshwater lake in PH

SEVEN are in the town of Mainit, Surigao del Norte... of the 15 exploration permits (EP) that the Regional Office 13 (CARAGA) of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Environment department approved as of June 30, 2010.

Read more at and Surigao Today.

If you want to support the protection of Lake Mainit, contact me at pidjangaATgmailDOTcom or 0917-800-4557. Zimm/Peter/Pidjanga

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