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Lanao del Sur
Flag of Lanao del Sur
Official seal of Lanao del Sur
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 07°55′N 124°20′E / 7.917°N 124.333°E / 7.917; 124.333Coordinates: 07°55′N 124°20′E / 7.917°N 124.333°E / 7.917; 124.333
Country Philippines
Region Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Founded 1959
Capital Marawi City
 • Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. (Liberal Party)
 • Vice Governor Arsad Marohombsar (Liberal Party)
 • Total 13,494.37 km2 (5,210.21 sq mi)
Area rank 33rd out of 81
Population (1 May 2010)[2]
 • Total 933,260
 • Rank 27th out of 81
 • Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)
 • Density rank 34th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 1
 • Municipalities 39
 • Barangays 1,159
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Lanao del Sur
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 9300 to 9321; 9700 to 9716
Dialing code 63
ISO 3166 code PH-LAS
Spoken languages Maranao, Cebuano, Filipino

Lanao del Sur (Filipino: Timog Lanao), officially the Province of Lanao del Sur (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Lanao del Sur), is a province in the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The capital is the city of Marawi, and it borders Lanao del Norte to the north, Bukidnon to the east, and Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf.

Situated in the interior of Lanao del Sur is Lanao Lake, the largest in Mindanao. The Darangen Epic Chants of the Maranao of Lanao del Sur is inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2008.[3]


"Lanao" means "lake", derived from ranao. The province, situated at basin of Lake Lanao, is known as the land of the "Maranaos" (which means "the "people of the lake").[4]


Sultanate of Lanao[edit]

Lanao was first explored by the Spaniards in 1689, upon which they discovered a well-settled community named Dansalan at the lake's northern end. Lanao was the seat of the Sultanate of Lanao.[4]

During the Pre-Spanish time, there are 4 important boundaries hold the power of appointing a new sultan namely: Bakayawan, Dalama, Madamba and Sawer. In appointing a new sultan the permission of these four boundaries are needed to validate the new sultan appointed to his position.

World War II[edit]

In 1942, it was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Forces who landed in Southern Lanao. On May 2, 1942, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Jose Abad Santos was killed by the Japanese Imperial forces in a firing squad at Malabang, Lanao del Sur. In 1945, the first of the liberation forces landed in Southern Lanao and liberated the area with United States, Philippine Commonwealth troops together with the Maranao guerrilla units. They used infantry weapons, the Maranao Kris, Barong and Kampilan swords against the Japanese forces in the Battle of Lanao. In 1956, Republic Act No. 1552 changed the name Dansalan to Marawi, taken from the word "rawi", referring to the reclining lilies abundant in the Agus River.[5]

An old 1918 map of Lanao province


In 1959, Lanao was divided into two provinces, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, under Republic Act No. 2228. Marawi was designated as the capital of Lanao del Sur.[6] The city was renamed the "Islamic City of Marawi" in 1980, and is currently the Philippines' only city having a predominantly Muslim population.[4]

Proposed Maranaw province[edit]

In 1971, Republic Act No. 6406, which sought to create a new province out of eastern Lanao del Sur (now corresponding to the province's first congressional district), was approved on October 4, 1971. The province was to consist of the municipalities of Bubong, Ditsaan-Ramain (including what is now Buadiposo-Buntong), Kapai, Lumba-Bayabao (including what is now Maguing), Marantao, Masiu, Mulondo, Saguiaran, Piagapo, Poona Bayabao, Tamparan, Taraka and Wao (including what is now Bumbaran), with the chartered city of Marawi serving as the new provincial capital.[7] The division never took place due to the declaration of Martial law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972, which disrupted the elections for 1973.

Joining the ARMM[edit]

In a 1989 plebiscite, Lanao del Sur voted to join the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), but Marawi City elected to remain outside ARMM.[4] It later joined ARMM in 2001 following the plebiscite that sought to expand the autonomous region.



Lanao del Sur forms the western portion of Northern Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Lanao del Norte, on the east by Bukidnon, on the west by Illana Bay, and on the south by Maguindanao and Cotabato. The landscape is dominated by rolling hills and valleys, placid lakes and rivers.

Located within the province is Lanao Lake, the second largest in the country, its waters drained by the Agus River which eventually empties into the Iligan Bay.[4]

The climate in the province is characterized by even distribution of rainfall throughout the year, without a distinct summer season. The province is located outside the typhoon belt.[4]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Lanao del Sur is subdivided into 39 municipalities and 1 city.

City or
District[8] Area
(per km²)
No. of

Amai Manabilang (Bumbaran) 1st 544.1 8,734 16.1 17 9320 3rd 7°47′07″N 124°40′51″E / 7.7853653°N 124.6808231°E / 7.7853653; 124.6808231 (Amai Manabilang (Bumbaran))
Bacolod-Kalawi (Bacolod-Grande) 2nd 491.57 18,555 37.7 26 9316 3rd 7°51′28″N 124°08′32″E / 7.8576753°N 124.1423567°E / 7.8576753; 124.1423567 (Bacolod Grande)
Balabagan 2nd 230 25,139 109.3 27 9302 4th 7°30′29″N 124°07′41″E / 7.5080883°N 124.1280413°E / 7.5080883; 124.1280413 (Balabagan)
Balindong (Watu) 2nd 453.94 26,007 57.3 38 9318 4th 7°54′37″N 124°11′59″E / 7.9102909°N 124.1996241°E / 7.9102909; 124.1996241 (Balindong)
Bayang 2nd 230 21,472 93.4 49 9309 5th 7°47′37″N 124°11′55″E / 7.7935184°N 124.1986263°E / 7.7935184; 124.1986263 (Bayang)
Binidayan 2nd 280 19,493 69.6 26 9310 4th 7°47′41″N 124°10′02″E / 7.7946026°N 124.1672981°E / 7.7946026; 124.1672981 (Binidayan)
Buadiposo-Buntong 1st 215 15,662 72.8 33 9714 4th 7°58′00″N 124°23′00″E / 7.966667°N 124.383333°E / 7.966667; 124.383333 (Buadiposo-Buntong)
Bubong 1st 798.5 19,455 24.4 36 9708 2nd 7°58′59″N 124°23′06″E / 7.9831326°N 124.385083°E / 7.9831326; 124.385083 (Bubong)
Butig 2nd 331.49 16,642 50.2 16 9305 6th 7°44′36″N 124°18′45″E / 7.74346°N 124.3124485°E / 7.74346; 124.3124485 (Butig)
Calanogas 2nd 195 11,988 61.5 17 9319 5th 7°44′08″N 124°04′53″E / 7.7354229°N 124.0814352°E / 7.7354229; 124.0814352 (Calanogas)
Ditsaan-Ramain 1st 527.98 20,208 38.3 35 9713 3rd 7°58′44″N 124°21′07″E / 7.9788278°N 124.3518448°E / 7.9788278; 124.3518448 (Ditsaan-Ramain)
Ganassi 2nd 256 20,205 78.9 32 9311 4th 7°49′35″N 124°06′12″E / 7.8264374°N 124.1032147°E / 7.8264374; 124.1032147 (Ganassi)
Kapai 1st 398.5 17,370 43.6 20 9709 4th 8°04′49″N 124°24′18″E / 8.0803049°N 124.4049954°E / 8.0803049; 124.4049954 (Kapai)
Kapatagan 2nd 288.13 13,432 46.6 15 4th 7°27′00″N 124°08′00″E / 7.45°N 124.1333333°E / 7.45; 124.1333333 (Kapatagan)
Lumba-Bayabao (Maguing) 1st 640.02 32,412 50.6 38 9703 2nd 7°51′49″N 124°22′21″E / 7.8635519°N 124.37253°E / 7.8635519; 124.37253 (Lumba-Bayabao)
Lumbaca-Unayan 2nd 42.28 6,279 148.5 9 9308 7°43′27″N 124°14′19″E / 7.7240899°N 124.2387199°E / 7.7240899; 124.2387199 (Lumbaca-Unayan)
Lumbatan 2nd 158.39 16,719 105.6 21 9307 5th 7°47′08″N 124°15′23″E / 7.7855141°N 124.2563581°E / 7.7855141; 124.2563581 (Lumbatan)
Lumbayanague 2nd 302.18 14,308 47.3 22 9306 4th 7°46′17″N 124°16′53″E / 7.7714399°N 124.2813993°E / 7.7714399; 124.2813993 (Lumbayanague)
Madalum 2nd 498.39 20,243 40.6 37 9315 3rd 7°51′13″N 124°06′47″E / 7.8536677°N 124.1130853°E / 7.8536677; 124.1130853 (Madalum)
Madamba 2nd 225 15,542 69.1 24 9314 4th 7°51′59″N 124°03′46″E / 7.8662726°N 124.0627241°E / 7.8662726; 124.0627241 (Madamba)
Maguing 1st 815.04 21,444 26.3 34 9715 2nd 7°53′07″N 124°24′09″E / 7.8852748°N 124.4025707°E / 7.8852748; 124.4025707 (Maguing)
Malabang 2nd 198.1 38,724 195.5 37 9300 3rd 7°35′47″N 124°04′25″E / 7.5964488°N 124.0735443°E / 7.5964488; 124.0735443 (Malabang)
Marantao 1st 660 28,550 43.3 34 9711 2nd 7°56′55″N 124°13′53″E / 7.9484817°N 124.2312956°E / 7.9484817; 124.2312956 (Marantao)
Marawi 1st 87.55 187,106 2137.1 96 9700 4th 8°00′13″N 124°17′12″E / 8.0034938°N 124.286626°E / 8.0034938; 124.286626 (Marawi)
Marogong 2nd 365 18,541 50.8 24 9303 4th 7°40′40″N 124°09′00″E / 7.6776995°N 124.1501048°E / 7.6776995; 124.1501048 (Marogong)
Masiu 1st 170 25,181 148.1 35 9706 5th 7°49′06″N 124°19′56″E / 7.8183436°N 124.3320963°E / 7.8183436; 124.3320963 (Masiu)
Mulondo 1st 458.67 14,065 30.7 26 9702 3rd 7°55′03″N 124°21′43″E / 7.9174241°N 124.3619889°E / 7.9174241; 124.3619889 (Mulondo)
Pagayawan (Tatarikan) 2nd 218 11,349 52.1 18 9312 5th 7°44′18″N 124°06′54″E / 7.7384634°N 124.114995°E / 7.7384634; 124.114995 (Pagayawan)
Piagapo 1st 340.07 21,974 64.6 37 9710 4th 7°59′23″N 124°10′48″E / 7.9897288°N 124.1800976°E / 7.9897288; 124.1800976 (Piagapo)
Picong (Sultan Gumander) 2nd 280 14,136 50.5 19 9301 7°41′05″N 123°56′09″E / 7.6848153°N 123.9357376°E / 7.6848153; 123.9357376 (Picong)
Poona Bayabao (Gata) 1st 242.34 19,229 79.3 25 9705 4th 7°51′05″N 124°20′21″E / 7.8514571°N 124.3392277°E / 7.8514571; 124.3392277 (Poona Bayabao)
Pualas 2nd 182.89 11,163 61 23 9313 5th 7°49′12″N 124°04′47″E / 7.8199325°N 124.0796328°E / 7.8199325; 124.0796328 (Pualas)
Saguiaran 1st 51.35 22,673 441.5 30 9701 4th 8°02′03″N 124°16′07″E / 8.0342014°N 124.2687392°E / 8.0342014; 124.2687392 (Saguiaran)
Sultan Dumalondong 2nd 275.8 10,522 38.2 7 6th 7°45′25″N 124°15′28″E / 7.7569186°N 124.2577958°E / 7.7569186; 124.2577958 (Sultan Dumalondong)
Tagoloan II 1st 362.35 9,843 27.2 19 9321 4th 8°05′18″N 124°27′30″E / 8.0884627°N 124.4582748°E / 8.0884627; 124.4582748 (Tagoloan II)
Tamparan 1st 170 22,367 131.6 44 9704 5th 7°52′35″N 124°20′10″E / 7.8763052°N 124.3361807°E / 7.8763052; 124.3361807 (Tamparan)
Taraka 1st 435.4 20,881 48 43 9712 4th 7°53′57″N 124°20′04″E / 7.8990902°N 124.3344212°E / 7.8990902; 124.3344212 (Taraka)
Tubaran 2nd 435 12,933 29.7 21 9304 4th 7°41′51″N 124°06′49″E / 7.6973827°N 124.1135788°E / 7.6973827; 124.1135788 (Tubaran)
Tugaya 2nd 155.1 22,235 143.4 23 9317 5th 7°53′01″N 124°10′41″E / 7.8835686°N 124.1779724°E / 7.8835686; 124.1779724 (Tugaya)
Wao 1st 485.24 40,479 83.4 26 9716 2nd 7°38′23″N 124°43′25″E / 7.639795°N 124.7234917°E / 7.639795; 124.7234917 (Wao)
 †  Provincial capital and component city      Municipality
  • Coordinates are sorted according to latitude.
(Italicized entries indicate the generic location. Otherwise, they mark the vicinity of the city or town center).
  • Italicized names are former names.
  • Income classifications for cities are italicized.
  • Dashes (—) in cells indicate unavailable information.


The politics in the province was dominated by few and prestigious families. But only two (2) families have brought big influence in the province the Datumulok-Dimaporo and Alonto-Adiong families. Both families have produced Governors, Congressmen, Board Members and Mayors, they were considered the most unforgettable political family in the province. The Datumulok-Dimaporos came from a small yet progressive town of Binidayan, Governor Sultan Ali Dimaporo became Governor of the province nominating by late Governor General Mamarinta B. Lao AFP, with the help of his siblings and cousin, Congressman Datu Macacuna Dimaporo, Mayor Sultan Naga Dimaporo of SND and Mayor Sultan Muliloda Datumulok of Binidayan. They once dominated the politics of Lanao. The Family was very known to be an ally of Former President Ferdinand Marcos, they've produced some influential leaders in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur some of them were Congerssman Abdullah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Governor Khalid Dimaporo, Congresswoman Imelda Dimaporo, Former Mayor Motalib Dimaporo of SND, Mayor Eleanor Dimaporo-Lantud, Former Mayor Raida Dimaporo-Papandayan of Tubaran, Former Mayor Abdul Rashid Dimaporo of Magsaysay, Former Board Member Danny Dimaporo, Former Assemblyman Ismael Camid, Former Mayor Punudarano Datumulok of Binidayan, Former Mayor Anwar Datumulok of Pagayawan, Secretary Dimnatang Radia of CDA-ARMM, Former Mayor Halim Datumulok, Former Mayor Sarip Datumulok, Former Mayor Misbak Datumulok and Colaw Datumulok.

On the other hand, the Alonto-Adiong, came from Ramain was headed by Senator Alauya Alonto Adiong with help of his family members, like Mayor Birua Alonto of Marawi had produced Senator, Governors and Congressmen. Upon the Death of Senator Sultan Alauya Alonto, His son, Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto lead his family with Governor Abdul Ghaffur Alonto they successfully controlled the politics in Lanao del Sur and also produced influential leaders in the province: Governor Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman, Congressman Rashid Lucman Governor Mamintal Adiong, Former ARMM-RLA Speaker Abul Khayr Alonto, Former Vice Governor Normala Alonto Lucman, Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., Late Mayor Lacsasa Adiong of Ditsaan-Ramain, Congressman Pangalian M.Balindong, Mayor Jamal Alonto of Bubong, Congressman Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong, Former Mayor Ricky Alonto Mamainte of Bayang, Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, Assemblyman Yasser Alonto Balindong, Mayor Ali Adiong of Ditsaan-Ramain, Board Member Alexander G. Alonto, Jr.,Board Member Abdulrashid Alonto Balindong and ARMM Regional Vice-Governor Haroun Al-Rashid Alonto Lucman.


Population census of
Lanao del Sur
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 599,982 —    
1995 686,193 +2.55%
2000 800,162 +3.35%
2007 1,138,544 +4.98%
2010 933,260 −6.98%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

The majority of people in Lanao del Sur are Maranaos,[4] with some and Cebuanos, Chabacanos, Tausugs, Yakan, and Bajau.

The main languages are Maranao and Cebuano. Other language spoken is Chabacano, spoken by both Christians and Muslims.

Maranao is the most commonly spoken language in the province.[4] Also spoken are Tagalog, Cebuano, Chavacano, as well as English and Arabic.


The people of Lanao del Sur are predominantly practitioners of Islam[4] (92%), majority of them are Sunnites, with a minority of Christians (mostly Roman Catholics, 5%) and most of them are Cebuanos and Chabacanos. Roman Catholics of Lanao del Sur fall under the jurisdiction of Territorial Prelature of Marawi, a suffragan of Archdiocese of Ozamiz.


Points of interest in the province include:

Lakes and waterfalls
National parks
Museums and historic structures
  • Aga Khan Museum
  • First Dansalan Town Hall
  • Dansalan Market (natively known as Padian)
  • Torogan (of Tuka)
  • Tuwaka Laput (all kinds of native product e.g. Bruwa, Tamokunzi, Amik, Dudol, Tiyathug)
Mosques/Islamic buildings
  • Abu Bakar Mosque (largest mosque in Lanao del Sur)
  • Darul aman Masjid-Kadinguilan, Marawi
  • Islamic Center of the Philippines (the country's largest dome)
  • King Faisal Mosque
  • Ma'had Mindanao al arabi al Islamie, Matampay (Co-founder al Shiek Achmad Basher and Shiek Abdul Madjid Manalocon (Cali sa Macadar))
  • Masjid Bilal (Lumpanag Kadingilan, Marawi)
  • Saduc-Guimba Grand Mosque in Marawi City
  • Tallest Minarets of Marawi
Leisure parks
  • Ayala Resort Hotel
  • Lanao Library
  • Lanao People's Park
  • Maliwanag Compound, LASURECO, Inc.
  • MSU Golf Course
  • Piagapo firing line
  • 0 Kilometer zone (the reference point of all roads in Mindanao)
  • Pantar Bridge, American built Steel Trusses Bridge
  • Provincial Welcome Arc located in Saguiaran

Musical and dance heritage[edit]

Main article: Kulintang

The native Meranau of Lanao del Sur have a fascinating culture that revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found among both Muslim and non-Muslim groups of the Southern Philippines.

  • Kandarangen (folk song)
  • Kandikir (rock music)
  • Kazagayan (Meranau Dance)
  • Kapangobing
  • Singkil
Meranau native culture
  • Games
    • Sipa sa Mangguis
    • Kadturayag
    • Kambulang sa Kuda (Fighting Horses)
    • Kandama (Meranau cheez)
    • Kaphaso (Racing Horse)



  • Amai Pakpak Medical Center
  • Former Libyan Hospital


  1. ^ Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Department of Agriculture: Lanao del Sur (There are major discrepancies among authoritative sources: 4121.3 km² (NAMRIA); 1,349,437 ha (NSCB, this value seems unreasonable and must be assumed as erroneous, see Talk:Lanao del Sur#Area))
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Darangen Epic of the Maranao People of Lake Lanao". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lancion, Jr., Conrado M.; cartography by de Guzman, Rey (1995). "The Provinces; Lanao del Sur". Fast Facts about Philippine Provinces (The 2000 Millenium ed.). Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines: Tahanan Books. pp. 94–95. ISBN 971-630-037-9. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Republic Act No. 1552 - An Act to Amend the Charter of the City of Dansalan So as to Change Its Name to Marawi and Make Elective Its Mayor, Vice-mayor and Councilors, and for Other Purposes". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Republic Act No. 2228 - An Act to Create the Provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Republic Act No. 6406 - An Act Dividing the Province of Lanao del Sur into the Province of Maranaw and Lanao del Sur". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Province: Lanao del Sur". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Population Counts - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" (PDF). National Statistics Office (Philippines), April 4, 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

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6861 news items

Philippine Star

Philippine Star
Thu, 28 Jan 2016 21:03:45 -0800

MARAWI CITY, Philippines - Provincial officials welcomed as vote of confidence the grant by the Spanish government of P3 million cash assistance to a fledgling Lanao del Sur town for a public market. Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. on Friday ...


Thu, 21 Jan 2016 23:04:27 -0800

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Lanao del Sur officials are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the mountain forests of Butig town in the province on Thursday night, January 21, including concerns that it might have been triggered by ...

Philippine Star

Philippine Star
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 23:18:52 -0800

In a statement Friday, Adiong, who belong to the administration's Liberal Party, said he has no authority over public schools in Marawi City since functions of the Department of Education are not devolved to the Lanao del Sur provincial government ...
Manila Bulletin
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 06:10:46 -0800

Cotabato City – The bushfire that ravaged vast tracks of forest lands that used to form part of Lanao del Sur's panoramic “sleeping beauty mountain” range has been contained, local authorities declared yesterday. “There is no more threat that it ...
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 05:53:08 -0800

ILIGAN CITY—Four people, including two suspected local terrorists whom authorities described as IS-inspired, were killed in separate but related incidents in Lanao del Sur on Friday morning. Col. Roseller Murillo, commander of the Army's 103rd ...

Minda News

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 04:33:45 -0800

The most recent tower that was bombed early morning of January 18 was NGCP's Tower 50 of Agus 2-Kibawe 138KV line in Barangay Pantar, Dimayon Bubong in Lanao del Sur. Tower 50 is the second of NGCP towers that was bombed this year.

Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin
Wed, 13 Jan 2016 06:02:14 -0800

Liberal Party presidential bet Mar Roxas has been conferred the title of “Datu” after he was adopted as son of Lanao del Sur in an enthronement ceremony held recently in Marawi City. The conferment of the title — the highest distinction given by the ...

Philippine Star

Philippine Star
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 21:03:45 -0800

MARAWI CITY, Philippines - The bushfire that hit vast swaths of lands at the tri-boundary of Mindanao's adjoining Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces had fizzled out, officials said on Saturday. “There is no more threat it would ...

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