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Municipality of Cantilan

     Cantilan is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 30,231 people in 5,378 households. It is the second northest municipality of CarCanMadCarLan and so also the second northernmost municipality of the province. The neighbour municipalities are Carrascal in the north-west and Madrid in the south-eastCantilan is celebrating its town fiesta every 15 August. Highlighting to the said event is the Sirong Festival.


  • Bugsukan
  • Buntalid
  • Cabangahan
  • Cabas-an
  • Calagdaan
  • Consuelo
  • General Island
  • Lininti-an (Pob.)
  • Lobo
  • Magasang
  • Magosilom (Pob.)
  • Pag-Antayan
  • Palasao
  • Parang
  • San Pedro
  • Tapi
  • Tigabong


     Cantilan is one hour away from Tandag City, the capital of Surigao del Sur. It is a 3-hour ride from Surigao city and 4 hours from Butuan City. It is one of the oldest towns in the Province of Surigao del Sur. It is the mother town of Carrascal, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. Cantilan is considered the "Cradle of Towns" in Surigao del Sur. It originally encompassed the whole area of Carcanmadcarlan or the present towns of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. This town was established by the Spaniards in the early 18th century in the settlement of "Daang Lungsod" from the people of Bayuyo, Ilihan and Calagdan. They constructed a fortification, a "Cota" made of limetones later named as Baluarte de Señor San Miguel located across the river in the modern Cantilan. The town is blessed with unspoiled beautiful beaches of gray and white sand, picturesque islands and islets, hills and rock formations, farmlands and green pasturelands, and forest areas with rare plants and animals. Cantilan has no definite dry season. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with heavy rains from November to January. The inhabitants of Cantilan are called Cantilangnons. Our unique dialect is called Cantelangnon. Our primary source of livelihood is based on agriculture and fishing. Cantilan today is aptly described as a rural town with the conveniences of modern living and technology.


Cantilan existed as a settlement for more than three centuries as early as 1709.

According to legend, the word Cantilan originated from the big shell of a bivalve locally called, "Tilang". A couple with beautiful daughters lived close to the location of the big shell. When suitors came to visit the daughters and were asked their destination, they would answer, "Can Tilang" (meaning to Tilang’s). Eventually, "Can Tilang" became "Cantilan". Historical timeline of Cantilan. According to sources, it was created by virtue of the Spanish Royal Decree of 1768 known as Maura Law. The other source states however, that Fr. Valerio de San Agustin implemented it in 1782 at "Daan Lungsod," the old town in the coastal area.

  • 1782: Cantilan became a regular parish under Fray Valero de San Agustin, a recollect.
  • 1856: On October 14, a hurricane from the north which turned over east and south increased to an intensity that tidal waves changed the whole town into a sea. Every thing was swept away. On October 15, Cantilan became a wasteland. The survivors together with the parish priest Fray Modesto Marzo y Casabana then crossed the river and started to build the new Cantilan.
  • 1898: Cantilan total population had reached 10,026.
  • 1918: On December 10, Executive Order No. 52 of American Governor General Francis Burton Harrison was issued that divided Cantilan into three parts.
  • 1960: Cantilan became part of the new province of Surigao del Sur.

     Present day Cantilan has a land area of 24,010 hectares, composed of 17 barangays and 5,738 households. It has a population of 26,553 with 16,059 registered voters (2000 Census on Population).

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Municipality of Cantilan Tourist Spots


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