Malabang, Lanao del Sur

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Nickname(s): Big Bang
Map of Lanao del Sur with Malabang highlighted
Map of Lanao del Sur with Malabang highlighted
Malabang is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 07°35′N 124°04′E / 7.583°N 124.067°E / 7.583; 124.067Coordinates: 07°35′N 124°04′E / 7.583°N 124.067°E / 7.583; 124.067
Country Philippines
Region Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Province Lanao del Sur
Founded 1907
Barangays 37
 • Mayor Omensalam Balindong
 • Total 198.10 km2 (76.49 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 38,724
 • Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 9300
Dialing code 63
Income class 3rd

Malabang is a third-class municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 38,724 people.[2]


Religion in Malabang Lanao del Sur
Religion Percent


Malabang is one of thirty-nine municipalities comprising the province of Lanao del Sur in northern Mindanao. It lies on the southwest part of the province and belongs to the second district. It has 37 barangays with a total land area of 37,789.28 km2. The distance from Marawi City to Malabang is 71 kilometers. Malabang is bounded on the north by the municipality of Calanogas; on the northwest by the municipality of Picong (Sultan Gumander); on the east by the municipality of Marogong; and on the south by the municipality of Balabagan. To the west of Malabang is Illana Bay.

It is under the administrative supervision of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) since November 1989, pursuant to R.A. No. 6734 dated June 8, 1989, known as the "Organic Act of ARMM".

The municipality is a level plain in its central to southern portion. A slope in the north is bounded by the Municipality of Calanogas. There is also a slope in eastern Malabang.


Malabang is politically subdivided into 37 barangays.

  • Bacayawan
  • Badak Lumao
  • Bagoaingud
  • Banday
  • Betayan
  • Boniga
  • BPS Village
  • Bunk House
  • Cabasaran (South)
  • Calembog
  • Calibagat
  • Campo Muslim
  • China Town (Poblacion)
  • Corahab
  • Diamaro
  • Inandayan
  • Jose Abad Santos
  • Lamin
  • Mable
  • Macuranding
  • Madaya
  • Mananayo
  • Manggahan
  • Masao
  • Matalin
  • Matampay
  • Matling
  • Montay
  • Pasir
  • Pialot
  • Rebocun
  • Sarang
  • Sumbagarogong
  • Tacub
  • Tambara
  • Tiongcop
  • Tuboc


Malabang comes from the Maranao word "mala", which means big, and "bang" or "adhan" in Arabic, which is a call to prayer. An Arab missionary named Sharif Kabunsuan arrived at the Sultanate of Tubok around the 14th century CE to Islamize the people in mainland Mindanao. Upon docking in the shore of Tubok, which is known today as barangay Tambara, the Arab missionary cried out the call to prayer with his loud voice: the first adhan, or "bang", in Lanao. The villagers heard this and called it a "big adhan", or in the local language, "mala a bang", referring to the coming of Islam to the island. Islam spread through mainland Mindanao soon thereafter. Being marked as the historical foundation of the religion of Islam by inhabitants of central and northern Mindanao, the town was given the name Malabang.[citation needed]


Malabang, in Lanao del Sur, is considered the oldest settlement in mainland Mindanao. The Sultanate of Tubok was an established kingdom in present-day Malabang long before the Philippines became a country. The people of Malabang are mostly Maranaos, a tribe indigenous to southern Mindanao; Philippine history books often identify these people as the Iranun tribe. (Iranun is another indigenous tribe of southern Mindanao.) The misconception arose because Iranuns live in some of the barangays in the southern part of Malabang, comprising what is now Balabagan. In March 1969, Executive Order 386, signed by President Carlos P. Garcia, reconstituted the southern part of Malabang as the Municipality of Balabagan. Thus, Iranuns are now residents of Balabagan rather than Malabang.

Malabang played a significant part in the early battles against invaders of the Philippines. During the Spanish conquest, Malabang became the headquarters of Muhammad Kudarat, a great warrior and Sultan of Maguindanao. He used to spend time recuperating in Malabang throughout the period when he was fighting to defend Maguindanao against invasion. He later retired to Malabang when he fell ill. He eventually died and was buried there. In May 1977, Presidential Decree 1135 of President Ferdinand Marcos created the Municipality of Picong (formerly Sultan Gumander) out of the northwestern portion of Malabang, where Sultan Kudarat's grave was located.

During the Second World War, when the Japanese invaded the Philippines, the Japanese military built a large camp in Malabang, including a network of tunnels around it. It was considered a major camp of the Japanese forces. In 1942, the Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice José Abad Santos was brought to this camp, after he was captured in Cebu while fleeing from Japanese forces. Chief Justice Abad Santos was executed in the camp for refusing to cooperate with the Japanese, and was buried in barangay Curahab. Curahab was later renamed barangay José Abad Santos.

In 1945, United States and Philippine Commonwealth forces, working with Maranao guerillas, occupied Malabang after a siege. During the siege of Malabang, the guerillas used weapons like the Maranao kris, barong and kampilan to fight the Japanese forces. The victorious American and Philippine Commonwealth troops, together with their Maranao guerrilla allies, eventually defeated the Japanese Imperial forces.


Population census of Malabang
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 25,714 —    
1995 28,840 +2.17%
2000 33,177 +3.05%
2007 41,024 +2.97%
2010 38,724 −2.08%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]


The dialects spoken in Malabang vary by location and by barangay. Maranao is however the prominent dialect in Malabang, as they are the original inhabitants of Malabang. Bisaya dialect is spoken in some barangays with Bisayan immigrant populations. Some descendants of Chinese settlers in China Town (Poblacion) speak Mandarin. English is also a commonly-spoken language due to American settlers in Matalin and European missionaries. Arabic is used in Arabic school and by Arab professionals. Settlers from the Maguindanao, Samal and Tausūg ethnic groups in barangay Bunkhouse still use their tribal dialects. Although there are no settlers from the Tagalog region in Lanao del Sur, Tagalog is still used in schools, being the national language of the Philippines.


Agriculture and fishery are the major resources of Malabang. They are also widely known for coconut production. Warehouses of coconut can be found along the major highways of Malabang. Mills in barangay Matalin produce cassava flour. Other agricultural products produced in Malabang include corn, vegetables and rice. Malabang also plays a major role in fishery production. They are known for puzan (a preserved fish product) and bakas (smoked dried fish). Malabang is central to commerce and trade activity in the coastal area of Lanao del Sur.

Local government[edit]

The municipality has a mayor, the head of the municipality of Malabang, a municipal vice-mayor, and eight municipal councillors. The municipality also has one Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) representative and one ABC representative from the Punong Barangay (barangay captains).



Land Transport
Malabang is quite sufficient when it comes to land transportation to the nearby municipalities. Tricycles are the most-commonly-used transportation around the town. Usually, in the elevated part of Malabang, public transportation such as town ace and multi-cab are used. There are also public utility vans and jeepneys available to nearby cities and municipalities.
Air Transport
Malabang Airport is the small airport of Malabang in the province of Lanao del Sur. It has IATA code MLP, GPS Code RPMM, an elevation of 27 feet (8 meters), latitude 7.6172 and longitude 124.059. This airport is classified as a secondary airport, or a minor commercial airport, by the Philippine Air Transportation Office. Its runway is 4,265 feet (1,300 meters) long. Malabang Airport is the only airport in the province. As of 2015, no airlines serve this airport.
Sea Transport
Malabang has only a small seaport. Daily coastal launches connect Malabang with Cotabato City, Maguindanao. Privately-owned boats and rental boats are available for sea travel.

Medical Services[edit]

Dr. Serapio B. Montaner Memorial District Hospital is the public hospital in Malabang, and is listed as a secondary hospital in the province. There are also several municipal private clinics in Malabang.


Globe Telecom and Smart Communications serve the communications needs of the people of Malabang.


Although listed as 4th class municipality, all levels of education are attainable in Malabang, a center of learning in the coastal area of Lanao del Sur. Multiple colleges are present, including the community branch of Mindanao State University. Arabic studies are also offered at all levels. One notable secondary school in Malabang is Our Lady of Peace High School, a Catholic school.


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 1 July 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 

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