Katugasan: Siquijor’s Old Name

Building the new world was a huge endeavor, and Tugga Sam couldn’t have done it without the help of his friends, Ba’alte the Dwarf and Takadog. Tugga Sam needed the water that only Ba’alte the Dwarf could provide and Takadog’s brute strength to move big boulders and dig trenches. His master, King Kihod asked him to cover the new world with trees so that his fireflies could thrive. Tugga Sam and Takadog were hard-workers and could move dirt and soil with great ease. They were buddies and fondly called themselves the underwater-people. After a long day of work, they usually sat at the top of the hills facing west to enjoy the sunset often with King Kihod who would frequently spend time with them after giving the responsibility to Ijor.

Read: The Legend of King Kihod

According to the legend, they built huts for themselves and for their friends to come and visit. The two of them started to re-create their old kingdom by building a small village up in the hills of the island where a perfect sunset could be seen. Takadog was the master builder while Tugga Sam was an expert in growing trees and other vegetation. Takadog made things possible with his building skills and it was reported that one of the things he built was a water reservoir to supply his village.

Tugga Sam, however, had an impact on a bigger scale. At one time, the whole island was covered in so many trees that when the locals were asked about who owned those beautiful looking trees, in Cebuano language they would say, “ka-Tugga Sam:”  “they are Tugga Sam’s.” Whether, the name “ka-Tugga Sam” and the precolonial name of the island “Katugasan” are related, we’ll never know. What we know is that people from neighboring islands called Siquijor “Katugasan”  because of the massive presence of “tugas” or molave trees  that covered the island.