(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.

Historical Timeline of Mainit Surigao del Norte

Author: Zimmbodilion Yap Mosende
Version 1: December 2005
Version 2. June 2008
Version 3. August 2009
Version 4. November 2011

Version 5. June 2015

*Founding of Numancia (Patron Saint: Our Lady of Carmen) serving as the headquarters of Eastern Mindanao (3rd of 6 Mindanao districts) comprising the areas from Surigao to Mati.15, 16

*Systematic evangelization of Provincia de Caraga – with 8 Recollects from Manila headed by Fray Miguel de Sta. Maria, OAR. From Tandag, they branched out to outstations in the district, namely, Butuan, Surigao, Dinagat, Gigacuit, Numancia, Cantilan, Lianga, and Bislig. 14, 15

*Mainit must have been part of the Gigacuit mission station 16.

*Maps of Murillo Vellarde (1734) and Francisco Alegre (1751) in the book of Fray Combes (1667) mentioned the Lake of Mainit. 16

*Pueblo de Mainit was part of the 1749 census of Caraga as recorded in the Recoleto Archives in Marcilla, Spain. Population was 610 (seis-cientos diez almas). Gigacuit had 700, Surigao 500, and Dinagat 600. 16 (pp 251 & 258)

1752 (October to November)
*Burning of Mainit parish by the moros together with the other parishes of Caraga. 16

* Founding of the town of Placer by Captain Felipe Custodio together with Capitan Luis Patiño. The present-day municipalities of Mainit, Tagana-an, Tubod and Alegria were part of Placer. 20

Capitan Saturnino Libarnes reported from Mainit to Manila "Provincia de Caraga Ano de 1853 Pueblo de Maynit, Cuenta comunal que presenta el Gobllo del espresado ano." I guess this is an annual report submitted by the Pueblos on the products and taxes collected for the year. 31

It also contains original signatures of two more main signatories "principales y cavesas" - Selverio Muparce (probably Mupas) and Anastacio Libarnes. 31

Signed in the presence of ("firmanos el presencia de 31 de Deciembre de 1853"): Fernando Mongado, Minero Montaner, Maurecio Mosende, Domingo Mosende, Geraldo Galve, Damaro Molita, Doroteo Jolvisano (probably Julvesano), Arancio Libarnes, Antonio Mosende, Fermin Cepeda, Romualdo Mosende, Vidal Murcilla, and Francisco Mohar (Probably Mojar or Mozar). 31

*Mainit must have been under the Parish of Placer where the following were the Parish Priests: Fr. Antonio Franuto, SJ and Fr. Ronaldo Sanchez, AOR. 16, 20

*Fr Jaime Plana, SJ worked with the Mamanwas in Surigao even serving as a nurse and physician during the typhoid epidemic.12

1875 Nov
Fr. Urios, SJ writes from Mainit about his recent travels in Agusan and Surigao. 29 pp 1

Fr. Jaime Plana, SJ assigned as missionary of taganaan and Placer (1887-1881), Mainit (1881-1887). He was regarded as the First Missionary Apostles of the Mamanwa. Mainit had a newly-erected parish (pp392) 28 pp 157

1878 Jan
Fr. Antonio Chambo, SJ wrote from Mainit that the provisional convento of Jabonga was finished. “These Mainitans are those who give me more suffering witheir proverbial apathy and sloth”. The road from Mainit to Surigao was started. 29 pp 48

1878 May
Fr. Antonio Chambo, SJ wrote from Jabonga. The hurricane of May 1876 prompted the residents of Jabonga to transfer the pobacion to a healthier spot – a sufficiently flat place on the same bar of the lake. 29 pp 56

In Mainit, they had to build houses and form a village. More than 100families now reside in the village. 29 pp 56 This must be the transfer date from Daang Lungsod to the current loction of the Poblacion.

House of God in Mainit was destroyed by a hurricane. 12 men each week worked on the church. Every Monday they came together to help in hauling lumber and erecting posts. 29 pp 56 I remember Lola Tisay telling us about their grandfathers – including Hilario Mangado – carrying toog, magkono and large wooden posts from the lake to the constructionsite of the church. 30

1878 May
Fr. Chambo, SJ described the abundance of Magcono from Surigao to Butuan. Other hardwoods were also listed including tiga (probably Tugas), Narra, and Molave. He also described the abundance of gold and the presence of hot springs with exceptional phenomenon of petrifying anything within minutes of submersion. 29 p 56

*Fr. Gabino Mujica wrote from Mainit about Cabadbaran. 16

1879 (February)
* Fr. Saturnino Urios was sent to the Agusan Missions. He noted that he included Mainit-Jabonga as his residence. 16

1879 March
Mainit, through Fr. Urios, SJ, helped typhoon-ravaged Butuan by sending relief goods particularly rice. Fr. Urios haggled it for free from the gobernadorcillos. 28 pp41

1879 Jul
Repeated earthquake devastated Caraga including Mainit. Church of Surigao with iron roof was broken and threatening to collapse. 28 pp90

Patiño – a Spanish warship from Jolo arrived in Surigao 28 pp 392

1879 July
Strong earthquake in Surigao – similar to the intensity of the 3 June 1863 earthquake of manila which toppled two-thirds of buildings of Manila. 29 pp 96

Fr. Chambo, SJ was missionary in Mainit. He reported about the earthquake and described “the lake was stirred-up and many cracks appeared on the shore. They heard stones rolling down and many trees falling which caused a tremendous uproar”. 29 pp 97

1879 July 13
Fr. Chambo, SJ described that “the land cracked in certain spots more than four varas and leaving deep holes. In others one vara.” He added that one of the points of the lake closest to the village has completely disappeared and when there was once anice beach for fishing, it ws now as deep as the center of the lake” 29 pp 102

1879 Oct 11
Fr. Juan Casellas, SJ and Fr. Antonio Chambo, sJ were preaching a holy mission in Mainit (beginning of their mission). Convent of Tubay being constructed. Convent of Jabonga was constructed earlier. 28 pp74, 29 pp 111-112

1879 October 19
Fr. Gabino Mujica, SJ reported about the violent storm. He wrote “One could hear the frightful roar of the lake like a desperate hungry beast moving about for its prey.” 29 pp 112

1879 November 22
Fr. Gabino Mujica, SJ writes to his superiors from Mainit 29 pp 112

Fr. Urios, SJ described that people from Mainit to Batuto (currently Surigao Sur) were easily slighted to kill when provoked. 28 pp121

Fr. Jaime Plana, SJ was assigned in Mainit 28 pp 157

1882 December 30
Strong Typhoon hit Mainitn for 12 hours. The provincial church fell down. 29 pp 195

1883 January 3
Fr. Plana, SJ wrote from Jabonga about the 30 Dec 1882 storm that hit Mainit. 29 pp 195

1883 April
Jesuits reported a hurricane hit Surigao (Taganaan) on 24-25 April 1883 29 pp 206

1884 Feb
Cholera epidemic in Surigao, Placer, Taganaan, Higakit, Cantillan, Tubay and Butuan. Not yet in Mainit 28 pp 254

1884 Oct 12
Fr. Jaime Plana, SJ baptized 19 Mamanwas from the tall mountain peaks of Mainint (Cantugas?). Among them was one Halingal (Hulingab), the Mamanwa famous as the most elusive. 28 pp287, 29 p265

1884 Nov
Fr. Jaime Plana, SJ supervised the construction of churches in Mainit and Jabonga. The chief carpenter was from Bohol. 28 pp 271

1884 November 8
Fr. Plana SJ writes from mainit. Mainit and Jabonga church construction on-going. They had a carpenter from Bohol. 29 pp 257

1884 October 12
Fr. Planas SJ, writes from Mainit. 29 pp 265

1885 Jan
Bro. Salvador Valdeperas, SJ supervised volunteer workers called Polistas (Polo) in constructing the Mainit Church. Polo (also known as hongos) obliges all healthy males 18-60 years old to serve for public works (polo) for 40 days. 28 pp309

1885 July
The people of Mainit were finishing the roof of their big, spacious, and well-built church 28 pp321

1885 Dec
Fr. Jaime Plana, SJ opened a road from Mainit to the marker of Surigao. One need not ascend mountains or cross rivers – one can travel all the way to either on foot or on horseback. 28 pp345

*Last Recoleto Parish, Tandag, was handed over to the Jesuits. Schreurs noted that the Parish of Mainit-Jabonga was already established. 16

1886 Jan
New village of Mamanuas baptized, inside the boundary of mainit near the Lake, at the mount of Dayag River. 28 pp345

1886 Sep
Fr. Urios, SJ in Tubay returned to Surigao from Butuan via Mainit 28 pp361

1887 May 16
Fr. Francisco de paula Snachez writes from Surigao. He reported flora and fauna in the Caraga including the following small animals: Mago (tarsius-genus order prosimian family tarsidi). 29 pp 367 ;Kaguang or Kago (also known as koabnit) (prosimian dertropteri genus – galeopithecus (catmonkey) 29 pp 367; Milo or Katujo or Singalong in Tagalog – smaller than domestic cat (order-carnovpres family viverridi genus-Parasoxuras p.prehemilis) 29 pp 368

Fr. Sanchez SJ also reported the following birds: Gitgit or small sparrow, Banog or the common sparrow hawk, Siwit of family melifagidi, Kayangag of Psittacus marginatus, Alimokon or Columba cruenta and Tikling or landrail. 29 pp 371

1887 Oct
Fr. Urios, SJ reported that Agusan Mission (which include Mainit) was tranquil and enjoying peace. Upsets, contradiction and bitterness disappeared. 28 pp381

1887 Oct
Fr. Urios, SJ reported “smallpox its ire in Mainit, killing many of all ages.” While in Cabadbaran and Jabonga, the town looked like a provincial hospital, victimized populace with malaria, typhoid, nerve irritation, and infectious fever. 28 pp381

*Map in Combes, 1667 titled “Isla de Mindanao” indicates Surigao and Monte Diwata but no reference on Mainit. 19

1889: the cabeza de barangay system was approved to modernize the traditional system of collecting the cedulas (pp145). 26

Fr. Urios, SJ reported that he took Mainit mission in 1875. 28 pp256, 386-397

1889 Aug
Fr. Nicolas Falomir, SJ was the missionary in Mainit. Cholera was ravaging Taganaa, Placer, and Higakit, but not yet in Mainit. 28 pp477-479

* Population of Mainit: 1,670. Other areas with population figures: Surigao, Anao-aon, Dinagat, Nonoc, Loreto, Libjo, and Cagdianao. 16 pp 424

1890 May
Fr. Guillermo Llobera, SJ was the new missionary of Jabonga and Mainit. Fr. Urios, SJ passed by in Mainit and Jabonga for 8 days and preached there. 28 pp 531

1891 Mar 24
Fr. Llobera, SJ reported flooding of Lake Mainit of about 4 meters. “This has not occurred since the foundation of the otwn. Church still unfinished – had not roofed the church with zinc they had”. 28 pp 604

*Map of Surigao in Combes, 1667 indicates Taganaan, Anao-aon, Gigacuit, Mainit, Jabonga, and Tubay. 19

Publication of Mindanao: Su Historia y Geografía. by José Nieto Aguilar indicating that Lake Mainit is Laguna de Sapongan. 25

*During American occupation, Mainit became a barrio of the municipality of Placer15

1901(February 11)
* Fr. Llobera and Fr. Saturnino Urios were tasked to convince the remaining guerilla forces in San Mateo and the Mainit-Jabonga areas to surrender. 16

1901 (April 15)
*Guerilla leaders who surrendered from Mainit: General Daniel Toribio Sison, Comandante Mordeno, Captain Custudio, and Captain Mosende. Total surrendered: 70. 16

1901 (May 24)
* Americans were reported to have burned 33 houses in search of General Daniel and his men. A typhoid epidemic erupted with around 400 dead. Fr. Urios described the village to be like an “open-air hospital”. 16 pp 459

*The group of rebels who never surrendered created a Para Christian movement called the “coluroms”. 16 pp 460

The coluroms also led the Cedula tearing23.

1903 (16 May)
* Americans were engaged in Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, Mainit, Placer, and Bacuag in an intensive hunt for a band of rebels under the command of Adriano Concepcion. 16 pp 486
Lantayog Rosales, a Mainitnon, was said to be among Concepcion’s men.

First Mainitnons sent to Silliman University: Gaudencio Beltran and __ Lascay (Matin-ao) 23

*The parish of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte was founded on 26 October 1926 by the Missionary of the Sacred Heart (MSC) priests which covered the areas of Mainit, Tubod, Alegria and Placer. The pioneering priests assigned in Mainit were Fr. Adriano Muskens and Fr. Nicolas de Lepper (1926-1927)

*1927-1935 - Fr. Gerard Blewanus, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte

Establishment of United Evangelical Church in Mainit. This is the present-day UCCP23.

*Sr. Ceferino Lozada, adopted son of Mainit, became president of Placer with 3 other councilors. Among them were Mainit locals: Juan Moselina as vice presidente and Antonio Grecia Mozar as councilor. 15, 22

*Establishment of the Municipality of Mainit (spearheaded by Sr. Ceferino Lozada) by virtue of the Executive Order 290 dated December 27, 1930 (Effectively 1 January 1931). The EO was signed by Governor General Dwight Davies. Antonio Mozar was appointed the first Presidente and Vedasto Mosende as Vice Presidente. 15, 22

*Siana gold mining boomed. 15

* Appointment of Mayor Gardenia S. Beltran 22

*1935-1936 - Fr. Adrian Steiger, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte

*1936-1940 - Fr. Antonio Bodden, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte. Surigao became a Diocese.

* Appointment of Mayor Baldomero S. Reyes22

Late 1930s
*Father of the town – Sr. Ceferino Lozada died in the hands of the “colorums” – the followers of Lt. Francisco Canuto popularly known as “Tahid” 15 Probably by Simoy Cabahug 23,

*Establishment of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Mainit 23

*1940-1945 - Fr. Alex Smulders, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.
1940 -1942
* Appointment of Mayor - Ceferino P. Lozada 22

1944 (3 months)
* Appointment of Mayor David M. Montaner 22

1945 (2 months)
* Appointment of Mayor Tomas de la Costa 22

* 1945-1946 - Fr. Venancio Portillo, MSC, with Fr. Atanacio de Castro, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

* 1946-1948 - Fr. Francisco van den Borght, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*Appointment of Mayor Agapito Montaner 22

*1948-1954 - Fr. Antonio Bodden, MSC (second assignment). Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

1950 onwards
*Election of Mayor Jose Mondano 22
*Succeeded by Mayor Yolanda Mondano upon the untimely death of Mayor Jose Mondano 21, 22

*1954-1959 - Fr. Albert Grol, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*1959-1960 - Fr. John van Roon, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

* 1960-1963 - Fr. Eugene van Vought, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*1963-1967 - Fr. Jose Sanchez, DCS (First Filipino Parish Priest to be assigned in Mainit) with Fr. Enrique Cuison, DCS.

*Typhoon INING (Louise) devastated Surigao including Mainit on November 15-20, 1964 at 240 kph. It was the 3rd WORST TYPHOON OF MINDANAO from 1947 – 2002. 20, 21 4

*Foundation of Matin-ao High School. June 19, 1965.
* San Nicolas Academy was founded in 1965

*1967-1968 - Fr. Apolinario Olvis, DCS. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*1968-1971 - Fr. Jose Falcon, DCS. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*Election of Mayor Cain Behagan. 21, 22

*1971-1975 - Fr. William van Ameijde, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

* 1976-1995 - Fr. Peter Rosenhart, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte. The longest parish priest to be assigned in Mainit (19 years).

*Election of Mayor Robuam Reliquette 21, 22

1984 - Aug 31-Sep 4
*Devastation of Super Typhoon NITANG (Ike), WORST TYPHOON OF MINDANAO (1947 - 2002) on August 31-September 4, 1984 at the highest speed of
220 kph. Estimated deaths nationwide was 1,363 to 3,000. The Mainit Parish Church, together with major establishments, was downed by the typhoon. 21 24

*Appointment of OIC Mayors Hilario Mosende, Robuam Reliquette, and Felix Mosende 21, 22

*Election of Mayor Sarah Behagan. 21, 22

1990 November 10-14
* Devastation of Super Typhoon Ruping (Mike) – Second WORST TYPHOON OF MINDANAO (1947 - 2002) on Nov 10-14 1990 at the highest speed of 220 kph. Estimated deaths nationwide was 748. 21, 24

1992 – 2000 (?)
*Election of Mayor Ramon Mondano. 21

*1995-1999 - Fr. Nicasio Gran, MSC, with Fr. Lauro Mozo, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*2000-2004. Election of Mayor Rogelio Gatpolintan. 21
*2000-2007 - Fr. Roman Alaan, MSC, with Fr. Gabby Galido, MSC and Fr. Martini Ladao, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

*2007 May -2010. Re-election of Mayor Ramon Mondano and election of Vice Mayor Jessnar Mosende
*2007-2012 - Fr. Rey Maldo, MSC with Fr. Romy Beroy, MSC. Parish Priest of San Nicolas de Tolentino of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

2010 May
Re-election of Mayor Ramon Mondano and election of Vice Mayor Roger Gatpolintan

*2012-present - Fr. Alvin Lao, MSC

8. (Rubelyn Yap - Lake Mainit : A Closer Look)
13. Microsoft ® Encarta ® Premium Suite 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation.
16. Schreurs, Peter. 2000. Caraga Antigua, 1521-1910: The Hispanization and Christianization of Agusan, Surigao, and East Davao. National Historical Institute.
17. Amalla, Joesilo C., 2003. Online. CARAGA: Regio de Gente Animosa
18. Kasaysayan Vol. 10. The Story of the Filipino People. Readers Digest
19. Combes, P. Francisco. 1897. Historia de Mindanao Y Jolo (originally published in 1667).
21. Mosende, Zimmbodilion. 1986-2004. Interviews with Vedasto Mosende (1886-1993), Hilario Mosende (1942-2008), and Florita Mosende (1927- ).
22. Labrador-Resullar, Magelle. 2002. My Mainit, Know you Story.
23. Mosende Zimmbodilion. 2008. Interview with Rev. Stenio Labrador.
24. (accessed 16 June 2008)
25. Aguilar, José Nieto. 1894. Mindanao: Su Historia y Geografía. (accessed 17June 2008)
26. Arcilla SJ, Jose S., 2000. “RE-EVALUATING SPAIN’S PHILIPPINE COLONIAL POLICY”. Loyola Schools Review Vol. VI
27. Arcilla SJ, Jose S., 1990. “Jesuit Missionary Letters from Mindanao”. Vol. I: The Rio Grande Mission
28. Arcilla SJ, Jose S., 1990. “Jesuit Missionary Letters from Mindanao”. Vol. VI: The Agusan Mission
29. Arcilla SJ, Jose S., 1990. “Jesuit Missionary Letters from Mindanao”. Vol. V: The Surigao Mission
30. Mosende, Zimmbodilion, 2005-2011. Personal notes.
31. Jun 26, 2008, Mainit Parish Souvenir Program (2007)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Note: First Spanish missionaries to Mindanao must have been assigned after 1565.

June 4, 1565, the peace treaty of Cebu between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, representing King Philip II of Spain, and Rajah Tupas of Cebu was signed. It is the first Philippine peace treaty which effectively created Spain's suzerain over Cebu.

Rajah Tupaz was the son of Sri Parang the Limp, and the nephew of Rajah Humabon (also known as Sri Hamabar). He is known to have been baptized on March 21, 1568 at age 70, placing his birthdate at about 1497.

He ruled Cebu with his peers until he was defeated by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's soldiers on April 27, 1565.

Following the signing of the treaty, in the same year, the church and convent of Santo Niño, the first Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, was built by Father Andres de Urdaneta. This marked the beginning of Roman catholicism in the Philippines as Spanish priests from other religious orders followed.

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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