History

Dalaguete, known officially as the Municipality of Dalaguete, is a municipality in the 2nd district of Cebu Province, Region VII – Central Visayas. It is located 84 kilometers (52 mi) south of Cebu City and is bordered by Argao town to the north, Badian and Alegria towns to the west, Cebu Strait to the east, and Alcoy town to the south. The town offers one of the trails leading to Cebu’s highest mountain, Osmeña Peak.

The municipality’s origin and name are founded on the “dalakit” tree (Ficus benjamina) that is endemic to the land. Natives of the town, referred to as Dalaguetnons, believe that the tree harbors spirits that could impose sickness if maltreated, or bring fortunes and gifts when placated. When the dalakit tree is fully grown, its intertwining roots are exposed to the earth, forming huge caverns that could house several people.

Barangay Mantalongon, which is one of Dalaguete’s barangays, is hailed as the “Vegetable Basket of Central Visayas and the hinterlands”. It produces, on average, 60-80 tons of vegetables on a daily basis, which it transports to neighboring cities and islands. The barangay is also famous for being the “Summer Capital of Cebu”.

Dalaguete celebrates its annual town fiesta in honor of its patron saint, San Guillermo de Aquitania, every 9th and 10th of February. One of the highlights during such celebrations is the street dancing and showdown competition called “Utanon Festival”. The festival is a form of thanksgiving for all the blessings and graces that Dalaguetnons have received from San Guillermo and for giving them a home that is rich in agriculture and music. In essence, Utanon Festival is a celebration of good harvest through dance and music.

Geography

Land characteristics:

  • Land area: 154.96 km2 (59.83 sq. mi)
  • Topography: coastal; 85% hilly and mountainous with more than 30% slope
  • Land Use: Dalaguete (15,496 ha) is partitioned into protected areas (forested and mineral lands) and alienable and disposable areas (A&D).
    • Protected areas: 7,321 hectares (47.24%) [green]
    • A&D: 8,175 hectares (52.76%) [pink]
      • 7,697.02 ha (94.15%) are used for production; 189.82 ha (2.32%) are allocated for settlement; while 288.16 ha (3.53)% are used for infrastructure and utilities.
  • Coordinates: 9° 46’ North, 123° 32’ East; (9.7629, 123.5330)
  • Highest elevation: 608 m (1,995 ft.)

Population

The Municipality of Dalaguete has a population of 74,596, with a positive growth rate of 2.13% between 2015 and 2020 (PSA, 2020). Population density is at 481 persons per square kilometer. The number of households as of 2020 census is 17,201.

According to the 2020 Census data, 51.63% of the municipality’s population is male (38,516), while 48.37% is female (36,080). By age group, 31.49% is comprised of the young aged between 0 and 14 years old, 62.10% are aged between 14 and 64 years old, while 6.41% are aged 65 years old and above.

Economy

Dalaguete is a 1st class municipality. Poverty incidence as of 2018 is at 25.20% (PSA). Based on 2020 data, revenues amount to P224.4 million, with assets valued at P693.7 million, while expenditures amounted to P205.7 million, and liabilities at P226.8 million. Dalaguete has a Cities and Municipalities Index (CMCI) of 30.9473 as per DTI.

Economic activities in the municipality revolve around agriculture, cottage industries (such as basket weaving); and mining. Dalaguete is a large supplier of fresh vegetables, such as chayote, cabbage, pechay, carrots and more. The town also has ample supply of mineral resources, such as coal, lime red stones, lime pink stones, and phosphate.