I do not know much of Lanao Del Norte if I were to be honest even when I live a few minutes away from it all my life. My encounter with this province was always just looking at the moving scenery when I would pass by during travel. Beyond that, I do not know much of this underrated province close to home. Hence, why here’s the top reasons why you should visit Lanao Del Norte on your next travel to Mindanao.

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Why You Should Visit Lanao Del Norte

The term Lanao is derived from a Maranao word “Ranao” or a body of water. “Maranao” means lake dweller, a natives occupying the land around Lake Lanao situated at the central part of Lanao del Sur. Lanao, applies to the entire area before its division. When it was divided into two provinces, the southern portion became Lanao del Sur and the northern part became Lanao del Norte.

Tourists destinations & attractions

Lanao del Norte a rugged province located in Northern Mindanao that covers coastal shorelines in the north to the high plateaus and mountains in the south. The interesting terrain makes its natural attractions and tourists destinations a bit of everything from excursions to waterfalls, lakes, and beach park attractions:

  • Tinago Falls at Linamon, Pagayan Falls Bacolod, and Cathedral Falls and Sta Cruz Falls at Kapatagan
  • Lake Adventure at Kapatagan
  • Pigalawag Beach at Sultan Nara Dimaporo
  • Tagoloan Cave Exploration

If you are into extreme sports, Lanao Del Norte is also known as the Motocross Capital of the Philippines. The province hosts the annual Philippine Motocross Championships every December and is one of the highlights of Lanao del Norte’s multi-event Motorsports Weekend. They also have LaNorte Man Triathlon Series for people who are into the multisport race.

  • Motocross Capital of the Philippines and LaNorte Man Triathlon Series

The misconception that Lanao Del Norte as a war-torn province is one obstacle this province faces. Having lived in Iligan City all my life and hearing news of  fights between rebels and the government erupting when I was a kid definitely shaped at how I looked at this province as the years went by.  But my perception of Lanao Del Norte has changed after seeing its development, how rich the province is of its people and natural resources, and how Muslims and Christians live harmoniously with each other.

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If you think that this province is timid, wait until you see their festivals. Lanao Del Norte is known for its festivals from Sangingan Festival, Alimango Festival, and Sinulog Festival to name a few. Sangingan Festival is to celebrate the bounty of their harvest, Alimango Festival is a Municipality of Lala festival for being the top producer of alimango, and Sinulog Festival to celebrate the peace-loving province where Muslims and Christians live harmoniously together.

Food scene

Largely agricultural, Lanao Del Norte is known for its bountiful harvests on land and on sea. They are major producer of copra in the region and other products like rice, fruits, corn, and aquaculture products. There are also food places and restaurants to dine at that you should not miss should you be visiting Lanao Del Norte.

  • Andrew’s Pizza at Tubod
  • Soy Cafe & Diner at Maranding
  • Campilan Barbecue at Maranding

Warm and welcoming people

Lanao del Norte comprises 22 municipalities with a mixture of Maranaos and Cebuanos. The Maranao, the Muslim community, is an ethnic group that possess their own culture which makes them quite unique. The Cebuanos or the Bisaya compromises much of the Christian community in most of the municipalities in this province.

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The differences in the language, customs, traditions, religion, social system, costumes, music, and other features of both Christians and Muslims make Lanao peculiar and distinct from other Philippine provinces. Here you will find both Muslims and Christians living harmoniously together in one province.

Promising developments

Lanao del Norte is no stranger to development. The Mindanao Civic Center is 71-hectare integrated complex with 5-hectare provincial trade center, 18-hectare sports facilities with 48-hectares still open for the proposed 18-hole golf course, picnic park and sports academy. It houses a hotel, cafeteria, gym, swimming pool, oval, and other sports facilities. The province is home to Agus Power Plants 4-7 that serves at about 70% of power supply in Mindanao stretching from Balo-i to Iligan City and the newly GNPower Kauswagan ramps up development of Mindanao. The, 3.48 km bridge connecting Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte, Panguil Bay Bridge, has started construction early this year making accessibility easier around this part of Mindanao.

Chill & peaceful town life

The province borders Lanao del Sur to the southeast, Zamboanga del Sur to the west, Illana Bay to the southwest, Iligan Bay to the north, Iligan City to the northeast, and is separated from Misamis Occidental by Panguil Bay to the northwest. Its location is a strategic one and one that most do not see as important. This fact worries locals and Iligan City if the 6 municipalities  namely: Tagoloan, Balo-I, Pantar, Munai, Tangcal, and Nunungan will be included on the Bangsamoro Organic Law when it is pushed through. Being a province of peace, it has been a foothold to keeping the province safe and the rest of its neighbouring provinces. Lanao del Norte is fighting to keep its territory intact and is united in its stand.

It has long been since we heard of any negative news coming from this province and much goes to the efforts made by Muslim and Christian communities and of the local government to build peace and keep it that way. These efforts are becoming increasingly important and largely evident in this province, giving me a new found confidence to visit Lanao Del Norte and you should too.

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