Lanao del Sur, officially the Province of Lanao del Sur, is a province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The capital is the Marawi City, and it borders Lanao del Norte to the north, Bukidnon to the east, and Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf. Found in the interior of Lanao del Sur is Lanao Lake, the largest lake in Mindanao.
Map of the Philippines with Lanao del Sur highlighted
Lanao comes from the word ranao, meaning "lake." Lanao centers on the basin of Lake Lanao; thus, it is the land of the Maranaos, the "people of the lake."
Lanao is the seat of the Sultanate of Lanao.
When the Spaniards first explored Lanao in 1689, they found a well-settled community named Dansalan at the lake's northern end. Dansalan became a municipality in 1907 and a city in 1940.
During the Pre-Spanish time, there are 4 important Boundaries hold the power of appointing a new sultan namely: Bakayawan, Dalama, Madamba and Sawer. In appointing a new sultan the permission of these four boundaries are needed to validate the new sultan appointed to his position.
In 1942, it was occupied by the Japanese Imperial forces who landed in Southern Lanao. On May 2, 1942, the former chief justice of the supreme court of the Philippines Jose Abad Santos was killed by the Japanese Imperial forces in a Firing Squad at Malabang, Lanao del Sur. In 1945, the first of the liberation forces landed in Southern Lanao and liberated the area with United States, Philippine Commonwealth troops together with the Maranao guerrilla units. They used infantry weapons, the Maranao Kris, Barong and Kampilan swords against the Japanese forces in the Battle of Lanao. In 1956, Republic Act NO. 1352 changed the name Dansalan to Marawi, taken from the word rawi, referring to the reclining lilies abundant in the Agus River.
When Lanao was divided into two provinces under Republic Act No. 2228 in 1959, Marawi was made the capital of Lanao del Sur. In 1980, the city was renamed the Islamic City of Marawi. It is now the only chartered city in the country with a predominantly Muslim population.
In 1971, Republic Act No. 6406, which sought to create a new province out of eastern Lanao del Sur (now corresponding to the province's first congressional district), was approved on October 4, 1971. The province was to consist of the municipalities of Bubong, Ditsaan-Ramain (including what is now Buadiposo-Buntong), Kapai, Lumba-Bayabao (including what is now Maguing), Marantao, Masiu, Mulondo, Saguiaran, Piagapo, Poona Bayabao, Tamparan, Taraka and Wao (including what is now Bumbaran), with the chartered city of Marawi serving as the new province's capital. The division never took place due to the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972, which disrupted the elections for 1973.
In a 1989 plebiscite, Lanao del Sur voted to join the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), but Marawi City elected to remain outside ARMM. It later joined ARMM in 2001 following the plebiscite that sought to expand the autonomous region.
The politics in the province was dominated by few and prestigious families. But only two (2) families have brought big influence in the province the Datumulok-Dimaporo and Alonto-Adiong families. Both families have produced Governors, Congressmen, Board Members and Mayors, they were considered the most unforgettable political family in the province. The Datumulok-Dimaporos came from a small yet progressive town of Binidayan, Governor Sultan Ali Dimaporo became Governor of the province nominating by late Governor General Mamarinta B. Lao AFP, with the help of his siblings and cousin, Congressman Datu Macacuna Dimaporo, Mayor Sultan Naga Dimaporo of SND and Mayor Sultan Muliloda Datumulok of Binidayan. They once dominated the politics of Lanao. The Family was very known to be an ally of Former President Ferdinand Marcos, they've produced some influential leaders in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur some of them were Congerssman Abdullah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Governor Khalid Dimaporo, Congresswoman Imelda Dimaporo, Former Mayor Motalib Dimaporo of SND, Mayor Eleanor Dimaporo-Lantud, Former Mayor Raida Dimaporo-Papandayan of Tubaran, Former Mayor Abdul Rashid Dimaporo of Magsaysay, Former Board Member Danny Dimaporo, Former Assemblyman Ismael Camid, Former Mayor Punudarano Datumulok of Binidayan, Former Mayor Anwar Datumulok of Pagayawan, Dimnatang Radia, Former Mayor Halim Datumulok, Former Mayor Sarip Datumulok, Former Mayor Misbak Datumulok and Colaw Datumulok.
On the other hand the Alonto-Adiong, came from Ramain was headed by Senator Alauya Alonto Adiong with help of his family members, like Mayor Birua Alonto of Marawi had produced Senator, Governors and Congressmen. Upon the Death of Senator Sultan Alauya Alonto, His son, Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto lead his family with Governor Abdul Ghaffur Alonto they successfully controlled the politics in Lanao del Sur and also produced influential leaders in the province some of the were Governor Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman, Congressman Rashid Lucman Governor Mamintal Adiong, Former ARMM-RLA Speaker Abul Khayr Alonto, Former Vice Governor Normala Alonto Lucman, Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., Late Mayor Lacsasa Adiong of Ditsaan-Ramain, Congressman Pangalian M.Balindong, Mayor Jamal Alonto of Bubong, Congressman Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong, Former Mayor Ricky Alonto Mamainte of Bayang, Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, Assemblyman Yasser Alonto Balindong, Mayor Ali Adiong of Ditsaan-Ramain, Board Member Alexander G. Alonto, Jr.,Board Member Abdulrashid Alonto Balindong and ARMM Regional Vice-Governor Haroun Al-Rashid Alonto Lucman.
Points of interest in the province include:
The native Meranau of Lanao del Sur have a fascinating culture that revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found among both Muslim and non-Muslim groups of the Southern Philippines.
Meranau native culture: