The “People of the Lake” (Maranaw, Ranao, Lanon, Hiloona) are one of the larger groups in the country professing Islam. They are settled about Lake Lanao — the largest deep lake in the country. The land is some 2,200 feet above sea level in the Bukidnon-Lanao plateau.

       The national population is about 863,659 (NM 1994) of which some 553,054 are situated in Lanao del Sur. The core areas are Marawi City (86,038), Lumba-a-bayabao (18,603), and Bayang (18,639) (NSO 1990). In Lanao del Norte they constitute the minority population. The genealogies of the families still trace their Islamic origins to Sharif Kabunsuan who introduced Islam among the Magindanao.

       The people are basically inland agriculturalist, with some dry rice cultivations in the hilly areas and intensive wet rice in the flood plains. Communities usually cluster about a mosque and a torogan, a royal house belonging to the leading household in the area, which also serves a political function.

       The Maranao are widely distributed all over the country and economically are associated with market trade. Wet rice cultivation is the basic mode of food production, with some corn, sweet potato, coffee, cassava, and peanuts. Dry rice is also cultivated. Fishing in the lake is also important although this has declined.

       The Maranao, however, are best known for the sophistication of their weaving and wood and metal craft. They have produced probably the most spectacular of Philippine vernacular architecture with their impressivetorogan. The design motifs which form the basis for their okil is one of the most systematized in the country. Among the more noted of the design motifs of their okil is the sarimanok and naga, which are abstract animate forms of a cock and the dragon or snake, respectively. The awang, the dugout boat they use in Lake Lanao, is probably the most unique of dugouts in the country, if not the most ornate.

       Maranao textiles are also famous for their very ornate designs and colors which reflect the status of the wearer. The tube skirt, malong, is a very versatile article of clothing which serves many purposes.


Distribution of Ethnic Groups by Provinces
(Arrangement: Population count)
Total National Population 785,728
+ 77,931
Agusan del N. 2619 (NM 1992:60)
Agusan del S. 485
Aklan 58
Albay 54
Antique 112
Aurora 9
Basilan 522
Bataan 19
Batanes 5
Batangas 576
Benguet 406
Bohol 178
Bukidnon 2658 (NM 1991:3235)
Bulacan 663
Bulacan 269
Camarines N. 78
Camarines S. 61
Capiz 10
Catanduanes 18
Cavite 992
Cebu 1,707
Davao 4118 (NM 1991:7700)
Davao del S. 5108 (NM 1991:13880)
Davao Or. 1833 (NM 1991:3012)
E. Samar 25
Ifugao 42
Ilocos N. 290
Ilocso S. 125
Iloilo 284
Isabela 1,090
Kalinga-Apayao 93
La Union 102
Laguna 409
Lanao del N. 134156 (NM 1991:172342)
Lanao del S. 553,054
Leyte 251
Maguindanao 13855 (NM 1993:15605)
Marinduque 85
Masbate 60
Misamis Occ. 279
Misamis Or. 3289 (NM 1993:6700)
Negros Occ. 444
Negros Or. 126
N. Cotabato 6127(NM 1991:3555)(1991:10570)
N. Samar 200
Nueva Ecija 91
Nueva Vizcaya 71
Occ. Mindoro 58
Or. Mindoro 125
Palawan 3,567
Pampanga 1,050
Pangasinan 360
Quezon 177
Rizal 619
Romblon 35
W. Samar 23
Sorsogon 20
S. Cotabato 4,959
S. Leyte 66
S. Kudarat 837 (NM 1993:4500)
Sulu 347
Surigao del N. 348 (NM 1989:500)
Surigao del S. 1076 (NM 1990:7165)
Tarlac 718
Tawi-Tawi 251
Zambales 726
Zamboanga N. 2210 (NM 1994:1008)
Zambonaga S. 7726 (NM 1992:2150)
Kalookan 853
Las Pinas 267
Mandaluyong 167
Manila 6,361
Marikina 252
Malabon 183
Makati 535
Muntinlupa 310
Navotas 101
Paranaque 600
Pasay 522
Pateros 11
Quezon City 1,892
San Juan 143
Taguig 456
Valenzuela 101