(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.

Who gave the name MAINIT?

In 1749, our town was already called Pueblo de Mainit (read here) under the Province of Caraga with a population of 610, together with Sapao (pop: 635), Gigaquit (pop: 700), Surigao (pop: 500), and Caolo (Old name of Siargao - pop: 850). (Source: Schreurs, P, 2000)

In 1734, the maps of Murillo Vellarde (1734) and Francisco Alegre (1751) in the book of Fray Combes (1667) mentioned the Lake of Mainit.

According also to Schreurs, 1631 marked the establishments of mission stations in Tago (this town is now becoming famous being the hometown of Pinoy Big Brother Housemate Sam Milby, and the source of Surigao Golden Treasures which goldwares dates back as early as 10th century AD), Tandag, Siargao, Bacuag/Gigaquit, Jabonga, Butuan and Linao. The mission superior was Fray Miguel de Sta. Maria, OAR. I suspect that Mainit must have been part of the Gigacuit mission station.

I hope that soon, the later volumes (I think 5th) of Jesuit Missionary Letters from Mindanao being translated by Fr. Jose Arcilla, SJ from Spanish to English will soon become available. It will add to my collection of references in my attempt to re-construct the historical timeline of Mainit. I have now printed copies for courier and comment of our fellow Mainitnons who have one way or another researched on Mainit's history (Rev. Sten Labrador, Mrs. Alice Mozar, Ms. Magelle Labrador, Rev. Diosdado Casera, etc).

NOW, as I researched on our history, one of my questions is about the origin of the name Mainit. When asked, I usually tell friends that our town was named Mainit because of our hot spring which is locally called Mapaso (or hot).

But if in the 1700s or even in 1600s, we have been called Mainit already, then who gave that name? it would have been logical if our town was named "Pueblo de Caliente" since caliente is the Spanish word for hot. And if it was named by the local inhabitants, we should have been called An Lungsod nan Mapaso.

Would it be the Tagalogs? or the Visayans? These two language groups use Mainit similarly.

Hala, kamo rakay magsumpay!

Jun 10, 2008

1 comment:

Nanay said...


Maradjao karadjao, Pilipinas!

Welcome to the online home of the Pidjangas from the Municipality of Mainit, Surigao del Norte, PHILIPPINES . Pidjanga, Pedianga, Pijanga, Pedjanga... amo ra ton... gikan sa ato danao! For comments and suggestion contact me at

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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