The date is a special nonworking holiday in the city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9683 that was approved by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on August 4, 2009.
The word karawasan refers to the kind of crab that lives in the bodies of water in Bislig. Karawasan Festival is a cultural festival that features folk dance that imitates the movements of crabs.
In 2023, the celebration was called “Pabibo sa Bislig.”
History of Bislig City
Its name reportedly comes from a strong, fibrous vine belonging to the rattan family that was seen growing wildly along the riverbanks.
Alternatively, its name may have come from bizlin, a type of gold that was bartered in early times. Historical reports at the time of the conquest reported that Mindanao was abundant with gold deposits and had an active gold industry.
Its first people were the aborigines called Manobos. It is surmised that they may have moved from the Agusan Valley. They lived a partially nomadic lifestyle, foraging and hunting in their environs for sustenance.
In 17th century, the land was ruled by chieftain they called Bagani. The people cultivated the land and planted crops such as rice and maize.
During colonial period, it was once part of the historical Caraga that included northeastern Mindanao to southeastern Caraga and Man-ay. Then the historical Surigao (the forerunner of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur) was organized, and it became one of its pueblo.
The Spaniards extended their foreign rule to this part of Mindanao. They put up a church and instituted a politico-militar governance. A casa real was also built.
Within the American occupation, Bislig became an independent town through Executive Order No. 62 by Governor General Francis Burton Harrison on December 28, 1920. The order became effective on January 1, 1921. Primitivo Castillo was its first municipal president.
During the Commonwealth period, its first elected mayor was Domingo Moncayo. It experienced substantial population boom in post-war years, particularly in the 1970s. This development was made possible through the rise of industries.
Bislig became a city through Republic Act No. 8804, otherwise known as “An Act Converting the Municipality of Bislig into a Component City to be Known as the City of Bislig”, that was approved by Joseph Estrada on August 16, 2000.
The law was ratified through a plebiscite on September 18, 2000. This is the date of Bislig City Charter Day.
Bislig City Charter Day Activities
The calendar of activities may stretch for an entire month of September. Events include dance competitions, variety shows, cultural presentations, talent contests, live band, night market, raffle draws, caravan, thanksgiving mass, mass wedding, zumba, beauty pageant called Diwata ng Bislig, street party, sports, motorcade, and fireworks display.
How to reach Bislig City, Surigao del Sur
The closest airport to Bislig City is the Bancasi Airport in Butuan City.
- Republic Act No. 9683. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved September 19, 2023
- CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE CITY OF BISLIG – “THE CITY OF WONDERS.” Philippine Stamps. December 15, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2023
- Diocese of Tandag. Union of Catholic Asian News. Retrieved September 19, 2023
- REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8804. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved September 19, 2023
- History of Bislig. City Government of Bislig. Retrieved September 19, 2023