No. of towns: 22
Land area: 8,293.8 sq. km.
Location. A land-locked province on a plateau in North Central Mindanao. Bounded on the north and east by Misamis Oriental; on the east by Agusan Province; on the south and southeast by Davao Province; and on the southwest by Lanao and Cotabato Provinces.
Topography. Bukidnon is the only province in Mindanao that does not have a coast line, it being in the north central part of the island. Mout Kalatungan (2,287 meters) and Mount Tankulan (1,678 meters) are the highest peaks in the southern part. The whole eastern and southwestern and borders adjoining Agusan, Davao and Cotabato are lofty and densely forested mountains, although the province has lofty mountains, the greater part is gently rolling grassland plateau cut by deep and wide canyons of the Cagayan, Pulangi and Tagoloan Rivers and their branches, and other rivers. At Mailag, 23 kms. south of Malaybalay, the plateau begins to descend and gradually mergers into the lowlands of Cotabato province.
Political Subdivision. Bukidnon is composed of 22 municipalities, namely; Baungon, Kabanglasan, Damulog, Dangcagan, Don Carlos, Impasug-ong, Kadingilan, Kalilngan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Lantapan, Libona, Malaybalay, Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, Maramag, Pangantucan, Quezon, San Fernando, Sumilao, Talakag and Valencia.
Brief history. Historically, the first settlers of Bukidnon were the Manobos. Presently, Bukidnons are indigenous people from all places of the Philippine Archipelago with traces of foreign influence intermingled in various degrees. For purposes of modern classification, lowlanders of the plateau are Bukidnons and higlanders are Manobos.
The word "Manobo" seems to be generic name for original settlers of greatly divergent racial types, cultures and languages. It used to designate those original Mindanao residents who were not Muslims ot Christians.
The indigenous tribes in the province of Bukidnon derived their names from the watershed they occupy. For example, the people living along the Tigwa watershed are known as Tigwahanons or those in the Pantaron Maountains, living along Umayam River watershed are called Umayamnon. Other tribes named after watershed are Pulangiyon (after Pulangi River) and Matigsalug (after Salug River).
Other tribes are named after local myths or by their descriptive characteristics. Hence, Ilianon (marginal people); Langilaon (border people of Langilan); Tala-andig (myth of Tala-andig); Higaonons (people put away from water). A number of tribes, however, go by the name of Manobos. These people are mostly settled in southern or western part of Bukidnon.
The Bukidnon tribes collectively meet the following universally
accepted anthropological criteria for defining an ethnic group:
Bukidnon became a part of Misamis Province as a municipality of the latter in 1850. The whole area was then called Malaybalay (few houses) and the people were known as Bukidnons (mountain people)
The Philippine Commission headed by Commission Dean C. Worcester, then Secretary of Interior and a Member of the Philippine Commission proposed the separation of Bukidnon from Misamis Province. In August 20, 1907, Philippine Commission Act# 1693 was enacted which created the province of Agusan and the sub-provinces of Bukidnon and Batanes. It became a regular on the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
Language / Dialect. Despite these seemingly diversified people with cultures traditionally different from each other, the people somehow acquired a homogeneity as evident in the adoption of Cebuanos as their dialect.
Points of Interst
Kitanglad National Park. Situated in North Central Bukidnon. It has an area of 31,297 hectares composed of more than a dozen mountain peaks, including Mt. Dulang-Dulang.
It is home not only to the Philippine Eagle , but also to a host of other rare bird species like serpent eagle; red harrier; brahming kite; Philippine Sparrow hawk, etc.
Kitanglad mountains towers to more than nine thousand feet. This offers a challenge to mountain climbers. To reach its summit, one has to scale its ranges for five hours passing to florea and fauna of a genuine virgin forest. At the base is Lalawan Dalawang, the home to the Philippine Eagle.
Palaopao Hill (San Roque, Sumilao). Stretching along the boundary of Sumilao and Manolo Fortich. Palaopao Hill stands with the height of 836 ft. above sea level. The top was once covered with virgin forest while the sides contain several caves, rockshelters and limestones overhang contain wooden coffin and artifacts whose designs are traced back to the metal age. These places were used as burial grounds during the early part of the 19th century.
Paiyak Cave (San Roque, Sumilao). Located at the southeastern part of Palaopao Hill, it can be reached within 80 minutes from the Sayre Highway at Kisolon, Sumilao by foot. It contains several stalactites and staglagmites and is free from rats´excrement.
Matin- Ao Spring (Bangcud, Malaybalay, only a 30-minute drive from the capital town of Malaybalay). This spring is the most popular among several picnic spots in the province. This is a clear flowing stream and has good picnic facilities such as concrete dining tables and benches.
Nasuli Spring (Bangcud, Malaybalay). Portshed with trees and plants; this spring has an ideal depth for diving. This is developed and maintained by the Summer Institute of Linguistics in the Philippines.
Mangima Canyon (Poblacion, Manolo Fortich). Dubbed as the "Baguio of the South" the zigzag road of Mangima Canyon stuns any visitor who visits this place. It is a naturally scenic spot that makes anybody wonder at the creation and leads him to believe there is a supreme being behind all these naturally wonderful spots on earth particularly on this part of the archipelago.
Napalit Lake (Pigtauranan, Valencia). The lake has a total area of 36 hectares and approximately 78 ft. deep at the center.
Mount Kitanglad Ranges (Intavas, La Fortuna, Impasugong). A mountain climber´s haven. It is said to have the highest peak above sea level. A transmitter station of a communication company is located at the top to Mt. Kitanglad.
Alalum Falls (Kisolon, Sumilao). The falls is located along the Syre Highway and is less than a kilometer from the municipality of Sumilao. Its imposing grandeur can easily be seen by travellers on motor vehicles. It has a height of approximately 148 ft.
Pinamaloy Lake (Poblacion, Don Carlos). It has an estimated area of about 32 hectares oblong in shape. Beside the lake is a painted rest house mainted by the Department of Public Works and Higways (DPWH).
Casa Alegre (Cabngahan, Malaybalay). Built by an imaginative man with a lot of money to spare, and with a desire to turn fantasy into reality. The man house is "bone" on shoulders by concrete humans amidst a concretized zoo. From the second floor, the house extends to Mt. Kitanglad and overlooks the great plains of Bukidnon.
Pines View Park (Poblacion, Malaybalay). Located at the back of the Provincial Capitol, the area is best used for camping or for just pure lazing around. It has also been the site of provincial affairs foremost of which is the "Kaamulan". The park, in its natural setting, abounds in pine trees. Thus it has earned the name "Little Baguio".
Del Monte Philippines, Inc. Runs Bukidnon´s largest agricultural operation straddling four towns - Manolo Fortich, Libona, Sumilao and Impasug-ong - and employing around 5,000 people. Within the 14,000 hectare pineapple plantation is one of Mindanao´s most challenging golf courses that annually hosts a leg of the national golf courses that annually hosts a leg of the national golf circuit sponsored by the Philippine Golf Foundation. This championship par 72 golf course laid out over 50 hectares of well-manicured greens commands a breath-taking view of scenic Mt. Kitanglad. In Philips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, the company operates the province´s most modern hospital -Philips Memorial Hospital - which serves its employees and the larger community.
Formerly known as Philippine Packing Corporation, Del Monte Philippines, Inc. is one of the countries oldest and largest agro-industrial firms. It was incorporated on January 11, 1926. It runs a factory in Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City. A significant portion of the company´s products is exported to the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.
Central Minano University (Musuan, Maramag). Subsidized by the Word Bank. This progressive agricultural school could very well be compared to UP Los Baños in Laguna. It is built in a 7 ha. periphery with the famous Musuan Peak as its landmark. Only 40 kms. from Malaybalay, the University boasts of its modern buildings, student housing facilities, guest houses and other facilities.
Pulangi Hydro-Electric Project (Kiuntod, Camp 1, Maramag). This is the first hydro power plant constructed among the 6 sites envisioned for development along the Pulangi River. It is located in the middle reach of Pulangi River, Maramag. It is accessible through the 154 kms. section the Syre Highway from Cagayan de Oro City or through the 120 kms. road from Davao City via Calinan.
Matunog Swimming Pool (Base Camp, Maramag). Only 1.5 kms. away fron the heart of the Poblacion. This swimming pool is popular among several picnic spots in the municipality because of its clear and flowing stream with ideal depth for diving.
Ver Overview (Kipolot, Palacapao). The area is properly landscaped where one could feel the fresh air whole day long. From the DPWH building, about fifty meters away, one can view the southern part of the province.
Impalutao Reforestaion Area (Impalutao, Imapsugong, 14 kms. away from the Poblacion). Several waterfalls are found in the area, trees of various species are propagated in this area and is said to be the oldest reforestation project since 1925. Its environment can be compared with the Los Baños, Laguana.
Atugan New Bridge (Impasugong). Said to be the tallest bridge in the country, constructed with the latest trend in structural engineering.
Bukidnon Sugar Central. The Bukidnon Sugar Company (BUSCO) is the only sugar central in Northern MIndanao. This 40 million sugar mill has a processing capacity of 4,000 to 6,000 tons of cane daily. It is located in Quezon Bukidnon
Mountain View College (Mt. Nebo, Valencia). This was founded in 1953 to serve the educational needs of Seventh-Day Adventist Youth in the South and Central Philippines. This school operates a 5,000 watts radio station, DXCR which was built largely from donated funds and used equipment. Programming is of wide variety and broadcast is in Cebuano and English. The college campus laced sith well-manicured greenery and pine trees further boast of the Malingon Falls. This 75 foot falls was the original site where Dr. Andrew Nelson and his colleagues came to look at the land as a future college (MVC). It is also the home of the famous singing gymnasts who provide gospel music and secular music aside from breathtaking gymnastic frats.
Bukidnon State College (Poblacion, Malaybalay). Formerly the Bukidnon Normal School, is one of the original eight regional normal schools or teacher-colleges throughout the country whose primary function is the pre-service preparation of quality elementary and secondary teachers. It was known then as the Bukidnon Normal School when it was founded in 1924.
On June 14, 1976, Presidential Decree 974 was signed by the President of the Philippines converting the Bukidnon Normal School into a college. Likewise, it has 1.7 million gymnasium and dormitory with a capacity of 120 beds, aside from its modern school facilities carefully planned on its 6.3 hectare site in the heart of Malaybalay Poblacion along the Sayre Highway.
Cinchona Reforestation Project (Brgy. Kaatuan, Lantapan). The Reforestation Project of the Bureau of Forest Dev´t. is one which can be converted into a multi-purpose project. It overlooks Simayha Plains of Central Bukidnon. The project is principally planted with Cinchona which is the main source of quinine used in curing malaria. This area is considered as the coldest place in Bukidnon mainly due to its elevation and the forest environment in the upper slopes of the majestic Mt. Kitanglad. The temperature varies from 64 to 56°F and is planted mostly with Alvizza Falcataria and other medicinal trees. Moss which grow on trees still drip with dew even at twelve o´clock high noon.
Stone Marker of Yoshitois Grave (Poblacion, Manolo Fortich). This stone inscribed with Japanese characters marks the grave of high ranking Japanese officials killed during the World War II. Roughly elliptical and measuring about 2 feet and 1 foot across, the stone bears two sets of inscription which, translated, "On this spot died Miyazaki Yoshitoi, Chief of Army" and "Emperor Chiao". "In memory of Kaji Battallio, May 8, 1942".
Kaamulan Festival. First week of September. Kaamulan is an indigenous Bukidnon term for "gathering" for any purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during a harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these together.
How to get there. Bukidnon is served byss buses from Cagayan de Oro City, intervals every 30 minutes at the Malaybalay Bus Terminal. Travel time from Cagayan de Oro to Malaybalay is 2 hours. Philippine Airlines flies daily to Cagayan de Oro City.