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ComVal Province
Municipality of Maragusan
Written by delight   
Sunday, 29 May 2011

The present day Municipality of Maragusan was formerly named San Mariano .It was created on November 25, 1977 through presidential Decree No. 1247 and carved out the Municipality of Mabini.

Rolling hills and mountainous terrain rising 2,000-7,642 feet above sea level, surround the valley and shield it from strong winds of the Pacific Ocean blowing across the eastern coastal province of Davao Oriental.

The original settlers of Maragusan were the Mansaka tribe who initially dwelled in the mountain fastnesses and lived off the land, eking out a meager living through the primitive “kaingin” system of farming. Some resettled into the rich valleys below after decades of staying in the mountains and blended with migrants. Others stayed behind, developed their own communities, and preserved their rich culture, custom, and tradition.

The Mansaka identify themselves as “Man-Agusan”, a native word meaning settlers along the banks of Agusan River whose headwaters flow from the towering mountain range. From Maragusan mountains, the river snakes through several barangays, twisting and turning across the lands outside the headwaters before emptying its heavy load into Butuan Bay hundreds of kilometers away from the source .

For phonetical reason,”Man-Agusan” was changed to Maragusan and the gentle plains of Maragusan, Caragan, and Tag-ugpo came to be known as Maragusan Valley.

Outsiders learned of the rich valley in 1955 after the plane flown by pilot and Lake Leonard rancher Captain Rivera went off course and flew over the plain. Later Rivera asked help from the Bureau of Lands which then plotted and verified as an agricultural land. Immediately, he applied for a thousand hectares of agricultural land in the heart of the valley that was then part of the municipality of Mabini.

While the papers were on process, Capt. Rivera opened a settlement in nearby Agwacan Spring and appointed Albino Segura head in-charge of its development. Rivera supplied planting materials like coffee and cacao seedlings. But he was unable to set foot on Maragusan soil When Bureau of Lands denied his application citing “some restrictions”.

Albino Segura later resigned and worked on a farm of his own. Segura applied for the release of a portion of the valley as agricultural land. Apparently, his application was approved after which he invited more migrants to farm the unoccupied areas of the rich valley. With Segura gone, Arsenio T. Yanong took over as foreman of Rivera’s settlement.

The remote territory was isolated and had no direct link to its mother municipality. A heavy forested zone cut off the valley from government services. Lawless elements and dissidents had free reign. In1972 the situation was worsening, then district councilor Manolo T. Yanong petitioned local and national leaders to create the municipality of Maragusan containing an area of 92.2 hectares.

Florentino R. Obeso was appointed mayor and was installed on January 24, 1978. In the 1980 local elections, Manolo T. Yanong became the first elected Municipal Mayor of San Mariano.

The 1986 EDSA Revolution that ousted Ferdinand Marcos installed a revolutionary government and new sets of national and local officials.

Vice Mayor Jose D. Perez, Sr. was appointed OIC Mayor. The sets of officials submitted a position paper requesting then President Corazon C. Aquino to revert the name San Mariano, to its original name, Maragusan. On October 12, 1988, Congress approved Republic Act No.6678, the House Bill authored by the Cong. Lorenzo S. Sarmiento, Sr., of the First District of the still undivided Davao that changed the name of the municipality to Maragusan.

Manolo T. Yanong was re-elected mayor in 1989. He completed his term in 1998. During his stint, various socio economic and spatial development programs and projects were put in the municipality. Under his leadership, Maragusan became one of the major tourist destinations in the Region. This motivated the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the then Davao del Norte to pass and approve SP Resolution No.84 that declared Maragusan the”Summer Capital “of the province.

Manolo T. Yanong was succeeded by Gerome M. Lamparas, Sr. who served one term. Arsenio L. Yanong, Jr. took over Lamparas and served two terms from 2001-2007.

In 2007, Cesar C. Colina, Sr. ,  was elected as the municipal mayor.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 May 2011 )
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