Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte

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Lungsod sa Sindangan
Bayan ng Sindangan
Benwa Sindangan
Aerial imagery of Poblacion Sindangan 2014 (AweSam Amatong)
Aerial imagery of Poblacion Sindangan 2014 (AweSam Amatong)
Official seal of Sindangan
Nickname(s): Fish Capital of Zamboanga del Norte
One of the Oldest town in Zamboanga Peninsula
Largest Town in the Peninusla
Map of Zamboanga del Norte with Sindangan highlighted
Map of Zamboanga del Norte with Sindangan highlighted
Sindangan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 08°14′N 123°00′E / 8.233°N 123.000°E / 8.233; 123.000Coordinates: 08°14′N 123°00′E / 8.233°N 123.000°E / 8.233; 123.000
Country Philippines
Region Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)
Province Zamboanga del Norte
District 2nd district of Zamboanga del Norte
Founded December 22, 1936 by Pres. Manuel L. Quezon
Barangays 52
 • Mayor Nilo Florentino "Boy" Z. Sy (Liberal Party)
 • Dr. Bess Jagonio Vice Mayor
 • Total 451.00 km2 (174.13 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 99,435
 • Density 220/km2 (570/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 7112
IDD:area code +63 (0)65
Income class 1st municipal income class
PSGC 097218000
Electorate 59,205 voters as of 2016

Sindangan (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Sindangan; Tagalog language: Lungsod ng Sindangan; Subanen: Benwa Sindangan) is a first class sub-urbanized municipality in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 99,435 people.[3]

It is the fastest growing municipality in the province and the second most populous after the provincial capitol, Dipolog City and ranked third as the most populous town in the Zamboanga Peninsula. In this connection, there are plans to change the status of Sindangan from a municipality to a city, since the growth of its economy is enough for its conversion to become a city.

Nevertheless, the two versions speak of the source of livelihood of its population - agriculture and fishery.

During the American colonial years, Sindangan was a municipal district of Katipunan, a town 70 kilometers north of Sindangan.

Since gaining corporate entity, the local chief executives of the municipality initiated several developments which made Sindangan what it is today.


As to how Sindangan got its name, several stories have been told. The first version narrates that a native fisherman carrying a basket full of fish was on his way home met a Guardia Civil, military guards during the Spanish regime, who asked this question, "Que es el nombre de este lugar, amigo?" And the Subanon fisherman who did not understand the Spanish language answered "indangan", believing he asked on the kind of fish he caught. The stranger heard this as "Sindangan", thinking that was the exact answer to his inquiry to the fisherman about the name of the fish. From then on, the natives used Sindangan to name the place until it became into a municipality on 1936.

Legend has it that the word “Sindangan” comes from the Spanish preposition “sin”, meaning without and the local dialect word “dangan” meaning pest/s. Literally, Sindangan means “without pests”. A more popular version says Sindangan is derivative of the word “Indangan”, a fish species abundant in the Sindangan Bay.

President Quezon declared the charter day of Sindangan


This town sets back its origin during the pre-Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Subanon people or tribe was its first inhabitants. The Subanens, a nomadic tribe of Indo-Malayan stock, were the earliest known settlers who lived along river banks or "suba", from which word they received their present tribal identity as Subanen. They built houses and sanctuaries for their shelter and formed their own 'government' ruled by the Datu.

Over the years the Moros settled also in this place and preached the Islam religion.

During the Spanish reign in the archipelago where towns had already been established, Sindangan became a part of the jurisdiction of then the municipality of Dapitan as early as 1598 to 1729 and slowly people from the Visayas islands flocked to Mindanao to find greener pasture. Christianity also propagated on this area through the effort of those Catholic missionaries like the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits, the Augustinians and the Dominicans. One of its great missionaries was Padre Francesco Palliola, a Jesuit missionary from Nola, Italy who tirelessly preached the Christian message, perform baptisms and sacraments and helped the tribal people in this area of Zamboanga Peninsula. He was assigned in Dapitan and Katipunan, and met his martyrdom in the barrio of Ponot now Jose Dalman where he was killed by the subanen people through the leadership of their chieftain. Later on, Sindangan became part of a far town Lubungan now Katipunan since the 19th Century.

On December 23, 1936, by virtue of Executive Order No. 77 issued by President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon, the municipalities of Sindangan, Siocon, Margosatubig, Pagadian and Kabasalan were created out of the muninicipal districts of Sindangan, Panganuran, Labangan, Dinas, Sibuko, Sirawai, Margosatubig, Malangas, Kabasalan and Bangaan. The Municipality of Sindangan covered the area of Sindangan and Panganuran.[4]

Bartolome Lira Sr. was appointed to organize the Municipality of Sindangan and was its first Municipal President. As his appointive tenure expired, he was elected as the first Municipal Mayor of Sindangan until 1941.

In 1955, four barrios were created:

  • Dicoyong - sitios of Labakid, Layawan, Morob, Gusani, Domalogdog, Maoal, Nato, Diongan, Makasing, Dipolo and Dicoyong Proper;
  • Bacungan - sitios of Palandok, Rison, Bogabongan, Manil, Gusao, Talinga and Bacungan Proper;
  • Lagag - sitios of Milaub, Mangalop, Gopit, Pase, Lipaga, Mianib, Siayan, Litolit, Balok, and Lagag Proper; and Bitoon - sitios of Misok, Hagonoy, Lico, Guban, Makinong, and Bitoon Proper
  • Binuangan- sitios of Taguicon, Upper Binuangan, and Gusapong Proper[5]

In 1959, the sitios of Gonayen, Gowayan, Domogok, Dinoyak, Mangilay, Pange, Balak, Laclac, Siriac, Macasing and Diongan were constituted into the barrio of Gonayen.[6]

Since its elevation to a municipality in 1936, people from Luzon and Visayas continued migrating to Sindangan to settle together with their families and built businesses. That is why aside from the Subanens, there are Sindanganons whose origin are from Bohol, Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Negros, Bicol, Pampanga and Manila.


Sindangan lies on the northwest corridor of Zamboanga del Norte. Its diverse geography ranges from Sulu Sea on the west and southwest, the Municipality of Leon Postigo on the south, the Municipality of Siayan on the east, the Municipality of Bayug, Zamboanga del Sur on the southeast, and the Municipality of Jose Dalman on the north. Ranging from plain, slightly rolling, hilly to mountainous terrains, the Municipality of Sindangan embraces 45,100 hectares of land. Of its 52 barangays, 22 are situated along the seacoast, bountifully blessed with marine resources which gained Sindangan the title “the fishing capital of Zamboanga del Norte.”

It is approximately 86 kilometers away from Dipolog City and 234 kilometers away from Zamboanga City. Hence, the municipality is identified as the trading hub of the province considering, this is a major terminal point for links to Dipolog City down to Ipil and further down south to Zamboanga City.


Sindangan is politically subdivided into 52 barangays.

  • Bago
  • Balok
  • Bantayan
  • Bato
  • Benigno Aquino Jr.
  • Binuangan
  • Bitoon
  • Bucana
  • Calatunan
  • Caluan
  • Calubian
  • Dagohoy
  • Dapaon
  • Datagan
  • Datu Tangkilan
  • Dicoyong
  • Disud
  • Don Ricardo G Macias (Dinokot)
  • Doña Josefa
  • Dumalogdog
  • Fatima
  • Gampis
  • Goleo
  • Imelda
  • Inuman
  • Joaquin Macias
  • La Concepcion
  • La Roche San Miguel
  • Labakid
  • Lagag
  • Lapero
  • Lawis
  • Mandih
  • Maras
  • Mawal
  • Misok
  • Motibot
  • Nato
  • Nipaan
  • Pangalalan
  • Piao
  • Poblacion
  • Pres. Ramon Magsaysay
  • Santo Niño
  • Santo Rosario
  • Siari John H. Roemer
  • Talinga
  • Tigbao
  • Tinaplan
  • Titik
  • Upper Inuman
  • Upper Nipaan
Statue of The Divine Mercy at Siari Hills, Sindangan

Brgy. Mandi, Poblacion and Siari are the most densely populated area of Sindangan as of the latest count.


Population census of Sindangan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 43 —    
1918 10,095 +43.89%
1939 27,324 +4.86%
1948 30,484 +1.22%
1960 37,105 +1.65%
1970 43,349 +1.57%
1975 53,649 +4.37%
1980 66,177 +4.29%
1990 66,692 +0.08%
1995 72,098 +1.47%
2000 80,133 +2.29%
2007 87,720 +1.26%
2010 94,146 +2.61%
2015 99,435 +1.05%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][7][8][9]

Sindangan is populated by tri-people – the Subanens, Muslims and the Christian migrants coming from Luzon and Visayan islands.

Community-Based Monitoring System puts the number of Subanens as 24,640 or 27.5 percent with the greater number of these indigenous peoples living in the interior barangays. The Muslims – Maranao and Tausug merchants live and ply their trades in Poblacion and its adjoining barangays.

It has a stronghold of 59, 205 registered voters (COMELEC Records as of 2016).

Roman Catholicism strongly dominates Sindangan as shown by their religious festivities and fiestas. Famous to these Catholic Devotion is the Diocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Brgy. Siari, Sindangan where thousands of pilgrims flocked from all over the region to pray and visit to this shrine. Other Christian denominations are also residing in Sindangan as well as the Islam Religion.

Shin'yō Maru incident[edit]

The Shinyō Maru incident occurred in the Sidangan Bay, Philippines on September 7, 1944, in the Pacific theater of World War II. In an attack on a Japanese convoy by the American submarine USS Paddle, 668 Allied prisoners of war were massacred by the Japanese or killed when their ship, the SS Shinyō Maru was sunk. Only 82 Americans survived the ordeal and were later rescued.[3]

Incident[edit] On September 7, the Shinyō Maru was sailing for Manila in convoy C-076 with seven other vessels, including two torpedo boats, two tankers, and four other medium and small cargo ships. They were sailing two to three miles off the Lanboyan Point of Zamboanga Peninsula on the island of Mindanao, when the USS Paddle found them. A few days previously, American intelligence had reported the Shinyō Maru to be carrying Japanese soldiers, so they assigned Paddle to search for it. The Paddle, under the command of Captain Byron Nowell, was 10 miles away when the Japanese were first spotted, so Nowell maneuvered forward to attack with torpedoes. A spread of four was then released in the direction of the Shinyō Maru, which was the leading ship in the convoy. Two of the torpedoes struck, both in the hold, and a few moments later the Paddle was lined up against one of the cargo ships. It, too, was struck by two torpedoes, so her commander grounded her on the nearby shore to prevent the ship from sinking. Just after the Shinyō Maru was hit, the guards opened fire on the prisoners with captured Thompson submachine guns, though several of the men fought their way out of the hold, with their fists and improvised weapons, and abandoned ship.[2]

The men of the convoy then began launching boats to pick up Japanese survivors and kill all of the remaining prisoners. A machine gun mounted on the grounded cargo ship and a second on the Shinyō Maru were also opened up on the Allied personnel. Marine Corps Sergeant Onnie Clem later reported the following; "Up on the bridge there was a machine gun spraying the hatch. A burst of machine-gun fire caught all three of us and knocked us back down in the hold. We'd all been hit. I got plowed in the skull. Another bullet chipped out my chin. Nevertheless, I was able to work myself back up on deck, and I was eyeing that bridge when I came out that time. The gun was still there, but the gunner was laying out on deck. Somebody had apparently got up there and killed him. At this time I found out that we were out in the ocean about two or three miles from shore. All I had was a loincloth."[5] Fifteen or 20 others were recaptured and taken aboard one of the torpedo boats, where they were executed by firing squad as punishment for trying to escape. One of those men was able to free his hands which had been tied behind his back, and he successfully escaped by jumping overboard again.[4] The Japanese dropped 45 depth charges and other explosives on the American submarine over the course of two hours, and the ship sustained some light damage, but nobody was hurt. After that, she surfaced and began patrolling the area again.[2]

Port of Sindangan


The Internal Revenue Allotment of the municipality for Year 2014 is P161,572, 290.00. For the past five years, the IRA has been varying and increasing except for the year 2012 which has decreased by 2.8% from the previous year. This year’s IRA has an increase of 12% compared to last year which is P 141,862,067.00.

Income from local sources for 2012 amounted to P 17,457,998.60 which has an increase of about 14.5% from the previous year. In 2009, the local income recorded is P 9,548,248.00 and has an increase of 20% by the following year which amounted to P13,080,838.79. Its major income relies on fishing and agriculture. There are also significant growth in the towns business firms as it rises on the past years.

In 2015, the Gross Sales of registered firms in Sindangan amounted to 1,062,872,781.00 PHP and expects to rise significantly in the next following years. Financial institutions are also growing in the town, as of 2015, it has 42 institutions and banks catering the Sindanganons financially.

The health capacity and services of Sindangan is significantly improving as health workers such as Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, etc, are growing. On 2014, there are 90 health servers in the town both in public and in priviate.

Source :


Tricycles, 'trisikads' and 'habal-habal' are the common public transport in the town center, both uptown and downtown. Racal Motorcycles are also emerging as public transportation in the town.

By Land[edit]

Sindangan has its own bus terminal located at Brgy. Goleo. It can be reached by RTMI Buses (Rural Transit) via National Highway. It provides daily transport from Dipolog City, Ipil to Zamboanga City. SUVs or 'van', Ceres Liners and jeepneys are also available for daily transport.

By Sea[edit]

Sindangan has its own seaport located at Brgy. Calatunan, facing Sindangan Bay.It is currently managed under Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and is considered the main gateway of the town's economy.


Sports life and social recreation are active in the life of the Sindanganons. They have a lot of sports activities to offer. The town was also energized as its Sports and Cultural complex, one of the biggest in the province was made into a reality. Today, the Sports Complex can already be used for big events such as Provincial Meet, Regional Meet and during Linggo ng Sindangan. Each barangay has a covered court which is capable of handling barangay events.

Notable personalities of Sindangan[edit]

In June 2011, Junrey Balawing joined the list of Guinness World Records as the shortest man on earth. He was born on April 15, 1993 in Sindangan. He is the son of a poor blacksmith and measures 23.6 inches (60 cm) tall.[10]

In February 2012, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal, who stands 54.6 centimetres (21.5 in) tall was declared the world's shortest living man. As a result, Junrey held the record for less than a year.

Following the death of Chandra Bahadur Dangi on September 3, 2015, Balawing now holds the title of the shortest living man.

General Alexander B. Yano was appointed on May 12, 2008 as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the Arroyo administration, the highest position in the AFP hierarchy. He served with love, honesty and integrity in his term. His Vice Chief of Staff was Lt. Gen. Cardozo M. Luna and his Deputy Chief of Staff was Lt. Gen. Rodrigo F. Maclang. Alexander Yano also served as the commander of the Philippine Army and Southern Luzon Command. He is also the first general born from Mindanao. He retired early on May 1, 2009 and was appointed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as an ambassador to Brunei Darussalam.

Points of Interests[edit]

These are only some of its places of interests and recreations.

Shrines and Churches[edit]

Saint Joseph the Worker church became a parish on December 29, 1935 under the Archdiocese of Zamboanga; separating its administration to St. Francis Xavier Parish, Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte. The first church building was first erected at Saint Joseph School (College), then it was moved to its present spot. The parish is now under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dipolog.

  • The Diocesan Shrine of The Divine Mercy, Diocese of Dipolog, was declared as one of the pilgrim spot for the Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015-2016). It is administered by Rev. Fr. Danilo Alpuerto.
  • Statue of the Sacred heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima
  • Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, Poblacion, Sindangan (since 1935)
  • Sr. Sto. Nino Parish, Siari, Sindangan
  • Immaculate Conceptipn Piao Parish
  • Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel, Dapaon, Sindangan


  • Melleno's Pension and Beach Resort
  • Aloha Ohana Pool Resort
  • Sevilleno Beach Resort
  • Pitogo Beach
  • Winschin Pool Resort
  • Gangnam City Park
  • NSAR Beach Resort
  • Apdua Mountain Resort
  • Coco Grove Pension and Beach Resort, Tigbao, Sindangan

Retail centers[edit]

  • Novo Jeans and Shirts
  • Prince Hypermart Sindangan
  • RRJ Sindangan
  • MR. LEE - Sindangan
  • ABC Shopping Center
  • Jim Star Commercial
  • Nam Chau Shopping Center
  • Vallecer
  • Norhiza Convenience Store
  • Lucky 99

Banking institutions[edit]

There are 42 financial institutions as of 2015.

  • Philippine National Bank (PNB)
  • Landbank of the Philippines
  • 1st Valley Bank
  • Banco Dipolog
  • Rizal Rural Bank
  • ZNCB
  • AIM Coop
  • Katipunan Bank


Education is widely distributed in Sindangan.

Sindangan has two college institutions, both religious, the St. Joseph College of Sindangan Incorporated and the Philippine Advent College (PAC). Both offer courses in education, liberal arts, and computer sciences. PAC consistently produces nurses passing the board.

The town has fifty-seven (57) elementary schools, ten (10) secondary schools. Five are situated in the outlying barangays and four (4) in the urban barangays.

A TESDA training center in Barangay Goleo offers technical courses and trainings to qualified students.

These are some of its known institutions in the town:


Saint Joseph College of Sindangan Incorporated was founded on March 19, 1968 as Saint Joseph High School and eventually became the first college institution in Sindangan. The college was owned and supervised by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dipolog until now together with its other institutions like Saint Vincent's College, Dipolog City and Saint Estanislaus Kostka College in Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte.

  • List of the College Presidents in the Diocese
  • 1.+Most. Rev. Felix Sanchez Zafra, D.D. -first bishop of the Diocese of Dipolog appointed by Pope Paul VI on July 31, 1967. He was transferred as Bishop of the Dioces of Tagbilaran by Pope John Paul II on October 20, 1986. By then, the seat of the bishop of the diocese was vacant for more or less 7 months.
  • 2. Most. Rev. Jose Ricare Manguiran, D.D. - appointed by Pope John Paul II as second bishop of the Diocese of Dipolog on May 27, 1987 until his retirement on July 25, 2014.
  • 3. Most. Rev. Severo Cagatan Caermare, D.D. -appointed by Pope Francis on July 25, 2014 as third bishop of the diocese.

Philippine Advent College, Sindangan, formerly known as Hillside View College, a Christian college founded in Sindangan on 1975. Its current president is Mr. Pio M. Cernal.

Some of its high schools[edit]

  • Saint Joseph College of Sindangan, Incorporated, High School department
  • Philippine Advent College, High School Department
  • Sindangan National Agricultural School
  • Siare John H. Roemer Memorial National High School
  • Maras National High School
  • Dumalogdog National High School
  • Sindangan National Highschool
  • Lapero National High School
  • RJ Macias National High School

Yearly Events[edit]

Saint Joseph the Worker Town Fiesta- May 1(Labor's Day)

Honors the Primary Patron Saint of the town, Saint Joseph the Worker, Husband of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus Christ. He is entitled as "El Obrero" or "the Worker" because he is a modest carpenter who works hard to earn a living for the Holy Family and a role model and patron saint for all Fathers and Labor Workers. He is fit to become the town's patron saint because the people of Sindangan are known as hard-worker laborers since the pre-second world war.

Sinulog Festival- Siari's Fiest Day (3rd Sunday of January)

In honor of the Sto. Nino de Cebu. There will be a grand fluvial procession at the eve of the fiest. On the Fiest day, a street dance procession will be held and there will be a Sinulog Dance Competition contest.

Pasidungog Festival- Saint Joseph's College Founding Anniversary (March 19- Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Husband of Mary)

One of Sindangan's grand festival in honor of its prestigious school's patron saint and town's patron saint itself- Saint Joseph the Worker.

Linggo ng Sindangan[edit]

The charter day of Sindangan is celebrated annually. It starts at Dcecember 17 and ends on December 22.

List of Mayors who served Sindangan[edit]

1.Bartolome Lira, Sr. (Appointed) 1936–1941

2.Emilio Ortuoste (Elected) 1942–1945 3.Joaquin Macias (Elected) 1946–1953 4.Abundio Siasico (Elected) 1954–1957 5.Joaquin Macias (Elected) 1958–1963 6.Filomena Macias (Elected) 1964–1967 7.Jose Tan (Elected) 1968–1971 8.Mariano S. Macias (Elected) 1972–1979 9.Ricardo S. Macias (Elected) 1980–1985 10.Crescente Y. Llorente, Jr. (Appointed) 1986–1987 Crescente Y. Llorente, Jr. (Elected) 1988–1991 Crescente Y. Llorente, Jr. (Re-elected) 1992–1995 11.Winnie O. Albos (Elected) 1995–1998 Winnie O. Albos (Elected) 1998–2001 Winnie O. Albos (Elected) 2001–2004

  • Crescente Y. Llorente, Jr. (Elected) 2004– (July - November 2004)

12.Bert S. Macias (Succeeded) 2004–2007 Bert S. Macias (Elected) 2007–2010

13.Nilo Florentino Z. Sy (Elected) 2010–present


  • DXSZ-FM 97.7 Charm Radio Sindangan (CyVon Broadcasting Services, Sindangan. Adolana Broadcasting Network and Polytechnic Foundation of Cotabato and Asia Incorporated. Independently managed and franchised) Tag line- "Where your heart belongs." " Ang paborito ng bayan!" Charm Radio Sindangan- Most popular radio station in town. (Under Maintenance)
  • DXRF-FM 92.1 Radyo Natin (Manila Broadcasting Company) First established radio station in Sindangan. Tag line- "Your friendly hometown radio station." "Iba pa rin ang orig!" Managed by Mr. Bobby Jamora
  • DXSW-FM 95.3 City Lite (MIT-RTVN) SOON TO AIR
  • DXAZ-FM 100.9 One FM (Radio Corporation of the Philippines) SOON TO AIR
  • DXXE-FM 106.1 Hot FM (Manila Broadcasting Company)


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 12 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Province: ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2015). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ {{cite web|url= No. 1313, An Act Converting into Barrios Certain Sitios in the Province of Zamboanga Del Norte||accessdate=2011-04-11}}
  6. ^ "R.A. No. 2110, An Act Creating the Barrio of Gonayen in the Municipality of Sindangan, Province of Zamboanga Del Norte". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  7. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Province of Zamboanga del Norte". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Everett Rosenfeld (June 14, 2011). "New ‘World’s Shortest Man’ Celebrates Birthday, World Record". Retrieved 14 August 2014. 

External links[edit]