via Rappler, 12 January 2022: One of the cradles of Christianity in the Philippines and formerly a popular pilgrimage site.
The ancient village of Tinago used to be the cabecera or capital of Samar, and was considered the cradle of Christianity in Samar after three Jesuit missionaries set foot there in the late 1500s.
Tinago was called as such due to its geographical location, which was literally tago or hidden, mostly surrounded by a thick forest of mangroves. The original settlement can be found behind the 18th-century church ruins – aka Tinago Ruins – that sit atop a hill. Tinago then changed its name to Dapdap, though it is unclear when this happened.
In the 1800s, Dapdap operated as an independent town under Bangahon (present-day Gandara). Back then, however, there were efforts to transfer the cabecera or capital from Dapdap to present-day Tarangnan town proper due to a wave of cholera, which hit different parts of Samar at the time. King Alfonso I of Spain eventually approved the petition to move the new poblacion in April 1884.
After Tarangnan was officially made into a cabecera, the image of St. Francis of Assisi ended up getting transferred to the new capital despite protests from Dapdap’s locals