Towns and Cities

This provincial capital is the only predominantly Muslim (92% of the population) chartered city in the country

Places to See
  • The 40-m. high Signal Hill, in Brgy. Matampay, was so called because U.S. troops sent signals from here during the early part of the American regime. It has a panoramic view of Lake Lanao.
  • Camp Keithley, near Signal Hill, is a former U.S. Army base.
  • A very old torrogan at Brgy. Dayawan, has posts made of whole tree trunks, a roof with traditional okir design and not a single nail in the entire structure.  It is now a National Cultural Treasure.
  • Brgy. Bacolod Chico, on the northeast side of the city, has two century-old Arabic-inspired ancestral homes
  • Quezon Blvd., the city’s main street, beside Lake Lanao, has an old torrogan.
  • The Mindanao State University (MSU), located 3 kms. out of the city, is one of the prestigious schools of Mindanao. It was founded in 1962, ran by Muslim educators and is affiliated with the University of the Philippines.  It has a spacious 10-square kilometer campus and is considered a showcase of Muslim culture, intellect and aspirations.  Intended to be a vehicle for social and cultural integration, students here are both Muslim and Christian.  Its Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies is marked by a tall minaret.
  • At the heart of the city are a number of religious institutions (madrasas). They include Dansalan College, Jamiatul Philippine al Ismalia and Mahaad al Arabi.
  • The Lanao Islamic Center, at Brgy. Pangarungan, has the biggest mosque in Mindanao.
  • Dansalan Mosque
  • Marinaut Mosque
  • The Masjid Faisal Mosque is located within the Mindanao State University.
  • The foreign-funded RP-Libya Hospital, in Brgy. Sogod, is the biggest and most modern hospital in Mindanao.
  • The Moncado Colony, at Sitio Moncado, Brgy. Cadingilan, was the world headquarters of the religious Equifilibricum Society, a mysterious vegetarian sect headed by Hilario Camino Moncado (author and Humanities lecturer).  They enjoyed a wide following during the American Commonwealth.  The main attraction is the Moncado Monument and wild animals’ monument.
  • The 30-km. long Agus River, situated between Brgy. Saduc and Lilod, is the swiftest river in the country and is the outlet of Lake Lanao to Illana Bay.
  • Bagang Beach is located at Caloocan Gulf, 2 kms. away from the city’s commercial site.
  • Mt. Mupo, in Brgy. Guimba, has a beautiful and perfect cone.
  • Sacred Mountain National Park is home to a 150-m. high mountain just outside the city and off the main road to Iligan City.  It has a pond on the summit and is ideal for mountain trekking and birdwatching.
  • Sleeping Beauty, shaped like a sleeping woman, is a chain of mountains connecting the towns of Butig, Lumba-a-Bayabao and Maguing.
  • Angoyo Hill (Brgy. Sogod)
  • Arumpac Hill (Brgy. Saduc)
  • Sambitory Old Building (Brgy. Naga)
  • The Zero Point Marker is where all distances in Mindanao are measured
  • The Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts is located at the crest of the MSU campus, 350 m. from the entrance.  It has two sections: one displays Maranao and other Muslim and tribal artifacts while the other contains natural history exhibits.  It has a fine view across Lanao Lake.  Open Mondays-Thursdays, 9-11:30am and 1:30-5 pm, and Fridays, 9-10:30am and 1:30-5pm.  It is closed on weekends and public holidays
  • The 9-hole MSU Golf Course, within the Mindanao State University, is nestled on a hill overlooking Lake Lanao.  It has a 200-pax clubhouse
Brief History
  • Marawi was formerly called Dansalan
  • Iit became a town on May 27, 1907
  • Marawi became a component city on April 15, 1940 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 592 (however due to World War II, it was inaugurated as such only on September 30, 1950)
  • It was renamed Marawi City on June 16, 1956 in honor of the Marawi Sultanate Confederation by virtue of Republic Act No. 1552.
  • On April 15, 1980, the city was renamed Islamic City of Marawi through City Council Resolution No. 19-A due to its being the “Center of Islamic Religion” in southern Philippines.
  • The city's name was derived from the Maranao word rawi meaning “recline” because of the water lilies in the Agus River that recline downstream from the nearby lake towns

Due to its high elevation of around 2,300 ft. (700 m.) along Lake Lanao, Marawi's weather is cool and pleasant and is distinguished by even distribution of rainfall throughout the year.


The finest malongs and langkit are woven by women in old backstrap looms at Brgy. Bacolod Chco.

Location and Topography

The Islamic City of Marawi, situated on the northern shore of Lake Lanao, is bounded to the north by Kapai and Saguiran; on the south by Lake Lanao; on the east by Bubong and Ditsaan-Ramain; and on the west by Marantao and Saguiaran.

General Information
  • Area (sq. kms.): 59.79
  • Population (2007): 177,391
  • No. of Barangays: 96
  • Income Class:  Fourth
  • District: First
  • Zip Code: 9700
  • Area Code: 063
Where to Stay
  • The hilltop Marawi Resort Hotel, a Class "A" resort within the MSU Compound, has 24 cottages (four duplex) with bath overlooking Lake Lanao, clubhouse, restaurant, swimming pool, 200-300-pax convention hall (Sampurna Hall), tennis court, giftshop and offers laundry, valet, babysitting and 24-hour room service.  Tel: 52-0981.  Cel: (0919) 847-3658 & (0918) 490-8504.
  • The Ecological Hotel, at Sacred Mountain, has 50 rooms, restaurant and function room.  It could be reached by cable car at Arumpac Hill along Marcos Blvd..
  • The Lake Lanao Resort Hotel and Recreation Center has 50 rooms, restaurant, function hall and offers water skiing
Where to Shop
  • The Public Market, located on the shore of Lake Lanao, is the bustling shopping center of the Islamic City of Marawi.  Here, you can buy mats of different designs, todongs (woven food covers), kris, jangya (silver or gold fingernail extensions), kendi a boronai (brass kettles), ornately decorated ceremonial containers, carabao horn bracelets and combs, gongs, rinti (engraved gold bracelets encrusted with semi-precious gems) and gukum (silver, ivory or mother-of-pearl-inlaid wax containers).  Local delicacies sold here include the dudul (made from coconut milk, ground rice and sugar and flavored with durian) and amik (a native cake made with ground rice, brown sugar and fermented cassava starch).
  • The two-storey barter center, the Palitan, is located near the public market.  Here, you can find virtually any type of clothing; from jeans to traditional Maranao garments (malongs), as well as a selection of colorful raw cloth and finished batik products.
  • The Dansalan Handicraft Bldg., at the Van Vactor Hall, Dansalan College, showcases the carving or weaving of beautiful souvenirs by fascinating Maranao craftsmen.
  • Friendly Bazaar and Royal Department Store II - MSU Campus
  • Jenmar Marketing - Quezon Ave.
  • Noraisa Department Store - Quezon Ave.
  • Royal Department Store I - Quezon Ave.
  • Torogan House - Brgy. Dayawan
  • Tugaya Brasswares Store - Brgy. Sabala Manao

Most of the people speak the Maranao dialect. Others also speak Tagalog and Cebuano.

How to Get There

Distances (Islamic City of Marawi to:)

  • Iligan City (Lanao del Norte): 37 kms. (Pag-asa Express Bus Lines, Metro Bus and Tomawis Metro Shuttle buses, jeepneys)
  • Cotabato City (Maguindanao): 143 kms. (mini-buses)
  • Cagayan de Oro City (Misamis Oriental): (1 hr., Metro Bus and Tomawis Metro Shuttle)
Tourist Information Center
  • City Tourism Office - City Hall Complex (tel: 352-0320)
  • Committee on Provincial Tourism, Culture and the Arts - (tel: 352-0549).
  • April 10-15 (Kalilang sa Ranao) - the city's foundation day, it celebrates the legends of Lake Lanao and features Koran reading competitions and colorful Muslim dances.

  • Landbank - C&D Centerpoint, Quezon Ave. (tel: 352-0536)
  • Philippine National Bank - Lopez St., Poblacion (tel: 352-0571)

Medical Assistance


  • Al-Jaserah Hospital (21 beds) - Tuca-Poona Marantao
  • Amai Pakpak Medical Center - Datu Saber
  • Filipino Libyan Friendship Hospital (50 beds)
  • MSU Medical Services &  Hospital (25 beds)
  • Mapandi Memorial Hospital (30 beds) – 048 Buanda Blvd., Saduc (tel: 52-0357 & 52-0341)
  • Maranaw Medical Clinic & Hospital (20 beds) – Dilod Nadoya (tel: 52-0587)
  • SMS Gen. Hospital (11 beds) – Menor St. Ext., Pangarungan Village



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