The history of Caraga can be tracked back in the 15th century when explorers discovered the existence of Kalagans, believed to be Visayan in origin in one of the three (3) districts in Mindanao. The word Caraga originated from the Visayan word Kalagan, “Kalag” meaning soul or people and “An” meaning land. The Kalagans have long history being brave and fearless. Thus, the region was called by early chroniclers as the “Land of Brave and Fierce People.”
The Kalagans, called Caragans by the Spaniards, occupied the District that was composed of the two (2) provinces of Surigao, Northern part of Davao Oriental and Eastern Misamis Oriental. The two (2) Agusan Provinces were later organized under the administrative jurisdiction of Surigao and became the independent Agusan Province in 1914. In 1960, Surigao was divided as Norte and Sur. And in June 1967, Agusan followed suit. While Butuan then was just a town of Agusan, by virtue of Republic Act 523, the City Charter of Butuan was approved on August 2, 1950.
On February 23, 1995, Republic Act No. 7901, “An Act Creating Region XIII to be known as Caraga Administrative Region and for other purposes”, was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos, constituting the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and the cities of Surigao and Butuan, which serves as the regional center. On August 24, 2006, Republic Act No. 9335 created a new province from Surigao del Norte, the Dinagat Islands Province which constituted the fifth province of Caraga.