“Dagsa” in Hiligaynon means a lot of things.
It can mean “a lot” or “abundance.”
In the case of Cadiz City, it can refer to the landing of whales on its shores, the abundance it is now enjoying, and the waking up of a city amid the challenges it has faced brought by the turbulent political and economic times.
And recently, a storm.
“Nagdagsa diri ang mga balyena,” older residents of this second-class city in the north would tell visitors, referring to the 1960s event when several humpback whales got beached on the shorelines of Cadiz.
That was the second dagsa.
A century before the whales, it was the Spaniards who came in droves. In 1861, the metal-clad conquistadores arrived on what was then a small settlement on the banks of the Hitalon River, according to city government research.
The Spaniards, far from home, called the settlement Cadiz. It reminded them of a city of the same name in Sain that was also located in the north.
Cadiz was not even a town yet. It was just one of the villages of Saravia (now EB Magalona), already a town then.
In less than two decades, Cadiz became a munisipyo, the people elected Antonio Cabahug as its first official, then called gobernadorcillo, an article on the Cadiz Eco Center website said.