About Us – Kauswagan Lanao del Norte Local Government Unit

Municipality of Kauswagan

Province of Lanao del Norte

Republic of the Philippines

About Us

About Kauswagan

The Municipality of Kauswagan is classified as a fifth income class municipality in the Province of Lanao del Norte in Northern Mindanao (Region X), Philippines, with an approximate population of close to 25,000 based on the 2020 national census.

It is accessible by air travel via the Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan Airport), which is approximately 86 kilometers away (2-hour drive by private vehicle). It is also accessible via sea travel from Cebu City, Ozamiz City and Siquijor island via Iligan City port.

More than 780 kilometers south of Metro Manila, Kauswagan was at the heart of the conflict between government forces and the separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the year 2000 when then President Joseph Estrada declared an all-out war against the separatist group. Hundreds of families were affected by the conflict where most of its inhabitants forcefully fled to save themselves and their families.

Despite its painful past, Kauswaganons pride themselves as a portrait of prosperity, peace and sustainability today. Kauswagan is now known as a model community in food production through organic agriculture, sustainability and community empowerment. Several separatist group leaders (MILF commanders) have fully integrated into communities and are now at the forefront of local food production.

Kauswagan abundantly produces coconut products, palay, peanuts, vegetables, fruits, seafood, among many other agricultural and aquatic products.

Kauswagan Longest Boardwalk

Experience the enchantment of a transformed port in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. This coastal destination offers a vibrant boardwalk, amusement park rides, and breathtaking ocean views. Discover joy and create cherished memories in this delightful escape.

Kauswagan Town Center

Experience the vibrant pulse of our town at the bustling town center, featuring local shops, a bustling market, and a lively atmosphere that captures the essence of our community.

Seaside Spectrum

Escape to a serene coastal retreat, where breathtaking ocean views, comfortable accommodations, and attentive service await. Experience tranquility and create cherished memories at our seaside haven.

Fisherman's Wharf

Experience a vibrant waterfront destination with bustling stalls and an enchanting amphitheater. Explore a lively marketplace and enjoy live concerts against the picturesque waterfront backdrop.

The Early Settlers

In 1914, the Province of Lanao was created and on July 4, 1959, the area was divided into what is presently known as the two provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. In this era of migration of inhabitants around Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, parts of Sabah in Malaysia, and the nearby islands in the Indonesian archipelago, scores of Filipino and foreign immigrants found their new home in Mindanao. On the other hand, migrants from Mindanao moved to Sabah in the early 1970s fleeing from conflict and economic deprivation. (Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2021)

The American colonial government started to develop agricultural colonies in Mindanao as early as 1913 and in 1935, when the Philippine Commonwealth was established, large-scale migration to Mindanao began. The earlier American efforts encouraged Christian immigration to Muslim Mindanao. This was when immigrant populations were on the rise in northern Mindanao, including Lanao del Norte. The migrations did not only bring Christians from Luzon and the Visayas islands, there were a number of Muslim families who traveled from the Sulu archipelago. Among the early clans that settled in Kauswagan included Muslim families from Sulu such as the clan of Datu Elme Mohamad, a ranking datu from Cabingan, Sulu. Christian families also settled in the area including the clans of Restituto Cagas from Misamis Occidental as well as the families of Montebon, Borres, Cole, Masukol, Montecillo, Ruelan, Paglinawan, Comendador, Samson, Cordero, among others, who came from many parts of the Visayas islands.

Notably, among the settlers, the family of Datu Mohamad occupied about half of the site and the family of Restituto Cagas occupied a portion of what was known as Dalicanan, a short word for ‘dali-cancanan’ or ‘kia dalicanan’ referring to an underground freshwater spring located on the beach which could easily be retrieved during low tide after scrapping the sand that buried the spring that drew the settlers to concentrate their settlements in the area.

By 1917, Dalicanan was already a progressive village and the Christian settlers renamed Dalicanan to Kauswagan which means ‘progressive.’ The name Kauswagan, later on, was applied to the whole site when it became a barrio under the then Municipality of Iligan and Dalicanan became a sitio, a smaller community within the barrio.

In 1947, Jose Q. Balazo, a councilman of the Municipality of Iligan aided by Pedro Pernia Sr., Ricardo Capa, and Rustico Panares advocated for the creation of Kauswagan as a separate municipality from Iligan. Councilman Balazo with Santiago Ramirez and Anacleto Conde Sr. brought the paperwork to Malacañang Palace for approval. On April 25, 1948, by virtue of Executive Order No.126 duly signed by President Manuel Roxas, barrio Kauswagan was created into a municipality. (Sources: Arturo Peñaserada; Dionesio Fuentes)

Executive Order No. 126, s. 1948






Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, and pursuant to the provisions of section sixty-eight of the Revised Administrative Code, the barrio of Kauswagan and the sitios of Linamon, Magoong, Purakan, Rebukon, Samburun, Lapayan, Takub and Kawit, of the municipality of Iligan, Province of Lanao, are hereby organized into an independent municipality under the name of Kauswagan, with the seat of government at the barrio of Kauswagan. The municipality of Kauswagan as herein organized shall have the following boundaries:

From the mouth of the Rupagan River on the Iligan Bay, somewhere west of Kilometer Post No. 47, at the sitio of Kawit, as shown in the map of Iligan municipality submitted by the district engineer, upstream following the course of the said river to M.B.M. No.1; thence eastward in a straight line passing through M.B.M. Nos. 2, 3, and 4, until it intersects the west bank of the Agus River; thence downstream following the course of this river to its junction with the Linamon River; thence downstream following the course of the Linamon  River to its mouth on the Iligan Bay.

The municipality of Iligan shall consist of its present territory minus the territory comprised in the municipality of Kauswagan.

This organization shall take effect on April 25, 1948.

Done in the City of Manila, this 29th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty-eight, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the second.

President of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary

Source: Presidential Museum and Library

Roxas, M. (1948). Executive Order No. 126 : Organizing a certain portion of the municipality of Iligan, Province of Lanao, into an independent municipality under the name of Kauswagan. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. 44 (4), 1115.

Hugyaw sa Kadagatan

Hugyaw sa Kadagatan Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in northern Mindanao which takes place every month of April in Kauswagan. This is one of the festivals recognized by the Department of Tourism and is looked forward to by every Kauswaganon and people coming from neighboring towns, cities and provinces. This celebration is a way of thanksgiving for the abundant harvest from the local farms and waters. “Hugyaw” which is the Visayan term for the word “shout” symbolizes the community’s collective chants and screams of happiness brought about by a bountiful harvest. It is a gathering that brings tens of thousands of visitors to Kauswagan. From April 16 to 25 of each year, local communities and visitors come together to celebrate the town fiesta and the charter day anniversary of Kauswagan as a municipality and many residents who now live in different places would look forward to their annual homecoming in time for this celebration. Organized by the local government, through its several departments, units, and the Municipal Tourism Office, the weeklong activities each year bring guests and residents to world-class amenities and beautiful public spaces such as the Longest Boardwalk and Amusement Park, the Fisherman’s Wharf, Municipal Amphitheater, Municipal Hall, and other exciting places in a celebratory atmosphere filled with peace, love, and abundance.

The street dancing competition during the annual fiesta celebration is being performed within the Poblacion (center of commerce) area.


Thanking the “Most High” through a ritual dance is what “Hugyaw sa Kadagatan” is all about. Offering thanks for the year’s abundant harvest while sending awareness on the need to preserve and protect the marine resources. The Hugyaw sa Kadagatan Festival is celebrated from April 16 to April 25 each year.

Achieving Peace and Sustainability Through Organic Agriculture

Contact Us

Municipal Mayor’s Office

Municipal Tourism office

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