Posted by: Luciell's | July 31, 2009

Iligan City – Land Of Majestic Waterfalls


Best describe as the “City of Majestic Waterfalls,” as Iligan is being described, does not plummet to the depths of the earth but empowers the industries it houses to keep the nation moving. It is not only known for its rich natural resources, the likes of Maria Cristina Falls that has become a major source of power, but it is also the home of nationally acclaimed artists, poets, cultural workers, and writers, and geographically, is a cross road of the cultural mix of the Maranaos of Lanao del Sur, Higaonons of Bukidnon, and the dominantly Christian settlers and migrants from the Visayas and other places of Mindanao.


Pedro Manook, a protégé of Legaspi, with his men from the already Christianized Dapitan in Zamboanga, intended to seize the settlement. Manook and his men were remarkable fighters and in no time subdued the settlement. Those who refused subjugation, especially the Maranaos, took to the hills. This marked the establishment of the first Christian settlement in the fabled land of the Maranaos, with the “iligan” or “ilihan” as the springboard of the initials efforts to Christianize Lanao.

The year suggested was 1557 or 1609, reckoning from the year the Recollects, the first of the Missionaries that came, were assigned to Iligan. The Jesuits followed in 1939.

After the demise of Manook, his son-in-law Gonzalo Maglinte and grandson Pedro Cabilin, whose mother was supposed to be the legendary Maria Uray, carried on with his zeal and courage. Their tenacity withstood the onslaught of the Muslim natives to regain the lost settlement. Iligan in the ear became the staging points of the long and futile efforts of the Spanish Commander Francisco de Atienza and Fray A. Agustin de San Pedro of the “El Padre Capitan” to Christianize and colonize Lanao.

The futility of their efforts and the abandonment of Dansalan as a Spanish fort strengthened the position of Iligan as a Christian bastion which accounts for its pre-dominantly Christian population up to the present.

After the defeat of the Spaniards in the hands of the Americans, a certain Captain Smith came to Iligan in 1900 with a flotilla of war ships to assert American might and authority. The coming of the Americans ushered in the era of closer Christian–Muslim relationships under an atmosphere of tolerance and co-existence. It calmed resistance to duly constituted authorities as well as hostilities among Filipino brothers whom at the time were divided by different ideological and religious persuasions in the area. Westernization started to be felt.

The Japanese forces occupied Iligan on May 25, 1942 until October 4, 1944 when they finally moved out in the wake of the advancing liberation forces.

All through these years the “iligan” was not only the humble coastal trading settlement, the “ilihan” that was the safeplace from marauders, the springboard of the initial efforts to Christianize and colonize Lanao, the home of the Christian-Maranao and multi-ethnical prototype with its own breed of brave and outstanding sons and daughters, but the gateway to the fabled land of the Maranaos.

Iligan City Map



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