Zamboanga Peninsula

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Zamboanga Peninsula
Zamboanga Peninsula in Philippines.svg
Location of the Zamboanga Peninsula district
Geographical location
Coordinates 7 ° 42 ′ 0 ″  N , 122 ° 18 ′ 0 ″  E Coordinates: 7 ° 42 ′ 0 ″  N , 122 ° 18 ′ 0 ″  E
Waters 1 Sulu Lake
Waters 2 Celebes Sea

The Zamboanga Peninsula is both a peninsula and a region of the Philippines ( Region IX ). The region covers an area of ​​16,823 km² and has a population of 3,742,000. It forms the western branch of the island of Mindanao .

The Zamboanga Peninsula is divided into three provinces: Zamboanga del Norte , Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay . The entire southeastern tip of the peninsula is occupied by Zamboanga City , a city that is not subject to any province.

The administrative center of the region is located in Pagadian City .


The peninsula has a land area of ​​14,811 km². The region is criss-crossed by mountainous sections, mainly in the central country of the provinces Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.

The peninsula is an extension of the island of Mindanao and separated from the main island by a narrow isthmus between the bays of Iligan and Illana . As a result, the Misamis Occidental province also belongs geographically to the Zamboanga Peninsula, but politically to the District X Northern Mindanao . In contrast , the islands of Olutanga , Sacol and Great Santa Cruz Island as well as Isabela City on the island of Basilan belong to the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

The transition from the peninsula to the rest of Mindanao's land mass is marked by the border between the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte .

The coastline extends for 1330 km and offers access to the Sulu Sea , the Gulf of Moro , the Sindangan Bay, the Mindanao Sea and the northern part of the Celebes Sea , which are among the richest fishing grounds in the entire country. Countless smaller islands and bays shape the landscape along its coast.

The longest river on the peninsula is the Sibougey River . The largest inland lake is the 7.92 km² Wood Lake , which is located north of the 1,152 meter high Mount Timolan . The highest point on the peninsula is Mt. Malindang with 2404 m, which is located in the Misamis Occidental province .

Demographics and language

According to the 2015 census, the Zamboanga Peninsula region has a population of 3,629,783.

The most commonly spoken language is Cebuano . The languages Tagalog , Subanon, Chavacano , Ilonggo, Maguindanao, Boholano and Ilokano are also common in the region.


The name Zamboanga is derived from the Malay word "Jambangan" , which means something like the place of flowers . The indigenous people of the peninsula were the Subanos, who settled along the river valleys and practiced shifting cultivation. The next arrivals were Muslims who pushed in from what is now nearby Malaysia as well as from the neighboring provinces and drove the Subanos into the mountainous regions. The Maguindanaos and Kalibugan ethnic groups were farmers, the Tausug , Samal and Badjo were fishermen and the Maranaos were traders and artisans. Carpet weaving was reserved for Muslim immigrants.

Later countless emigrants from the neighboring provinces poured into the peninsula. Historically, most of them came from the Visayas , Cebu , Bohol , Negros and Siquijor .

In the period from July 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896, the Filipino folk hero José Rizal spent his exile in Dapitan , where he devoted himself to humanitarian projects.

When the Americans divided Mindanao into the Moro provinces by military force around 1903, Zamboanga became one of their districts. Under the civil government installed by the Americans, it was established as a separate province in 1924. Later, Zamboanga City was the capital of the entire Moro provinces, which were made up of the five districts Cotabato , Davao , Sulu , Lanao and Zamboanga.

However, around 1940 these were made independent and independent provinces. Zamboanga City now remained the capital of the remaining Zamboanga Province. During the Second World War, the seat of government was briefly transferred to Dipolog City , before the city of Molave ​​was declared the new capital in 1948.

With the entry into force of the " Republic Act No. 711 " on June 5, 1952 , Zamboanga was finally divided into two independent provinces: the province of Zamboanga del Sur with Pagadian City took the southern part and Zamboanga del Norte with Dipolog City as the capital took the northern part of the peninsula . Zamboanga City has remained a province-free city to this day. Both the provinces and the city belonged to the newly formed Region IX called Western Mindanao .

On February 22, 2001, the Republic Act No. 8973 implemented the secession of the Zamboanga Sibugay province . On September 19, 2001, Region IX was finally renamed Zamboanga Peninsula with the entry into force of Executive Order No. 36 .


The area has extensive forest regions, which are mainly used for exporting veneer, timber and plywood . The area is also rich in mineral resources such as gold , chromite , iron , lead and manganese . It is also home to large amounts of non-metallic resources. Thus, coal , silica , salt , beads , sand and gravel mined and sold. The fishing grounds are used by the commercial fishing industry, but also serve as a source of food for the local fishery. There are also many fish farms that specialize in breeding brackish and freshwater fish .

The province has large reserves of lead (84% of the total deposits in the country), 49% of the zinc, 52% of the quartz and 34% of the silica deposits. The peninsula is also the main supplier of coal and silica in the Philippines.

Agriculture and fishing are the main branches of the regional economy. Export products are oils, coffee beans, ground rice and corn as well as latex made from rubber . In addition, furniture, baskets and weaving products are made throughout the region from natural products such as rattan , bamboo , wood and cotton .

The cities of Zamboanga, Dipolog and Pagadian are regional centers of trade, education and finance. Zamboanga City , known as the "Queen of the South" , is an interesting tourist destination and one of the busiest cities in western Mindanao.

Political structure

Zamboanga Peninsula was originally known as Western Mindanao before the Executive Order No. 36 “of September 19, 2001 this designation was legally annulled. Between 1975 and 1989 the previous Region IX (Western Mindanao) was granted the “Presidential Decree No. 773 ”of August 21, 1975 divided into two sub-regions.

The sub-region IX-A includes the provinces island Basilan , Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with Jolo as a regional center.

Sub-region IX-B in turn includes the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur with the province-free city of Zamboanga City as the center. The Zamboanga Sibugay province did not exist at that time.

Administrative division

The region is divided into three provinces with a total of 67 administrative municipalities. These are in turn divided into 1,904 Barangays (districts). The province consists of eight Congress - districts .

Province / City
Population density
(per km²)
Zamboanga del Norte Dipolog City 823.130 6,618.0 124.4
Zamboanga del Sur Pagadian City 836.217 3,480.7 240.2
Zamboanga Sibugay Ipil 497.239 3,087.9 161.0
Zamboanga City - 601.794 1,483.4 405.7
Isabela City ¹ - 73.032 140.7 519.1

¹ Isabela City is located on Basilan Island , which is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), but the city itself is politically assigned to the Zamboanga Peninsula district.


Zamboanga Peninsula is home to five cities , Dipolog City , Dapitan City , Isabela City , Pagadian City and the provincial city of Zamboanga City .

Isabela City is currently part and capital of the island province of Basilan , which is located south of the peninsula. Although the residents of Basilan in recent referendums endorse membership of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), residents of Isabela City speak out against such membership. For this reason, the city itself is officially part of the Zamboanga Peninsula district, defined by the "Executive Order No. 36" mentioned above.


The peninsula has a tropical climate, which is characterized by the sea. The influence of the surrounding seas causes a balanced temperature of approx. 26 ° C throughout the year, which is seldom subject to fluctuations. The short and hot dry period is to be expected between March and May. The rainy season lasts from June to October with sometimes torrential showers and occasional floods. Between November and February, however, temperatures reach a maximum of 30 degrees. Heavy rains, however, rarely occur during this time.


Some of the sights of the peninsula include:

Nature reserves

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 2015 Population Counts Summary. In: Retrieved June 4, 2016 .