Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Magallanes, Agusan del Norte, Philippines

Magallanes is a fourth class municipality in the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 21,481 people.

The municipality was named after the Portuguese surname of the maritime explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

Its land is mostly flat and rolling, surrounded by mountains. Swamps characterize much of the landscape of this place that is situated at the mouth of the two major rivers in the province, the Agusan and Baug Rivers.

The elevation of most of lands is two (2) feet below sea level. The town center is in the river delta and has to be kept protected by dikes. The land gradually rises in the northwest to the 99 metres (325 ft) high Mt. Taod-oy at barangay Taod-oy and the 162 metres (531 ft) high Mount Panaytayon.

Around 2,834.89 hectares of Magallanes lands have slope of 0 to 3 percent, 399.28 hectares have 8 to 18 percent, 1,497.30 18 to 30 percent and 250.53 hectares 30 to 50 percent.

Hydrosol, San Miguel Loam, San Miguel Clay Loam, Malalag Silt Loam and Butuan Loam are its soil types. Upper Miocene, Cretaceous-Paleogene and recent sedimentary materials are the rock elements that make up Magallanes lands.

Land Use
Of its total land area, 4,109 hectares (10,150 acres) are classified as alienable and disposable. The other 882 hectares (2,180 acres) are forestlands. 149.95 hectares (370.5 acres) or 3 percent is built-up, 92.26 hectares (228.0 acres) of that for social facilities and the other 59.69 hectares (147.5 acres) for roads. Around 3,210.72 hectares (7,933.9 acres) or 64.33 percent of its lands are utilized for agriculture, the other 1,630.33 hectares (4,028.6 acres) or 33.20 percent, for forest use. Four hectares are also being utilized for tourism in special use. Within the agricultural area, 1,727.63 hectares (4,269.1 acres) are under CARP coverage.

Magallanes is generally is outside the "typhoon belt". Its climate is, by Philippine classification, Type II. There is no definite dry season in the area. Maximum rain is from November to January. Lying within the eastern coast, the place is within the pathway northeast monsoons, trade winds and storms.

The town has two plywood manufacturing firms: EMCO (Brgy. Sto. Rosario) and PSPI (Brgy. Marcos), and one safety matches manufacturing firm: JAKA Equities Corp (Brgy. Marcos). The three manufacturing plants are all on the main street and operating near the Baug River and Agusan River.

An 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of prawn/shrimp farm in Magallanes used to be the Philippines' top exporter of first class prawn/shrimp to Japan, until the entire farm was hit by a white spot disease in 2001 leading to the collapse of the industry.

Philippine Centennial Tree. The Departnment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) awarded Magallanes as the place that host the Oldest Tree (more than 500 years old) in the Philippines called Bitaug.

Lisagan Festival. Magallanes celebrates its annual fiesta every third Saturday of October in honor of patroness Nuestra SeƱora del Rosario, Our Lady of the Rosary, which includes thanksgiving mass, parades and more.

The 'Lisagan Festival' held on Sunday after the fiesta includes street dancing similar to Sinulog Festival and fluvial procession at the Agusan River and Baug River.

The town parish doesn't allow major public gathering like disco, live bands and other similar events the night before the fiesta.

Magellan Shrine. Located at Poblacion near the Municipal Hall, the shrine was the site of the 'first' Catholic mass in Mindanao on April 8, 1521. It was believed that the Magellan's Cross in Cebu was also erected here by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men before they sail North. Evidence showed church ruins near the Agusan River.

Magellan Marker. Erected in the time of Spanish District Gov. Jose Maria Carvallo in     1872, this edifce located at the mouth of Agusan river  in present day Magallanes, is the site of the first catholic mass in Mindanao  on April 8,1521. Magallanes, in the olden days was called Baug, formerly the site of Butuan.

Municipality of Magallanes can be reached through the Mindanao gateways.

Air. Bancasi Airport of Butuan and Laguindingan International Airport of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

PAL Express and Cebu Pacific have daily flights from Manila to Butuan and v.v. Cebu-Butuan-Cebu flights via Cebu Pacific scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and PAL.

Sea. Port of Nasipit, Port of Surigao, and Macabalan Port of Cagayan de Oro.

There are several major shipping lines serving the Manila and Cebu routes namely: 2Go, Cokaliong, and PSACC. A 45 minutes boat ride from Butuan to Magallanes navigating the Agusan River.

Land. Bachelor Express and PhilTranCo is the dominant public land transport from Manila and Tacloban passing Surigao, Cabadbaran and Butuan to Cagayan de Oro and Davao. The public mode of transportation within the municipality is by motorcabs and pedicabs. Passenger vans commonly known as V-Hire are also available for Butuan routes.

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