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Dakbayan sa Iligàn
Lungsod ng Iligàn
Highly Urbanized City

Nickname(s): Industrial Center of the South and City of Majestic Waterfalls
Map of Lanao del Norte showing the location of Iligan City.
Iligan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 8°13′N 124°14′E / 8.217°N 124.233°E / 8.217; 124.233Coordinates: 8°13′N 124°14′E / 8.217°N 124.233°E / 8.217; 124.233
RegionNorthern Mindanao (Region X)
ProvinceLanao del Norte
DistrictLone District of Iligan City
Incorporated (town)1832
Incorporated (city)June 16, 1950
 • CongressmanVicente F. Belmonte, Jr. (LP)
 • MayorRet. Col. Celso G. Regencia, AFP (NUP)
 • Vice MayorRuderic C. Marzo (LP)
 • Total813.37 km2 (314.04 sq mi)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total322,821
 • Density391.02/km2 (1,012.7/sq mi)
Time zonePHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code9200
Area code(s)63
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Dakbayan sa Iligàn
Lungsod ng Iligàn
Highly Urbanized City

Nickname(s): Industrial Center of the South and City of Majestic Waterfalls
Map of Lanao del Norte showing the location of Iligan City.
Iligan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 8°13′N 124°14′E / 8.217°N 124.233°E / 8.217; 124.233Coordinates: 8°13′N 124°14′E / 8.217°N 124.233°E / 8.217; 124.233
RegionNorthern Mindanao (Region X)
ProvinceLanao del Norte
DistrictLone District of Iligan City
Incorporated (town)1832
Incorporated (city)June 16, 1950
 • CongressmanVicente F. Belmonte, Jr. (LP)
 • MayorRet. Col. Celso G. Regencia, AFP (NUP)
 • Vice MayorRuderic C. Marzo (LP)
 • Total813.37 km2 (314.04 sq mi)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total322,821
 • Density391.02/km2 (1,012.7/sq mi)
Time zonePHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code9200
Area code(s)63

The City of Iligan (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Iligan; Filipino: Lungsod ng Iligan), is a highly urbanized city in the province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines. It was part of Central Mindanao (Region 12) and now under Northern Mindanao (Region 10).[1]

Iligan has a total land area of 813.37 km2 (314.04 sq mi), making it one of the 10 largest cities in the Philippines in terms of land area. It has an estimated population of 322,821 inhabitants as of 2010.


The name Iligan is from the Higaonon word iligan or ilijan' meaning "fortress of defense" against frequent attacks by pirates and other hostile Mindanao tribes.


Iligan City had its beginnings in the village of Bayug, four (4) kilometers north of the present Poblacion. It was the earliest pre-Spanish settlement of native sea dwellers. The monotony of indigenous life in the territory was broken when in the later part of the 16th century, the inhabitants were subdued by the Visayan migrants from the island kingdom of Panglao.

In the accounts of Jesuit historian Francisco Combes, the Mollucan King of Ternate invaded Panglao. This caused Panglaons to flee in large numbers to Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.

In Dapitan, the surviving Prince of Panglao Pagbuaya, received Legazpi's expedition in 1565. Later, Pagbuaya's son Manook was baptized Pedro Manuel Manook. The Christianized Manook subdued the Higaunon village in Bayug and established it as one of the earliest Christian settlements in the country. The settlement survived other raids from other enemies, and, because of their faith in God and in their patron saint, Saint Michael the Archangel, the early Iliganons moved their settlement from Bayug to Iligan.

Spanish Era[edit]

A stone fort called Fort St. Francis Xavier was built in 1642 where Iliganons sought refuge during raids by bandits. But again, the fort sank due to floods. Another fort was built and this was named Fort Victoria or Cota de Iligan.

In 1850, because of floods, Don Remigio Cabili, then Iligan's governadorcillo, built another fort and moved the poblacion of the old Iligan located at the mouth of Tubod River west of the old market to its present site.

Iligan was already a town of the once undivided Misamis Province in 1832. However, it did not have an independent religious administration because it was part of Cagayan de Oro, the provincial capital. It was one of the biggest municipalities of Misamis Province.

The Spaniards abandoned Iligan in 1899, paving the way for the landing of the American forces in 1900.

American Era[edit]

In 1903, the Moro Province was created. Iligan, because of its Moro residents was taken away from the Misamis Province. Then Iligan became the capital of the Lanao District and seat of the government where the American officials lived and held office. Later in 1907 the capital of the Lanao District was transferred to Dansalan.[2]

In 1914, under the restructuring of Moroland after the end of the Moro Province (1903–1913), Iligan became a municipality composed of eight barrios together with the municipal district of Mandulog. After enjoying peace and prosperity for about 40 years, Iligan was invaded by Japanese forces in 1942.

The liberation in Iligan by the Philippine Commonwealth forces attacked by the Japanese held sway in the city until 1944 to 1945 when the war ended. On November 15, 1944, the city held a Commonwealth Day parade to celebrate the end of Japanese atrocities and occupation.[3]


Using the same territorial definition as a municipality, Iligan became a chartered city of Lanao del Norte on June 16, 1950.[4] It was declared a first class city in 1969 and was reclassified as First Class City "A" on July 1, 1977 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 465. In 1983, Iligan was again reclassified as a highly urbanized city.

Lone District[edit]

REPUBLIC ACT No. 9724,[5] an Act separating the City of Iligan from the First Legislative District of the Province of Lanao del Norte was approved by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last October 20, 2009.


Iligan City is bounded on the north by the 3 municipalities of Misamis Oriental (namely Lugait, Manticao and Opol), to the south by the 3 municipalities of Lanao del Norte (Baloi, Linamon and Tagoloan) and the 2 municipalities of Lanao del Sur (Kapai and Tagoloan II), to the northeast by Cagayan de Oro City, to the east by the municipality of Talakag, Bukidnon; and to the west by Iligan Bay.

To the west, Iligan Bay provides ferry and container ship transportation. East of the city, flat cultivated coastal land gives way to steep volcanic hills and mountains providing the waterfalls and cold springs for which the area is well known.


Iligan falls within the third type of climate wherein the seasons are not very pronounced. Rain is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. Because of its tropical location the city does not experience cold weather. Neither does it experience strong weather disturbances due to its geographical location (being outside the typhoon belt) And also because of the mountains that are surrounding the city.

People and Culture[edit]

Interior of Saint Michael Cathedral in Iligan

Iligan is predominantly Christian (93.61%), with Catholics constitutes the majority of the Christians. Iliganons compose of the Cebuano speaking locals and the minority that compose of the Maranao,

Tagalog and some other cultural minorities and immigrants from other places. It is not only rich in natural resources and industries but it is also the home of a mix of cultures, Maranaos of Lanao del Sur, Higaonons of Bukidnon, and many settlers and migrants from other parts of the country. It is known for its diverse culture.


Cebuano is the major language in the city (about 93%). The rest speak Tagalog, Maranao, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Chavacano, and Waray-Waray. The majority of the population can speak and understand English.

Patron Saint[edit]

Saint Michael is the Patron saint of the city, and the city fiesta in devotion to the saint is held every September 29.


Iligan is one of the few cities in the Philippines and the only place in Mindanao where one can find a tartanilla, a horse-drawn carriage, plying the main streets from Badelles Street to Tambacan.


City of Majestic Waterfalls[edit]

Maria Cristina Falls

Iligan is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of the numerous waterfalls located within its area. There are about 23 waterfalls in the city. The most famous as well as the city's major landmark, is the Maria Cristina Falls. It is also the primary source of electric power of the city, harnessed by Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.

Other famous waterfalls in the city are, Tinago Falls, accessible through a 300-step staircase in Barangay Ditucalan. Mimbalut Falls in Barangay Buru-un, Abaga Falls in Barangay Suarez, and Dodiongan Falls in Barangay Bonbonon.

List of waterfalls in Iligan.

  • Abaga Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Dalipuga Falls
  • Digkianlao Falls
  • Dodiongan Falls
  • Gata Falls
  • Guimbalolan Falls
  • Hindang Falls
  • Ikog Falls
  • Kalisaon Falls
  • Kalubihon Falls
  • Kamadahan Falls
  • Kibalang Falls
  • Languyon Falls
  • Langilanon Falls
  • Limunsudan Falls
  • Linanot Falls
  • Lumbatin Falls
  • Malaigang Falls
  • Malapacan Falls
  • Malinao Falls
  • Maria Cristina Falls
  • Mimbalut Falls
  • Pampam Falls
  • Pindarangahan Falls
  • Rogongon Falls
  • Sikyop Falls
  • Tinago Falls

Waterfall hopping is one of the popular activities of ecotourists in Iligan City.

Diyandi Festival and Kasadya Street Dancing[edit]

Diyandi Festival is Iligan City's month long cultural celebration held every month of September and concludes on the feast day of Saint Michael on September 29. Highlight of the Diyandi Festival is the Kasadya Street Dancing, a ritual dance offered to the patron saint as thanksgiving.


The City of Iligan has one state university and seven private colleges specialized in Engineering and Information Technology, Health Services, Maritime Science, Business and Administration, Primary and Secondary Education, and Arts and Social Sciences.

With a total of 181 schools (106 public; 75 private; 17 madaris) including vocational and technical schools, Iligan City has an average literacy rate of 94.71, one of the highest in the whole Philippines.



Basic Education[edit]


Industrial Center of the South[edit]

Iligan is known as the Industrial Center of the South and its economy is largely based on heavy industries. It produces hydroelectric power for the Mindanao region through the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), the site of the Mindanao Regional Center (MRC) housing Agus IV, VI and VII hydroelectric plants. It also houses industries like steel, tinplate, cement and flour mills.

After the construction of Maria Cristina (Agus VI) Hydroelectric Plant by National Power Corporation (NPC, NAPOCOR) in 1950, the city experienced rapid industrialization and continued until the late 1980s. The largest steel plant in the country, National Steel Corporation (NSC), was also established in 1962.[9]

During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the city experienced severe economic slowdown. A number of industrial plants were closed, notably the National Steel Corporation.[10]

The city made its economic revival with the reopening of the National Steel Corporation, renamed Global Steelworks Infrastructures, Inc. (GSII) in 2004.[11] On October 2005, GSII officially took a new corporate name: Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc.[12]

Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor[edit]

Iligan along with its neighboring city, Cagayan de Oro City, are the two major components for the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor, the fastest developing area in Northern Mindanao.



The Port of Iligan is located along the northern central coastal areas of Mindanao facing the Iligan Bay with geographical coordinates of approximately 8o13’56’’ North latitude, 124o13’54’’ East. It is 795 kilometers southwest of Metro Manila.[13]

It serves the port users and passengers coming from the hinterlands of the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and parts of the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and the Cities of Iligan and Marawi.[13]

There are four major shipping lines operating in the Port of Iligan serving Manila, Cebu City, Oroquieta City, and Ozamiz City routes. These are 2Go Travel, Carlos A. Gothong Lines, Ocean Jet, and Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

There are around 7 private seaports in Iligan operated by their respective heavy industry companies. These private seaports can be found in Barangays Maria Cristina, Suarez, Tominobo, Sta. Filomena, and Kiwalan.


Laguindingan Airport

The main airport is Laguindingan International Airport (IATA:none, ICAO:none), is located in the Municipality of Laguindingan, Province of Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao (Region X), southern part of the Philippines. Opened last June 15, 2013,[14] the airport has replaced Lumbia Airport as the main airport of Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao.[15] It has daily commercial flights from and to Manila, Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga via PAL Express, and Cebu Pacific.

Other nearby commercial airports include:

Bus Terminals[edit]

There are two main bus terminals in Iligan.

Rural Transit (RTMI) and Super 5 Transport are the dominant public bus companies with daily trips from and to Iligan. Passenger vans also services various municipalities in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Misamis Oriental.

City Transportation[edit]

The public modes of transportation within the city are Jeepneys, Taxis, and Pedicabs. "Tartanillas" services main roads in Barangay Pala-o and Barangay Tambacan.

Telecommunications and Media[edit]

Iligan City's pioneering communication company is PLDT-MaraTel. Bayan Telecommunications Inc., Italtel, a government controlled communications system then followed. Recently major national carriers such as PilTel, Globe Telecom, Mobile telecommunications are catered by Smart Communications, Globe Handyphone, and Sun Cellular are serving the telecommunication needs of Iligan City.

The city has three (3) local television channels. They are ABS-CBN, GMA Network, and Studio 23. The city also has twelve (12) FM and two (2) AM radio stations.

Law and Government[edit]

Iligan City Hall

Iligan City is a highly urbanized city and is independent from the Province of Lanao del Norte. Registered voters of the city no longer vote for provincial candidates such as the Governor and Vice Governor unlike its nearby towns that make up the provinces as a result to its charter as a city in the 1950s.

Iligan City's seat of government, the city hall, is located at Buhanginan Hills in Barangay Pala-o. The government structure compose of one mayor, one vice-mayor and twelve councilors. Each official is elected publicly to a 3-year term and can be re-elected up to 3 terms in succession. The day to day administration of the city is handled by the city administrator.


Iligan City is politically subdivided into 44 barangays.

  • Abuno
  • Acmac
  • Bagong Silang
  • Bara-as
  • Bonbonon
  • Bunawan
  • Buru-un
  • Dalipuga
  • Del Carmen
  • Digkilaan
  • Ditucalan
  • Dulag
  • Hinaplanon
  • Hindang
  • Kabacsanan
  • Kalilangan
  • Kiwalan
  • Lanipao
  • Luinab
  • Mahayahay
  • Mainit
  • Mandulog
  • Maria Cristina
  • Pala-o
  • Panoroganan
  • Poblacion
  • Puga-an
  • Rogongon
  • San Miguel
  • San Roque
  • Santiago
  • Saray-Tibanga (Saray)
  • Santa Elena (Tominobo-Ilaya)
  • Santa Filomena
  • Santo Rosario
  • Suarez
  • Tambacan
  • Tibanga (Canaway)
  • Tipanoy
  • Tomas Cabili
  • Tubod
  • Ubaldo Laya
  • Upper Hinaplanon
  • Upper Tominobo
  • Villaverde

Notable people[edit]

Sister Cities[edit]

Philippines Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Philippines Makati City, Philippines[18]
Philippines Dipolog City, Philippines
Philippines Butuan City, Philippines

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Godinez-Ortega, C. (2001, September 9). Iligan City 'moves' to Northern Mindanao, Philippine Daily Inquirer. P. A13.
  2. ^ Prof. Patrocenia T. Acut, Iligan During the American Period, Iligan City Official Website
  3. ^ Prof. Leonor Buhion Enderes, Japanese Occupation in Iligan City, Iligan City Official Website
  4. ^ "R.A. No. 525, Iligan City Charter". Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Macapado A. Muslim, "Commencement Address", a speech at MSU IIT's 38th Commencement Exercises, MSU-IIT Gymnasium, Iligan City, April 4, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Iligan City Schools, City Development Strategies in Philippines.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Prof. Geoffrey G. Salgado, Iligan: A History of the Phenomenal Growth of an Industrial City, Iligan City Official Website
  10. ^ Maricar T. Manuzon, A Giant Awakens, Philippine Business Magazine
  11. ^ Genalyn D. Kabiling, National Steel Plant reopens, Manila Bulletin
  12. ^ GSII Changes Name to Global Steel Philippines, PRWEB August 19, 2005
  13. ^ a b PMO Iligan Website Retrieved 2013, April 18, from
  14. ^ Amojelar, D. (2013, April 16). Gov't defers transfer of flights to Laguindingan Airport until after summer, Retrieved 2013, April 18, from
  15. ^ Betonio, T., Managbanag, N. (2013, February 27). Laguindingan airport to open in April, Retrieved 2013, April 18, from
  16. ^ "Aviation Safety Database, Accident Description". 1990-05-18. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  17. ^ "The Philippines Air Accidents 1990-1999". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  18. ^ "Makati and Iligan Sign Sister-City Pact". Makati City Government. 

External links[edit]