Davao Plan a Trip Travel Guide

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines

Mindanao, the massive island at the bottom of the Philippine archipelago, is, in many ways, the cultural center of the land. Mindanao is where indigenous tribes still live alongside the Muslims who settled here in the 14th century. Also, It is their homeland as well as Christians. Spanish rule arrived late in much of the island, and at the very least, it was tenuous in the 19th century. They, however, faced their bitterest opposition in this area when the Americans invaded the islands. Much of the island is calm, pleasant and pleasantly beautiful today. Where is Mindanao in the Philippines?

What You Should Know About Mindanao

Mindanao, the island of the Philippines’ second-largest, in the southern part of the archipelago, the seas of Bohol, Philippines, Celebes, and Sulu surround the island. It measures 293 miles (471 km) to the south and 324 miles (521 km) to the west, irregularly shaped. The island has peninsulas. The Gulf of Davao and Moro in the south and Iligan Bay in the north are deeply divided. The Zamboanga Peninsula, a long, semi-circular peninsula (west), stretches southwest into the Sulu Archipelago and Borneo and coasts south and north.

For many places, rugged, unstable mountains and volcanoes occur. Mount Apo is an active volcano in the South of the Central Highlands. It is at 9,692 feet (2,954 meters) and is the highest peak in the Philippines. The island has narrow coastal plains, and the Mindanao and Agusan rivers form broad, fecund basins and vast swamps. Lake Lanao (Sultan Alonto Lake), created by a lava barrage, has an area of 134 km2 (347 km2). The island has a shelter for marsh games and a bird sanctuary. On Mindanao is the rare Philippine Eagle.

Within the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines, Mindanao is a Muslim stronghold. While Islamic culture is no longer in the majority of Muslims. They made large number of mosques and distinctive brassware. The autonomous region of Mindanao was set up in 1990. It includes western and south-western Mindanao as well as several nearby islands, such as Tawi Tawi and Jolo.

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Mindanao has become the highest ethnic minority concentration in the Philippines. The Maguindanao, Maranao, Ilanun, and Sangil are all Muslim groups that people often call the Moro. You can usually find the T’boli, Subanon, Bukidnon, Bagobo, Mandaya, and Manobo groups. The Tiruray, whose religion is a combination of Christians, Muslims, and local beliefs, is also significant.

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines


It is in the region of earthquakes and volcanic activities. Mindanao is situated on the erratic, long and winding coastline, interwoven with several peninsulas and picturesque promontories and bays. The tropical island of Mindanao is 80 ° F (27 ° C) average annual temperature and 77% relative humidity. The rainy season is the summer monsoon from May to November. The dry season takes place from December to April. Although many of Mindanao is sheltered by mountains, during the rainy peak period (June to October), a typhoon is very common. The average annual precipitation in the lowlands is about 80 inches (203 cm).

Mindanao has become a natural focus of the growth triangle of economic cooperation initiatives among the four bordering countries in the framework of a multilateral cooperation scheme. It is called the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). It is because of its proximity to Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. Before the Marcos period, this region was one of the world’s leading producers of many cash crops.

The list includes products such as abaca, sugar and coconut, fertile soil, ample precipitation, and Sunshine. The area also produces bananas, coffee, pineapples, palm oil, and export cotton. It is in addition to the supply to the domestic market of locally famous durian and flowers.

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines: Autonomous Region in Mindanao 

The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao ( ARMM) is one of the most hectic areas of the Philippines. It is a patchwork of several predestined Muslim provinces in the western part of the island. The Regional Government (based in Cotabato) was established in 1989 and had the power to collect taxes and apply Shariah law to Muslims. Notwithstanding this autonomy, the country remains extremely poor. The epicenter of government anti-government unrest – Philippine tourism authorities, the majority of the Philippines (as well as the governments of the United States, UK, and Australia) generally advise foreigners to avoid the area.

The situation is less clear on the ground. Actual incidents are rare but often end in tragedy. Kidnapping is always a lucrative business on Basilan Island, the northernmost island of the Sulu chain. You should not go there if there are any unambiguous recommendations.

It is best to seek advice from the local tourist office before visiting any of the places and arranging a local guide when you go. Avoid traveling entirely at night.

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines: Marawi and Lanao River

Nestled on the banks of Lanao Lake just 25km south of Iligan, MARAWI is the center of the Philippines’ Islamic religion. It has 92% of the population is Muslim. The area around Marawi used to be a place of kidnappers during the Marcos years. The city today is generally peaceful. It has infrequent incidents related to struggles for Muslim autonomy. However, it is still a good idea to visit a driver and a guided tour guide (contact the Iligan tourist office).

Lake Lanao, the tranquil lake in the green bowl surrounded by far-off mountains, is Marawi’s most significant natural attraction. It is the second-largest lake in the Philippines and easy to explore on the roundabout road; about 350 mosques are said to be on the lake and is the best location for beautiful torogans-the traditional wooden houses in the upper class of Marawi.

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines: The Archipelago of Sulu

Despite the preservation of some of Asia’s most untouched beaches, the volcanic archipelago of Sulu is unknown in tourism. Even Philippine tourists rarely come here. A large part of the island chain is infamous for lawlessness and violence. You need to coordinate very carefully with the Zamboanga tourist office before heading south. For instance, only Tawi-Tawi was considered safe to visit before. The archipelago includes some 870 islands in the southwest of Mindanao. 

It occupies an area of 2700 square kilometers from Basilan in the north to Borneo in the south. It has a massive population of around 12 million. Access is either via Zamboanga Ferry (to Jolo; 1 day; 12 h) or via Airphil Express Flight (3 times weekdays; 40 minutes) from Zamboanga to Jolo and Tawi-Tawi (1 hour daily; 1 hour).

Tawi-Tawi island is located on the south end of the peninsula, the busy small capital BONGAO being a commercial fishing center. From Sanga-Sanga Airport, jeepneys reach the city for P10, just outside of Bongao. 

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines: North Coast

Along the north coast of Mindanao are some of the most (and safest) areas, starting with the charming town of Cagayan de Oro. The northwest coast from Iligan to Dipolog is rural mainly and unsustained. It is full of lovely port cities and national parks. The north-eastern Island of Camiguin is one of the most attractive tourist attractions in the world. 

The northeast of Mindanao is Caraga. Caraga is a region that other people commonly ignore, but is full of ecotourism potential by international tourists. The highlights include the old wooden boat found in Butuan, Surigao’s surfing hotspot, and Enchanted Shore.

Where Is Mindanao In The Philippines: Sanctuary of Agusan Marsh

The Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is a giant labyrinth of interconnecting rivers, channels and lakes about 70 km to the south of Butuan along the way to Davao with dramatic areas of swamp forest, mainly of Sago trees, with parrots, violet herons, serpent eagles, and great many saltwater and Filipino crocodiles.

The pond is 2 hours and 30 minutes from Butuan and three hours from Davao. You will have to take a bus to Bunawan City from wherever you come from (only slow bus stop here) and take a tricycle west to the town hall. You can hire a boat from here and take a guide for a 3-hour river ride to the marsh area itself – prepare for a whole day out and take a lot of water and sunblock. 

Butuan hotels can help organize trips. A day tour in Bunawan arranged locally costs around P1500 for the boat plus P1000. That is to say, about 2600 people inhabit the marsh despite its isolation. It is mainly Manobo. It is an animist group living on much of eastern Mindanao.

Final Words

Mindanao is a promised land. It is located in the southernmost part of the Philippines and has many places for visitors to relax. Here are the reasons why. For instance, all of them are worth one’s time and money, particularly for anyone who is thrilling! Also, although many people, mainly foreigners, think that Mindanao is a place that must be avoided because of conflicts, we must say that Mindanao is a peaceful and friendly province. Mindanao has many natural wonders and other natural resources, it is just waiting for you to explore. Certainly, many of the places are not yet up for commercialization which is why you can visit these tourist places without spending so much money. Mindanao is the best place to spend a week inexpensively and enjoyable.

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