Cateel History

Cateel is one of the oldest towns in the region and was once a part of the encomienda system during the Spanish regime.  A certain province of Caraga was composed of four encomiendas namely: Encomienda de Butuan, Encomienda de Surigao, Encomienda de Tandag and Encomienda de Bislig.  Cateel formed part of Encomienda de Bislig. This remarkable event is recorded in the history of Cateel.  It was created as regular municipality on October 29, 1903, by virtue of Organic Act No. 21, creating Cateel as one of the municipalities in the entire region. This Act emanated from the Philippine Commission through the passage of the Legislative Council of the Moro Province. As provided for in this Act , the town’s territorial jurisdiction shall include all territories bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the eight parallel of north latitude, on the west by the watershed of the mountains parallel  the coast and on the South  by the parallel of latitude about seven degrees thirty-five minutes north which runs through the middle of the swamp lying between the Rio Matuban and the puegle of Quinablangan, and all islands within the three marine league limit.

Sergeant Juan Camacho dela Peña and Father Miguel de Sto. Tomas arrived in Cateel in 1610.  They landed at the northern side of the river bank now called Sitio Lapad, Barangay San Rafael.  After giving their offering for a safe landing, the two (2) encomenderos entered within the vicinity following the path. They came to a land where a man was busy splitting a piece of rattan vine.  Then the strangers asked the man what the place was called. The man thinking that what the strangers were asking him was what he was splitting the man replied ‘CATEEL’ From then on, the valley and the river has been called “CATEEL”.

In 1840, Governor Luis Lardizabal sent an expedition to the eastern Mindanao to organize municipalities and settlements having a considerable number of inhabitants.  Cateel was one of these places that had been organized.  Several events happened in the succeeding years.  In 1856, the town site was moved from Lapad to the seacoast where it is presently located in the poblacion.

Shortly after the Spanish regime in 1901, the American Military Government was established. Remegio Magno was the first Municipal President appointed to the town’s premier post. The American Civil Government followed after the Military Government. The appointment to the post of Mariano Dacuycuy as the town’s Municipal President was timely because his most famous act at that time was primarily focused on the ‘giving of freedom to the slaves in Cateel’. Few years later, Cateel was created under Organic Act No. 21 October 29, 1903.

The inauguration of the Philippine Republic on July 4, 1946 marked another milestone for the Philippine History.  Francisco Castro became the first elected mayor while Gregorio Dacuycuy, Sr. was elected member of the provincial board.  The town’s chief executives had the titular post as municipal presidents during the early part of the American Regime. The titular post Municipal Mayor has been addressed to the town’s Chief Executives since the Commonwealth period to present are as follows: The following town’s Chief Executive who were either appointed or elected to office are the following:

Town’s Chief Executives- from 1900 up to the Present


He was elected Municipal Vice-Mayor of Cateel later assumed as Municipal Mayor by law of succession. He resigned from the premier post to run for vice gubernatorial post in Davao Oriental but lost in the 1967 polls.  As local Chief Executive he made follow-ups for the...

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Elected Municipal Mayor of Cateel but died in office on May 5, 1964. His administration was cut short by his untimely death. He served the town’s premier post for less than six months.

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Elected Municipal Mayor of Cateel for three (3) consecutive times (11 years) subsequently elected as Provincial Board Member of Davao Oriental for three consecutive terms. The availability to the public of a telegraph station, the construction of the new municipal...

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He was elected Municipal Mayor of Cateel. He was instrumental in the establishment of the then Cateel High School, then the only secondary school in town during his term. He also caused the opening of Sta. Filomena-Mainit Road and the construction of Cogon Bridge at...

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Municipality of Cateel Barangays

The Municipality of Cateel is composed of sixteen (16) barangays with the opposite legal basis for its creation as illustrated below:


1AbejodResolution No. 80May 15, 1968
2AlegriaRA 3590June 22, 1963
3AliwagwagResolution No. 169-AAugust 28,1968
4AragonRA 3590June 22,1963
5BaybayResolution No. 79May 15, 1968
6MaglahusRA 3590June 22, 1963
7MainitRA 3590June 22, 1963
8MalibagoResolution No. 322August 16, 1969
9PoblacionRA 3590June 22, 1963
10San AlfonsoRA 3590June 22, 1963
11San AntonioRA 3590June 22, 1963
12San MiguelResolution No. 347May 15, 1969
13San RafaelRA 3590June 22, 1963
14San VicenteResolution No. 90May 22, 1968
15Sta. FilomenaRA 3590June 22, 1963
16TaytayanRA 3590June 22, 1963