Santiago is a fourth class municipality in the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 20,955 people.
In the later part of 1898, a group of natives fleeing from the municipality of Jabonga settled in a place recognized by the municipality of Cabadbaran as barrio Santiago, However, in 1924 the Aciga River swelled its banks, destroying all properties, crops and animals along it. This forced the inhabitants of Santiago, Cabadbaran to transfer to barrio Jagupit. In 1936, the same Aciga River wrought damage which made the inhabitants decide to transfer at the foot of the hill, particularly at Sitio Paypay, which was inhabited by two groups of natives-the Manobos and the Mamanwas, then.
The construction of the national highway, which passes thru sitio Paypay, lured more people to settle in the place.
Towards the end of 1936, thru a bill sponsored by the late Congressman Calo, the name Paypay was changed to Santiago in honor of Senior Santiago or Saint James.
In 1964, the barrio officials of Santiago indicated their desire to become a separate municipality. Finally, in 1969, it was created into a municipality thru Republic Act 5242.
In 1972, the first elected Mayor was Nenita Morgado. She served her terms of office until 1986.
From 1986 to 1998, Franklin D. Lim served his terms of office as Mayor of Santiago. Various improvements were experienced by the local folks. During his term, service areas of governance, administration, social, economic and environmental considerations were prioritized.
From 1998 to 2007, Zenaida C. Lim served as the elected Mayor of Santiago. From 2007 to 2013, once again Franklin D. Lim became the elected Mayor of Santiago. He was elected President of the League of Mayors of the Province of Agusan del Norte. Subsequently, he became the National Auditor of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) during his term.
Mapaso Hot and Cold Spring is a geothermal spring where there is good potential for recreation. Located in Brgy. Lapaz, Santiago, Agusan del Norte about 10 to 20 mins depending on how you drive from Cabadbaran City.
The water issuing from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat, i.e., heat from the Earth’s mantle. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. The rate of temperature increase with depth is known as the geothermal gradient. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. The water from hot springs in non-volcanic areas is heated in this manner where hot springs in volcanic areas are often at or near the boiling point.
Because heated water can hold more dissolved solids, warm and especially hot springs also often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium. Because of both the folklore and the claimed medical value some of these springs have, they are often popular tourist destinations, and locations for rehabilitation clinics for those with disabilities.
Giniringan (Bikangkang) Falls – Negotiable in 20 min. of canoe and trek from Brgy. La Paz, Santiago. Attraction: wild ambience, vegetation, swimming area, rock boulders, trekking.
Mt. Mabaho - With its 90 degree peak made of solid rock, one has to have appropriate climbing gear and skills to conquer it. Reported to be another nesting site of the Philippine Eagle, it is a perfect exploratory climbing destination for experienced mountaineers. No one has yet conquered its peak.
Besides being Caraga’s second highest peak, it is also the K2 of Mindanao. Its massive peak of wet solid rock rising acutely to 80-90 degree angle makes it hard to climb. Known to Manobos and Mamanwa natives as “Panlabaw”, it is an intriguing destination for experienced mountaineers, technical climbers and extreme adventures.
Aciga River is located about 40 kms. away from Santiago town proper. The rushing of water over huge boulders is a facinating site from the top of the Aciga Bridge.