Zamboanga del Sur
is a province
of the Philippines
located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region
. Its capital is Pagadian City
, which is also the regional center of Region IX. The province borders Zamboanga del Norte
to the north, Zamboanga Sibugay
to the west, Misamis Occidental
to the northeast, and Lanao del Norte
to the east. To the south is the Moro Gulf
As of the 2000
census, Zamboanga del Sur had a population of 836,147, making it the 16th most populous province. The population density was 3,480/km², the 20th most densely populated province.
The most commonly spoken language is Cebuano, spoken by 72.47% of the population. Also spoken are Tagalog, Subanen, Chavacano, Ilonggo, Maguindanao, Iranun, Boholano, and Ilocano.
The economy is dominantly agricultural
. Products include coco oil, livestock feed milling, rice/corn milling, including the processing of fruits, gifts and housewares made from indigenous materials like handmade paper, roots, rattan, buri, and bamboo; wood-based manufacture of furniture and furniture components from wood, rattan, and bamboo; marine and aquaculture including support services; construction services and manufacture of marble, concrete, and wooden construction materials. There are also notable mining areas in the province, such as the Municipality of Bayog which houses the renowned TVI, a Canadian-based mining firm which concentrates on Gold Mining, and the Cebu Ore Mining which is handling the Ore-Copper-Steel mines. There are also small scale mines in the Municipality of Dumingag.
Zamboanga del Sur occupies the southern section of the Zamboanga peninsula that forms the western part of the Island of Mindanao. It is located at longitude 122° 30"" and latitude 7° 15"" north. It has a total land area of 473,491 hectares or 4,734.91 square miles.
Stretching northward from Sibugay in the southwest and running along the northern boundary to Salug Valley in the east is the province’s mountainous countryside. The coastal plains extend regularly from south to west then spread into wide flat lands when reaching the coastal plains of the Baganian peninsula in the southeast.
Zamboanga del Sur is subdivided into 26 municipalities
and 1 city
. These divisions are further subdivided into 681 barangays
. The province comprises two congressional districts
Zamboanga del Sur occupies the southern section of the Zamboanga Peninsula
that forms the western part of the island of Mindanao
. It is located at longitude 122° 30"" and latitude 7° 15"" north. It has a land area of 4,734.91 km². It is bounded on the north by the province of Zamboanga del Norte
; on the south by the Moro Gulf
; on the southwest by Zamboanga Sibugay
; and on the east and northeast by Lanao del Norte
, Misamis Occidental
, and Panguil Bay
Stretching northward from Sibugay in the southwest and running along the northern boundary to Salug Valley in the east is the province's mountainous countryside. The coastal plains extend regularly from south to west then spread into wide flat lands when reaching the coastal plains of the Baganian peninsula in the southeast.
The province has a relatively high mean annual rainfall: 1,599 - 3,500 mm. Temperature is relatively warm and constant throughout the year: 22 - 35 °C.
The longest river in Region IX, the Sibugay River gets its water from the towering mountains of Zamboanga del Sur most specifically in Bayog and Lakewood until it flows into Sibugay Bay which is now a portion of Zamboanga Sibugay. Other notable rivers are the Kumalarang River, and Salug River in Molave.
The name of Zamboanga was derived from the Malay
word "Jambangan", meaning a pot or place of flowers. The original inhabitants of the Zamboanga peninsula were the Subanens
, who settled along the riverbanks. The next group of settlers to arrive were Muslim
migrants from the neighboring provinces. The Maguindanaoans
were farmers; the Tausugs
, and Badjaos
were fishermen; and the Maranaos
were traders and artisans. Mat weaving was the major occupation of the Muslim settlers.
Then came an exodus of migrants from nearby provinces. Historians say most of them came from the Visayas, Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and Siquijor. Together with the original settlers, these pioneers helped develop Zamboanga del Sur into the abundant and culturally diverse province that it is.
Historically, Zamboanga was the capital of the Moro province, which comprised five districts: Cotabato, Davao, Sulu, Lanao, and Zamboanga. In 1940, these districts became individual provinces. Zamboanga City became the capital of Zamboanga province. Soon after World War II, the provincial capital was transferred to Dipolog. Molave was created as the provincial capital in 1948.
Zamboanga del Sur was carved out from the former Zamboanga province that encompassed the entire peninsula in the southwestern Mindanao on September 17, 1952 by virtue of Republic Act 711. As the 52nd province of the Philippines, it originally consisted of 11 towns, which were later expanded into 42 municipalities and one city, Pagadian, its capital.
Political developments in February 2001 saw another major change in the territorial jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Sur. Its inhabitants voted to create a new province out of the third congressional district, named Zamboanga Sibugay.