Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Iligan City

“Industrial City of the South” and “City of Majestic Waterfalls”



Iligan City had its beginnings in the village of Bayug, four (4) kilometers north of the present Poblacion. It was the earliest pre-Spanish settlement of native sea dwellers. The monotony of indigenous life in the territory was broken when in the later part of the 16th century, the inhabitants were subdued by the Visayan migrants from the island kingdom of Panglao. In the accounts of Jesuit historian 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 Higaonon word iligan or ilijan’ meaning “fortress of defense” against frequent attacks by pirates and other hostile Mindanao tribes.

Population/ Language/ Area


Total population of the city as of 2010 is 322,821. The land area of the city is 813.37 km2 (314.04 sq mi) which is bounded on the north by three municipalities of Lugait, Manticao and Opol; on the south by another 3 municipalities of Baloi, Linamon and Tagoloa and another two municipalities of Kapai and Tagoloan II; on the northeast by Cagayan de Oro City; to the east by the municipality of Talakag, Bukidnon; and to the west by Iligan Bay.

Iliganons compose of the Cebuano speaking locals and the minority that compose of the Maranao, Tagalog and some other cultural minorities and immigrants from other places.

Products and Services


Iligan City is considered as the Industrial Center of the South as it produces hydroelectric power using the Maria Cristina Falls for the whole Mindanao region through the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). It also houses industries like steel, tinplate, cement and flour mills. 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.

Tourist Spots


Known to be the City of Iligan Majestic Waterfalls, Iligan City has 23 waterfalls surrounding it. The most famous is the Maria Cristina Falls which is the main source for hydroelectric power in the whole Mindanao region. Other famous falls good for vacationers are the Tinago Falls, accessible through a 300-step staircase; Mimbalut Falls; Abaga Falls; Dodiongan FAlls; and Timoga Springs.

Festivals and Celebrations


Diyandi Festival

  • Diyandi Festival – this monthlong celebration is usually held every the 29th day in the month of September. This festival is for the honor of their patron saint Miguel de Archangel whom they regard as the protector from evil.