Ferdinand Magellan

The first circumnavigator of the real world; born about 1480 at Saborosa in Villa Real, Province of Traz os Montes, Portugal; died during his voyage of discovery on the Island of Mactan in the Philippines, 27 April 1521.

Mindanao, who is the second largest
island of the Philippines

With a population of 16 million, Mindanao is the second largest island and is seen by many Filipinos as a frontier — a dangerous place but also a land of promise. It evokes contrasting images of bounty and want, of war and peace, of rapid development amid the increasing impoverishment of its people.

Colonial rule started a process that was to alter Mindanao’s demographic composition. It deprived the indigenous inhabitants of their land and spawned deep-seated prejudices among the different ethnolinguistic groups. It also marginalised an Islamised people with their own distinct history. In the early 1970s the Bangsamoro people (see box, below) united in a struggle for self-determination which has invariably, although erroneously, been referred to as a ‘Muslim-Christian’ conflict.

 

Muslims in the Philippines
There are at least 13 ethnolinguistic groups indigenous to Mindanao that have adopted Islam as a way of life. The three largest and politically dominant are the Maguindanaon (people of the flooded plains) of the Cotabato provinces (Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North and South Cotabato); the Maranaw (people of the lake) of the two Lanao provinces; and the Tausug (people of the current) of the Sulu archipelago. The remaining ten are the Yakan, Sama, Badjaw, Kalagan, Sangil, Iranun or Ilanun, Palawani, Melebugnon, Kalibogan and Jama Mapun. There is also a growing number of Muslim converts from various ethnolinguistic groups all over the Philippines.

In the Philippines, the terms ‘Muslim’ and ‘Moro’ have been used interchangeably to refer to the various ethnolinguistic groups. Whereas the term ‘Muslim’ refers to a universal religious identity, the term ‘Moro’ denotes a political identity distinct to the Islamised peoples of Mindanao and Sulu. The Spanish colonisers originally used the term for peoples of Mindanao who shared the religion of the Moors who had once colonised Spain. The term ‘Moro’ was used in the same derogatory way as the epithet ‘Indio’ for Filipinos whom they converted to Christianity.

With the rise of a self-assertive attitude expressed in the organisation of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the early 1970s, the term ‘Moro’ gained favourable connotations among the Muslim youth. It expressed their distinctiveness as a people who had resisted foreign domination. Used together with a Malay word, Bangsa (nation) as in ‘Bangsamoro’/‘Bangsa Moro’, it indicates a nationality distinct from that of the majority Filipinos.

Both the MNLF and its rival, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) apply the term Bangsamoro to all native inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu, whether Muslim, Christian or Highlanders (Lumad), who accept the distinctiveness of the Moro as a separate nationality from that of the Filipinos in Luzon and Visayas.

 

 

 

The Regions with their Provinces and Islands in Mindano are:

Northern
Mindanao

have 3 provinces
in the region.
2 on the mainland, and 1 is a island.
Here is the names:



Bukidnon

 

Misamis
Oriental

and the island
of
Camiguin

Western
Mindanao

have 5 provinces
in the region.
4 on the mainland, and one is a island.
Here is the names:



Lanao del Norte

 

Misamis Occidental

Zamboanga
del Sur

Zamboanga
del Norte

and the island
of Basilan

Central
Mindanao

have 2 provinces
in the region.
Both provinces are on the mainland.
The names are:



North Cotabato

 

South Cotabato

Southern
Mindanao

have 5 provinces
in the region.
All of them on the mainland.
Here is the names:

Davao

 

Davao del Sur

 

Davao Oriental

 

Sarangani

 

Sultan Kudarat

Caraga
Region

have 4 provinces
in the region.
All of them on the mainland.
Here is the names:

Agusan
del Norte

 

Agusan
del Sur

 

Surigao
del Norte

 

Surigao
del Sur

Muslim
Mindanao

Autonomus
region in Muslim Mindanao is
4 provinces.
2 of them on the mainland,
and 2 are island. Here is the names:

Lanao del Sur

 

Maguindanao

 

and the islands
of Sulu

 

and the islands
of Tawi-Tawi