is a 1st class municipality
in the province
. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 74,252 people in 13,950 households.
Before the coming of the Spaniards
, the term "Bukidnon"
referred to as the semi-sedentary indigenous inhabitants of the high plateaus and rugged mountain ranges of central Mindanao. The more prominent of these peoples were the "Manobos"
who were the earliest settlers of this region. Located on the northern part of Bukidnon, is the Municipality of Manolo Fortich.
The great pre-historic Asiatic migration was believed to have brought the early settlers of Bukidnon. It was theorized that they came from places of what is now known as Indonesia. Traveling by the sea, these migrants reached the gulf of Davao where some ventured further to areas of what is presently known as Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Today, the Asiatic beginnings of these people can be seen from their oral tradition and folktales, like the "Kalikat Hu Mga Elaw Dini Ta Mindanao" (Origin of the People of Mindanao). This folktale revolved on the story of two brothers from Asia "who crossed the seas" in their long journey "towards the east" which refers to the islands of the Philippines. The brothers reportedly landed in the island of Mindanao. With the region experiencing a drought, one of the brothers was forced to venture Northward in order to survive. He did this by following a dried up river to its almost dried up source, a lake. He settled and inter-married with the local inhabitants in the upstream of what is now known as Pulangi River. He and his family were considered as the ancestors of the present Bukidnons.
During the pre-historic era, the Bukidnons, also called Montesses or mountain-people, had settled in the area of what is now the Province of Bukidnon. These people have remained traditional till 1860 preserving most of their customs and traditions. Furthermore, these people had not been significantly influenced by the Spanish colonizers because of their isolation. The rugged mountain ranges and high plateaus which serve as home to these people presented an overwhelming obstacle to these colonizers. The Bukidnons undoubtedly have links to the culture predominant in the Southeast Asian region as evidenced by the similar customs and traditions. Their presence here can be traced to the early migration of these Asians throughout the region. Today, the surviving tribes inhabiting the mountains of Bukidnon still bear the culture they have inherited from their ancestors.
Manolo Fortich is named after Don Manolo Fortich, a provincial resident of Barrio Dalirig being the first Governor (1902-1914) of the District of Bukidnon.
The original name of the Municipality is Maluko, was governed by Santiago Mambinonsad who was appointed as Alcalde de Barrio from 1922 to 1924. It was during the term of Ciriaco Asilan as Presidente del Barrio from 1926 to 1928, that the seat of government was transferred in Tankulan, which became the permanent seat of Municipal Government. Mayor Mateo Gumaling, was the first appointed mayor of Manolo Fortich and in 1940 Margarito Cabang became the first elected Mayor.
The municipality of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon has a total area of 506.64 square kilometers or approximately 195.61 square miles, accounting 6.1% of the total land area of the province of Bukidnon
Manolo Fortich is situated in the Northern part of the Province of Bukidnon. It is about 40 minutes away from the bustling commercial center of Cagayan de Oro City.
It is bounded in the north by Cagayan de Oro City. Misamis Oriental and the Municipality of Malitbog. In the east by the Municipality of Sumilao, in the west by the Municipality of Libona and Baungon and in the South by the rugged ranges of Mt. Kitanglad.
The climate is very ideal. It is classified as belonging to type IV or Intermediate. It is characterized by a moderate dry season with average rainfall of about 2,000 mm. Its temperature is relatively cool and humid making the place suitable for production of any kind of crops. Production of high valued crops, which include vegetables, cut flowers and ornamentals is a big potential in the area.
As of 2002 survey, actual population of the municipality is recorded at 74,252. Manolo Fortich belongs to a very low-density area which is only about 3 persons per hectare. The urban population is confined in barangays Agusan Canyon, Damilag and Tankulan.
There are 3 major ethnic goups in Manolo Fortich and they are the Higaonon
and the Cebuano-Bohol ethnic groups. the latter were mostly migrants from Cebu and Bohol who came to work as agricultural laborers in the planatation and orchard farms of the highland plateau, about 55% of the residents are Higaonons
who are indigenous people in the area.
Cebuano-Visayan is the major dialect spoken. In the upland barangay plateau areas of Dahilayan, Guilang-guilang, Kalugmanan, Santiago and Ticala, the Higa-onon and Talaandig speak their local dialect called "binukid"
Water, Forest and Mineral Resources
Manolo Fortich has three major river systems crisscrossing the upstream and downstream agricultural lands. These are the Tagoloan, Mangima and Agusan RIvers, which serve as natural boundaries and drainage of excess water and run-off from around the municipality. The other rivers of the municipality are, among others: Dicklum, Kumaykay, Guihian, Tasaon and Kulaman Rivers. The river systems also serve as sources pf potable water supply for domestic use. About 26 creeks spread across 9 barangays in the municipality.
Forest areas in Manolo Fortich are found in 2 barangays along the Mt. Kitanglad Range. Mt. Kitanglad hosts a diverse species of flora and fauna, many of them rare and endemic, making it a potential for tourism and bio-diversity research.
The major metallic mineral found in he municipality is chromite and the non-metallic includes semi precious stones. Also available are clay, limestone, feldspar, silica quartz and schist.
Manolo Fortich is politically subdivided into 22 barangays.
- Agusan Canyon
- Tankulan (Pob.)
- San Miguel
- Santo Niño