By James Barcelona
BONGO DIVING SPOT
Swim with exotic and colorful fishes and discover the beauty and importance of the coral reefs. Delightfully breathtaking and educating experiences that will surely make you appreciate nature’s bount.
BENOLEN HOT SPRING
BENOLEN HOT SPRING
The warm water that gushes forth from the spring provide the wholesome pleasure and relaxation.
CAVES AND FALLS
Beneath the vast forest that covers the mountain of Maguindanao Province, numerous waterfalls and caves will astound you. Discover and explore those wondrous nature’s bounty. KIGA, RUMAGUNRONG, BUSAY AND TABUAN FALLS in Upi, Maguindanao; BANGANAN FALLS in Barira, Maguindanao; ABAGA, BUBULUDTUWA AND BUCAL FALLS in Matanog, Maguindanao; BUNGCOG, TINUNGKAAN AND KINDAL CAVES in Upi, Maguindanao.
Maguindanao is a province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It is composed of 36 municipalities, which are further subdivided into 492 barangays with Shariff Aguak as the provincial capital. Maguindanao is bounded on the north by Lanao del Sur, on the west by Ilana Bay, on the east by Cotabato and on the south by Sultan Kudarat.
On November 22, 1972, the province of Maguindanao was created when North Cotabato was divided into three provinces (Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato) by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341. In 1989, Maguindanao joined the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by virtue of Republic Act No. 6734.
On November 23, 2009, the Maguindanao Massacre, also known as the Ampatuan Massacre after the town where the mass graves were found, occurred. While the victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu for 2010 gubernatorial election, they were kidnapped and brutally killed. Fifty-eight people were killed including Mangundadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who were witnesses or were mistakenly identified as part of the caravan. The massacre was considered as the single deadliest event for journalists in history because at least 34 journalists are known to have died in the massacre.
The Maguindanaos, which literally means “People of the Flood Plain”, comprise 60% of the population. They are mostly rice farmers and they produce fine brassware, malongs and mats. They practice “kaingin” or slash and burn farming, do some hunting and weave attractive baskets and handbags made of “nito” and rattan. They are divided into coastal, river and mountain groups who live in communal households and practice polygamy and have an effective indigenous legal system.
Maguindanao and Cebuano are the major dialects spoken in the province. Subdialects include T’boli, Manobo and Tiruray. The province has evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. The hottest months are April to June.
Maguindanao grow a variety of crops, trap fish, and obtain wild foods and other materials from the marshes for their subsistence. Wet rice is grown in the lowlands, and dry rice and corn are farmed in the upland areas. Tubers, including yams and sweet potatoes, are among the staple crops of the province. Vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, and beans are also harvested in abundance. Many kinds of fruits are common in the province, including bananas, mangoes, guavas and durians.