The Caraga Region was created through Republic Act No. 7901 on February 23, 1995. The region comprises five provinces: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands; six cities: Bayugan, Bislig, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Surigao and Tandag; 67 municipalities and 1,311 barangays. Butuan is the regional administrative center.
During pre-colonial times, the Rajahnate of Butuan ruled in what is now Agusan del Norte and Butuan City. It had much influenced on all of Caraga, portions of Northern Mindanao, and western side of Bohol. According to records, Butuan was in conflict with the Sultanate of Ternate in the present-day Moluccas of Indonesia. The Ternateans would attack and ransack Butuan and its wealth, but Butuan always prevailed. It was known that the Rajahnate of Butuan had friendly relations with the Rajahnate of Cebu which it considered as an ally. The Rajahnate of Butuan became a powerful Hindu state which is much known for its goldsmithing and boat-making. The people of Butuan used gigantic boats known as balangay which carried numerous men. Relics of these gold crafts and giant boats have been unearthed and preserved by the National Museum of the Philippines and other international museums. Butuan also had cordial relations with the Kingdom of Champain what is now central Vietnam. The Butuan people managed to traverse the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea to reach Champa for trade. While the Rajahnate of Butuan was at large, the indigenous lumads of the inner sections of Caraga were free and had their own democratic societies that were highly advanced. Their societies were known for their knowledge on nature, medicine, mythology, and warfare. Chinese traders eventually came into Butuan and the Sino-Butuan trade became the focal point of Champa-Butuan relations, where both nations were competing against each other to win favor of better trade with Chinese traders. Eventually, Butuan started to weaken due to massive attacks from Ternate. Cebu was unable to help at the time because it was also being attacked by Ternate. Likewise, the Kedatuan of Dapitan in Bohol, “The Venice of the Visayas”, was also destroyed by an attack from Ternate.
When the Spaniards came and subjugated the Rajahante of Butuan which was already weak due to much tensions with the Sultanate of Ternate, the boat-making and goldsmithing traditions were eradicated and the relations between the coastal Butuan and the lumads of the interior became less known. The lumads of the interior were also converted to Christianity, which diminished some of their traditions on nature worship. The Spanish attacked the Sultanate of Ternate to negate any future attacks in Caraga, which they succeeded at due to much gun power. With the Spaniards having full control of Caraga, they started establishing Spanish-modeled centers to maximize their coverage and control over the territory, where they succeeded. The Spaniards would rule the country until the United States defeats them in a war which would lead into the handling of the entire archipelago into American possession.
The “Kalagan“, called “Caragan” by the Spaniards, occupied the district composed of the two provinces of Surigao, the northern part of Davao Oriental and eastern Misamis Oriental. The two Agusan provinces were later organized under the administrative jurisdiction of Surigao and became the independent Agusan province in 1914. In 1960, Surigao was divided into Norte and Sur, and in June 1967, Agusan followed suit. While Butuan then was just a town of Agusan, the logging boom in the 1950s drew business to the area. On August 2, 1950, by virtue of Republic Act 523, the City Charter of Butuan was approved.
On February 23, 1995, the Caraga region was created through the issue of Republic Act No. 7901 during the administration of President Fidel Ramos. The provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte (of the former Northern Mindanao region) and Surigao del Sur (of the former Southern Mindanao region) were annexed as part of the newly-created region.
It is reported that during the early years of the Caraga Region, its inhabitants came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Migrants from the Visayan and Luzon provinces later settled in the area. Most of its inhabitants speak Cebuano and reside in the rural areas.
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caraga