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Created by virtue of Republic Act
6734 otherwise known as the
Organic Act of the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM), which was signed into
law by then President Corazon
C. Aquino on August 1, 1989 and
ratified through a plebiscite in
November 19, 1989.
It was originally composed of the
four (4) provinces of Lanao del
Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and

The region was strengthened and
expanded through the passage of
Republic Act 9054 in 2001 as an
offshoot of the signing of the 1996
Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between
the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines (GRP) and the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF).The
plebiscite was conducted on
September 2001 and resulted to the
inclusion of the province of Basilan
and Marawi City in the area of
autonomous region.

ARMM is home of 4.1
million population as of
2007 and has a total land
area of 27,581.79 square
kilometers, mostly devoted
to agriculture.

The economy of the region is
dominantly agriculture and
fishery and most of the people
are fisherfolks and farmers.
Some of them are engaged in
small and medium
entrepreneurship and few
industries, mostly in the
processing of agricultural
outputs like starch

The region has per capita
gross regional domestic
product of only P3,433.00
in 2005, which is 75.8
percent lower than the
national average of
P14,186.00. It is the lowest
compared to the other
regions in the country.
It is the country's poorest
region, where average
annual income was just
P89,000 pesos in 2006,
less than 1/3 of Metro
Manila level.

The ARMM spans two geographical areas:
Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao (except
Cotabato City) in south western Mindanao, and
the island provinces of Basilan (except Isabela
City), Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu
Archipelago. The region covers a total of
12,288 km

The ARMM is politically
subdivided into five (5)
provinces, two (2)
component cities, one
hundred eighteen (118)
municipalities and two
thousand four hundred
fifty nine (2,459)

For the most part of 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 began to colonize most of
the Philippines in 1565. Muslim missionaries
arrived in Tawi-Tawi in 1380 and started the
conversion of the native population to Islam. In
1457, the Sultanate of Sulu was founded, and not
long after that the sultanates of
Maguindanao and Buayan were also 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, but these areas remained
loosely controlled by the Spanish as their
sovereignty was limited to military stations and
garrisons and pockets of civilian settlements in
Zamboanga and Cotabato, until they had to
abandon the region as a consequence of their
defeat in the Spanish-American War.
Pop. density
(per km)
293,222 1,994.1 147.0
Lanao del
Marawi 933,260 12,051.9 77.4
944,718 7,142.0 132.2
Sulu Jolo 719,290 2,135.3 336.4
Tawi-Tawi Bongao 366,550 3,426.6 107.0

Basilan is home to three main ethnic groups,
the indigenous Yakans and the later-
arriving Tausugs and Chavacanos. The Yakans
and Tausugs are predominantly Muslim, while
the Chavacanos are mainly Christian. There
are also a number of smaller groups. Although
the official languages are Filipinoand English,
the major language is Yakan, but other
languages are well represented, including
Tausug, Samal, and Zamboangueo

Basilan is located between latitudes 615' and
700', and longitudes 12115' and 12230'. The
island is bordered by the Basilan Strait to the
north, the Sulu Sea to the northwest and west,
the Moro Gulf to the northeast, and
the Celebes Sea to the south, southeast and
east. It is one of the 7,107 islands that make
up the Philippine archipelago.

Lanao del Sur is a province of
the Philippines located in the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The
capital is the Islamic City of Marawi and it
borders Lanao del Norte to the
north, Bukidnon to the east, and
Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To
the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the
Moro Gulf. Found in the interior of Lanao del
Sur is Lanao Lake, the largest lake in


Lanao comes from the word ranao, meaning
"lake." Lanao centers on the basin of Lake
Lanao; thus, it is the land of the Maranaos, the
"people of the lake."
Lanao is the seat of the Sultanate of Lanao.
When the Spaniards first explored Lanao in
1689, they found a well-settled community
named Dansalan at the lake's northern end.
Dansalan became a municipality in 1907 and a
city in 1940
In a 1989 plebiscite, Lanao del Sur voted to
join the Autonomous Region of Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM), but Marawi City elected to
remain outside ARMM. It later joined ARMM in
2001 following the plebiscite that sought to
expand the autonomous region.


is an island province of the Philippines located
in the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM). The capitals of Tawi-Tawi
are Bongao and PanglimaSugala. The
province is the southernmost of the country
sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State
of Sabah and the Indonesian North
Kalimantan province. To the northeast lies the
province of Sulu and to the west
is Sabah in Malaysia. Tawi-Tawi also covers
some islands in the Sulu Sea to the northwest,
the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi Island and theTurtle
Islands, just 20 kilometers away from Sabah.
Tawi-Tawi was previously part of the province
of Sulu. On September 11, 1973, pursuant
to Presidential Decree No. 302, the new
province of Tawi-Tawi was officially created,
separate from Sulu. The seat of the provincial
government was established in Bongao.
The name of Tawi-Tawi is a projection of
the Malay word "jauh" meaning "far."
Prehistoric travelers from the Asian mainland
would repeat the word as "jaui-jaui" to mean
"far away" because of the distance of the
islands from the continent of Asia. The word
"Tawi-Tawi" was picked up to later become the
official name of the province.


Agriculture, fishing, and agar-agar
farming are the leading source of
livelihood of the people of Tawi-Tawi, with
quite a number engaged in the barter
trade business. Copra is the top
agricultural product, followed by root
crops, fruits, and vegetables

Maguindanao is a province of
the Philippines located in
the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM). Its capital
is ShariffAguak. It borders Lanao del
Sur to the north, Cotabato to the east,
and Sultan Kudarat to the south

Maguindanao is divided into two congressional
districts, which elect members to the House of
Representatives. For the brief period that the
province of Shariff Kabunsuan existed,
Maguindanao became a lone-district province.
Since the appointment of a new set of
provincial officials for the reunified province of
Maguindanao by the ARMM Governor in
January 2009.
The provincial government has reverted to the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan setup
(coterminous with the restored 1st and 2nd
Congressional districts of Maguindanao) from
before Shariff Kabunsuan was created.
Having elected to join the Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Maguindanao
also sends six representatives (three per
district) to the ARMM Regional Legislative
Assembly that convenes in Cotabato City.

On November 23, 2009, a 2010 gubernatorial
election caravan supporting Esmael
Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan, was
attacked.Fifty-seven people were killed,
including Mangudadatu's wife and sisters,
supporters, local journalists, and
bystanders.On December 4, 2009 a number of
homes belonging to the Ampatuan political
family were raided in connection with the
is an autonomous island province of
the Philippines located in
the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM). Its capital is Jolo and
occupies the middle group of islands of
the Sulu Archipelago,
between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.


The peaceful advent of Islam around
1138 through merchants and traders had
a distinct influence on Southeast Asia.
The coming of Arabs, Persians and
other Muslims paved the way for the
arrival of religious missionaries, traders,
scholars and travelers to Sulu
and Mindanao in the 12th century.

The province of Sulu is predominantly
agricultural with farming and fishing as its
main livelihood activities. Its fertile soil
and ideal climate can grow a variety of
crops such as abaca, coconuts, oranges,
and lanzones as well as exotic fruits
seldom found elsewhere in the country
such as durian and mangosteen.
Fishing is the most important industry
since the Sulu Sea is one of the richest
fishing grounds in the country. The
province also have an
extensive pearl industry. Pearls are
extensively gathered and a pearl farm is
established at Marungas Island. The
backs of sea turtlesare made into
beautiful trays and combs. During breaks
from fishing, the people build boats and
weave mats. Other industries include
coffee processing and fruit preservation.

Tourist spots of
Houses on Stilts

A typical fishermens village at Sapa-
Sapa, Tawi-Tawi. The Sama and
Tausug houses are built on stilts.
Are an indigenous ethnic
group of Maritime Southeast Asia.
Bajau continue to live a seaborne

Bajau Kids

Benolen Hot

Ligawasan Marsh

Ligawasan Marsh is the largest swamp and
marsh area in Mindanao and one of the largest in
the Philippines.
Seit Lake, Panamao, Sulu

Bunbun Beach

Powdery white beach sand, pristine
waters and a breathtaking view at
Bunbun Beach, Patikul, Sulu.