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Zamboanga Peninsula / Western Mindanao is a peninsula and an administrative region in the Philippines . Designated as Region IX, the region consists of three provinces , namely, Zamboanga del Norte , Zamboanga del Sur , and Zamboanga Sibugay , its component cities of Dipolog , Dapitan , Pagadian , and Isabela (Capital of Basilan Province, which is a part of the ARMM ) and the Highly-urbanized city of Zamboanga . Pagadian City is the regional center. However, on March 4, 2011, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region IX voted to retain Zamboanga City as the regional center. The region was previously known as Western Mindanao before the enactment of Executive Order No. 36 [1] on September 19, 2001. HISTORY After the United States annexed the Spanish East Indies in 1898, Zamboanga was briefly independent as the Republic of Zamboanga . It became a part of the Moro Province , which consisted of the Central and Western parts of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago . The name and status of Moro province soon changed to the Department of Mindanao and Sulu on August 16, 1916, that caused Zamboanga to become a province. On 1942, the occupied by the Japanese Imperial forces taken in Zamboanga Peninsula On 1945, the liberation at Zamboanga Peninsula by joint United States and Philippine Commonwealth armed forces against the Japanese Imperial forces during the World War II . On June 6, 1952, the province was divided into two provinces, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur , while the chartered City of Zamboanga became an independent city. REGION IX

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Dakak Beach The very popu lar Dakak Beach is most known for its beautfiully shaped cove and powdery white sand, and as a diving mecca in Mindanao. Pristine blue waters, excellent dive sites with an abundance of coral reefs, and a magnificent sunset horizon characterize this tropical eden . Dakak Park and Beach Resort boasts 15 hectares of wooded land, a natural reservoir for native plants and animals, and a 750-meter private white-sand beach. Dapitan Bay It is a stretch of clean beach on the northern section of the poblacion , with sunsets more beautiful than the fabled ones at Manila Bay. With a water depth that is gradual and with no undertow, the site is perfectly safe for swimming. TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

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Lapuyan Falls The favorite haunt of the fair Subanen maidens of Sitio Baga and all its neighboring areas, usual meeting place with many a young country swain in some secluded cavern beneath the rocky forest lane. Sibuguey Bay The Sibuguey Bay is situated in the southwestern part of Mindanao. It borders Zamboanga Sibugay at the south. The bay has ideal spots for snorkeling and diving with several coral formations serving as home for schools of fish.

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Tantanan Bay in Zamboanga Sibugay Tantanan Bay is considered as the largest fish sanctuary in the province. It has an area of five hectares. The bay fronts the municipality of Alicia. Lake Dasay in San Miguel (Zamboanga del Sur) Lake Dasay is the second largest lake in the province covering an area of 40 hectares. It shape is attributed to the smile of a country damsel. While its waters are silent, the lake should not easily be trifled with.

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Dia de Zamboanga February 26 Charter Day of the City. A roster of special activities are lined up annually to mark the occasion. Zamboanga Hermosa Festival (Fiesta Pilar ) October 3-12 Highlighted by the October 12 Fiesta Pilar in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar at the legendary Fort Pilar . FESTIVALS

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KINABAYO FESTIVAL Dapitan City 25 July An exotic and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, particularly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against Saracan . They were able to overturn the tide through the miraculous spirit of St. James. The addition of local color and modernism has made this annual revelry a popular attraction which brings thousands of visitors to the city. Sibug-Sibug Festival in Zamboanga Sibugay The Sibug-Sibug Festival features colorful ethnic street dancing with rituals commemorating good harvest. The festival promotes Sibugay's famous product, the talaba ( oyster).

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Zambulawan Festival (Street Pageantry) in Pagadian Zambulawan Festival is celebrated with street dancing and a parade showcasing different Subanen costumes and rituals. Kutsitsa Festival in Molave The Kutsitsa Festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The event includes a street dancing competition and an agro-industrial fair.

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Megayon Festival in Zamboanga del Sur the Megayon Festival is a thanksgiving celebration of the Subanens of Zamboanga del Sur. The festival showcases native songs, dances, and food.

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Designated as Region X of The Philippines , Northern Mindanao ( Filipino: Hilagang Mindanao ) is composed of five provinces and two cities classified as highly-urbanized, all occupying the north-central part of Mindanao island, and the island-province of Camiguin . The regional center is Cagayan de Oro City , where the national government's regional offices and other big establishments are located. Lanao del Norte was transferred to Northern Mindanao from Region XII (then called Central Mindanao) by virtue of Executive Order No. 36. CULTURAL GROUP Majority of the region's inhabitants are migrants from Cebu and Bohol . There are also inhabitants of Waray , Tagalog and Maranao descent . CLIMATE Rainfall in Northern Mindanao is evenly distributed throughout the year. Its abundant vegetation, natural springs and high elevation contribute to the region's cool, mild and invigorating climate.

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Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon Known for its virgin forests and rich biodiversity, Mt. Kitanglad is another must-climb mountain in the Philippines. This inactive volcano, which has an elevation of 9,511 feet. It is home to various species of flora and fauna such as unusual mossy plants, orchids, brown deer, lizards, cloud rats, and the Philippine monkey-eating Eagle. Last year, Mt. Kitanglad , whose summit has bunkhouses with electricity, was declared an ASEAN Heritage Park last year. Mount Dulang-Dulang in Bukidnon Mt. Dulang-Dulang is the second-highest mountain in the Philippines at 9,639 feet. This majestic mountain, which is considered sacred by local residents, boasts of some 58 mammal species including bats, squirrels, monkeys, flying lemurs, and wild boars. The jungles of Mt. Dulang-Dulang are rich in pine trees and grassland, making it one of the most magnificent forests in the country. Since traversing the mountain is logistically challenging, it is advised to scale Mt. Dulang-Dulang with local climbers. TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

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Macahambus Adventure Park in Cagayan de Oro City The Macahambus Adventure Park features activities such as ziplining and rappeling . The park's own Sky Bridge crosses over a 150-meter gorge and measures 123 meters across. The site is the location of the Macahambus Cave and Gorge, the venue of a historic battle between local troops and American colonizers. Kagay'an Resort in Cagayan de Oro City Kagay'an Resort is a cold spring resort developed by the city government. It has a large pool with refreshing water. The resort is popular to locals because of the cheap entrance fee.

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Catarman Church Ruins in Catarman The church ruins are a testimonial to the earthquake and volcanic eruption that wiped out Catarman back in 1871. The Catarman Church Ruins is also known as the Ruins of Gui -ob Church. Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao The Katibawasan Falls measures 256 feet high and falls into a rock pool surrounded by orchids, ferns, trees, and boulders. The water is cold and ideal for relaxation.

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Mantigue Island in Mahinog Three kilometers off the shore from Barangay San Roque , Mahinog is an island four hectares of evergreen forest fringed with sandy beach. The boat ride to Mantigue is quite exciting, as one has to contend with strong diverging currents due to the open sea. One side of the island is ideal for swimming as it is shallow and has few corals. The opposite side is a deep drop off ideal for snorkeling and diving. Mount Hibok-Hibok in Mambajao Mount Hibok-Hibok is a volcano 1250 meters high above sea level. Its slopes are challenging for professional climbers as they trek skillfully and maneuver on loose rocks and boulders towards the peak. There is a crater-like lake where one can have a clear panoramic view of the entire island and the Bohol Province during sunny clear days. The nearby White Island can also be seen from the top.

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Sunken Cemetery in Catarman he Sunken Cemetery was originally a cemetery that was part of Camiguin . During Mount Vulcan's third eruption in 1871, the town of Cotta Bato and its cemetery was buried under the sea. When Mount Vulcan erupted again in 1948, the cemetery was pushed 20 feet deeper. Because the cemetery could not be located, a large cross was built in 1982 on top of the solidified lava to mark the location of the graveyard. Tuasan Falls in Catarman he approach to the Tuasan Falls entails a scenic hike passing through the quaint Barrio of Mainit in Catarman and along the rocky river bed. The pool below the deafening waterfalls is deep and clear. The area around the river bank is perfect for picnics.

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White Island in Mambajao White Island is a small uninhabited sandbar located two kilometers off the shores of Agoho District, Mambajao . The island is composed completely of white sand. From the island, one can see Mount Hibok-Hibok and Mount Vulcan. The island is only visible during the low tide. On high tides, it is completely submerged under seawater. Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan Maria Cristina Falls is a waterfall of the Agus River . Both the river and the waterfalls are responsible for producing electricity to power the island of Mindanao . Other than being an important power source, it is a tourist landmark of Iligan City . The falls stand at a majestic height of 320 feet and is surrounded by forests. The name "Maria Cristina" is derived from a legend that tells the death of two sisters named Maria and Cristina which took place at the falls.

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Mimbalut Falls in Iligan Mimbalut Falls is a medium-sized waterfall descending from the top at 90 feet high and 18 feet wide. It is frequented by locals and tourists because it is easily-accessible comapared to other waterfall sites. Mimbalut Falls provides cool, refreshing water ideal for swimming. Tinago Falls in Iligan Tinago Falls is one of the famous tourist attractions of Iligan City . " Tinago " means hidden, which denotes the location of the falls being hidden far from the city proper. Reaching the falls includes trekking down a winding staircase believed to have around 500 descending steps. The long trek, on the other hand, is rewarded with a sight of a 240-foot waterfall descending into a blue-colored lagoon. Swimming in the water is allowed but there are also man-made swimming pools for children. Behind the falling water is a cave where people can enter and hear the sound of falling water.

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Bulawis Swimming Pool in Calamba The Bulawis Community Swimming Pool is located at Bunawan , Calamba , Misamis Occidental. The pool is just 4.8 kilometers from the town proper. Bulawis is one of Calamba’s best and most popular attractions and is widely-known to locals and tourists who have been to the town. The swimming pool is huge with natural spring water. There are small cottages where guests can relax while enjoying the view of surrounding trees.

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FESTIVALS Golden Float Parade in Cagayan de Oro City August 26 - 28 | Cagayan de Oro City The parade is participated by marching bands from different schools. Various sectors from the government and representatives from different commercial establishments also participate in the parade. The Golden Float Parade is one of the main events during the Kagay'an Festival . The province celebrated the Kaamulan Festival , an ethnic cultural festival held annually in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon from the mid-February up to March 10, the founding date of the Bukidnon as a province in 1917. It is held to celebrate the culture and tradition of the seven ethnic tribal groups— Bukidnon , Higaonon , Talaandig , Manobo, Matigsalug , Tigwahanon and Umayamnon —that originally inhabit the province. KAAMULAN FESTIVAL IN BUKIDNON

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Dawitodawit Ta Buahan in Catarman October 24 | Brgy . Bonbon, Catarman , Camiguin Dawitodawit Ta Buahan is a prelude ritual to the Lanzones Festival participated held during twilight at the Gui -ob Church ruins . Sagingan Festival in Tubod October 17 | Tubod , Lanao del Norte Sagingan Festival is a thanksgiving celebration of good harvest, particularly bananas. The term " sagingan " refers to a farm of bananas. It is derived from the term " saging " which means banana. The event features a street dancing at the Municipal Hall.

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Sagayan Festival in Tubod July 04 | Tubod , Lanao del Norte The Sagayan features a war dance performed by warriors carrying elaborated shields and weapons. The women dressed in colorful clothing also perform a dance called " Kasiduratan ". Native instruments such as the kulintang and the agong provide the accompaniment. Lubi - Lubi (Coconut)Festival in Gingoog City May 22 | Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental A cultural presentation using parts of the coconut palm and other indigenous materials as props and costumes.

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Lugahait Festival in Lugait March 16 | Lugait , Misamis Oriental The Lugahait Festival celebrates the history and the founding of the municipality of Lugait .  The event is celebrated through native street dancing, showcasing of agricultural products, and other cultural performances. Kaliga Festival in Gingoog City July 22 | Gingoog City , Misamis Oriental The Kaliga Festival is celebrated to mark the city charter anniversary. Activities during the celebration are street dancing, trade fairs, a civic military parade, and an awarding ceremony for achievers.

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REGION XI Davao Region / Southern Mindanao , designated as Region XI , is one of the regions of the Philippines , located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao . Davao Region consists of four provinces , namely: Compostela Valley , Davao del Norte , Davao Oriental , and Davao del Sur . The region encloses the Davao Gulf and its regional center is Davao City . Davao is the Hispanicized pronunciation of daba-daba , the Bagobo word for "fire" (the Cebuano translation is " kalayo "). While the region’s economy is predominantly agri -based, it is now developing into a center for agro-industrial business, trade and tourism. Its competitive advantage is in agri -industry as its products, bananas, pineapples, fresh asparagus, and fish products are exported abroad. The region can be a vital link to markets in other parts of Mindanao, Brunei Darussalam and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. There is also a small but growing call center sector.

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Lunod Island in Mabini Lunod is the Filipino term for "drowned". The word best describes the island because it is buried within thick mangroves. The 17-hectare island also boasts a colorful coral garden settled in the deeper waters surrounding the island. Marangig Falls in Maragusan Marangig Falls serves as an entry to climbing Mount Candalaga . It is a system of waterfalls consisting of 13 levels surrounded by trees and different shrubs. According to legend, Marangig Falls is home to a ship known as Donya Marangig . Once in a while, residents would hear the blow of the horn and see that the river's waters have overflown . The shifting of the water, according to the locals, means that the ship is moving but the ship is invisible.

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Mahayhay Cave in Compostela Valley Mahayhay cave is a two-kilometer tunnel with unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites. It is also a lair to fruit bats locally known as kabyaw . All in all the cave is a good venue for eco-tourism. Casoon Cave in Monkayo he cave is located in Monkayo , Compostela Valley . It is a venue for spelunking.

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Tagbibinta Falls in Maragusan Tagbibinta Falls is a series of seven falls. The first one is 700 feet high. The location of the falls is ideal for trekking, offering a challenge for trekkers to conquer all seven falls. According to legend, women are not allowed to venture alone in the falls. It is said that, if a woman bathes in the water, an enchanted prince would show up and invite her to be his wife. The prince is said to take women to his world. The falls is one of the many attractions of Mount Candalaga .

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Mount Apo is a large stratovolcano on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is the highest mountain in the country and overlooks Davao City, a few kilometres to the northeast. Its name means "master" or "grandfather". Apo is flat topped, with three peaks, and is capped by a 500 m wide volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. It is a source of geothermal energy, but the date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historic times. Mount Apo is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines, and the summit is easy to reach. It was first climbed on October 10, 1880 by a party led by Don Joaquin Rajal . Ligid Islands in Island Garden City of Samal Off the coast of Samal lies two islets dubbed as Little Ligid and Big Ligid . While the islets themselves are attractive and good for picture taking, it is the surrounding water that attracts tourists. The seawater surrounding at these parts of Samal Island are popular dive spots.

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Hagimit Falls in Island Garden City of Samal Hagimit Falls is actually a cascade of smaller waterfalls. The water is so clear that it appears aqua in color and so cold that it feels like bathing inside the fridge. Trees surround the river's channels thus giving a relaxing scenario to tourists. Monfort Bat Sanctuary in Island Garden City of Samal The Monfort Bat Sanctuary is deemed as the largest bat sanctuary in the world. It is believed to be the home of around 1.8 billion bats. Upon reaching the place, one can already here the sound of bats shrieking. The colony is being preserved because bat droppings are known to be one of the most abundant fertilizers.

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Vanishing Island in Island Garden City of Samal The vanishing island is a parcel of land visible only during a low tide - although, during the high tide it is possible to walk on the island with the water reaching only the ankles. It is a few minutes from the shores of Samal Island . It is noticeable from a distance because of the presence of what seems to be houses floating directly on the surface of the ocean. These houses are intended for those who want to stay longer. However, use of these houses depend on the caretakers who also happen to be locals. Xtreme Samal in Island Garden City of Samal Xtreme Samal is intended for adventure seekers. The place has a unique twist to those already used to riding the zipline . The zipline starts atop a cliff facing the sea then plunges down into the deep water below. If you want a slower descent, you can try rapelling down the wall of the cliff. On the other hand, those who cannot withstand the rush can just sit back and enjoy the view of the Davao Gulf and the facing shoreline of Davao City .

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Waniban Island in Mati Waniban Island is a 4-hectare island surrounded by aquamarine water. The water is so inviting that tourists are known to dip themselves in for hours. Small picnic huts have been placed on the island where tourists can place their belongings. Guang Guang Marine and Research Center in Mati Guang Guang Marine and Research Center, sometimes referred to as Guang Guang Mangrove Park, is a natural reserve protected by the Department of Enviromnent and Narutal Resources (DENR). The reserve occupies a land area of 21,000 hectares and is mostly covered by different varieties of mangrove trees. It also serves as a nesting sanctuary for sea turtles locally known as pawikan .

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Sleeping Dinosaur in Mati The Sleeping Dinosaur is an island that lies on the Pujada Bay. It is named as such because it resembles a sleeping dinosaur. A viewing deck allows tourists to take pictures of the wonderful scenery. Pusan Point in Caraga Pusan Point is believed to be the very spot that experiences the first sunrise in the country. The point stands by a tall cliff facing the sea. Besides providing visitors a view of the country's first sunrise, Pusan Point also has a good view of the ocean. Mantunao Cave in Cateel Mantunao Cave is a remote destination ideal for spelunking.

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Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel Aliwagwag Falls is actually a series of around 84 cascading waterfalls with varying heights ranging from 6 to 110 feet. Overall, the falls is believed to be 1,110 feet and is considered as a dependable source of energy. Cawa Cawa in San Isidro Cawa Cawa is a famous tourist spot in Barangay Maputi . The site looks like a big pan with cool clear water at around 15 feet deep. The area is surrounded with thick forests and wild orchids. Sunset at Punta Abijod in San Isidro Witness the sky change its color as the sun sets during late afternoon. You can also see the sky's reflection on the sea making the sight breathtaking.

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White Water Rafting in Davao City If you're in for a heart-pumping adventure, you're going to enjoy white water rafting in one of Davao's rapid rivers. The adventure lasts for around 3 hours as you course through a 13-kilometer rapid located in Tamugan , Calinan Disctrict . Outland Adventure in Davao City Outland Adventure is the largest ropes course facility in the Philippines. A ropes course is a type of obstacle course with a series of low and high elements. Low elements take place on the ground. High elements are usually placed on tall trees or poles and require the use of a rope to avoid falling. Rope courses are intended to encourage team work and is often used un team building programs. Outland Adventure is known for its Xcelerator , the longest zipline in Asia, 700-meters long and 300-feet high.

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Lon Wa Buddhist Temple in Davao City The Lon Wa Buddhist Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Mindanao. The temple boasts intricate architectural designs surrounded with trees and carp-filled lily ponds. A statue of Buddha stands inside the temple along with wooden carvings depicting his life. Since the temple is a place of worship, the ambience is calm and is a good escape from the noisy city life. Gap Farm & Orchard Resort in Davao City Gap Farming Resort is a ten-hectare pomelo , rambutan and sweet tamarind orchard located in Green Valley, Ma-a. It has a swimming pool, a cave, horse riding and a chapel dedicated to the Santo Nino and the Mother of Perpetual Help. Gap Farm also has mythical statues placed in various places within its vicinity. There are cottages and picnic areas for those who just want to take a day tour. Campistes are readily available for those who want to stay longer. One of the main attractions in Gap Farm is the large marble imprint of the phrase "Land of Promise" set on its vast lawn , which can be seen while inside an airplane.

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Crocodile Park in Davao City The Davao Crocodile Park was founded by Mr. Philip Dizon , a man fascinated with saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. In November 1995, the city government gave Mr. Dizon the accreditation and the permit to operate the first Davao Crocodile Park. Ten years later, the park was developed into a top-class tourist spot with the help of Dr. Gilbert Buenviaje . The Davao Crocodile Park is now owned and operated by a group of businessmen under the leadership of Mr. Sonny Dizon . Equipped with modern facilites , the Davao Crocodile Park showcases one of the best crocodile farming systems in the country. The park also houses other exotic animals like raptors, monkeys, snakes, birds, and even some wild cats. Talomo Beach in Davao City Sunken warships from World War II can still be found 200 meters away from the shores of Talomo District.

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Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City The Philippine eagle is the national bird of the Philippines. This powerful, large bird, also known as the monkey-eating eagle is found only in the mountains of eastern Luzon in the north of the archipelago and in the heavily forested area of Mindanao. Because of its unique habitat and evolutionary history, the Philippine government sought to preserve and breed these monkey-eating eagles. The breeding camp for these magnificent predators is the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) at Malagos near Calinan District, Davao City.

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Vulcan Garden Resort in Davao City Vulcan Garden Resort is located at Mintal , Tugbok , Davao City . It is a simple resort consisting mainly of a pool and a garden. It is a good place for holding events like birthdays and reunions. The resort gives a secluded atmosphere because of the shade given by surrounding plants. Riverford Nature Park in Davao City Riverford Nature Park is a recreational area with a well-designed cottage, an in-house canteen, some cottages and treehouses , statues of prominent figures, and a trail leading to a nearby river. The nature park also has a viewing deck overlooking the river and the surrounding trees.

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FESTIVALS Anibina Bulawanon Festival in Compostela Valley March 1-8 | Nabunturan , Compostela Valley The Anibina Bulawanon Festival celebrates the bountiful gold harvest and the founding anniversary of Compostela Province. Compostela Valley is known for its rich gold deposits. The festival is held during the first week of March in the municipality of Nabunturan . The term " Anibina " is coined from two terms - " ani " meaning harvest; and " bina " meaning gold veins. " Bulawanon " translates to "golden". Buganihan Festival in Compostela Valley July 19 - 23 | Bugani , Compostela Valley The Buganihan Festival celebrates the Founding day of the municipality of Bugani . A culminating activity is done on the 23rd of July. Kaimunan Festival in Compostela Valley June 17 | Compostela Valley The Kaimunan Festival celebrates the founding anniversary of the Municipality of Maco . The event is celebrated with the Feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help . Kariyawan Festival in Compostela Valley September 4 | Compostela Valley The Kariyawan Festival is celebrated together with the Araw ng Monkayo (in the municipality of Monkayo , Compostela Valley) every 4th day of September. Pista sa Kinaiyahan in Sta. Cruz April 23-26 | Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur Pista sa Kinaiyahan is a tree-planting activity done at the foot of Mt. Apo with a clean-up program held at the peak.

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Kap'yaan Festival in Jose Abad Santos Feb 18-20 | Jose Abad Santos , Davao del Sur The Kap'yaan Festival is an anniversary celebration of the creation of the municipality. The event features an agri -trade fair and a civic military parade. Sinab'Badan Festival in Sta. Cruz September 05-06 | Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur Sinab'Badan Festival celebrates the oneness of different tribes living in the municipality. The event showcases different indigenous art, music and dances. Padigosan Festival in Digos July 19 | Digos City , Davao del Sur Padigosan is a festival in Digos featuring activities like lechon parade, street dancing, trade fair, and sports competition. The celebration commemorates the founding of Digos into a municipality back in July 19, 1949. The name of the festival is derived from the term padigos , which means "to take a bath". Moreover, the city name Digos also has the same origin. The use of such a term dates back to a story of a settler having a short conversation with a native. The settler asked the native "What is this the name of this place?". Having thought that the settler asked "Where are you going?", the native answered " padigos " - which meant that he was about to take a bath in the river. With the native's reply, the settler thought that the name of the place was Padigos . Later, the name evolved to Digos .

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Sinulog sa Digos in Digos January 15 | Digos City , Davao del Sur Sinulog sa Digos is a yearly celebration in patronage to Sto . Niño. The feast features a parade of devotees dancing in the streets and bringing with them statues of Sto . Niño designed in different clothes and ornaments. Sinulog is also a yearly event in Cebu , another city in the Philippines widely-known to patronize Sto . Niño. Araw ng Digos in Digos 8 September  | Digos , Davao del Sur During the Araw ng Digos , the city celebrates its cityhood. In July 1998, the bid to convert into a city was moved and initiated by Hon. Mayor Arsenio A. Latasa , considering its very satisfactory qualification as required for in R.A. 7160.

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Pangapog Festival in Island Garden City of Samal August 1-7 | Island Garden City of Samal , Davao del Norte . A thanksgiving festival hoping for a good harvest in the coming year, the Pangapog Festival features a colourful parade with street dancing, singing and traditional dances. The festival showcases the rich culture and heritage of the Sama tribe indigenous to the region Banana Festival in Tagum July 1-10 | Tagum , Davao del Norte The festival features street dancing and an agri trade fair to highlight Davao del Norte as a "banana country". Banana is the largest economic contributor for the province and the festival pays tribute to its abundance in the area.

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Panagtagbo Festival in Tagum March 7 | Tagum City Panagtagbo Festival coincides with Tagum’s founding anniversary. The term " panagtagbo " refers to a meeting. The festival describes a celebration where Tagumeños meet with other Tagumeños from different walks of life. The diversity of Tagumeños is emphasized during the festival because, with Tagum being the crossroad of business in Mindanao, the earliest Tagumeños came from different regions in the island. Kutoo Festival in Cateel October 29 | Cateel , Davao Oriental Kutoo Festival is celebrated every 29th of October in Cateel , Davao Oriental.

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Philippine Eagle Week in Davao City First week of June | Davao City The Philippine Eagle Week promotes awareness on the Philippine Eagle as an endangered species. Activities are done in the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos . Activities include a children's workshop, games, and photo exhibits. The Philippine Eagle is one of the icons representative of Davao City along with the durian fruit and the waling-waling flower. Kadayawan sa Davao in Davao City 3rd week of August | Davao City Kadayawan is derived from the word " dayaw " that means good, valuable, superior or beautiful. Such is " Kadayawan ," a celebration of life, culture, and the bounties of harvest. Kadayawan is the mother of many other fesivals in the region as members of various tribes visit the city and celebrate on the streets of the city center.

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Araw ng Dabaw in Davao City March 16 | Davao City Araw ng Dabaw literally means "Davao Day" in English. Ironically, the celebration lasts for a week with trade fairs, parades, and cultural presentations. The highlight of the celebration is the citywide beauty pageant entitled " Mutya ng Dabaw ". It was on March 16, 1936 when Davao Assemblyman Romualdo C. Quimpo filed an act creating the city of Davao in fear that the Japanese would soon take control.

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REGION XII SOCCSKSARGEN (pronounced [ sokˈsardʒɛn ] ) is a region of the Philippines , located in central Mindanao , and is officially designated as Region XII . The name is an acronym that stands for the region's four provinces and one of its cities : So uth C otabato , C otabato , S ultan K udarat , Sar angani and Gen eral Santos City . The regional center is Koronadal City located in the province of South Cotabato . [2] Cotabato City , though geographically within the boundaries of the province of Maguindanao , itself is part of SOCCSKSARGEN, and is independent of that province. Maguindanao province is a part of another special region called the ARMM which has its seat in Cotabato City. SOCCSKSARGEN and the province of Maguindanao were once part of the original Cotabato province. The region has extensive coastlines, valleys and mountain ranges. Known for its river system, the region is the catch basin of Mindanao . The system is a rich source of food, potable water and energy production. Cotabato contains the Rio Grande de Mindanao , which is the longest river in Mindanao and the second longest in the Philippines. The region used to be named kudaan . Prior to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao , these provinces comprised the region: Maguindanao North Cotabato Sultan Kudarat

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With the creation of ARMM , Lanao del Sur (excluding Marawi City ) and Maguindanao (excluding Cotabato City ) were removed from the region, leaving Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat , and Marawi City and Cotabato City as constituent provinces and cities. Lanao del Norte was later transferred to Northern Mindanao , while Marawi City became part of the ARMM. With the addition of South Cotabato and Sarangani or the ( SocSarGen Province), transferred from Southern Mindanao , the region was renamed as SOCCSKSARGEN . The "Central Mindanao" name lives on as a description to the provinces populated by 65% Christians and 30% Muslim and 5% other Filipinos.

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Daguma Mountain Range in Cotabato Province Daguma Mountain Range is located in South Cotabato / Cotabato Province , Philippines. Behind the green rice fields of Isluan lies the Daguma Mountain Range. Aside from its beautifully sculpted slopes, the mountain range is also known for its abundant coal reserves. It is believed that up to 426 million metric tons of coal are deposited in Daguma . Pisan Cave in Kabacan Pisan Cave is a potential tourism cash cow in Kabacan , the home of the University of Southern Mindanao. Giant stalactites and stalagmites can be found inside the cave, not to mention a free-flowing water that serves as a natural swimming pool.

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Arakan Valley in Arakan This green valley in Arakan , a third-class municipality in North Cotabato , is famous for its rich wildlife resources and biodiversity. Aside from being a home for the endangered Philippine eagle, the valley also serves as an ancestral domain of the Manobo people. Rio Grande de Mindanao in Cotabato City The longest river in the country, it is estimated to be 182 kilometers long and 96 meters wide. It is not only aesthetic in value but also of economic importance. Water sport and boat racing are the popular attractions of the river, usually held to coincide with celebrations in the Cotabato City . It also offers a unique experience on river cruises.

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Kutawato Caves in Cotabato City The Kutawato Caves are the only caves in the country located right in the heart of the city. Its various entrances are all within city traffic. The name given to the caves is the origin of the city's present name, Cotabato . Kuta means "fort" and Wato means "stone", hence the name "Fort of Stone". The term Kutawato eventually became " Cotabato ". Its walls of white, beige and brownish shade glitters in the dark and echoes a colorful past dating back to the days when no foreign foot yet trampled upon its land. The caves had given sanctuary to the natives when the Spaniards tried to convert them into the Castillan Faith. The caves also served the same purpose when the Filipino guerillas fought the invading force of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. When the Japanese firepower proved superior to that of the natives, the caves were then used as an armory and even as a garrison. Maitum Cave in Maitum The Maitum Cave, also known as the Ayub Cave, is located seven kilometers from the town hall. The cave is home to various potshards from various periods, including those that are likely 3000 years old.

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Pitot Kalabaw Mountain in Bagumbayan Pitot Kalabaw Mountain is located in Bagumbayan , Sultan Kudarat , Philippines. With an elevation of 1,503 meters, Pitot Kalabaw Mountain is the highest peak in Sultan Kudarat , which is known for its rich gold and copper deposits and large-scale banana plantations. Lagbasan Cave in Senator Ninoy Aquino Lagbasan Cave is one of the famous caves in the municipality of Sen. Ninoy Aquino. It is frequented by local and international cave enthusiasts due to its majestic stalactites, stalagmites, helictites , and unique rock formations. Ancient burial jars made from limestone had been discovered in Lagbasan Cave. Buluan Lake in Sultan Kudarat Buluan Lake is located between the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao . Buluan Lake is the third-largest lake in Mindanao after Lake Lanao and Lake Mainit . It has an estimated surface area of 61.34 square kilometers. A number of fish species, including climbing gurami , snakehead murrel , walking catfish, and spotted barb, can be found in the lake. Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City Baras Bird Sanctuary in Barangay Baras , Tacurong City , Sultan Kudarat , Philippines. The Baras Bird Sanctuary is the pride of Tacurong City.  Covering nearly two hectares, the site is home to more than 10,000 bird species including nocturnal Black Crowned Night Heron and cattle egret. Before its declaration as a bird sanctuary in 2002, the facility was used as a private black pepper plantation.

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Kalaja Karst Area in General Santos Gensan is not only home to tuna and Manny Pacquiao . If you are planning to be a rock climber, there’s an area in Gensan worth visiting. Kalaja cave has been the training ground for aspiring rock climbers of Gensan . Camping ground and waterfalls are additional attractions of this site. The Siok Falls in Koronadal City The Siok Falls is the biggest waterfall in the city. It is located at Barangay Mabini , eleven kilometers from the City proper.

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FESTIVALS Horse Fighting in Antipas April 19 | Antipas , Philippines Though considered illegal, horse fighting has been part of Antipas culture. It is one of the highlights during the feast of San Vicente in this third-class municipality. Horse fighting in Antipas is usually held in a vacant field. Fruit Festival in Kidapawan August 09-11 | Kidapawan City , North Cotabato The Fruit Festival is a venue for Kidapawan to present its fruit-growing industry - by taking the industry to the streets. The event features cultural shows, a parade of local fruits, exhibits, street dancing competiton , and lectures on fruit preparation.

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The Bangsi Festival celebrates Maitum's prosperous fishing industry, particularly on bangsi (flying fish). The festival features street dancing performed by representatives coming from different schools. Dance themes portray marine life and the dancers wear colorful costumes symbolizing life in the sea. Araw ng Koronadal ( Hinugyaw Festival) in Koronadal City Translated literally, it means "Day of Koronadal " and indeed it is. It is also during this day that the Hinugyaw Festival is being celebrated. Hinugyaw Festival, dubbed as the "Festival of Festivals," is a celebration of the different cultures that has dwelled on the fertile valley of Koronadal for many years now. " Hinugayaw ," from a Haligaynon term, meaning "merrymaking," is a jovial and colorful festival which tells of the historical stream of how tribes from different parts of the Philippines has rolled up in what Koronadal is now despite their diversity in culture.

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Shariff Kabunsuan Festival in Cotabato City Third Week of December | Cotabato City, Philippines. Considered one of the most important celebrations in southern Mindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is held during December in Cotabato City. The annual event marks the arrival of Arab-Malay missionary Shariff Kabunsuan via Rio Grande de Mindanao. It is characterized by a colorful display of Muslim culture. A musical showdown, cultural presentations, a fashion show, and a photo exhibit are among the activities lined up throughout the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival. Lubi-Lubi Festival in Glan October 8 - 11 | Glan , Sarangani Province The Lubi-Lubi Festival showcases the various uses of the coconut tree through street dances and other celebrations.

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Tuna Festival in General Santos September 3-5 | General Santos City Fishing is the fastest growing industry in the city. It is in fact largely responsible for the economic boost enjoyed by the city today. Coming close to Navotas ' daily fish landing volume, the city's fish port ranks first in terms of high value fish. The city proudly ships sashimi-grade tuna to Japan, Canada, United States, Hong Kong and leading hotels in Metro Manila. It is also home to seven of the biggest tuna processing firms in the Philippines with a combined canning capacity of 570 metric tons a day. The city has now over 50 commercial fishing companies landing a collective volume of 8,000 metric tons of sashimi grade tuna per month. Kalilangan Festival in General Santos February 27 | General Santos City The Kalilangan Festival is a celebration that coincides with founding anniversary of the city. The name of the festival, Kalilangan is derived from the Maguindanaoan word kalilang , which means "festival" or "celebration." The celebration depicts the historical event that started from the docking of the pioneers at the shores of Sarangani Bay. With empty hands and hopeful hearts, these pioneering migrants tilled the lands and cultivated the land that is now General Santos City.

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Tinalak Festival in Koronadal City July 16-19 | Koronadal City , South Cotabato The Tinalak Festival demonstrates the importance of tinalak cloth in the culture of the people in Cotabato . The festival is also celebrated as the foundation anniversary of South Cotabato . Helobong Festival ( T'Boli ) in Lake Sebu November 9- November 11 | Lake Sebu , South Cotabato Lake Sebu is one of the prettiest places in the Philippines.  The place is rich in history because of the Tiboli people residing in the area. These native residents celebrate a week-long cultural fiesta every November which they call Helobong Festival ( T'Boli ) . Witness the T'Boli culture in its colorful best through the natives' traditional songs, dances, and crafts during this time.

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Bansadayaw Festival in Sultan Kudarat First week of November | Sultan Kudarat , Philippines Bansadayaw Festival is akin to tribal unity in Bagumbayan . Celebrated on the first week of November, the event circles around religious prayers and cultures of various tribes such as T’boli , B’laan , Manobo, Ilonggo , Cebuano, Ilocano, Pampanggeñio , and Tagalog . Bansadayaw derived its named from the Ilonggo word “ bansa ” (in full view) and “ dayaw ” (merrymaking). Kalimudan Festival in Sultan Kudarat November 21 | Sultan Kudarat , Philippines Farmers in Isulan take some time off their work during November 21 to mark the Kalimudan Festival. The annual event, which is participated in by different tribal groups, is a way of giving thanks for a bumper yield. It highlights the foundation anniversary of Sultan Kudarat . Revellers engage in various activities such as street dance and sports competition during the festival. Talakudong Festival in Tacurong City

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REGION XIII Caraga is an administrative region of the Philippines , on the northeastern portion of the island of Mindanao . It is the newest region in the Philippines and is also called Region XIII . The Caraga Region was created through Republic Act No. 7901 on February 25, 1995. The region is composed of five provinces: Agusan del Norte , Agusan del Sur , Surigao del Norte , Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands [1] ; six cities: Bayugan , Butuan , Cabadbaran , Surigao , Tandag , Bislig ; 71 municipalities and 1,346 barangays . Butuan City is the regional center. HISTORY The " Kalagans ", called " Caragans " by the Spaniards, occupied the district composed of the two provinces of Surigao , the northern part of Davao Oriental and eastern Misamis Oriental. The two Agusan provinces were later organized under the administrative jurisdiction of Surigao and became the independent Agusan province in 1914. In 1960, Surigao was divided into Norte and Sur, and in June 1967, Agusan followed suit. While Butuan then was just a town of Agusan , the logging boom in the 1950s drew business to the area. On August 2, 1950, by virtue of Republic Act 523, the City Charter of Butuan was approved. It is reported that during the early years of the Caraga region, its inhabitants came from mainland Asia, followed by Malayans, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Americans. Migrants from the Visayan and Luzon provinces later settled in the area. Most of its inhabitants speak Cebuano and reside in the rural areas.

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Hikdop Island -- Explore Buenavista Cave and other neighboring sceneries. Sibale Island -- Enjoy the coolness of the sea breeze and the crystal-clear waters of the Sibale Beach and savor the full flavor of freshly cooked seafood prepared at the Zaragoza Tourist Park. Hanigad Island and Nonoc Island -- Pass through the beautiful channel between two enormous islands: Hanigad and Nonoc ! The San Pedro- Cantiasay Foot Bridge also gives tourists an experience of crossing two islands on foot. Snorkelong at Sagisi Island A tropical island paradise at its best, Sagisi Island showcases fine white sand and deep blue waters, while shades of coconut trees lingering on the shoreline give a romantic touch to the entire beach. The island is also home to beautiful seawater species, making it a perfect place for snorkelling .

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Silop Cave Spelunking Silop Cave is a one-of-a-kind spelunking destination. It has different entrances leading to one big chamber with impressive limestone formations, stalagmites and stalactites--some of them creating magnificent columns.

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Suroy sa Surigao in Surigao City Suroy sa Surigao is an activity initiated by the City Tourism Office. The activity gives its participants a chance to see Surigao's best attractions. The tour includes an island-hopping adventure, cave exploration, and a canoe ride to the lush mangrove areas. Balangay Festival in Butuan May 1-31 | Butuan City It is a month-long fiesta celebration of Butuan City . Several activities are lined up for the celebration like Mutya Hong Butuan Pageant, Sportsfest and Santacruzan . Adlaw Hong Butuan in Butuan August 2 | Butuan City Adlaw Hong Butuan celebrates the city's foundation. Highlights include the thanksgiving mass, the motorcade recogniton of outstanding Butuanons , and the employees night.

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Palagsing Festival in Butuan August 2 | Butuan City The Palagsing Festival is a competition for the longest and the best tasting palagsing . Palagsing is a delicacy wrapped in banana leaves. Naliyagan Festival in Prosperidad June 15-17 | Prosperidad , Agusan del Sur The Naliyagan Festival celebrates the foundation anniversary of Agusan del Sur. It is a six-day socio-cultural and arts exposition of the indigenous tribes in the entire Agusan Valley. Sirong-Sirong Festival in Cagdianao June 28 | Cagdianao , Surigao del Norte The Sirong-Sirong Festival is a celebration held in honor of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The event is highlighted by an ethnic mardigras contest, an agro-industrial fair, and public dancing.

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September 26- 30 | General Luna , Surigao del Norte The Siargao International Surfing Cup is the biggest surfing event in the Philippines where local and foreign participants compete for the $20,000 prize money. The event is sponsored by the provincial governent of Surigao del Norte . Another surfing event, the Lanuza Surfing Festival takes place in Surigao del Sur during the month of November. Siargao International Surfing Cup in General Luna Jinawa Festival in Gigaquit November 1 | Gigaquit , Surigao del Norte The Jinawa Festival centers around the Jinawa play . The play is about a lost soul of a sinful man who sends a message to the living to not make the same mistakes as he did. This is a traditional play that was lost as the area started to adapt modern customs. Carrera Habagat in Siargao Island June 8 - 12 | Siargao Island , Surigao del Norte Carrera Habagat is the toughest four-day adventure race and the biggest in the Philippines. It involves trekking and trail running, kayaking, mountain biking, swimming, rappelling, orienteering, land navigation and special skills section.

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Sirong Festival in Cantilan August 15 | Cantilan , Surigao del Sur The festival features a war dance depicting the conflict between Muslims and Christians during the Christianization of the early Cantillanons . Pahinungod Festival in Carrascal July 16 | Carrascal , Surigao del Sur This is a Mardi gras performed around the streets of Carrascal in honor of their patroness, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Paladong Festival in Hinatuan August 28 | Hinatuan , Surigao del Sur , Philippines The Paladong Festival is celebrated through street dancing where participants compete in different categories. The festival is a venue where members of different tribes can showcase their cultural heritage. The celebration is intended for the descendants of Hinatuan's earliest settlers years before the Spanish occupation.

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Lanuza Surfing Festival in Lanuza November 14-20 | Lanuza , Surigao del Sur The surfing festival is usually held in November. The event is participated by different surfers around the country and has recently garnered foreign participants.

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AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (abbreviated ARMM ) is the region , located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines , that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces , namely: Basilan (except Isabela City ), Lanao del Sur , Maguindanao , Sulu and Tawi-Tawi . It is the only region that has its own government. The regional capital is at Cotabato City , although this city is outside of its jurisdiction. The ARMM previously included the province of Shariff Kabunsuan until July 16, 2008, when Shariff Kabunsuan ceased to exist as a province after the Supreme Court in Sema v. Comelec declared unconstitutional the "Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 201", which created it.

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HISTORY For the most part of the Philippines ' history, the region and most of Mindanao has been a separate territory, which enabled it to develop its own culture and identity. The region has been the traditional homeland of Muslim Filipinos since the 15th century, even before the arrival of the Spanish who colonized most of the Philippines beginning 1565. Muslim missionaries arrived in Tawi-Tawi in 1380 and started the conversion of the native population into Islam . In 1457, the Sultanate of Sulu was founded and not long after were the sultanates of Maguindanao and Buayan established. At the time when most of the Philippines was under Spanish rule , these sultanates maintained their independence and regularly challenged Spanish domination of the Philippines by conducting raids on Spanish coastal towns in the north and repulsing repeated Spanish incursions in their territory. It was not until the last quarter of the 19th century that the Sultanate of Sulu formally recognized Spanish sovereignty , however these areas remained loosely controlled by the Spanish as sovereignty was only limited to military stations and garrisons and pockets of civilian settlements in Zamboanga and Cotabato , [3] until they had to abandon the region as a consequence of their defeat in the Spanish-American War . In 1942, during the early stages of Pacific War (a theater of the Second World War ), troops of the Japanese Imperial Forces invaded and overran Mindanao and the ARMM. 3 years later, in 1945, combined United States and the Philippine Commonwealth Army troops liberated in Mindanao, and, with the help of local guerrilla units, ultimately defeated the Japanese forces occupying the region. CULTURAL HERITAGE The native Maguindanaon and other native Muslim/non-Muslim groups have a culture that revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found among both Muslim and non-Muslim groups of the Southern Philippines. Apart from dance the criollo-mestizos Spanish dances and song are part of Maguindanao traditional culture.

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Tanjung Beach in Indanan Tanjung Beach is another white beach in Sulu . This natural wonder is the pride of the municipality of Indanan . Tanjung Beach is just three kilometers away from the town proper. Walled City in Jolo Walled City is located in Jolo , Sulu , Philippines. Considered as one of the favorite tourist spots in Jolo , the Walled City is touted as the smallest of its kind in the world. These historic brick walls, which were constructed by the Spaniards in 1878, measure eight-foot high and two-foot thick. Several burial sites for Spanish and American soldiers killed by Muslim warriors are located inside the Walled City. Maubo Beach in Patikul Maubo Beach is located in located in the fourth-class municipality of Patikul , Sulu , Philippines.

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Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in Sulu Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is located in Sulu , Philippines. Known for its diverse underwater ecosystem, the Tubbataha Reef National Park is considered as the most famous natural tourist attraction in Sulu. Schools of barracudas, jacks, rainbow runners, and surgeons pass are among the abundant marine species that can be found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tubbataha Reef National Park was nominated at the New Seven Wonders of the World. Pearl Farm at Marungas Island in Sulu Pearl Farm at Marungas Island is located in Marungas Island, Jolo , Sulu , Philippines. One of the Marungas Island’s prides is its pearl farm that is home to some of the country’s precious cultured pearls. This sanctuary can be reached by a 30-minute boat from the island of Jolo .

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Houses On Stilts in Tawi Tawi Houses on Stilts found in Tawi-tawi , Philippines Clusters of houses built on silts near the seashore are a regular fixture in Tawi-Tawi . Descendants of the Samal tribe occupy these houses, which symbolize their strong cultural ties with the sea. Bongao Peak in Tawi Tawi The Bongao Peak is located in Tawi-tawi , Philippines Bongao Peak is the highest point in Tawi-Tawi . Aside from giving a fascinating view of Sabah, the mountain is also a monkey sanctuary.

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FESTIVALS Lami-Lamihan Festival in Lamitan 2nd or 3rd Week of april | Lamitan , Basilan , Philippines A yearly festival coinciding with the founding of Lamitan Municipality; showcases the traditional Yakan customs and traditions, music and dances, and traditional crafts. Rajah Baguinda Festival in Sulu Second Week of August  | Sulu , Philippines Rajah Baguinda Festival is celebrated every year in Jolo , Sulu. Throughout the three-day event, locals hold various activities in honor of Rajah Baguinda . He was responsible for the spread of Islam in the island province.

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Seaweed Festival in Tawi Tawi September 26 - October 7 | Tawi-Tawi , Philippines The festival started in 2002, the event showcases various products made from the marine algae. One of much-awaited portion of the festival is the street dancing, wherein local folks flaunt a collection indigenous clothing made from dried seaweeds. The occasion, which attracts mostly visitors from Europe, is part of the local government’s campaign to promote the seaweed industry.

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