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In order to book an accommodation on Mindanao enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Mindanao hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Mindanao map to estimate the distance from the main Mindanao attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Mindanao hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search on Mindanao is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Mindanao is waiting for you!

Hotels of Mindanao

A hotel on Mindanao is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Mindanao hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Mindanao are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Mindanao hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Mindanao hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Mindanao have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Mindanao
An upscale full service hotel facility on Mindanao that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Mindanao hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Mindanao
Full service Mindanao hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Mindanao
Boutique hotels of Mindanao are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Mindanao boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Mindanao may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Mindanao
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Mindanao travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Mindanao focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Mindanao
Small to medium-sized Mindanao hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Mindanao traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Mindanao hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Mindanao
A bed and breakfast on Mindanao is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Mindanao bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Mindanao B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Mindanao
Mindanao hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Mindanao hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Mindanao
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Mindanao hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Mindanao lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Mindanao
Mindanao timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Mindanao often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Mindanao on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Mindanao
A Mindanao motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Mindanao for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Mindanao motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Mindanao

Mindanao Red.png
Mindanao mainland in red;
its associated islands in maroon
Mindanao is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Location Southeast Asia
Coordinates  / 8.000; 125.000  / 8.000; 125.000
Archipelago Philippines
Adjacent bodies of water
  • Bohol Sea
  • Celebes Sea
  • Philippine Sea
  • Sulu Sea
  • Surigao Strait
Major islands
  • Mindanao
  • Basilan
  • Jolo
  • Tawitawi
  • Bucas Grande
  • Dinagat
  • Siargao
  • Samal
  • Camiguin
Area 104,530 km (40,360 sq mi)
Area rank 19th
Highest elevation 2,954 m (9,692 ft)
Highest point Mount Apo
  • ARMM
  • Caraga
  • Davao Region
  • Northern Mindanao
  • Soccsksargen
  • Zamboanga Peninsula
Largest settlement Davao City (pop. 1,632,991)
Demonym Mindanawon/Mindanaoan
Population 21,968,174 (Mindanao island group) (2010)
Pop. density 243 /km (629 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups

Mindanao (/mɪndəˈn/) is the second largest island in the Philippines. Mindanao and the smaller islands surrounding it makeup the island group of the same name. As of the 2010 census, the main island was inhabited by 20,281,545 people, while the entire Mindanao island group had a total of 21,968,174 residents.

According to the 2015 Philippine Population Census, Davao City is the most populous city on the island, with a population of 1,632,991 residents, followed by Zamboanga City (pop. 861,799), Cagayan de Oro City (pop. 675,950), General Santos City (pop. 594,446) and Iligan City (pop. 342,618). About 70% of residents identify as Christian, and 20% identify as Muslim. Mindanao is divided into 6 Regions; Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao, Soccsksargen, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Native ethnic groups in Mindanao include the Lumad (the Tausugs, Subanons, Samals, and Badjaos of the Zamboanga Peninsula; the Bukidnon, Manobos, Mamanwas, Talaandig, and Higaonon of Northern Mindanao and Caraga; the Bagobo and Samal Mandayas of Davao), and the Moro (Paramata Bantogen, Mabaning Gandamatu, Daranda Mabagani, and Maranaw) in ARMM and Soccsksargen.

Mindanao is considered the food basket of the Philippines. Eight of the top 10 agri-commodities exported from the Philippines come from the island.

Mindanao is also dubbed with the monikers The Philippines' Land of Promise.

An old Spanish map of Mindanao island.
A 1926 photograph of Bagobo (Manobo) warriors
Two Spanish missionaries baptizing a Moro convert to Roman Catholicism, circa 1890.
Davao City's Chinatown is said to be the Philippines' biggest in terms of land area.

Mindanao: Culture

Mindanao "Land of Promise"

Mindanao is the most culturally diverse island in the Philippines where people of different languages, tribes, religions, and cultures reside. An American census conducted in the early 1900's noted that the island was inhabited by people "greatly divided in origin, temperament and religion". The ancient Rajahnate of Butuan in the northeastern region of what is now Caraga; three Sultanates in the southwest (Sultanate of Sulu, the Sultanate of Lanao and the Sultanate of Maguindanao); multiple Spanish settlements established in the 1500's, located in the northwest, northeast, east, and southeast (eg. the Spanish Creole city of Zamboanga); and a considerable number of Buddhist and Taoist temples, and indigenous tribes throughout the island, contribute to the island's cultural diversity.

Mindanao: Languages

Cebuano (often called Bisaya) is the most widely spoken language in Mindanao. English and Tagalog are also widely understood and spoken among the people, with English being highly utilized in business and academia.

Hiligaynon/Ilonggo is widely spoken in Soccsksargen.

Zamboangueño, a Spanish Creole, is the main language spoken in Zamboanga City and Basilan; and seldom spoken in Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Zamboangueño is one of six dialects belonging to the Chavacano language (spoken by a distinct ethnolinguistic group, the Zamboangueños). Other spoken dialects in Chavacano are Cotabateño in Cotabato City, and Castellano Abakay/Davaoeño Chavacano in the Davao Region.

Mindanao: Religion

Roman Catholic is the dominant religious affiliation in Mindanao with 60.9 percent of the household population, Islam comprised 20.44 percent, and other religions were Evangelical (5.34%), Aglipayan (2.16), Iglesia ni Cristo (1.66%), and Seventh Day Adventist (1.65%).

Mindanao: History

Mindanao: Prehistory

Archaeological findings on the island point to evidence of human activity dating back to about ten thousand years ago. At around 1500 BC Austronesian people spread throughout the Philippines.

The Subanon are believed to have established themselves on Mindanao Island during the Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age, the period in the development of human technology beginning around 10,000 BC according to the ASPRO chronology (between 4,500 and 2,000 BC). The evidence of old stone tools in Zamboanga del Norte may indicate a late Neolithic presence. Ceramic burial jars, both unglazed and glazed, as well as Chinese celadons, have been found in caves, together with shell bracelets, beads, and gold ornaments. Many of the ceramic objects are from the Yuan and Ming periods. Evidently, there was a long history of trade between the Subanon and the Chinese long before the latter's contact with Islam.

Mindanao: Rajahnates and Hindu-Buddhism

In the classic epoch of Philippine history (900 AD onwards), the people of Mindanao were heavily exposed to Hindu and Buddhist influence and beliefs from Indonesia and Borneo. Indianized abugida scripts such as Kawi and Baybayin was introduced via Sulawesi and Java, and the cultural icons of the sarong (known as malong or patadyong), the pudong turban, silk, and batik and ikat weaving and dyeing methods were introduced. Artifacts found from this era include the Golden kinnara, Golden Tara, and the Ganesh pendant. These cultural traits passed from Mindanao into the Visayas and Luzon, but were subsequently lost or heavily modified after the Spanish arrival in the 16th century.

The Hindu-Buddhist cultural revolution was strongest in the coastal areas of the island, but were incorporated into local animist beliefs and customs tribes that resided more inland. The Rajahnate of Butuan, a fully-Hindu kingdom mentioned in Chinese records as a tributary state in the 10th century AD, was concentrated along the northeastern coast of the island around Butuan. The Darangen epic of the Maranao people harkens back to this era as the most compete local version of the Ramayana. The Maguindanao at this time also had strong Hindu beliefs, evidenced by the Ladya Lawana (Rajah Ravana) epic saga that survives to the modern day, albeit highly Islamized from the 17th century on wards.

Mindanao: Sultanates and Islam

The spread of Islam in the Philippines began in the 14th century, when Muslim merchants from Malaysia, Borneo, and Indonesia began converting the native tribes they traded with, because of this the first mosque in the Philippines was built in the mid-14th century in the town of Simunul. In the 16th century, Muslims from Malaysia migrated to Sulu, Lanao and Maguindanao and established Sultinates from formerly Hindu-Buddhist Rajahnates. The Muslim Malaysians displaced the non-Muslim natives to the northern and eastern parts of the island.

As the Muslims gained control over most of Mindanao, the natives residing within the Sultanates converted into Islam; and as part of Mindanao, the surrounding native tribes who were not Muslim were obligated to pay tribute to Muslim rulers. The largest of the Muslim settlements was the Sultanate named after the Maguindanaoans. Maps made during the 17th and 18th centuries suggest that the name Mindanao was used by the natives to refer to the island, by then Islam was well established in Mindanao and had influenced groups on other islands to the north.

Mindanao: Spanish Colonization and Christianity

On February 2, 1543, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos was the first Spaniard to reach Mindanao, he called the island "Caesarea Caroli" after Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (and I of Spain). Shortly after Spain's colonization of Cebu, they moved on to colonize Butuan and the surrounding Caraga region in northeast Mindanao and discovered significant Muslim presence on the island. Overtime a number of tribes in Mindanao converted to Roman Catholicism and built settlements and forts throughout the coastal regions of the island. These settlements endured despite incurring attacks from neighboring Muslim Sultanates. The most heavily fortified of these settlements, apart from a short period in 1662 when Spain sent soldiers from the city to Manila after receiving a threat of invasion from the Chinese general Koxinga, was Zamboanga City.

By the late 18th century Spain had geographic dominance over the island, having established settlements and forts in most of Mindanao; including Zamboanga City and Misamis Occidental to the northwest, Iligan City, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Camiguin Island to the north, Butuan and the Caraga region to the east, and Davao in the island's gulf coast. Spain continued to engage in battles with Muslim Sultanates until end of the 19th century.

Mindanao: American Occupation

In the Treaty of Paris in 1898 Spain sold the entire Philippine archipelago to the United States for $20 Million. The 1900 Treaty of Washington and the 1930 Convention Between the United States and Great Britain clarified the borders between Mindanao and Borneo.

Mindanao: Philippine Commonwealth

In 1939 the Philippine government encouraged citizens from Luzon and Visayas to migrate to Mindanao. Consisting mostly of Ilocanos, Cebuanos, and Illongos, Filipino settlers streaming into Soccsksargen lead to the displacement of the Blaan and Tboli tribes.

Mindanao: World War II

Davao City was among the earliest to be occupied by the invading Japanese Forces, and they immediately fortified the city as a bastion of the Japanese defense system. It was subjected by the returning forces of Gen. Mac Arthur to constant bombing, before the American Liberation Forces landed in Leyte in October 1945.

On April 1942 Mindanao, along with the rest of the Philippines, officially entered World War II after Japanese soldiers invaded key cities in the islands. Many towns and cities were burned to the ground in Mindanao, most notably Davao City, Zamboanga City, Lanao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, and Butuan. In the months of April and May 1942, Japanese forces defeated US troops commanded by Gen. William F. Sharp and Gen. Guy O. Fort, in a battle that started at Malabang (a town close to Gandamatu Macadar, Lanao) and ended close to the town of Ganassi, Lanao. Filipino soldiers and local guerrilla fighters were actively fighting Japanese forces until liberation at the conclusion of the Battle of Mindanao.

Mindanao: Recent Conflicts

Violent conflicts in the southwestern regions of Mindanao, that began in the 1960s, led to the 1971 Manili Massacre, Pata Island Massacre, the founding of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the formation of the Ilaga.

In March 2000 President Estrada declared an "All Out War" against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), after the militant group committed a series of terrorist attacks on government buildings, civilians, and foreigners. A number of livelihood intervention projects, from organisations such as USAID and the Emergency Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), aided in the reconstruction of areas affected by constant battles on the island.

In December 2009, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo officially placed Maguindanao under a state of martial law following the Maguindanao Massacre.

In May 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the entire island group of Mindanao following the Marawi Siege by the Maute terrorist group. Thousands of civilians were killed by the terrorist group during the siege, and more than 180,000 people were forced to evacuate Marawi City.

Mindanao: Typhoon Sendong

Tropical storm Sendong (international name, Washi) made landfall on December 15, 2011 in Mindanao. The recorded 24-hour rainfall in Lumbia station of PAGASA reached 180.9 mm causing the overflow of the Cagayan de Oro River. The deadly storm killed 1,268 people with 49 others listed as missing. Most of the casualties were from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. Those who survived were rendered homeless, seeking shelter in evacuation centers.

Mindanao: Administrative divisions

The island consists of 6 administrative regions, 22 provinces, and 30 cities (27 provinces and 33 cities if associated islands are included).

Location Region
Area Density Regional
Component LGUs
  • Province
  • Independent city
  • Associated island
Map of the Philippines highlighting the Zamboanga Peninsula Zamboanga
(Region IX)
17,056.73 km
(6,585.64 sq mi)
(520/sq mi)
Pagadian City
Map of the Philippines highlighting Northern Mindanao Northern
(Region X)
20,496.02 km
(7,913.56 sq mi)
(540/sq mi)
Cagayan de Oro City
Map of the Philippines highlighting Davao Region Davao Region
(Region XI)
20,357.42 km
(7,860.04 sq mi)
(570/sq mi)
Davao City
Map of the Philippines highlighting Soccsksargen Soccsksargen
(Region XII)
22,513.30 km
(8,692.43 sq mi)
(470/sq mi)
Map of the Philippines highlighting the Caraga Region Caraga Region
(Region XIII)
21,478.35 km
(8,292.84 sq mi)
(280/sq mi)
Map of the Philippines highlighting the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region
in Muslim
33,511.42 km
(12,938.83 sq mi)
(250/sq mi)
Cotabato City
Region 2010 census Area Density Regional center Component LGUs
Table notes
  1. Land area figures are the sum of each region's component provinces (and/or independent cities), derived from the National Statistical Coordination Board (Philippine Statistics Authority) official website.
  2. The provinces of Basilan, Camiguin, Dinagat Islands, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi are separate islands and/or island groups themselves, but are included under the island group of Mindanao.
  3. A component city, part of the province of Basilan, but whose regional services are provided by the offices of Region IX.
  4. A highly urbanized city, independent from any province
  5. An independent component city, not under the jurisdiction of any provincial government.
  6. Cotabato City, although administratively under Soccsksargen, is considered the regional center of ARMM.

Mindanao: Geography

Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines at 104,630 square kilometers, and is the eighth most populous island in the world. The island of Mindanao is larger than 125 countries worldwide, including the Netherlands, South Korea, Austria, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ireland. The island is mountainous, and is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the country. Mindanao is surrounded by 4 seas: the Sulu Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the south, and the Mindanao Sea to the north. Of all the islands of the Philippines, Mindanao shows the greatest variety of physiographic development. High, rugged, faulted mountains; almost isolated volcanic peaks; high rolling plateaus; and broad, level, swampy plains are found there.

The Mindanao island group is an arbitrary grouping of islands in southern Philippines which comprises the Mindanao mainland, the Sulu Archipelago (consisting of the islands of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi), and the outlying islands of Camiguin, Dinagat, Siargao, and Samal.

Mindanao: Mountains

The mountains of Mindanao can be grouped into ten ranges, including both complex structural mountains and volcanoes. The structural mountains on the extreme eastern and western portions of the island show broad exposures of Mesozoic rock, and Ultrabasic rocks at the surface in many places along the east coast. Other parts of the island consist mainly of Cenozoic and Quaternary volcanic or sedimentary rocks.

In the eastern portion of the island, from Bilas Point in Surigao del Norte to Cape San Agustin in Davao Oriental, is a range of complex mountains known in their northern portion as the Diwata Mountains. This range is low and rolling in its central portion. A proposed road connecting Bislig on the east coast with the Agusan River would pass through 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) of broad saddle across the mountains at a maximum elevation of less than 250 metres (820 ft); while the existing east-west road from Lianga, 48 kilometres (30 mi) north of Bislig, reaches a maximum elevation of only 450 metres (1,480 ft). The Diwata Mountains, north of these low points, are considerably higher and more rugged, reaching an elevation of 2,012 metres (6,601 ft) in Mount Hilong-Hilong, 17 miles (27 km) along the eastern portion of Cabadbaran City. The southern portion of this range is broader and even more rugged than the northern section. In Davao Oriental, several peaks rise above 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) and one mountain rises to 2,910 metres (9,550 ft).

Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines

The east-facing coastal regions of Davao and Surigao del Sur are marked by a series of small coastal lowlands separated from each other by rugged forelands which extend to the water’s edge. Offshore are numerous coral reefs and tiny islets. This remote and forbidding coast is made doubly difficult to access during the months from October to March by the heavy surf driven before the northeast trade winds. A few miles offshore is found the Philippine Deep. This ocean trench, reaching measured depths of 34,696 feet (10,575 m), is the third deepest trench, (after the Mariana Trench and Tonga Trench) on the earth’s surface.

A second north-south mountain range extends from Talisayan in the north, to Tinaca Point in the southernmost point of Mindanao. This mountain range runs along the western borders of the Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Davao provinces. This range is mainly structural in origin, but it also contains at least three active volcano peaks. The central and northern portions of this range contain several peaks between 2,000 and 2,600 metres (6,600 and 8,500 ft), and here the belt of mountains is about 30 miles (48 km) across.

West of Davao City stand two inactive volcanoes: Mount Talomo at 2,893 metres (9,491 ft), and Mount Apo at 2,964 metres (9,724 ft). Mount Apo is the highest point in the Philippines. South of Mount Apo, this central mountain belt is somewhat lower than it is to the north, with peaks averaging only 1,100 to 1,800 metres (3,600 to 5,900 ft).

In Western Mindanao, a range of complex structural mountains forms the long, hand-like Zamboanga Peninsula. These mountains, reaching heights of only 1,200 meters (3,900 feet), are not as high as the other structural belts in Mindanao. There are several places in the Zamboanga Mountains where small inter-mountain basins have been created, with some potential for future agricultural development. The northeastern end of this range is marked by the twin peaks of the now extinct volcano, Mount Malindang, that towers over Ozamis City at a height of 2,425 metres (7,956 ft). Mount Dapia is the highest mountain in the Zamboanga Peninsula, reaching a height of 2,617 meters (8,586 feet). Batorampon Point is the highest mountain of the southernmost end of the peninsula, reaching a height of only 1,335 meters (4,380 feet); it is located in the boundary of Zamboanga City.

A series of volcanic mountains is located within the vicinity of Lake Lanao forming a broad arc through the Lanao del Sur, Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces. At least six of the twenty odd peaks in this area are active and several stand in semi-isolation. The Butig Peaks, with their four crater lakes, are easily seen from Cotabato. Mount Ragang, an active volcano cone reaching 2,815 metres (9,236 ft), is the most isolated, while the greatest height is reached by Mount Kitanglad at 2,889 metres (9,478 ft).

Mindanao coast

In South Cotabato, is another range of volcanic mountains, this time paralleling the coast. These mountains have a maximum extent of 110 miles (180 km) from northwest to southeast and measures some 30 miles (48 km) across. One of the well-known mountains here is Mount Parker, whose almost circular crater lake measures a mile and a quarter in diameter and lies 300 metres (980 ft) below its 2,040 metres (6,690 ft) summit. Mount Matutum is a protected area and is considered as one of the major landmarks in the South Cotabato province.

Mindanao: Plateaus

Another important physiographic division of Mindanao is the series of upland plateaus in the Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur provinces. These plateaus are rather extensive and almost surround several volcanoes in this area. The plateaus are made up of basaltic lava flows inter-bedded with volcanic ash and tuff. Near their edges, the plateaus are cut by deep canyons, and at several points waterfalls drop down to the narrow coastal plain. These falls hold considerable promise for development of hydroelectric energy. Indeed, one such site at Maria Cristina Falls has already become a major producer. The rolling plateaus lie at an elevation averaging 700 meters above sea level, and offer relief from the often oppressive heat of the coastal lowlands.

Mindanao: Lakes and Waterfalls

Lake Lanao occupies a large portion of one such plateau in Lanao del Sur. This lake is the largest lake in Mindanao and the second largest in the country; it is roughly triangular in shape with an 18-mile (29 km)-long base, having a surface at 780 meters above sea level, and is rimmed on the east, south, and west by a series of peaks reaching 2,300 meters. Marawi City, at the northern tip of the lake, is bisected by the Agus River, that feeds the Maria Cristina Falls.

Another of Mindanao’s waterfall sites is located in Malabang, 15 miles (24 km) south of Lake Lanao. Here the Jose Abad Santos Falls present one of the nation’s scenic wonders at the gateway to a 200-hectare national park development.

The Limunsudan Falls, with an approximate height of 800 ft (240 m), is the highest waterfall in the Philippines; it is located in Iligan City.

Mindanao: Valleys, Rivers, and Plains

Mindanao contains two large lowland areas in the valleys of the Agusan River in Agusan, and the Rio Grande de Mindanao in Cotabato City.

There is some indication that the Agusan Valley occupies a broad syncline between the central mountains and the east-coast mountains. This valley measures 110 miles (180 km) from south to north and varies from 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) in width. 35 miles (56 km) north of the head of Davao Gulf lies the watershed between the Agusan and the tributaries of the Libuganon River, which flows to the Gulf. The elevation of this divide is well under 200 metres (660 ft), indicating the almost continuous nature of the lowland from the Mindanao Sea on the north to the Davao Gulf.

The Rio Grande de Mindanao and its main tributaries, the Catisan and the Pulangi, form a valley with a maximum length of 120 miles (190 km) and a width which varies from 12 miles (19 km) at the river mouth to about 60 miles (97 km) in central Cotabato. The southern extensions of this Cotabato Valley extend uninterrupted across a 350 metres (1,150 ft) watershed from Illana Bay on the northwest to Sarangani Bay on the southeast.

Other lowlands of a coastal nature are to be found in various parts of Mindanao. Many of these are tiny isolated pockets, along the northwest coast of Zamboanga. In other areas such as the Davao Plain, these coastal lowlands are 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) wide and several times in length.

From Dipolog City eastward along the northern coast of Mindanao approching Butuan City extends a rolling coastal plain of varying width. In Misamis Occidental, the now dormant Mount Malindang has created a lowland averaging 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) in width. Shallow Panquil Bay divides this province from Lanao del Norte, and is bordered by low-lying, poorly drained lowlands and extensive mangroves. In Misamis Oriental, the plain is narrower and in places whittle into rugged capes that reach the sea. East of Cagayan de Oro, a rugged peninsula extends into the Mindanao Sea.

Mindanao: Tourism

Major tourist spots are scattered throughout Mindanao, consisting mostly of beach resorts, scuba diving resorts, surfing, museums, nature parks, mountain climbing, and river rafting. Siargao, best known for its surfing tower in Cloud 9, also has caves, pools, waterfalls, and lagoons. There are archaeological sites, historical ruins, and museums in Butuan. White Island is a popular tourist spot in Camiguin. The Duka Bay, and the Matangale dive resorts in Misamis Oriental, offer glass bottomed boat rides and scuba diving lessons. Cagayan de Oro has beach resorts, the Mapawa Nature Park, white water rafting and kayaking, museums, and historical landmarks. Ziplining is the main attraction at the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. Iligan City has The Maria Christina Falls, Tinago Falls, nature parks, beaches, and historical landmarks. There are parks, historical buildings, the Vinta Ride at Paseo del Mar, boat villages, and the Fort Pilar Museum in Zamboanga City. There are festivals, fireworks, and the Beras Bird Sanctuary in Takurong City. Davao has Mt Apo, parks, museums, beaches, historical landmarks, and scuba diving resorts.

Precautions should be taken when traveling to ARMM and the Zamboanga Peninsula; pirates, human traffickers, drug cartels, and terrorist groups have been known to abduct, torture, and murder civilians in these regions.

Mindanao: Energy

Many areas in Mindanao suffer rotating 12-hour blackouts due to the island’s woefully inadequate power supply. The island is forecast to continue suffering from a 200-megawatt power deficit until 2015, when the private sector begins to operate new capacity. Aboitiz Equity Ventures, a publicly listed holdings company, has committed to supplying 1,200 megawatts through a coal-fired plant on the border of Davao City and Davao del Sur that is slated for operation by 2018. The Agus-Pulangui hydropower complex, which supplies more than half of Mindanao’s power supply, is currently producing only 635 megawatts of its 982 megawatts capacity due to the heavy siltation of the rivers that power the complex. Zamboanga City, an urbanised center in southwest Mindanao, is expected to begin experience daily three-hour brownouts due to the National Power Corporation’s decision to reduce power supply in the city by 10 megawatts. The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the largest power distributor in the Philippines, and Global Business Power Corp (GBPC), also a major provider, have announced plans to enter Mindanao for the first time to establish solutions for the power problems within the island.

Mindanao: See also

  • Davao City
  • Zamboanga City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • General Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Mindanao Development Authority
  • Mindanao State University
  • Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association
  • Rajahnate of Butuan
  • Sultanate of Maguindanao
  • Sultanate of Sulu
  • Srivijaya
  • Majapahit
  • Lumad
  • Moro people
  • Provinces of the Philippines
  • Regions of the Philippines
  • Geography of the Philippines
  • List of conflicts in the Philippines
  • Indigenous peoples of the Philippines

Mindanao: References

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  28. "Sendong (2011) Floods in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan | Project NOAH Blog". blog.noah.dost.gov.ph. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
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  • Geographic data related to Mindanao at OpenStreetMap
  • Mindanao News
  • Online Mindanao
  • Davao City Official Website
  • Zamboanga City Official Website
  • Cagayan de Oro City Official Website
  • Mindanao Development Authority Official Website
  • Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Official Website
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