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Last updated : Nov 2009
Mindanao - South Philippines
Mindanao - South Philippines - TravelPuppy.com
Mindanao is the country's 2nd largest and most southerly island and has an extremely different lifestyle from the rest of the Philippines. Many Muslim ethnic groups reside here.

Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City is located on Mindanao’s southwestern tip and considered the most fantastic in the country. It is also popular for it beach resorts. Established by the Spanish, Zamboanga is known for its seashells, unspoilt lush landscape and various wild flowers. The 17th-century walls of Fort Pilar, constructed to protect the Spanish and Christian Filipinos from Muslim onslaughts, can still be seen today. There are many hotels, cars for hire, and good public transport. There are also Vintas, small boats, often with colourful sails, available to take tourists around the city bay. Muslim pottery, brass ware and clothes can be found at the flea market. About 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from Fort Pilar are the homesteads of the Badjaos, which are built on stilts over water. Water gypsies dwell here in boats and move around to wherever the best fishing can be found. Worth a visit is Plaza Pershing and Pasonanca Park. For those who like bathing, snorkeling and scuba diving, the Santa Cruz Island is ideal for it. Its sand beach turns pink when the corals from the sea are washed ashore. You can also visit an ancient Muslim burial ground.

Elsewhere

Davao province is Mindanao's industrial centre. It is famous for its pearl and banana exports and is one of the most developing cities in the Philippines. Mount Apo is the country's highest peak and its range features beautiful waterfalls, forests, rapids, springs and mountain lakes.

Cagayan de Oro on the northern coast is the gateway to some of the most stunning islands in the country. The massive cattle ranches and the renowned Del Monte pineapple fields are located in Bukidnon. There is the sight of the hydroelectric complex driven by the Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City.

Lanao del Sur province is a Muslim community settled along the shores of Lake Lanao. Some other attractions near the lake are Signal Hill, Sacred Mountain; the native market, Torongan; home of the Maranao royalty; the Muslim mosques on the banks of the lake; and examples of the brass ware industry in Tugaua.