Lanao del Sur is one of the provinces of the Philippines and is part of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It forms the western portion of Northern Mindanao and is bounded on the east by the province of Bukidnon, on west by the Illana Bay, on the South by the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato and on the Northern and Northwestern by the Province of Lanao del Norte. It surrounds the basin of Lake Lanao, the largest lake in Mindanao and second largest in the Philippines next to Laguna de Bay. The province is subdivided into 39 municipalities and 1 city, Marawi which the capital. Marawi City is now the only chartered city in the country with predominantly Muslim population.
Lanao del Sur is the land of the Maranaos, “people of the lake,” among the most devout of Muslim tribes as well as the most artistic. Nowhere is this more evident than in the the people’s most natural way of life and the land’s most attractive sites.
The life of the Maranaos centers on Lake Lanao, the second largest and deepest in the Philippines and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful. The lake is surrounded with myths and legends. The climate here is envigorating and fine grazing land stretches into the distance. A commanding view of the lake is offered by Marawi City, the provincial capital.
The unique natural setting of the Maranaos is perhaps best manifested in Marawi Cty, by the presence of the many large torogans, the Maranao houses, which are characterized by an Antique royal high roof with curved designs. The city’s Aga Khan Museum, located within Mindanao State University, is a repository of Maranao and other Moro artifacts. It boasts a huge collection of indigenous art and cultural materials, ethnic music, the native tools and weapons used by the Muslims, and Muslim houses of different artistic designs. Founded in 1962, the university draws the most crowds to the city.
The Maranaos’ flair for the creative is exhibited by their numerous ceremonial artifacts and everyday tools trimmed with the sensuous “okir” (carving) and colorful “nagas” (serpent figures). Their long, low, and sleek boats sport a rainbow of brilliant colors matched only by the exuberance of the malong, the native wear of the Maranao women. Worn as a shirt or dress, used to cover the head or as a blanket, the highly decorated malong is violet, purple, green, red, yellow, floral, and geometric.
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. Rolling hills and valleys, a placid lake and river dominate the landscape.
The province has a cool and pleasant climate that falls dominantly under type F, which is distinguished by an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year. The Philippine summer is not quite distinct here. The wettest month is February and the dryest month is June. Lanao del Sur is outside of the typhoon belt
The Maranao dialect is the most commonly spoken. Also spoken are Tagalog and Visaya as well as English and Arabic.
Lanao del Sur has a cool and pleasant climate characterized by even distribution of rainfall throughout the year, without a distinct summer season. It is relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. It is outside the typhoon belt of the country. Mt. Butig is the highest peak which is located in the southern part of the province.
Lanao comes from the word ranao which means “lake” because the life of its people centers on Lake Lanao, the second largest and deepest lake in the Philippines which is found at the center of the province. Thus, Lanao is the land of the Maranaos, the “people of the lake.” Lake Lanao is one of the breathtakingly beautiful spots in the province. It is surrounded with myths and legends. Marawi City offers a magnificent view of the lake.
Because of its fertile agricultural lands and good typhoon-free climate, the province is ideal for high value commercial crops such as rubber, cacao, coffee, sweet corn and other fruits and vegetables. Goat and cattle raising have great potential not only for domestic consumption but also for export.
The native Maranaos of Lanao del Sur have fascinating culture which is best manifested in Marawi City by the presence of many large torogans, the Maranao houses, which are characterized by an Antique royal high roof with curved designs. The Aga Khan Museum located within Mindanao State University stores Maranao and other Moro artifacts. It prides itself for its huge collection of indigenous art and cultural materials, ethnic music, native tools and weapons used by the Muslims.
The native wear of Maranao women is the malong which is worn as a shirt or dress, used to cover the head or as a blanket. It can be geometric, floral, violet, purple, green, red or yellow in color.
The province can be reached through three (3) major points of entries. On the north, through the 36 kilometers concrete highway from Iligan City, from the south, through the seaport in Malabang and from Cotabato City to Malabang. The province can also be reached through the 137 kilometers road from Cagayan de Oro City Airport passing through the province of Ozamiz Oriental, Iligan City and Lanao del Norte.