Found in the Heart of the Municipality, barangay Dinaga is the seat of executive power. It is among five barangays that constitute the poblacion. An urban barangay, it is situated on the eastern portion of the municipality. It is bounded on the north by barangay Santa Cruz, on the northeast by Baras, on the east of San Agustin and Haring, on the southeast by San Vicente, on the south by Del Rosario and on the east by Pangpang. In the 2007 census, it had a population of 1,571. Dinaga is composed of seven (7) purok or zones.
It has an aggregate area of 50 hectares or 1.16% of the total land area of the municipality. Based from the 2009 Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) survey results, barangay Dinaga has 355 households with a total population of 1543 or an average household size of 4. Purok 2 has the highest number of households with 103 and Purok 6 registered the smallest number with 31 households. The Our Lady of the Rosary is its patron saint which festivity falls on the last Saturday of October.
Oral history has it that before the people moved into the low-lying area, they patiently dumped earth fill into the place in order to keep the daily tidal flood away from their new residence. The people originally referred to the place as "dinagaan" or filled with earth in Bikol language. Later, usage shortened the referential name to Dinaga.
During 1580s, the Spanish missionaries choose a portion of land at the bank of the Canaman creek that would become the head settlement Canaman. On the center of highest portion the area, the first church was built where visiting missionaries held religious activities.
In 1890s, a number of principalia lived in Dinaga including Don Basilio Severo and Doña Basilisa Granada whose houses valued P150 and P250, respectively. In the census of 1892, the combined population of Dinaga, which then included Pangpang, Bagonbayan, Apad and Sta. Cruz, was 1,013. 1903 census recorded only 83 people. Pangpang, and Sta. Cruz and Apad, had separate data in 1903 census.
In 1903, Americans held formal classes for pupils in Severo's property which later became storehouse of FACOMA. Among its earliest pupils was Clemente Alejandria who would become a notable writer in the region along with Lorenzo Rosales. From 290 residents in 1918, population count dramatically increased to 746 in 1939. Canaman Elementary School celebrated its first graduation exercises in 1941 with Josefa Rosales as the valedictorian.
Residents joined Tancong Vaca Guerrilla Unit (TVGU) and Daughters of Tandang Sora (DOTS) when the war broke out. Japanese used the school as garrison while the church was transformed into a military arsenal. Paciano Medenilla interrupted the term of Damaso Requejo as municipal mayor in 1945. He was elected in 1948 and served until 1951. Dinaga had a population of 558. Plaza Andres Bonifacio was renamed after Juan Q. Miranda. Municipal Hall was reconstructed. In 1964, Paciano Medenilla was reelected municipal mayor and served until 1967.
During the 1970s, barangay Catholic chapel was constructed in Purok IV. Sabas Chica starred in Jesus Christ Superstar passion play, a first of its kind. Population reached a thousand mark at 1,082 in 1975. 1981 census recorded 1,153 people.
In the 1990s, Adela Gaddi was elected Hermana Mayora of Cofradia de Hermanidad in 1992. Romulo Santos became Hermano Mayor the following year. Julian L. Vargas Sr. was elected Punong Barangay on June 6, 1994. In the following years, Canaman People's Center was constructed in Plaza Juan Q. Miranda, and Don Juan Requejo Park was inaugurated. Venancio B. Regulado and Romeo N. Aggabao were elected municipal councilors in 1995 elections. In 1997, Julian L. Vargas, Sr. was reelected as Punong Barangay.
Venancio B. Regulado became municipal vice mayor, while Dionisio G. Corporal, Henry P. Ragodon and Romeo N. Aggabao were elected municipal councilors in 2001. From July 1 to October 15, Regulado served as acting municipal mayor. Agua Chika started to operate in 2001. In 2002, Roy B. Gumba was elected Punong Barangay.
Zenaida Morales and Elena Cresini hold the positiion Hermana Mayora of Cofradia de Hermanidad successively in 2003 and 2004. William Ragodon, Sabas Chica and Venancio Regulado were elected Hermano Mayor in 2005, 2006 and 2009, respectively.
Regulado was reelected municipal vice mayor in 2004 and 2007 elections. Corporal and Ragodon served their second term, and Aggabao his third as municipal councilor.
Dr. Danilo M. Gerona published Canaman Through Four Centuries in 2009. In 2011, Ireneo C. Sto. Tomas wrote Canaman: Gira kan Banwaan.
In 2010, Sofronio Portuguez and Fatima Santor became Hermano and Hermana Mayora of Cofradia de Hermanidad. Virgilio Hermoso was elected Punong Barangay. A new Purok was created in Dinaga. Henry P. Ragodon was elected municipal mayor.
Canaman Elementary School, the first public school founded in the municipality in 1903. The nearest secondary school, Sta Cruz National Highschool, is located in barangay Sta. Cruz which is about a kilometer away. Tertiary education facilities can be found in Baras about 2.5 kilometers from the barangay and in Naga City about 15 minutes ride.
Canaman Munipal Hall, Canaman Peoples Center and the Our Lady of Assumption Parish are located in Dinaga. A number of eateries is found in the barangay which cater mostly Canaman Municipal employees, and Canaman Central School teachers and pupils. SFP Printing Press and Agua Chicka are the two major enterprise in the municipality in printing and alternative drinking water services, respectively.
Based from the 2009 Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) survey results, barangay Dinaga has 355 households with a total population of 1543 or an average household size of 4. Purok 2 has the highest number of households with 103 and Purok 6 registered the smallest number with 31 households.
Dinaga as seen from Google Maps (click image to enlarge)
The barangay is slightly male dominated with 783 males and 760 females or an overall sex ratio of 103%, meaning there are 103 males for every 100 females. Among the Six puroks, Purok 6 registered the highest sex ratio with 112 while Purok 1 has the lowest. Further, Puroks 1, 2 and 3 registered an average household size of 4 while puroks 4, 5 and 6 have 5.
ADNU professor and historian Dr. Danilo M. Gerona, NIA Bicol regional director Engr. William P. Ragodon, former municipal vice-mayor and CASURECO II director Venancio B. Regulado, among others, are its prominent residents.
Photos (clockwise): Barangay Council, residents, Tanod Outpost, Health Center.