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Location of the province of Maguindanao (before 2006)

Maguindanao is a province of the Philippines , which is located in the central region of Mindanao Island . Politically, the province belongs to the ARMM region ( Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ).

The capital is Shariff Aguak .


Maguindanao borders on Cotabato to the north and Sultan Kudarat to the south . To the west, the Shariff province separates Kabunsuan Maguindanao from the access to the Gulf of Moro .

The eastern part of the province is occupied by the Plains of Cotabato, which is crossed by the Rio Grande de Mindanao , the second largest river in the Philippines, and its tributaries. In the southeast of the province lie the Ligawasan river landscapes , one of the largest wetlands in the Philippines. Lake Buluan lies on the border with the neighboring province of Sultan Kudarat .

The foothills of the Daguma Mountains extend into the southeastern region of Maguindanao . The area around the mouth of the Mindanao River, as the Rio Grande de Mindanao is called on its lower reaches, is generally flat land that extends from the city of Cotabato City to its neighboring province of Cotabato.

Demographics and language

According to the 2010 census, Maguindanao has a total of 944,718 people.

The Muslim-oriented ethnic group of the Maguindanaon makes up 60% of the provincial population. In contrast, 60% of the residents of Cotabao City belong to the Christian religious communities. Other ethnic groups and communities are the Tituray, the T'boli and the Manobo.

The most common language is Maguindanao, next to it Cebuano .


The Maguindanao are traditionally rice farmers and live mainly in the river plains of the provincial country. In addition to rice , wheat and coconut are also grown in the region .

The Mindanao River, with its wide river delta and its numerous brackish ponds, serves as a source of drinking water and is a resort for numerous species of river fish. The sea fish is caught in Illana Bay and distributed in Cotabato City markets. The port of Polloc, 26 km north of the city, is also the most important port in the region.

In addition to fishermen, traders can also be found near the coast. They sell handcrafted products such as woven malongs, a traditional dress, as well as mats and baskets.


Mariam S. Mangudadatu has been governor since 2019 . Her predecessor is Esmael Mangudadatu .

A state of emergency was declared in the course of the massacre in Maguindanao in 2009 .

Administrative division

The province of Maguindanao is divided into 36 administrative municipalities.

The administrative communities are in turn subdivided into a total of 506 barangays (districts).

The province is divided into two congressional districts together with Cotabato City .

Administrative communities


The climatic conditions are characterized by more or less heavy rainfall, which can occur all year round.

Compared to other provinces in the country, Maguindanao has the lowest number of overcast or cloudy days.


Traders from the neighboring states of Malaysia exchanged goods with the Maguindanaos centuries ago and brought parts of their culture with them to the region. It is believed that around 1460, with the arrival of Sharif Awliya, Islam came to Mindanao.

Shariff Mohammed Kabungsuwan from Johore founded the Sultanate of Maguindanao at the end of the 15th century . From 1600 to 1650 the sultanate continued to grow, both in size and in power. In its high season, the Cotabato Basin formed the central land of the Sultanate , but its influence extended from the Zamboanga Peninsula to the Sarangani Bay and Davao .

As early as 1596, at the beginning of their colonial era, the Spaniards sent expeditions to subjugate the area. but they failed to control the region until the mid-19th century. In 1851, Spanish armed forces conquered the port of Polloc and built a naval base and settlement there by 1854, today's Cotabato City . Further expeditions of the Spanish invaders followed until 1861, so that the sultan was finally forced to surrender. The resistance continued in the higher regions of the hinterland, but the well-armed Spanish soldiers solidified their presence in the region until 1899. That year local units finally managed to capture the city of Cotabato before the first American units reached the Philippines.

During the American period, Cotabato became a district of the great province of Moro formed in 1903 . In 1914 she was assigned to the Ministry of Mindanao and Sulu .

The former large province of Cotabato was finally divided into Cotabato and South Cotabato in 1966 . In 1973 the province of Cotabato was again separated into several political administrative areas and the provinces of North Cotabato , Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat were created .

Maguindanao is the only Muslim majority of the four provinces that descended from the ancient Cotabato. In 1989 the residents decided in a referendum to belong to the new Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Only the residents of the city of Cotabato City, which was located within the then provincial area, spoke out against belonging to the ARMM and were instead politically assigned to the SOCCSKSARGEN district . Despite being denied membership, the city is now the seat of the ARMM's district government.

On October 31, 2006, the voters of 10 of the 29 municipalities of Maguindanao decided to join a new province called Shariff Kabunsuan . Of the 500,000 registered voters, 285,372 favored the establishment of a new province, only 8,802 voted against. However, this ruling was invalidated by the Philippine Supreme Court.

On November 23, 2009, there was a massacre of civilians in which 57 people were murdered.

Cultural heritage

The indigenous Maguindanaon and other indigenous groups have a remarkable and fascinating culture that revolves around kulintang music, a special kind of gong music that has its roots in both Muslim and non-Muslim populations of the southern Philippines. At Kulintang, a set of gongs is embedded in a horizontally erected board, which are then played with two wooden mallets.


Web links

Commons : Maguindanao  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistical information of the NSCB ( Memento of the original from November 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 6 ° 58 '  N , 124 ° 25'  E