. . .  of the island . . .  of the town . . .

, as called by the Visayans, means a point or cape. It is the oldest town in Camiguin. It was founded in 1622 under the patronage of San Roque. Fray Francisco de la Concepcion, Recollect, was the first Priest when it was founded. It had 357 tributes and a population of 1,625 with Sagay and Mambajao as station or visitas.

Oldchurch_kapoktree3ACCORDING to chronicles, the first parish that was established in this island was that of Guinsiliban (1596 or 1599), with station or visitas in Catarman and Sagay.

According to Vicente Elio, Magellan came to discover Camiguin where he set foot in April 1521 and according to local folks, Magellan set foot to get water at site where Catarman was established. For more than two centuries only the parishes  of Guinsiliban and Catarman existed.

FROM THE 18th CENTURY to the early 19th century, Camiguin as a part of Misamis Oriental, was governed from Cebu by 1818. Misamis Oriental gained its provincial status with Camiguin Island as one of the division of the Misamis Oriental territory called PARTIDO de CATARMAN composed of Catarman and the villages of Guinsiliban, Mambajao and Sagay.

On 1848, the parish of Guinsiliban was abolished and transferred to Sagay together with Mahinog. They became visitas of Sagay and Sagay was separated from Catarman and Mambajao remained as visitas or station.

0N JANUARY 4, 1855, a special decree separated Mambajao from Catarman and on July 6 of the same year, it was made a municipality with Rev. Father Valero de Sebastian as the first parish priest and Tupsan its visita and Agojo became the only visita of Catarman.

THE TOWN OF PARTIDO de CATARMAN was frequently subjected to natural calamities. Lava, hot rocks and volcanic ashes due to the eruption of Mt. Vulcan on October 10, 1870 destroyed Catarman. Until 1871, the town was located in its original site. But due to volcanic activity, it had been transferred to Guiob, then a barrio; this is its present location. It is the biggest town in the island in terms of land area, very fertile, hilly. The climate is healthful. The first view the town offers is beautiful scene. It is not yet too developed; it has many forests with excellent timber for construction.

ON MAY 1, 1871, Catarman was established in present location headed by Pio Gomez, Hilariun Abad, Patricio Basa, Pedro Anonuevo, Marcelo Bacol and Marcelo Cadion. In 1872, Mambajao claimed Agojo from Catarman and Agojo separated from Catarman.

IN 1899, an Amercian gunboat bombarded Camiguin. After a brief skirmish with the Los Libertados under the command of Ricardo Reyes, the inhabitants readily submitted to American rule. Sporadic clashes however continued against the remaining elements of the revolutionary force that was led by name of a certain Balero. In 1899, the Americans appointed Mr. Macario Gimeno First President of Catarman and later on replaced by Mr. Rosendo Bailo, then succeeded by Mr. Leopoldo Ilago as President.

IN 1901, Balero and his followers were completely annihilated in the Battle of Manduaw that ended the resistance in the island.

IN 1903, Mr. Mateo Roasol was the President of Catarman. Between 1903 and 1906, Catarmanons became rebellious. They did not want interference from people outside from Catarman who interfered in their governing system and they preferred to fight with bolos and spear, but not without a single drop of blood.

IN 1906, Catarman was abolished as a municipality and integrated as a barrio of Mambajao and Pablo Rodrigo and Gregorio Basmayor were the Councilors.

IN OTHER VERSION of 1903, the towns of Catarman, Mahinog and Sagay were all combined with Mambajao to form into a single municipality out of the entire island. Guinsiliban was formed part of Sagay from 1848 to 1950.

ON JULY 30, 1910, the construction of the municipal building begun and finished in January 26, 1911 and the amount collected to finance the project was P 1,344.20 and the total cost of the building was P 1,218.82. The project was completed.


IN 1912, PabloRodrigo was elected President of Municipality of Catarman. through plebiscite, up to 1915. In 1912, Catarman was re-created or re-established as municipality separate from Mambajao.

During the Second World War, the municipality was not spared of the threat of war. Although there was no war encounters within the municipality, a guerilla outfit was present. There was no bombing made during the invasion of the municipality. The people were prepared of the event and most went to the nearby hills and mountains to hide.

The eruption of Mt. Hibok-hibok on September 8, 1948 and December 3-4, 1951 precipitated a dramatic exodus of Catarmanons for safety to other places. Most of them went to mainland Mindanao and settled. To them, Mindanao was the island of promise. True to their beliefs, most of them had improved and settled permanently.

CATARMAN has 14 barrios namely:

  1. BONBON established as the first settlement in 1622 and established in 1875 as a separate barrio after the eruption in 1871

  2. CATIBAC established in 17th century

  3. MAINIT established in 1701.  Under Mainit are Sitio Kugon, Dumilag, Songok, Binuagan, Malingin and Ka-alingatungan

  4. PANGHIAWAN established in early part of 18th century

  5. COMPOL established in 1855

  6. TANGARO established in 1860

  7. BURA established in 1870

  8. POBLACION established in 1871.  Formerly Gui-ob; old Catarman centro was transferred here after the volcanic eruption

  9. LAWIGAN established in 1877

  10. LILOAN established in _________

  11. ALGA established in 1962

  12. MANDUAO established in 1964

  13. Looc established in 1964

  14. SANTO NINO established in 1972




– Research done by Mr. Godofredo S. Apugan and Mr. Joseph B. Gaa at the National Library on 1999.