It takes 1-1/2 hours ride by plane from Zamboanga City to Manila, 1-1/2 hours to Sabah, Malaysia, less than 2 hours to Brunei and less than 3 hours to Indonesia.
In view of the inclusion of the province of Basilan under the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Region IX has been reorganized to be known as Zamboanga Peninsula by virtue of Executive Order No. 36 composing three (3) provinces, namely: Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay; five (5) cities – Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian, Zamboanga and Isabela; and sixty seven (67) municipalities (Figure 2). The biggest land component, consisting of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City, is continuous with the mainland of Mindanao. All other land masses are dispersed.
Region IX has a total land area of 1,413,753.84 hectares, broken down as follows: Zamboanga del Norte with 624,444.02 hectares; Zamboanga del Sur with 373,027.50 hectares; Zamboanga Sibugay with 251,439.32 hectares; Zamboanga City with 141,470 hectares and Isabela City with 23,373 hectares.
Zamboanga del Norte
Zamboanga del Norte became an independent province in the Zamboanga Peninsula on June 6, 1952 through Republic Act No. 711. Zamboanga del Norte is located at the western border of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Misamis Occidental, on the east by Zamboanga del Sur, on the southern tip by Zamboanga city; and by the Sulu Sea on the northwest.
One potential advantage of the province is its good climatic condition. It belongs to the third and fourth types of climate. The southern part enjoys the third type which is dry from the months of February to April and wet during the rest of the year while the northern part enjoys the fourth type where rainfall is more or less evenly distribute throughout the year except for the month of February which is hot season. The province is not within the typhoon belt.
The only province in Western Mindanao that has two (2) cities, Dapitan, as the Shrine City, where the famous Dr, Jose Rizal was exiled and Dipolog its capital city. The province also boasts of the exotic and breathtaking panoramic views of its tourist spots. It has 25 municipalities and 691 barangays.
The topographic condition of the province ranges from plain, slightly rolling, rolling to hilly to mountainous. Most plain to nearly level lands are evident at the outskirts of every municipality and the neighboring coastal barangays. Some small patches of level lands are found along rivers.
The province is also bounded by high mountain ranges from the north to the south. Its highest peak is Mt. Dabiak with an elevation of 8,420 ft asl. It is also endowed with many wide rivers and creeks emanating from the easterly mountain ranges and drain at the Sulu Sea. Such important drainage system of the province are the Siocon, Sindangan and Dipolog rivers. Its irregular coastline extending from the north to the south covers a distance of 400 kilometers with occasional limited stretches of beaches and coral reefs or mangrove areas with tidal channels. Some parts are ideal sites for ports and harbors because of its deep waters.
Zamboanga del Sur
Zamboanga del Sur is situated in the eastern section of the Zamboanga Peninsula. It is geographically within longitude 122°13' and latitude 7°15'. It is bounded in the north by the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, on the east by the Provinces of Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, and Panguil Bay, in the south by Moro Gulf, and in the southwest by Zamboanga City.
To the north and east portion of the province, topography is flat to gentle undulating with mountainous area running along the northern boundary. The northern portion is characterized by lowlands, hilly lands, and thickly forested mountain ranges stretching across the entire province, while the coastal portions are linked with mangrove trees.
The province is primarily agricultural. Its rich soil considerably low; rolling hills are ideal for production of variety crops. Fishing is among the important industry of Zamboanga del Sur, offering relatively unlimited opportunities due to the presence of major fishing grounds in four (4) marine bays namely: Panguil Bay, Illana Bay, Maligay Bay and Dumanquillas Bay embracing 766 kilometers of coastline.
Zamboanga del Sur has substantial reserves of primary metals like gold, copper, chromite, iron, lead and manganese, including non-metallic minerals such as clay and marble.
There are potential sources of non-conventional energy like the waters of Lakewood, Lake Dasay, Lake Maragang, Tuburan Springs of Mahayag and the rivers of Salug Duit in Josefina and Salug Daku in Molave.
The province is composed of 26 municipalities, 779 barangays and one (1) city-Pagadian City.
Zamboanga del Sur has a relatively high mean annual rainfall that varies from 1,599 mm. in drier areas to 3,500 in the wettest. This is associated with its seasonal distribution, which shows a short but quite dry period in the first quarter of the year. The temperature is relatively warm and constant throughout the year ranging from minimum temperature of 22 °C to a maximum day temperature of 35 °C.
Zamboanga Sibugay is formerly the Third Congressional District of Zamboanga del Sur, and created pursuant to R.A. No. 8973 dated November 7, 2002 and Executive Order No. 36 dated September 19, 2001. The province is named after Sibugay River which travels through several municipalities.
Zamboanga Sibugay is situated in the southern portion of the Zamboanga Peninsula and its geographical location is longitude 123° 04’ 49.75” and latitude 7° 42’14.89”. It is bounded on the North by the Province of Zamboanga del Norte; on the South by Sibuguey and Dumanquillas Bay; on the East, by the Province of Zamboanga del Sur and on the West, by Zamboanga City. The province is composed of 16 municipalities, 388 barangays.
The province boasts of metallic and non-metallic mineral resources; chromite is found in Palomoc, Titay ;manganese ore in Titay and Tungawan Gold in Guinabucan, R.T. Lim; clay ore in Sulitan, Naga; Limestone in Olutangga; coal in Malangas, Siay, Diplahan, Imelda and Payao.
The province’s water resources are from Sibuguey River along the municipalities of Diplahan, Imelda, Siay and Payao.
There are five (5) major bays in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, namely: Dumanguillas Bay, portion is in Buug, Alicia, Siay, Kabasalan, Naga and Ipil; Sibuguey Bay along Siay, Kabasalan, Naga and Ipil; Busan Bay in Tungawan; Moro Gulf in Olutangga Island.
Zamboanga City is located on the western-most tip of the Zamboanga peninsula. Before it became a chartered city, it was the governing Capital of the Moro Province under the United States rule, encompassing the entire island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago Zamboanga was the first locality of the vast Moro Province to become a chartered city status on October 12, 1936, reflecting its historical and strategic importance as a center of government and commerce.
Zamboanga City is a busy international port strategically located on the Basilan Straight. The city is bounded by the Sulu Sea to the West, the Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea to the East, and is also surrounded by Tungawan Bay, Taguiti Bay, Malasugat Bay to the East, Tictabon Channel and Basilan Straight to the South, and Caldera Bay to the West. In physiography, it is bounded by the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte to the north and by Zamboanga del Sur to the east, and also the Basilan Island to the south. It is sheltered geographically from typhoons by the mountainous Basilan Island, Sulu Archipelago, Palawan Island, and the main island of Mindanao.
The city's immediate coastal lowlands are narrow, with low, rugged hills located a short distance inland. It's highest peak is Batorampon Point, measuring 1,335 meters high (4,380 feet). It has an international seaport which can accommodate local inter-island shipping and international ocean-going vessels and ferries. The city exports rubber, pearls, copra, mahogany, and other fine hardwoods, fish, abaca, and fruit products; rice is still imported. Situated in the southernmost terminus of the Pan-Philippine Highway, it provides vital land transportation access to all the major cities of the country. It also has an international airport that is serviced by daily flights from three major national airlines, and is increasing its international air traffic within the participating