Lanao del Norte Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: July 4, 2024

Lanao del Norte Day in the Philippines Lanao del Norte Day (Araw ng Lanao del Norte) is a special non-working holiday and cultural festival in the Philippine province of Lanao del Norte that commemorates its founding anniversary. It is celebrated on July 4, coinciding with Philippine-American Friendship Day, also known as Philippine Republic Day.

Lanao del Norte is a Philippine province located in the Northern Mindanao region. The name “Lanao” derives from Ranao, a Maranao word that means “a body of water”. The name of the Maranao people, the indigenous inhabitants of the region, derives from the same word and means “lake dwellers”, which is a reference to Lake Lanao in what is now the province of Lanao del Sur.

The Spaniards began to explore the region in the early 16th century, but the Maranaos refused to adopt Christianity and resisted colonization, so the Spanish abandoned the idea of colonizing the area around Lake Lanao. They returned to the area in the 1890s, after deciding to finally conquer the Sultanate of Maguindanao. They made two attempts to conquer the Maranaos, one failed in 1891 and the other successful in 1895.

However, Spanish control over the area was very short-lived. The Philippine Revolution broke out the next year, followed by the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Americans arrived in the region in 1898 and remained in control after the defeat of the Philippines in the Philippine-American War.

During the first years of the American rule, Lanao was administered as a district of Moro Province, formally established in 1903. In 1914, Moro Province was replaced by the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, consisting of seven provinces: Agusan, Bukidnon, Cotabato, Davao, Lanao, Sulu, and Zamboanga. Lanao Province existed until 1959, when it was split into two provinces: Lanao del Norte (Northern Lanao) and Lanao del Sur (Southern Lanao).

Lanao del Norte was formally inaugurated on July 4, 1959, with Iligan as its capital. The anniversary of its inauguration is now celebrated as Lanao del Norte Day. In 1977, the provincial capital was transferred from Iligan to Tubod. However, Iligan is the industrial center of the province, as well as the largest city in Lanao del Norte both in population and land area. Outside of Iligan City, the economy of the province is predominantly based on fishing and agriculture.

Lanao del Norte Day was officially established in the province in 2018. It is the culmination of a week-long festival showcasing the culture and traditions of the province, as well as the peaceful harmony between its Christian and Muslim populations.

Events and activities held during the festival include a Thanksgiving mass, parades, the Miss Lanao del Norte beauty pageant, dance and sports competitions, tree planting, concerts, a job fair, an agricultural fair, free healthcare missions, and more. One of the main highlights of the celebration is Sagayan Festival, a cultural dance contest depicting the adventures of Datu Bantugan, a legendary chieftain whose exploits are described in the Maranao epic poem Darangen.

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Lanao del Norte Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippines, regional observances, special non-working holidays