During the Spanish regime, the people in the place were all non–christians. To name some, they were A LOT, LAHOYLAHOY, and LAUS. Gitagum at that time was a thick forest. There were wild pigs and chickens. Most people were illiterate. Gitagum was a Sitio of Cagayan Misamis (Misamis Oriental). Some people from Tagnipa (El Salvador), Alubijid and other neighboring places had applied the place for a homestead, and then settled the place.
The first settlers were Leodegario Patenio, Rosales Fabricante, Luis Balacuit, Juan Buray, Juan Taroy and Damaso Paculba. Few non – Christians (natives) moved to the mountains because they do not like to get near the Christians.
Leodegario Patenio had an idea that Gitagum must be a barrio. One time, one of the natives got sick, and they were helpless. They thought of inviting a quack doctor who utilized the leaves of “Tagum-Tagum”. And the patient got cured. From then on, the place was called GITAGUM.
In the year 1961, the people of GITAGUM gathered themselves and conducted a barrio meeting only to discuss on how to apply for a municipality status. Two prominent persons, Benito Velasco and Custodio T. Damasing sought for the requirements, and personally submitted them to Manila for approval. His Excellency, Carlos P. Garcia, the President of the Republic of the Philippines had issued an Executive Order No. 435, dated June 8, 1961 stating therein, that GITAGUM must be a regular Municipality.
President Garcia had appointed the town officials for GITAGUM, namely; Santiago L. Velasco as the Municipal Mayor; Valeriano Dumagan, as the Municipal Vice Mayor.
The following were the Municipal Councilors; Lino Maagad, Teotimo Magdale, Bernardo Yamaro, Antonio Palasol Sr., Leon Nob, and Carlos Micutuan. Custodio Damasing was appointed as Municipal Secretary.
GITAGUM then was inaugurated on June 8, 1961. Worthy to mention were the founders of GITAGUM, namely: Mariano H. Tubelleja, Custodio T. Damasing, Tirso M. Paculba, Benito Velasco, Santiago L. Velasco, Valeriano Dumagan, Antonio Palasol, Sr., Carlos Micutuan, Leon Nob, Lino Maagad, Teotimo Magdale, Ricardo B. Baculio, Bernardo Yamaro, and Tirso Dalondonan.
Gitagum, a 5th class Municipality, is located in the province of Misamis Oriental, Region X (Northern Mindanao) at 25”35” east longitude. The municipality is bounded on the north by Mindanao Sea, on the east by the Municipality of Laguindingan, on the south by the Municipality of Alubijid and on the west the Municipality of Libertad. It is approximately 40 km. away from Cagayan de Oro City.
The municipality of Gitagum stretches along the shoreline of Mindanao Sea having an approximate length of 6.2 km. It has a total land area of 4,340 hectares or 43.40 square kilometers which is only 1.18% of the total land area of the province of Misamis Oriental. There are eleven (11) barangays of which four (4) are urban areas due to their strategic location along the national highway and along the Iligan Bay. Light commercial and industrial establishments are found in these barangays. Built up areas for urban uses comprise only 2. 5 % of the total land area of Gitagum, which is utilized for residential uses and within the vicinity of the public market, business establishment, churches, school, municipal gymnasium, plaza and other government building of the municipality. The coastal barangays of Burnay and Pangayawan are vegetated with mangrove which remains protected.
The barangays along the coast are traversed by the national highway, while the interior barangays are accessible by the provincial and barangays roads which serve as farm to market roads .
It is politically subdivided into eleven (11) barangays; five (5) are along the coast namely: Poblacion, Burnay, Pangayawan Matangad and Quezon while six (6) are upper barangays – Cogon, Tala –o, G. Pelaez, Ulab, C.P. Garcia and Kilangit.
Agricultural lands cover a major portion of the total land area with 3,790 hectares or 87.32% of the municipality’s total land area. Out of the total land area devoted to agriculture, only 2,634.50 hectares are actually cultivated.
Dominant crop grown is coconut. Actual area planted with corn is 1062.91 hectares while tobacco is about 494.27 hectares. About 75% of the area are intercropped with coconut trees.
In the peripheries, surrounding the residential, commercial and industrial areas are the agricultural lands located outside barangay Poblacion built – up area. This accounts for the greater portions of 918.016 hectares sharing 91.14 percent. Greater portions of the total agricultural land of the entire barangay Poblacion are found on its Southern, Eastern and Western portions.