All About Cataingan

Economic Facts

Agriculture and livestock
        With its rolling terrains and wide plains, Cataingan has agriculture as its principal occupation. Coconut is the town’s chief product, with rice, corn, root-crops produced on a minor scale. Coconut farms occupy more than half (59.81%) of the total land area devoted to agriculture or over 48% of the total land area.

On the other hand, corn and rice farms occupy roughly 26% and 10% of the total agricultural land, respectively; corn and rice are the staple food of the populace. The rest are planted with bananas, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and other rootcrops. These agricultural crops support the regular income of the local populace.

People living along the coastline engage in highly productive fishing. This is very common since many of the barangays are situated along the seashore.

The land area devoted to pasture is about 3.49% of the total and cattle-raising is very much a part of the people’s activity. Poultry raising and hog production are also very popular in the whole municipality. As a downstream effect, feed-milling is present in the municipality—meeting not only the local demand but also that of the adjacent towns.

Commerce and industry
        Historically, Cataingan was once a barangay and part of the municipality of the neighboring town Palanas. It was created into a separate municipality in 1885. The said emancipation ironically made Cataingan much larger in area than its mother town Palanas. bEing situated on a harbor with a serviceable port and protective seawall, it is strategically superior in terms of commercial and agricultural expansion, making it one of the centers of trade and commerce in the various municipalities of Masbate, the provinces of Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Iloilo, Bohol, Negros and the island of Panay.

Rice, corn and copra are commodities which are very much in demand in the local trade.

        There are nine (9) of the 36 barangays that compose the municipality have their own respective coastlines. Thus, the people, aside from farming, also engage in small-scale fishing and fish preservation activities like fish drying, smoked-fish making and salting fish. These are packed and shipped to Cebu, Bicol, Mindanao and Manila. Masbate province is generally well-known for its tasty and quality dried fish.

However, due to the province’s location at the typhoon-vulnerable eastern coast of the island-province of Masbate, farming is not always reliable, and fishing is not dependable at all times. To forestall this situation, the people of Cataingan make use of all available resources for alternative small-cottage industries that are less vulnerable to the long-term effects of weather-induced natural calamities.

Since backyard cattle production, poultry and hog-raising are also popular in Cataingan, a downstream effect, like feed-milling, is present in the municipality—meeting not only the local demand but also that of the adjacent towns.

The inland.upland dwellers in Cataingan’s barangays are also engaged in coconut wine (tuba) production. Tuba is fermented and made into vinegar—one of the best products of the municipality that are marketed in mainland Masbate and even in the Bicol region and Metro Manila.

The presence of a sufficient amount of guano deposits in the barangays of San Rafael, Libtong, Pawican and San Pedro could be tapped to provide raw materials in the production of organic fertilizers, which the local farmers could utilize on their farms or trade with other communities.

        Cataingan is endowed with some natural attractions, which includes white beaches, caves, natural springs, ski-diving and swimming areas.

The municipality has many white beaches, for instance, the Gutusan Beach. It has sparkling white sand. At times, however, when sea current is very strong, the sand turns from white to blackish. During fair weather, the water is so clear that assorted schools of fish, various coral formations and large boulders can be seen beneath the placid waters. The Khokak Beach is one of the sought-after beaches in town. Its proprietor is the Kho family. Near the beach is the Pampang where big stones sleep.

The so-called "KRUS" in San Rafael is visited by many specially teenagers who are known to be adventure-seekers. The whole town can be seen from this place.

        Cataingan has a number of public elementary schools, high schools, and two colleges, the Cataingan Municipal College and the Ovilla Technical College.

Cataingan Municipal College offers two-year courses such as Computer Secretarial and Junior Secretarial, and four-year Bachelor degrees. The head is Wilton T. Kho, the municipal mayor. It has a school magazine, The Eagle, first published in April,2008.

Cataingan National High School is based in Poblacion, Cataingan. Elementary schools include Potenciano A. Abejero Elementary School (PAAES) and Emilio S. Boro Sr. Elementary School, both situated in the town proper. All barangays have their own elementary schools. While barangays Badiang, Cadulawan, Cagbatang, Pawican, & Liong also have their own secondary schools.

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