Mindanao is the second largest island of the Philippines and the southernmost island group.


The island and the island group of Mindanao lies between the Sulu Sea in the west and the Philippine Sea to the east. Together with the two north of the island groups Luzon Visayas and Mindanao is the island nation of the Philippines.


The island of Mindanao with an area of 94,630 km ² to Luzon, the second largest island of the Philippines. Together, these two main islands about 2 /3 of the total land area of the Philippines and home to more than 70 % of the population. Mindanao alone has about 22 million inhabitants.

Capital and largest city in Mindanao is Davao City. The highest elevation of the island is south of Davao City situated mountain Apo, with 2,954 m the highest mountain and the second highest mountain in the country of the 2,938 meter high Dulang - dulang. In Mindanao, there is also the mountain Sumagaya.

Island group of Mindanao

The island group includes the following islands and island groups include:


Mindanao is divided into five regions, which in turn into provinces:

  • The above- mentioned provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao not del Sur belong to the region ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ), which was newly formed in 1989 and beyond also belong to the more southerly lying island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi - Tawi.


1976, in Butuan City in Libertad district 600 year old remains of Balangay, large oceangoing boats, found. After further archaeological excavations of Butuan, the outlines of a pre-colonial port facility, skeletons and valuable grave goods have been found that seem to confirm the assumption that Butuan is the oldest fortified settlement in the Philippines.

Islam came in the 14th century and spread in Mindanao in the southern part of the island. The Sultanate of Sulu was founded in 1450 and existed until the early 20th century. The Sultanate of Maguindanao had around 1690 his big time.

Overall, the history of Mindanao as the entire archipelago of the Philippines is variable and marked by conflicts and colonization. After centuries of Spanish rule, the island fell to the United States. Mindanao itself was colonized still relatively thin at this time, however, the region was economically of great interest due to their natural resources. To gain control of the existing at that time Sultanate of Sulu and Maguindanao began long conflicts over land rights and natural resources; there was a de facto expropriation of the local population. On top of that any allocation of land was declared by the ruling Sultans of the central government in Manila void.

In the 1950s, the systematic migration of Christian settlers to Mindanao by the Philippine central government in Manila has been promoted. The Muslim inhabitants were thus in their ancestral lands in the minority. The Muslims live mainly in the south of the island; there also occur repeatedly rebels in appearance. The MNLF ( Moro National Liberation Front ) is committed to an autonomous Muslim state, which shall consist of the islands of Mindanao, Palawan, Basilan and the Sulu archipelago. Although on September 2, 1996 already once a peace agreement between the then President Ramos and the rebel leaders was closed, flames again and again to unrest. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF ) and Abu Sayyaf made ​​by terrorist acts, eg, by the kidnapping of foreign tourists on the island of Jolo in 2000, attention. In October 2012, the Philippine government ( GPH ) completed after the signing of the so-called Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB ) Peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The FAB framework agreement was the result of 32 peace talks between the GPH and MILF and is regarded as a kind of road map for the creation of a new planned autonomous region called Bangsamoro, which will replace the current " Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao " ( ARMM ).


In Mindanao, as well as other dialects of Cebuano, Chabacano, Tausug, Maguindanao, Cebuano, Hiligaynon and often English are spoken.


Approx. 63 % of the residents of Mindanao are Christian, including 59 % Catholic, 4% Protestant, about 32 % are Muslims. Thus, Mindanao has the largest share of the nation's Muslim faithful who live mainly in the south and west of the island.

The affected neither by Christianity nor Islam are called Lumad tribes, they maintain traditional religions, such as animism. The remaining five percent goes to them, to other religions or on confession lots.

In the south of the island was the early seventies, a small hunter-gatherer Horde, the Tasaday, issued in the rain forest as a newly discovered Stone Age tribe, which later proved to be wrong.


As in much of the Southeast Asian archipelago is also grown in Mindanao rice, yet the self-production does not cover the growing consumption of the population. In addition, wheat, coffee, sugar cane and cotton are grown. The fruits of mango, coconut, banana, pineapple and papaya play agriculturally also a role, as the edible marshmallow. Furthermore, there are rubber plantations, okra, camote and the abaca plant, a banana, from whose fibers " Manila hemp " is obtained.

Economically important are the part still untapped, mineral resources; for example, the Philippines is Asia's most important gold producer. Besides gold come to Mindanao before the metals copper, aluminum, nickel, manganese, iron ore, chrome ore, silver and cobalt. Nonmetallic mineral resources include clay, stones, sand, limestone, salt, gravel, basalt, andesite, quartz, guano, and also opals.


On the large island of Mindanao, there are a number of tourist interest places, such as waterfalls such as the Cotabato - waterfalls, Maria Cristina Falls (Twin Falls ), Lumakot or the Cathedral Falls. In the province of Zamboanga del Norte are available at the Bay Sinipang many beaches and coral. In other provinces there are famous beaches such as Apo Beach Talomo Beach, Mabua Beach, Tandag Beach or Tanbis Beach. Mindanao has a large number of lakes that present a variety of different most ecosystems. The largest lake is Lake Lanao, southwest of him is the 120 meter deep DAPAO Lake and Wood Lake. In the northeast of Mindanao is the second largest lake in Mindanao, the Mainit Lake. At the foothills of Ligawasan river landscapes in the southeast of the Central Mindanao Basin is the third largest lake in Mindanao, the Buluan Lake. South of him surrounded by the tropical rainforest Sebu Lake is located in the up to 2,083 meters high Daguma Mountains. East of Lake Sebu is the largest crater lake in Mindanao located at the summit of 1,824 -meter high mountain Parker. Other attractions include the Bukagan Hill, Fort Pilar, the Macahambus Cave, Aguinaldo Pearl Stud Farm, the Atlas mines, the company Dole, the Santos - fish ponds and the iron mountain. For hikers, a four-day ascent of Mount Apo is a challenge. Further worth the northerly island of Camiguin, with its seven volcanoes. Historically significant are the findings of the archaeological site of Butuan City, which is on the short list of the Philippines for inclusion in the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 2006. Are the Britania Islands and the Pujada Bay on the east coast of Mindanao.

National Parks and Nature Reserves

Nature Reserves Agusan Marsh | Andanan Watershed | Cabadbaran -Santiago | Mahaba Iceland | Siargao Islands

Nature Reserves: Allah Watershed | Lake Buluan | Libungan Watershed | Mount Matutum | Sarangani Bay

Nature Reserves Apo Natural | Aliwagwag Falls | Baganga Bay | Hamiguitan Wildlife | Mabini Seascape | Mainit Hotspring | Mati Landscape | Pujada Bay

Nature Reserves: Balatukan Range | Baliangao | hibok - hibok Natural | Initao Libertad | Inayawan Range | Kalatungan Range | Kitanglad Range | Mahugunao Watershed | Malindang Range

Nature Reserves: Aliguay Iceland | Basilan Natural | Natural Buug | Dumanquilas Bay | Sta. Cruz Islands | Rizal Memorial | Murcielagos Iceland | Pasonanca Natural | Selinog Iceland | Siocon | Mount Timolan | Turtle Islands