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1. The Maranao. Literally, Maranao means people of the lake. Their homeland is called Lanao which means lake.

Their oldest settlement started around here, and up to this day, highly populated communities still dot the lake. Their language is similar to Maguindanaon and Iranun. One shall be confused as to which of them owns the mother tongue since the Maranao and Iranun can understand 6 ! of the Maguindanaon language. "t any rate , these groups li#e in pro$imity. %ontinuous contact allows them to de#elop or share a common practice including language. The Maranao are concentrated in Lanao area. They occupy the most strategic place in Mindanao owing to their access to Iligan bay in the north and Illana bay in the south. &uring the colonial period, they fought against the 'paniards, usually under the flag of the Maguindanao sultanate. Like other Muslim ethnic groups, the Maranao are bra#e and ha#e offered sacrifice in defense of their homeland and Islam. Throughout the colonial period, Lanao was united as one pro#ince of the Maguindanao sultanate. 'eeing the importance of Lanao, the "merican colonial go#ernment in Manila encouraged landless (ilipinos to migrate to Mindanao. Most settlers targeted Lanao as their final destination. "fter about ) years, the (ilipino settlers became established in the area north of Lanao. This e#entually led to the di#ision of Lanao into &el *orte and &el 'ur beginning 1+6 s. Lanao is a land rich in literature. &arangan is an e$ample of this. The e$istence of darangan attests to the le#el of ci#ili,ation that the Maranao ha#e achie#ed at one point. -otential resources like lake and agricultural land are more than enough to support to make the goal of darangan into reality. The lake in the heart of Lanao &el 'ur is the biggest lake in the -hilippines. It is so far the current source of energy supply . at least supplying around / ! power grid of the whole Mindanao. The Mindanao 'tate 0ni#ersity is located at Lanao1s capital, Marawi %ity. Most leaders in Mindanao are in fact products of the M'0. 'i$ty percent of its best professors are %hristians (ilipinos. Maranao society is a closed society. The entire municipalities of Lanao &el 'ur, particularly at the #icinity of the lake are off limits to outsiders. The lifestyle of the people are in their traditional attire, the malong and the abaya. This is the only place in the -hilippines whose lifestyle is not affected with the western trend. The Maranao contact to the outside comes through Iligan %ity and Malabang. Iligan %ity is 2 minutes ride from Marawi %ity. Malabang a coastal town of Lanao &el 'ur re3uires more than one hour to reach. 0nder a long range plan of %hristian mo#ement in Mindanao, the %hristians would penetrate the heart of Lanao from three areas . from Iligan in the north, Malabang in the south and 4ao from the east. They in fact controlled these areas for long time already.