The town of Del Carmen is one of the oldest settlements founded by the Spaniards in the cluster of islands in the Pacific Ocean east of Surigao del Norte known as Siargao.
Early records of missionaries dating to 1571, or barely 50 years after the discovery of the Philippines, refer to the place as Caolo (derived according to oral history from the word colo or Kolo which is the native name for bread fruit. Thus, Caolo means land of bread fruits) and thereafter as Caob also written variously as Kaob, Koob, Kacub, all of which mean sheltered, covered or landlocked. Eventually, it came to be popularly known as NUMANCIA after town in the andalucian plains of Spain, possibly so named by Spanish priest on resident who came from that rainy region. This name officially remained for over two centuries until it was changed to Del Carmen on June 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4786 during the Administration of Mayor Galo C. Comon in honor of its patroness, Virgen Del Carmen, whose feast day falls on 16 July.
In 1920 under the American regime with Francisco Alburo as town president, the territory of Del Carmen at that time comprised of one half of Bucas Grande island with the Barangays of Pamosaingan, Sta. Cruz and Hinundayan excluding Socorro, the main village (now a town) and others which belonged to Dapa . This was the setup when the bloody “Colorum Uprising” erupted in the province of Surigao del Norte in 1924, and violently suppressed by the Commonwealth Government with American and military support.
The old Del Carmen (Numancia) is bounded in the south by barangay Bitoon between Dapa and Del Carmen up to the barangay of tuboran, Quezon, landahan in Sta.Cruz straight to Benoni point as boundary between Del Carmen and Pilar and all lands extending north of this line now composed of the new municipalities of Sapao (presently Sta.Monica and part of Del Carmen until 1948), Burgos, San Isidro and San Benito along the northwestern seaboard of Siargao island all of which were once part of the old Numancia .
By virtue of an executive order, President Ramon Magsaysay in 1952 created the town of Sapao. In 1960,President Carlos P. Garcia elevated the Barangay San Isidro into a municipality by virtue of Executive Oder No. 356 and 1964 the new municipality of Burgos was born by legislative act and its first set of local officials were elected in 1967. The last barrio under Numancia, namely San Benito, became a municipality in October 1971.what remains today of Del Carmen’s original territory comprises of the barangays of Bitoon, Cabugao, Antipolo, Quezon, Sayak, Lobogon, Mahayhay, Esperanza, Katipunan, Cancohoy, Bagacay, Jamoyaon, Mabuhay, Caub, Domuyog, San Fernando, Hali-an and the two barangays in the town proper, San Jose and Del Carmen, with 23 sitios under it .
Since the American regime up to the present. Del Carmen has had 13 illustrious local chief executives with Hon. Constantino H. Navarro. Jr., former Congressman of the First District of Surigao del Norte, which includes Siargao and Dinagat, islands under its Jurisdiction.
The other executives are: American Regime – Hon. Francisco Alburo 1920-1922, Hon. Teofanee E. Plandano 1923-1925; Commonwealth Period – Hon. Victor Espaldon 1932-1934, Hon. Nicolas Vitanzo 1935-1940, Hon. Rodulfo Concha 1941 (interrupted by WWII), Hon. Maximo Cometa 1943-1945 (Japanese Occupation);Philippine Republic – Hon. Miguel Lasala 1946 – 1963, Hon . Galo C. Comon 1964-1967, Hon. Nicolas S .Laoguico 1968 – 1971, Hon. Virginia C. Monzon 1972-1986, OIC – Mayor Felizardo L. Escuyos January –1 Feb, 1988, Hon. Rogelio L. Tan 02 Feb 1988 – 1998, Hon. Alencita E. Navaro July 1998 to present.
Del Carmen is classified as a 5th class municipality with a total land area of 20,189.000 hectares out of which 9,450 hectares are forest lands, 4,180 hectares mangroves and 5,056.5 hectares alienable and disposable lands with the rest classified as agricultural and open space areas, etc. It is the acknowledged gateway to Surigao City and the neighboring municipalities in Siargao Island being the shortest sea route there via the narrow Hinatuan Passage to the mainland.
Municipality: Del Carmen
Presently, the Municipality of Del Carmen has 20 barangays and 23 sitios. Its Land area is 20, 189.0000 has. The town is located in the western part of Siargao Island with a distance of 33 nautical miles from Surigao City, the capital of the Province. The average elevation of the land is approximately 20 feet above sea level and irregular or hilly topogaphy.
DEL CARMEN MANGROVE FOREST
A total mangrove forest of 8,620 has. Of those a single forest block consist of 4,200 has. This mangrove block is habitat of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna is the endangered Crocodylus Porosus or Saltwater crocodile.
It is surrounded by several islets in the western coastal portion with beautiful beaches along Caub cave called Sugba. The sea, in contrast to the virgin forest is rich in resources. Hundreds of fish species and numerous kinds of clams and crabs are found in the ocean floor. Shallow seas and coral reefs , even the munky swaps lined by almost endless raw of mangroves inhabited by crocodiles of different sizes. Del Carmen is a municipality of superlatives. The virgin forest orchid, and other ornamental plants can be seen; the widest natural grown mangroves trees with an area of 4,180 hectares; and rarest crocodile species.