Surigao del Sur

Bislig City Charter Day

Bislig City Charter Day is the charter day celebration held in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Philippines every September 18. In the past, the celebration was called Karawasan Festival.

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.

Karawasan Festival

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

The city of Bislig is one of the cities in the Caraga Region that is comprised of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur.

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.


Bislig City Charter Day Summary

NameBislig City Charter Day
CelebrationCharter Day
Contact(086)8536089 loc. 159/ (086)8532999
DateSeptember 18
Duration1 month
LocationBislig City, Surigao del Sur
OrganizerCity Government of Bislig