Based on Archival Spanish records, Cabadbaran is an old town replete with history which could be traced as early as 1867 when the District Governor Manuel Bascasa ordered the forced transfer of an already existing coastal village called Cabadbaran. During this period, the land area from present day La Union up to Caasinan has traditionally been called Cabarbaran. Inhabited by Manobos, this village was located between Tubay and Magallanes, which was then the Butuan of 1867. Only two hours on foot from Magallanes, this reduction was thus called La Reunion del Cabarbaran and was administered by recollect missionaries.
When the Jesuits took over the recollects in Agusan in 1875, they supported the retransfer of the Christianized Manobos in La Reunion back to Bunawan and Talacogon. When this was carried out in 1878, La Reunion was dissolved and the remaining residents joined the pueblo of Tubay. This dissolved reduction would be revived in the later years and would become the present day Barangay of La Union. The loss of La Reunion resulted to a vacuum of the presence of Church in the area leading Father Saturnino Urios to establish a new reduction in the south bank of Cabadbaran River, a few kilometers north of La Reunion. He was to name this new reduction as Tolosa.
Led by Teniente Eduardo Curato, Tolosa became a pueblo in 1894 when its citizens of Manobos and Visayan settlers petitioned for township status separating itself from the pueblo of Tubay. It was, however, through the influence of Don Andres Atega, Cabadbaran's leading revolutionary of 1896 which brought about the gradual disuse of the name Tolosa and the increasing use of the name of Cabadbaran as the name of the new pueblo in honor of its traditional name La Reunion del Cabarbaran. Found in this historic town are old monuments and ancestral houses reminiscent of its Spanish past.
Cabadbaran lies 9 degrees north latitude and 125 degrees and 30 minutes east longitude on the northeastern part of Mindanao. Its boundaries are Tubay to the north, Butuan Bay to the west, Magallanes to the south, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur to the east. It is 29 kilometers away from Butuan City. It is generally flat with rolling hills and swamplands in its western part. The highest of all mountains in Caraga Region, Mt. Hilong-hilong (located 2,012 meters above sea level), rises in this municipality.
Cabadbaran's foundation day is January 31 and its town fiesta is on February 2 with its patroness saint Nuestra Sra. De Candelaria attracting many devotees from afar. For its municipal flower, Cabadbaran has Kumentang; for its municipal fruit, saging; tree, lubi; bird, Antolihao; and yellow for its municipal color.
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