Islamic City of Marawi
Skyline of the city as viewed in November 2018 more than a year after the Battle of Marawi
Map of Lanao del Sur with Marawi highlighted
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 8°00′N 124°18′E / 8°N 124.3°E / 8; 124.3Coordinates: 8°00′N 124°18′E / 8°N 124.3°E / 8; 124.3
RegionBangsamoro Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
ProvinceLanao del Sur
District 1st district
CharteredMay 24, 1907
RenamedJune 16, 1956
Barangays96 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorMajul U. Gandamra
 • Deputy mayorAnouar A. Abdulrauf
 • RepresentativeAnsaruddin Abdul Malik A. Adiong
 • City Council
 • Electorate63,014 voters (2019)
 • Total87.55 km2 (33.80 sq mi)
Elevation710 m (2,330 ft)
Highest elevation
1,852 m (6,076 ft)
Lowest elevation
19 m (62 ft)
 (2020 census) [4]
 • Total207,010
 • Density2,400/km2 (6,100/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Income class4th city income class
 • Poverty incidence54.64% (2015)[5]
 • Revenue₱837,609,804.49 (2020)
 • Assets₱3,559,107,547.37 (2020)
 • Expenditure₱843,884,572.18 (2020)
 • Liabilities₱2,116,196,280.97 (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityLanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)63
Native languagesMaranao

Marawi, officially the Islamic City of Marawi (Maranao: Inged a Marawi; Tagalog: Islamikong Lungsod ng Marawi), is a 4th class component city and capital of the province of Lanao del Sur, Philippines. The 2020 census, calculated its population at 207,010. [4]

Marawi is located upon the shores of Lake Lanao.[6] It is primarily inhabited by the Maranao people. The city is also called the "summer capital of the south" due to its higher elevation and cooler climate,[7] a nickname it shares with Malaybalay.[8][better source needed]

On May 23, 2017, the city suffered extensive damage during the Battle of Marawi as militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant invaded the city and engaged in a massive urban gunfight.[9] The ensuing battle lasted until October 23, 2017, when Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the ending of the battle. Major damage of the city was mostly caused by airstrikes carried out by the Philippine Air Force in an attempt to eliminate the militants.


Skyline of Marawi in 2008
Skyline of Marawi in 2008

Municipality of Dansalan

Marawi was founded as Dansalan in October 1639 by the Spaniards led by conquistador Francisco Atienza who came from Iligan and were attempting to conquer the entire Lake Lanao area.[10] However, it was abandoned later the same year when thousands of Maranao warriors invested the then-fortifying settlement, pressing the Spaniards hard and thus they returned to Iligan, having failed in their quest.[11][better source needed] The Spaniards only returned to the area when they began the conquest of the Sultanate of Maguindanao in the late 19th century, only to be abandoned once again when the Americans came there in 1900. It served as the capital of the undivided Lanao province from 1907 to 1940. Dansalan in Meranaw is a place where ships berth – a port of entry.

A tribal leader of Marawi before Spanish colonization was "Datu Buadi Sa Kayo". He collected taxes in his era.[citation needed]

Granting of charter (1940) and change of name to Marawi (1956)

Dansalan became a charted city in 1940.[12] Later, in 1956, Republic Act No. 1552 amended the charter and changed the official name of the city from Dansalan to Marawi.

The renaming of the city as the "Islamic City of Marawi" was proposed by Parliamentary Bill No. 261 in the defunct Batasang Pambansa, the former parliament of the Philippines during the Marcos regime, reportedly to attract funds from the Middle East.[7]

Battle of Marawi (2017)

Main article: Battle of Marawi

On May 23, 2017, a pro–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group called the Maute group attacked the city. The battle of Marawi—also known as the Marawi siege, the Marawi clash, and the Marawi crisis—started on May 23. CNN Philippines reported that the militants had over 500 men.[13] Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the island of Mindanao, where the fighting was taking place, initially until December 31, 2017,[14] but was later extended to the end of 2018 and then again to the end of 2019.[14][15] The city was liberated from militant control on October 17 and battle operations officially ended on October 23.

Post-battle period

See also: Rehabilitation of Marawi

On January 30, 2018, it was announced that a 10-hectare military base will be established in the city to prevent the reentry of terrorists.[16]


Lake Lanao viewed from Marawi
Lake Lanao viewed from Marawi

Marawi has a total land area of 8,755 hectares (21,630 acres).[17] It is located on the northernmost shores of Lake Lanao and straddles the area where the Agus River starts. It is bounded to the north by the municipalities of Kapai and Saguiaran; to the south by Lake Lanao; to the east by the municipalities of Bubong and Ditsaan-Ramain; and to the west by the municipalities of Marantao and Saguiaran.[7] The Bagang beach is situated 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from the city's commercial center.

The Islamic city also hosts a national park, the Sacred Mountain National Park, which spans the barangays of Guimba and Papandayan covering an area of 94-hectare (230-acre). The protected area was established on August 5, 1965, by Republic Act no. 4190.[18] The park is dominated by Mount Mupo, a 900-foot (270 m) tall[19] extinct volcanic cone. The park is ideal for birdwatching and mountain climbing to the summit that features a small pond.[20][better source needed]


Mountains, rolling hills, valleys, and a large placid lake dominate the city's landscape. Angoyao Hills (Barangay Sogod) served as natural viewpoint over the water of the Lake Lanao. Signal Hill (Barangay Matampay), Arumpac Hill (Barangay Saduc), and Mt. Mupo (Barangay Guimba) are considered beautiful but mysterious. Mt. Mupo, located within the Sacred Mountain National Park, is known for its untouched trees and beautiful, perfect cone.[citation needed]


Marawi is politically subdivided into 96 barangays.[21]


Climate data for Marawi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24
Average low °C (°F) 20
Average precipitation mm (inches) 159
Average rainy days 18.4 17.2 20.6 23.4 29.3 29.2 29.9 29.4 27.7 28.7 25.5 19.9 299.2
Source: Meteoblue[22]

Marawi's weather is warm and wet throughout the year. With the elevation along Lake Lanao at around 2,300 feet (700 m),[3] this raised altitude together frequent heavy showers at all seasons, ensures that hot conditions are seldom observed.


Population census of Marawi
YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 6,005—    
1939 11,319+3.06%
1948 19,657+6.32%
1960 27,049+2.70%
1970 55,708+7.48%
1975 63,332+2.61%
1980 53,812−3.20%
1990 91,901+5.50%
1995 114,389+4.19%
2000 131,090+2.96%
2007 177,391+4.26%
2010 187,106+1.96%
2015 201,785+1.45%
2020 207,010+0.50%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[23][24][25][26]


Maranao or Meranaw is widely spoken in Marawi; however, local inhabitants can also speak Maguindanao, Iranun, English and Tagalog.


Islamic Center in Barangay Pangarungan, Marawi
Islamic Center in Barangay Pangarungan, Marawi

Marawi is predominantly a Muslim city, with Muslims accounting for 99.6% of the population.[7] Sharia criminal law exists but without stoning, amputations, flagellations, or other punishments typically associated with Sharia as they are against the law of the Philippines. The distribution of alcoholic products and gambling is forbidden and women must cover their heads, though non-Muslims are exempted from this rule. Other than sharia law in personal matters, these laws are not applicable elsewhere in Lanao del Sur.


A view of Marawi City from a top
A view of Marawi City from a top

The economy of Marawi is largely based on agriculture, trading, and exporting. Most industries in the city are agriculture-oriented. They include rice and corn farming, hollow blocks manufacturing, goldsmithing, and saw milling. Small and cottage-size enterprises are engaged in garment making, mat and malong weaving, wood carving, brassware making, web development, and blacksmithing.[7]

Apart from that, Marawi is home to NPC – Agus 1 Hydro Electric Power Plant and the first of the six cascading Agus Hydro Power Plants.

A new wind and solar energy plant and a new diesel-generated power plant are set to be developed in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur, by two private firms to provide electricity to Marawi and adjoining areas.[33][34][better source needed] The project will cost PHP 2 billion and will generate 10 to 30 megawatts of electricity.[33]


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The feeling of the unique natural setting of the Maranaos in Marawi is manifested by the presence of many large Torogans, an antique royal high-roofed houses with carvings designed by the Meranau, and the Sambitory Old Building in Barrio Naga in front of Tuaka Laput, Marawi.

Local government

List of Mayors
  • Only mayors since the 1986 People Power Revolution are listed.
  • Education

    The Mindanao State University
    The Mindanao State University

    Marawi is home to the main campus of Mindanao State University, the biggest state university in Philippines. Other institutions and colleges are well established in the city and are as follows:

    Other notable secondary schools are:

    TESDA is also stationed in Marawi which caters to technical training of students for the province.

    Within the Mindanao State University is the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts which is named in honor of Sultan Aga Khan who contributed to the realization of the museum. Historical development of the country is bank on the large space upon the conservation of cultural materials. It has huge, collection of indigenous art, displayed ethnic music tape recorded, the native folk dances from different regions of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, the native tools and weapons used by the Muslims and different artistic designs of houses are the main attractions of museum. Indigenous art and cultural material are being displayed.

    Sister Cities


    See also


    1. ^ Islamic City of Marawi | (DILG)
    2. ^ "2015 Census of Population, Report No. 3 – Population, Land Area, and Population Density" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Quezon City, Philippines. August 2016. ISSN 0117-1453. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
    3. ^ a b ""Marawi City terrain"" (Map). Google Maps. Archived from the original on 2021-12-30. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
    4. ^ a b Census of Population (2020). "BARMM". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
    5. ^; publication date: 10 July 2019; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    6. ^ "Darangen Epic of the Maranao People of Lake Lanao". UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
    7. ^ a b c d e "Islamic City of Marawi". 2010-06-04. Archived from the original on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
    8. ^ Beezz. "Exploring Malaybalay: The South Summer Capital of the Philippines". Archived from the original on 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
    9. ^ "Philippines: 'Battle of Marawi' Leaves Trail of Death and Destruction". Amnesty International. 2017-11-17. Archived from the original on 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
    10. ^ Custodio, Arlo (2019-03-25). "Marawi City as an Exponent of Maranao Culture". The Manila Times. Archived from the original on 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
    11. ^ "During Spanish Times". Iligan City Government. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
    12. ^ "Marawi City: The Least Populated Highly Urbanized City". Philippine Statistics Authority. September 18, 2002. Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
    13. ^ Marcelo, Ver (May 23, 2017). "Gov't Forces, Maute Group Clash in Marawi City". CNN Philippines. Archived from the original on 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
    14. ^ a b Santos, Eimor P. (December 13, 2017). "Congress Grants Duterte Request to Extend Mindanao Martial Law until End of 2018". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
    15. ^ Cabico, Gaea Katreena (December 12, 2018). "Congress Extends Martial Law in Mindanao to End of 2019". Retrieved 2021-12-30.
    16. ^ Yecyec, Joey Taguba (January 30, 2018). "Gov't to Build P400-Million Military Camp in Marawi". ABS-CBN News. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
    17. ^ "Province: Lanao del Sur". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
    18. ^ "Protected Areas in Region 12". Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
    19. ^ "Sacred Mountain National Park" (Map). Archived from the original on 2021-12-30. Retrieved 2012-01-27 – via Google Maps.
    20. ^ "Marawi, Islamic City of". Biyahero: Philippine Travel Portal. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
    21. ^ "PSGC Interactive – Marawi City (Capital)". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
    22. ^ "Marawi City: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
    23. ^ Census of Population (2015). "ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
    24. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
    25. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
    26. ^ "Province of Lanao del Sur". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
    27. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
    28. ^; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    29. ^; publication date: 23 March 2009; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    30. ^; publication date: 3 August 2012; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    31. ^; publication date: 31 May 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    32. ^; publication date: 10 July 2019; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
    33. ^ a b "P2-B Power Plant to Rise in Lanao Sur". Manila Bulletin. Philippine News Agency. October 20, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
    34. ^ Aquino, Vick (2018-10-20). "Marawi Tatayuan ng mga Wind, Solar-Powered Energy Plant" [Marawi to Build Wind, Solar-Powered Energy Plant]. Abante (in Filipino). Archived from the original on 2021-12-30. Retrieved 2018-10-24.