MARAWI CITY is an Islamic 1st class and capital city in the province of Lanao
Del Sur, Philippines. It is bounded by Marantao and Saguiaran on the west side, Bubong and Ditsaan Ramain on
the east side, Kapai and Saguiran on the north side, and Lake Danao on the south side.
Marawi is a settlement on the western side of Agus River which was also formerly part of Dansalan
municipality. The name Marawi was derived from the Maranao term “rawi” that means reclining as
it refers to the lilies bending north on the mouth of the river.
On May 24, 1907, Dansalan was established under the Moro Province, and later on became a chartered city
pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 592 in 1940 until its formal declaration on September 30, 1950. It was only
in 1956 when Dansalan City was changed to Marawi City through a Congressional Act. Then on April 1980, the
city was officially renamed the Islamic City of Marawi and later on proclaimed by the Sangguniang Pampook of
Region XII as the summer capital of the region.
The Islamic City of Marawi comprises of 90% Muslim population in the Philippines. Currently, the city serves
as the province’s commercial, educational, cultural, religious and political center.
The city has 22.6 square kilometer of land area with rolling hills, valleys and a serene lake dominating
the city’s landscape. The land occupies 0.01% of the Philippines’ entire area of 300,000 square
kilometers, and 0.15% of the Central Mindanao’s total area of 14,571.3 square kilometers.
Marawi City has a total population of 123,295 people in 20,375 households as of 2000 census. The land is
predominantly Muslim, thus a great number of the population, if not all, speaks Maranao. Another dialect
spoken is Arabic since this is also taught among many students in the city, thus, people here can read,
write, and speak Arabic at the same time. Other dialects used are Visayan, Tagalog and English as the
medium of instruction.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The economy of the city is largely based on agriculture of rice and corn, and exporting of various crafts
such as mat, malong, wood crafts among many other things. They also manufacture hollow-blocks; goldsmith
and blacksmithing is equally popular too.
The high elevation of the land gives a cool and pleasant weather with an even distribution of rainfall
throughout the year.
ARTS & CULTURE
Islamic City boasts of its rich Muslim culture and heritage. The people celebrate various holidays and
showcases ethnic dances annually in honor of the townsfolk beliefs, religion and ethnicity
The famous local product of Marawi City is handcrafted “malongs” and mats.
Tourists can have a taste of Muslim foods specialty, but there are also wide array of dishes to choose from the city’s restaurant hubs.
Islamic City’s total population comprised of 96.6% Muslim religion; others are Roman Catholic with 1.5% of the total land population, protestant with 1% and other religious sects.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The Islamic City is composed of 96 barangays subdivided into five political barangay districts:
District I (29 communities)
District II (22 communities)
District III (17 communities)
District IV (17 communities)
District V (11 communities)
The place is rich in Islamic culture, popular for its beautiful veiled Maranai women and its liberally hot political passion. Take a tour of the city’s interesting destinations:
The place is within the Mindanao State University and was named after King Aga Khan who contributed in the realization of the museum itself. The museum is filled with vast array of indigenous art collections, ethnic recordings, native folk dances from different regions in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, native tools and weapons used by the Muslims, artistic house designs, and other indigenous art and cultural materials.
It is believed to be the swiftest river in the country boasting of its natural beauty particularly the Maria Cristina Falls. This river is located between Saduc and Lilod in Marawi City.
ANCESTRAL HOMES AT BACOLOD CHICO
Tourists will truly be inspired for the century old homes that can be seen here, inspired by Arabic architecture and Maranao wood carvings or “okir”. This is where you can also buy great mats, malong, and other woven Maranao textiles.
This beach is located in Caloocan community which is 2 meters away from the commercial site of the city. The water is clear and rocks, boulders and tress serve as benches and shades. This place is ideal for picnics, boating and swimming.
BEAUTIFUL ROLLING HILLS AND MOUNTAINS
Have a tour of the beautiful hills that can be found in Marawi City such as the Signal Hill, Arumpac Hill, Angoyao Hills and Mount Mupo. These hills are said to be breathtaking yet mysterious.
This is located in the Mindanao State University with a 9 hole course laid out on the greenery ground. One can surely have fun and be able to relax in this place.
KILOMETER ZERO POINT MARKER
This is a landmark from which all distances in Mindanao are measured.
The lake is said to be the 2nd largest and deepest lake in the Philippines.
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY (MSU)
The University draws most tourists yearly which serve as an educational institution and center for social and cultural assimilation.
This is located inside Fort Santiago which houses some items from the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. This is where the hero spent his last days before he was executed on December 30, 1986.
This colony is situated in Moncado, Cadingilan and was named after Hilario Camino Moncado, a Filipino leader, author and lecturer of Humanities. Monuments in his honor and wild animal monuments can also be seen in this place.
TOROGANS AND SAMBITORY OLD BUILDING
Torogans are high roofed royal antiques with curving designed houses of Maranao. Old buildings in this city have this unique architecture that draws a lot of admiration and inspiration for many artists.
Philippine Air Lines and other airlines in Manila have a daily flight schedule going to Cagayan De Oro City. From the said city, one can ride a taxi going to Marawi City. Another option is from Cotabato City, one can take a 30 minute chartered flight going to Baloi Airport at Baloi, Lanao del Norte. Marawi City is just 30 minutes away from the airport.
Ferry transportation from Manila to Cagayan De Oro City is also accessible. The trip takes 2 days to reach Cagayan, to Iligan City the trip will take 2 ½ days. Then from the airport, one can take a jeepney going to Marawi City.
Marawi is accessible via routes from Malabang or Davao – Butuan – Cagayan De Oro City – Iligan City.