One of the four provinces of the ARMM region in Northern Mindanao is Lanao del Sur. It is surrounded by the provinces of Lanao del Norte on the north, Bukidnon on the east, Illana Bay on the west and Cotabato and Maguindanao on the south.
Lanao’s terrain forms the western chunks of the extensive plateau of Northern Mindanao. The narrow coastal plains and rolling hills close upon Illana Bay on the southwest and give way to the mountain scope with Cotabato along its boundary and the lowlands going east to the limits of Bukidnon.
The word Lanao originated from the word ranao, which means “lake”. The province of Lanao encompass the basin of Lake Lanao where the Maranaos reside and are referred to as “people of the lake”. It’s capital, Dansalan, has become a municipality in 1907 and a city in 1940. Thus in 1956, the name of the town was change to Marawi, coming from the word “ravi”, pointing to the reclining lilies in the Agus River. At the moment Marawi is the provincial capital.
Maranaos dominated most of Lanao’s population. Being one of the last group to be Islamized, Maranao hold firmly to the decree of their traditional law called maratabat, a status sensitive regulation that governs their social relations and sanctions that would preserve and cultivate their patronage.
They are also one of the most artistic ethnic groups in the country. They are well known for the superiority of their weaving and their metal and woodcrafts. They have created one of the finest endemic architecture with their impressive Torogans. The design and motifs of their okil is one of the most systematized in the country.
Lanao’s rich and fertile soil provides fruitful harvest for their agricultural industry. Rice is their main crop followed by corn, coconut, abaca, bananas and durian. Brass making and malong-weaving are some of their cottage industries.
The province main attractions are mostly concentrated in Marawi City. Lake Lanao is known to be the deepest lake in the country and is surrounded by lush countryside-farming villages impregnated with rice and cornfields. The lakeside towns are dominated by mosques. The Torogans which are an antique royal houses combined with Maranao’s high-rooted carvings, are also situated in the area.
The Moncado Colony in Cadingilan is named in honor of Camino Moncado, a leader, organizer, writer and lecturer. Moncado monuments and statues of wild animals can be found in the said colony. Tugaya town, on the other hand, is reputed to produce the best brassware in the Philippines.
Philippine Airlines has a regular flight going to Cagayan de Oro City. From there, several taxis for 4 to 6 passengers travels to Marawi.
Like most provinces in the region, Lanao del Norte has both land and water on its sides. Its terrain is a combination of coastline, plateaus, and mountains.
How to Get There
Daily flights are available from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, where you can take a bus to Lanao del Norte.
Ferries are available from Manila and Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, where you can take a bus to Lanao del Norte.
Top Things to Do
Fall for the waterfalls
Lanao del Norte has some 20 waterfalls. You have to at least visit one.
Take a hike
Hike up Mt. Agad-Agad, and stay the night. It’s beautiful to see the stars reflected in the
waters of Iligan Bay.
Beautifully formed stalactites and stalagmites await underground in the Hindang Caves.