| The municipality of Dapa lies
south of Siargao Island. It is 36 nautical miles east
of Surigao, the capital of Surigao del Norte. A few nautical
miles of the town is the famous Philippine Deep.
The early villages along its seacoast are the barrios
of Cambas-ac, Union and Dolores.
Sometime in the early part of the last century of
the Spanish regime, Moro piracy was rampant in the Southeast
coast of Mindanao. Pirates occasionally swooped down
on the coastal village of Siargao Island and left behind
them destruction and death. Natives were often taken
as captives and slaves.
Due to frequent raids, the villagers abandoned their
homes and sought haven in Taghaligui (now Dapa) which
was then a lush timberland and protected from the shore
with a thick formation of tall mangroves.
From their vantage position, it was then easy for
them to run for cover whenever there was an approaching
enemy attack. In taking cover, they usually lay prone
on the ground (hapa') behind the huge tree trunks.
Thus Dapa, corrupted from the vernacular word hapa,
was adopted by the natives as the permanent name of
their settlement in lieu of Taghaligui to constantly
remind them of those vicious moro raids.
Source: 1970 Souvenir Program
of Philippine Public Schools Inter-scholastic Athletic
Association Meet (PPSIAA)