Neha Patil (Editor)

Surigaonon people

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The Surigaonon people are part of the wider Visayan ethnolinguistic group, who constitute the largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group. Although traditionally grouped with the Cebuanos, the Surigaonons are a distinct identity.



Surigaonons populate the eastern coastal plain of Mindanao, particularly the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands. They are also present in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and in Davao Oriental.


Currently, the Surigaonons number about 1,000,000 (estimates) based on the population of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and some speakers of Agusan del Norte.

Their ancestors were the Austronesian-speaking immigrants who came from South China during the Iron Age. The Surigaonons are Visayans. Their language closely resembles Cebuano, albeit with some local words and phrases. Hence, it is considered by most linguists to be a separate language, the Surigaonon language. Because of the mass influx of Cebuano settlers to Mindanao, they also speak Cebuano as second language since Surigaonon is a Visayan language, other languages are Tagalog, and English as third languages. The vast majority of Surigaonons are Roman Catholics, very few are Muslims in contrast to its very closely related Tausug brothers which are predominantly Muslims.

Below is a table which demonstrates that Surigaonon is more related to Tausug than Cebuano


The Surigaonons have a culture similar to the Cebuanos. Pre-Hispanic Surigaonons are very fond of ornamental designs and displays. Most Surigaonons are agriculturalists. Spanish annals described the Surigaonons as ‘good and obedient, but are not very hardworking’.


Surigaonon people Wikipedia