Iligan City

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City of Iligan
Ph seal lanao del norte iligan.png
Ph locator lanao del norte iligan.png
Region Region X (Northern Mindanao)
Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz (LDP-NPC)
Barangays 44
Website Iligan City Government Portal
Physical characteristics
Area 775.76 km²
Total (2000) 399,061
Density 579.46/km²

Iligan is a 1st class city in the province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines, and the province's former capital. It is approximately 800 kilometers southeast of Manila. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 399,061 people in 57,179 households.

Iligan City is bounded on the north by the municipality of Lugait, Misamis Oriental, to the south by the municipalities of Baloi and Linamon of Lanao del Norte, to the east by the territories of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, and to the west by Iligan Bay.

Known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls, there are more than 20 waterfalls in and around Iligan. Among them is the magnificent Maria Cristina Falls, home of Mindanao's primary hydroelectric power station, and Limonsodan Falls, believed to be Asia's highest waterfall.

Iligan is also the Industrial Center of the South. 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, pulp and paper and flourmills. The National Steel Corporation, one of the largest steel manufacturers in the Southeast Asian region, now Global Steelworks International Incorporated was re-opened in 2003 after heavy setbacks resulting to its closure in 1999. Iligan along with its neighboring city, Cagayan de Oro City, are the two major components for the Cagayan-Iligan Corridor, the fastest developing area in northern Mindanao.

Iligan City 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. The climate is consistent year around since Iligan is outside the typhoon belt with an average temperature of just 22 degrees Celsius, and average rainfall of 109 mm per month.

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.


People and culture

Iligan is predominantly Christian (93.61%). Iliganons are a mixture of the Muslim and Cebuano population with a minority of Tagalog and some other cultural minorities and immigrants from other places.

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

Major Industries

  • National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) — (Barangay Ditucalan and Barangay Maria Cristina; 10 kilometers from the city proper). Identified with power generation, site of the Mindanao Region Center, housing compound of the executive and rank and file, and Agus IV, VI and VII Hydroelectric plants.
  • Agus VI Hydroelectric Powerplant — (Barangay Maria Cristina; 9.3 kilometers from the city proper). The Maria Cristina Falls, plunging 320 feet (98 m) downward, is the main source of the city’s power. It was harnessed by the National Power Corporation (NPC) by establishing the Maria Cristina Hydroelectric Plant or Agus VI in 1950. It has a 200 MW potential capacity which is the veritable source of industrial lines in the city.
  • Agus VII Hydroelectric Powerplant — (Barangay Maria Cristina; 8 kilometers from the city). The last among the seven sites located along the Agus river harnessed by NPC for power generation. It has a 54 MW potential capacity.
  • National Steel Corporation (now Global Steel Philippines Incorporated) — (Barangay Suarez; 6.5 kilometers from the city proper). One of the largest steel manufacturers in ASEAN region, located in a 1.4 square kilometer area and extends almost about one kilometer vertically. Established in 1962. At present, it has four main operating mills, Hot Mill, Billet Plant and the Thinning Line. Products: billet, round and square steel, flat steel like hot and cold rolled coils and hot rolled plates. Manpower: more than 3,800.
  • Mabuhay Vinyl Corporation — (Assumption Heights; 9.5 kilometers from the city proper). Founded in 1935 by the late Judge Guillermo B. Guevarra, originally as the family enterprise Mabuhay Rubber Shoe Factory (in Manila). MVC in its present location was constructed in 1964 and was set on stream in 1965. Products: liquid chlorine, polyvinyl chlorine (PVC), caustic soda, and hydrochloric acid used in the manufacture of various industrial products like soap, textile, insecticides, lubricants, explosives, polyesters, shoes, and many others. Located on a hill top, MVC has a small park rimming a man-made lagoon.
  • Granexport Manufacturing Corporation — (Barangay Kiwalan; 9.0 kilometers from the city proper). Founded in 1954 bearing the name GRANEX Phils, later changed to Grand Export in 1966. Then manned only by three personnel and involved in the study of copra business feasibility and the coconut industry. Granex produces crude coconut oil and pellet. When the copra supply was abundant, the company decided to expand with the crushing of Iligan Coconut Oil Mill from 500 to 1,000 MT in 1979, which made Granex Manufacturing the Biggest Coconut Mill in the world.
  • Pilmico Food Corporation — (Barangay Kiwalan; 9.0 kilometers from the city proper). Primarily engaged in the manufacture of wheat, flour and its related products like wheat germ (active). Aboitiz and company which originally thought of venturing into the flour milling business were the original incorporators, later joined by the Soriano group of Companies, and finally the Pillsbury of Minnesota. The dainty structure that stands six stories high attractively poses on a wide lawn guided by ball-shaped agoho sentinels surrounding the complex.
  • Maria Cristina Chemical Industry — (Assumption Heights; 9.5 kilometers from the city proper). The first and only carbide producer in the Philippines, organized in 1952 as a bold venture into the area of electro-metallurgy. Produces two basic types of electro-metallurgical products: calcium and ferroalloys such as ferrosilicon, ferromanganese, silicomanganess, and silico chrome. It also produces acetylene for the battery industry. Part of the complex is a pier capable of handling raw materials and finished goods.
  • San Miguel Corporation–Iligan Coconut Oil — (Barangay Santa Filomena; 7.8 kilometers away from the city proper). One of the two copra solvent extraction plants in the city. It was established in 1975.
  • Mindanao Portland Cement Corporation — (Barangay Kiwalan; 9.0 kilometers from the city proper). One of the cement factories in Iligan City.


Iligan City is politically subdivided into 44 barangays.

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



Iligan has its beginnings in the village of Bayug, 2.5 kilometers north of the present Poblacion. It was the earliest pre-Spanish settlement of native sea dwellers, known as Maragats. The monotony of indigenous life in the territory was broken when in the later part of the 16th century, the inhabitants of Iligan were subdued by the Visayan migrants from the island kingdom of Panglao.

In the accounts of Jesuit historian Fr. 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.

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

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.


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.

The Spaniards abandoned Iligan in 1899, paving the way for the landing of the American forces in 1900. In 1914, under the restructuring of Moroland after the end of the Moro Province (1903-1913), Iligan became a municipality composed of eight barrios side-by-side the municipal district of Mandulog. After enjoying peace and prosperity for about 40 years, Iligan was invaded by Japanese forces in 1942. The Japanese held sway in the city until 1944 when they left Iligan suddenly. On November 15, 1944, the city held a Commonwealth Day parade to celebrate the end of Japanese atrocities and occupation.

Using the same territorial definition as a municipality, Iligan became a chartered city of Lanao del Norte on June 16, 1950. 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.

Educational Institutions

  • Lanao Chung Hua School (Lanlao Zhonghua Zhongxue)
  • Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology
  • Iligan Capitol College
  • St. Peter's College
  • St. Michael's College
  • Iligan Medical Center College
  • Lyceum of Iligan Foundation
  • Mindanao Sanitarium and Hospital College
  • La Salle Academy-Iligan
  • STI College-Iligan City
  • Iligan Computer Institute
  • Santa Monica Institute of Technology
  • ICTI Polytechnic College
  • Iligan City National High School
  • Iligan City East - Regional Science High School
  • Iligan City Central School
  • Iligan City Center for High Achievers
  • Iligan City East Central School
  • JIREH Computer Learning Center
  • Berean Christian Academy
  • Presbyterian Christian Academy
  • Sacred Heart High School
  • St. Therese Academy
  • St. Nino Academy de Iligan
  • United Methodist Development Academy

Tourist Attractions



  • Abaga Spring
  • Anahaw Spring
  • Bagong Silang Spring
  • Ditucalan Springs I & II]]
  • Jardin Spring
  • Matu-ug Spring
  • Panaghoyan Spring
  • Quarry Spring
  • Timoga Spring
    • Timoga Cold Spring Swimming Pools



Historical Pieces and Places

  • Bayug Island
  • Tartanilya
  • Iligan City Hall
  • Iligan City Public Plaza
  • Laya Ancestral House
  • Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House

Other Places

  • Anahaw Amphitheater
  • Centennial Park
  • Maze Country Resort
  • MVC Park & Lagoon
  • Iligan Golf & Country Club
  • Tipanoy Shooting Range

Famous Iliganons

  • President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo - President of the Philippines (2001-Present); Senator 1995-1998, Vice President 1998-2001, economist (daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal)
  • Dra. Evangeline Macaraeg - former First Lady 1961-1965 (wife of former President Diosdado Macapagal)
  • Monique "Nikki" Bacolod - 1st runner-up ABS-CBN's Search for a Star in a Million Season 1, Recording Artist of Viva Records, QTV 11's Posh main cast
  • Helario Honoredez - member of the First Philippine Mount Everest Climbing Team of 2006
  • Gene Orejana - host and producer of Online, ABS-CBN
  • Tomas Cabili - Assemblyman 1930s-40s, former guerilla fighter in the Second World War, Secretary of National Defense 1945, Senator 1946-1957 (died alongside President Ramon Magsaysay in a plane crash, March 1957)
  • Quintin Badelles Cueto III - Commissioner on Human Rights Philippines
  • Noela Mae Evangelista - Bb. Pilipinas 2002 2nd Runner-Up, crowned as the Queen of the Tourism International 2003 held in Cancun, Mexico
  • Michael Anthony Garcia - Pinoy Pop Superstar Season 1 Finalist, Recording Artist of GMA Records, GMA 7's SOP mainstay
  • Julie Lluch Dalena - sculptor
  • Sari Lluch Dalena - Film maker, film director "Rigodon"; Fulbright scholar
  • Junix Inocian - Theater. "Ms Saigon" cast member
  • Felindo Obach - film, tv and theater artist. "A Dangerous Life(1988)", "Fatal Mission(1990)"

Television Networks:

External links

Template:Indy Philippine cities Coordinates: 8°14′N, 124°14′E

ceb:Dakbayan sa Iligan
id:Iligan City
nl:Iligan City
war:Syudad han Iligan

Original Source

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