The Municipality of Dapa lies south of Siargao Island. It is 36 nautical miles east of Surigao, the capital of Surigao del Norte. A few nautical miles of the town is the famous Philippine Deep.
The early villages along its seacoast are the barrios of Cambas-ac, Union and Dolores. Sometime in the early part of the last century of the Spanish regime, Moro piracy was rampant in the Southeast coast of Mindanao. Pirates occasionally swooped down on the coastal village of Siargao Island and left behind them destruction and death. Natives were often taken as captives and slaves.
Due to frequent raids, the villagers abandoned their homes and sought haven in Taghaligui (now Dapa) which was then a lush timberland and protected from the shore with a thick formation of tall mangroves.
From their vantage position, it was then easy for them to run for cover whenever there was an approaching enemy attack. In taking cover, they usually lay prone on the ground (hapa') behind the huge tree trunks.
Thus Dapa, corrupted from the vernacular word hapa, was adopted by the natives as the permanent name of their settlement in lieu of Taghaligui to constantly remind them of those vicious moro raids.