The Region 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula,
as it is known now, was formerly
Western Mindanao is in the
southernmost portion of the country. It is
bounded by: Sulu Sea on the north;
Illana Bay and Moro Gulf on the south;
Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte
and Panguil Bay on the east; and the
Celebes Sea on the west.
It now has three provinces and five
cities — the provinces of Zamboanga
del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, and
Zamboanga del Sur as well as the
cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian,
Zamboanga, and Isabela.
•The Zamboanga Peninsula is surrounded
by bodies of water; the region relied on
fishing as one of its major industries.
•Bays: Sindangan, Sibuco, Sibuguey,
Dumanquilas, Maligay, Taguite &
•Rivers: Kumalarang, Sibuguey, Dinas &
ZAMBOANGA RANGE – forms
the backbone of the Zamboanga
Peninsula stretching from Mt.
Dabiak in Zamboanga del Norte and
arching to Zamboanga City in the
NO ACTIVE VOLCANOES
•Zamboanga del Norte – hilly &
mountainous with plains along the
•Zamboanga del Sur – flat coastal plain
with interior mountains.
In 2006, Zamboanga City was re-
labeled from "City of Flowers" to
"Asia's Latin City". The new label is the
brainchild of Mayor. Celso L. Lobregat
believing that this was a more relevant
and significant label given the fact that
the people of Zamboanga speak
a local dialect composed of Eighty
percent (80%) Spanish words and the
remaining Twenty percent (20%) a
mixture of other local dialects such as
Visayan, Ilonggo, Subanon, Yakan
The City of Dapitan is also known as
the "Shrine City in the Philippines"
because the place where Jose Rizal, the
National Hero, was exiled. It is also
known for the old St. James Parish and
the beautiful beach resort of Dakak. The
city continues to exude an atmosphere of
primeval charm amidst a growing
presence of modern-day sophistication.
The City of Dipolog is also known
as the "Gateway to Western Mindanao"
and "Orchid City" of the Philippines and
the "Bottled Sardines Capital of the
Philippines." Peace-loving and genial
Dipolognons proudly celebrate their rich
culture and colorful history. It is a city
whose rich natural wonders beckon
everyone to its natural shores.
The City of Pagadian is also known
as the "Little Hongkong of the South―
because of its topographical feature that
is reminiscent of Hongkong, China. It
also has an affluent Chinese community
that officially celebrates the Chinese
Lunar New Year. The city of Pagadian
is the regional center of Zamboanga
- is a component city and capital of the
province of Basilan. Isabela City continues
be under the jurisdiction of Basilan for the
administration of provincially-devolved
services and functions. But for the
administration of regional services, the city
is part of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region
despite the rest of Basilan being under the
authority of the Autonomous Region in
•In the latest census count of 2007, the
total population of Region 9 reached
3.230 million, up from 2.831 million
recorded in census year 2000.
•Yearly average increase of 57,000 people
•Region IX accounts for 15% of
Mindanao’s population and about 3.6%
of the national population of 88.6 million.
•1.83% average annual growth rate
•Population will reach 3.487 million in
2010 and 4.205 million by 2020.
•Zamboanga City has the largest and
fastest growing population. (3.54%
•More people reside in rural areas.
•There are slightly more males than
•People with ages 15-64 years old
comprised a larger percentage of the
About a third of the region’s
population is composed of ethnic people.
These groups, usually erroneously
classified under the general heading of
Muslims, are actually distinct from each
other in culture. They are generally
divided into the Tausugs, Yakans, Badjaos,
Samals, and the Subanons of Zamboanga
del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and
The Subanens are considered the
aborigines of Zamboanga, settling in the
city before the Spaniards occupied it. The
term Subanen, derived from Suba (river),
means People of the River. The Subanens
form a single distinctive cultural and
linguistic group and are mostly farmers
who grow upland rice, root, and tree
Often referred to as the Philippine
“sea gypsies”, the Badjaos, until recently,
spent their lives on their small boats
which frequent the waters around the
numerous islands of the Sulu Archipelago.
Today, about two-thirds of the Tawi-
Tawi Badjaos still use boats as permanent
living quarters. Some of their villages are
in fact flotillas.
The Badjaos are of two groups: the
southern Badjaos of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,
who call themselves a single “bangsa” or
ethnic group; and the northern Badjaos
(the Basilan and Zamboanga groups).
Though water people, they go on land
and are buried on land. They make
frequent trips to their cemeteries to seek
favors from spirits of their deceased
ancestors and relatives.
The Samas are a grouping of tribes
that generally inhabit the shorelines of
northern and southern Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,
Basilan, as well as the Zamboanga
Peninsula and nearby islands.
They are peace-loving people whose
means of livelihood is fishing. Their staple
food is the cassava or puto as it is locally
called. They also eat fruits and vegetables,
showing a partiality to mangoes.
Their principal musical instrument is
the gabbang or nose flute. Seven Sama
groups inhabit Zamboanga City: the
Sama Banguingui, Sama Laminusa,
Sama Ubian, Sama Siasi, Sama
Daungung, Sama Kaunlunga, and
The Tausugs, considered the most
politically dominant group in the Sulu
Archipelago, inhabit the island of Jolo and
are dispersed into several communities in
the smaller islands of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan,
and Southern Palawan.
They have a rich culture, an amalgam of
different cultures and foreign influence
that dates back to as early as the 13th
when Sulu was trading with China, India,
the East Indies, Arabia, and Japan.
They formed the Sultanate of Sulu in the
15th century. Jolo, which has been the
seat of power, is predominantly Tausug.
Fishing is one occupation many
Tausugs are engaged in. They also plant
upland rice inter-cropped with cassava,
coconut, abaca, and coffee.
Yakan enclaves are however, also
found in Isabela City and nearby
Zamboanga City. They are peace-loving
people, originally pagans until the spread
of Islam in the island. Yakan men and
women are distinguished by skin-tight
trousers and bulky waist sashes which
serve as protection from bladed weapons
or as hummocks in the hills at night.
These days, Yakans are engaged in both
dry and wet agriculture. They grow
upland rice, corn, coconut, and root
crops. Hunting continues but is mainly
They boast of their intricately
designed hand-woven cloth which no
other tribe in the country can imitate.
The loom that they use, being the
type normally used in Indonesia,
has one end fastened to the wall
and the other, ending in a cord, is
worn around the waist of the
According to statistics compiled by
the Philippine government, the most
dominant religion in the city is Christianity
with 73% of the population adhering to the
faith. The majority of Christians are
Roman Catholics with minorities
of Protestants, Iglesia Ni Cristo and Jesus
Miracle Crusade. The remaining 27%
percent belongs to other non-Christian
faiths such as Islam and Buddhism.
Catholics - The city contains the first Catholic
diocese in Mindanao, today's Archdiocese of
Zamboanga which was created in 1910 and
elevated to an archbishopric in 1958.
Protestants - With the inception of the
American era, Other religions were introduced.
Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Latter day
Saints, Iglesia Ni Cristo and United Church of
Christ in the Philippines are included.
Muslims - The Muslims have been an
integral part of Zamboanga City since
the beginning. Before any other
religions were practiced in
Zamboanga City, the Muslim religion
already had a firm hold of the area.
It is estimated that approximately 22%
of the people in Zamboanga City are
Muslims. Some barangays of
Zamboanga City are populated by
100% Muslim. These barangays with
Muslim majority population, do not
celebrate "Fiestas". Instead, they
celebrate Hari Raya.
•Total agricultural land area comprised
almost half of the entire land area
•Due to the increase in the no. of farms
and area planted over 1991 estimates, the
average farm size increased from 2.87
ha. (per farm) to 3.11 ha. in 2002.
•Area harvested likewise increased by
•ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE has the
highest number of farms.
The total farms for the province
accounted for 41.2 % of the total farms in
•PALAY is the major temporary crop in
the region. Total palay production
increased by 2.62%.
•COCONUT is the dominant permanent
•All provinces have the same top three
crops namely, COCONUT, RUBBER
& BANANA both in 2002 and 1991.
•Zamboanga City showed a large
increase in fishery production, which
offset the declines in other provinces.
•Region 9 makes up 10% of aquaculture
production in the country. (2nd among
•SARDINES CAPITAL of the
• i.e. With companies such as Mega
Fishing Corporation based in the
•Supplies 70% of the Philippine
domestic requirements for DRIED
•Total of 104 big dried fish processors
in the region
•Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte is
renowned for pioneering the production
of in-glass or bottled sardines in the
•Region 9 ranks third in terms of
seaweeds production contributing
roughly 12% of the total national output.
The region is blessed with
numerous tourist attractions. Besides
many enchanting islands and islets, there
are cultural and historical shrines as well
as exotic scenic spots and pristine
beaches. Among these are Santa Cruz
Island, Vista del Mar, Zamboanga
Golf and Country Club, and Dakak
. Vintas (slim boats) with colorful sails
and a number of beautiful mosques are
just a few of its ethnic attractions. Fort
Pilar in Zamboanga City, a walled
fortification built by the Spaniards and
the Shrine of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the
Philippine national hero, in Dapitan City,
are a must-see for historical buffs.
Sta. Cruz Island
Known for its pinkish sand beach which gets
its unique hue from coral bits washed up from the
sea bottom. The island is ideal for swimming,
skin/scuba diving, beachcombing, and sunbathing.
Vista del Mar
The beach itself is lacking in its content and
visual appeal, but nevertheless remains popular with
city residents and continues to attract throngs of
people into its warm shallow waters.
Zamboanga Golf and Country Club
The lack of sand bunker hazards is noticeable, as is
the abundance of trees. The front nine of this course is
relatively flatter and straighter than the back nine, which is
more of a challenge. Enjoy the view of the Basilan Strait as
you play in this 18-hole golfing paradise.
Dakak Beach Resort
The closest place to paradise one could ever
experience, with its beauty and serenity. Dakak started
operating on 1988, was conveniently positioned in the
southern part of the Philippines and surrounded by
mountains in its west. Situated at Taguilon, Dapitan City,
Zamboanga del Norte, Dakak tactfully eludes the typhoon
belt, making it anideal all-season destination for travelers
Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City
Fort Pilar houses the National Museum. It has
wide collections of cultural memorabilia and
paintings which could be a good reference for the
history of the people of Zamboanga.
The vinta (locally known as lepa-
lepa or sakayan) is a traditional
boat found in the Philippine island
of Mindanao. These boats are
made by Bajau and Moros living
in the Sulu Archipelago,
Zamboanga peninsula, and
southern Mindanao. It has a sail
with assorted vertical colors that
represents the colorful culture and
history of the Muslim community.
These boats are used for inter-
island transport of people and
Shrine of Dr. Jose P. Rizal
Rizal House Sala of House
Dormitory and School