Dipolog History, Philippines
The capital city of Zamboanga del Norte is Dipolog City. It is located in the southern part of the Philippines, in Mindanao. Hills on the southeast and the Sulu Sea on the north are the major geographical land marks of this city.
The earliest history of Dipolog City was marked in 1834. During this time, Dipolog was still under the Misamis’ Spanish Provincial Government under the leadership of a Captain with the “Teniente” and an “Aguacil” as law and order enforcers. In that year under Captain Don Domingo Ruiz, the town site was relocated to Tulwahan.
According to a legend, that is told over and over again about how the name Dipolog came to be, in that same year a Spanish missionary recollect priest arrived in Tulwanan. When meeting a native he asked “Donde esta el Capitan?” Understanding only the word “capitan”, the native pointing to the west direction answered in Subano language “Di-pag” which means “across the river”. The priest then proceeded on accompanied by his boy Tagalog Muchacho Antonio Subido to where the native pointed. Upon reaching the site, it was known the missionary priest had named the place Dipag. Mispronunciation and the mixing of Subano and Visayan languages had evolved the term Dipag to what we all know today as DIPOLOG.
But prior to 1834, Christian and pagan Boholanos had already settled in the place and had already socialized with the pagan Subanos. In protecting the place from the Moro pirates, they established Sianib a town 20 km from the coast. When the threat from the Moros diminished, they transferred Sianib to Nipaan and Isab. They also built a church on the top of the hill overlooking the opening of Isab creek and a wide plain. However, due to the inconvenience of going up and down the hill to hear mass during the Spanish Colonization wherein all were required to attend mass in the morning and in the afternoon, the town folks built another church down the area of Tuwanan River. This church had become the center of Christianization in the area thus in 1834 it was transferred to a new site the entrance of the Dipolog River where it still stands until today.
Dipolog City is best known for wild orchids and fishing particularly in the sardines business thus named the Sardines capital of the Philippines. It is also named the “gateway to Western Mindanao” because of the Western Nautical Highway.
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