Basilisa is located along the western border of Dinagat Island of Surigao del Norte, Philippines. Populated by people who migrated from various places of the Philippine archipelago. Hence, the variety of dialects found in the area.
During the Spanish regime, settlers from Leyte traversed by sailboat and landed on the southern rocky island of Dinagat. The area was described as having many lofty ridges and high ranges of cliffs. A balangay or small village was then established along its coastal areas. The place was called Sibanag because of the thorny vine crawling abundantly along the coast out from the thich canopies of trees carpeted in the mountain ranges running the length of Dinagat Island.
Post-war accounted a large number of populations on the southern island and other mainland villages along the coast. Under the strong support of the leading citizens of these areas, the place was created into a municipality by virtue of Republic Act No. 4986 dated June 17, 1967 choosing the name Rizal after the foremost filipino hero. Later, the municipality was renamed Basilisa by virtue of Republic Act No. 5775, which took effect on June 21, 1969. Hence, the muni9cipality is alternately called Rizal or Basilisa..
Since its creation, the municipality remained a satellite growth center of Dinagat Island. The main reason for this has been due to the low income of the municipal coffers.
In 1994, the seat of the municipal government was transferred to the mainland barangay of Ferdinand to give accessibility to the majority of barangays located in the mainland of the municipality
To date, the municipality is one of the few relatively peaceful municipalities in the Province of Surigao del Norte. The present administration introduced many reforms, programs, projects to promote the socio-economic development of the municipality. These include the construction of horizontal and vertical infrastructure, the promotion of agriculture and empowering the people towards a better quality of life.