2nd largest island in the Philippines is
Mindanao, which is the southern most part of
the archipelago. It is surrounded by
the Pacific Ocean to the
east; Celebes Sea to the south and to the west is
Sulu Sea. The island of Mindanao
is marked by a peninsulas and the
largest of all is the ZAMBOANGA Peninsula.
is a semi circular peninsula extending
southwesterly towards the Sulu
Archipelago and Borneo. The
peninsula has an area of 14,500
sq. km. (5,600 sq. mile).
The ZAMBOANGA Peninsula was known as Sibugay or
Sibuguey during the coming of the Spanish
conquistadors. And later on was changed into
Zamboanga from the capital town of the province
which derived it's name from the Malay
word Sambangan meaning a place where
wild flowers grow. The Spanish
colonialization of Mindanao was done by
sending missionaries and one of the sites was
Sambangan. As the years went by, the
mispronunciation of Bisaya (North Borneo dialect)
and Spanish words turned into what is now
today Zamboanga. On June 23, 1635 the town was
officially called Zamboanga. The boundary of
the town of Zamboanga comprised half of
the peninsula then. The entire
peninsula was later called Zamboanga Peninsula
although the easternmost part of
the peninsula belong to the Province of Misamis.
the Philippines was ceded to
the United States of America (Treaty of Paris), the
peninsula was partly to the south where
ZAMBOANGA city proper is the Provincia
Mora and towards the North where Dipolog
City is a part of the Provincia Misamis.
Dapitan district which includes Dipolog was
part of Provincia Misamis.
Each province has a governor and the whole
Department of Mindanao and Sulu has also
a governor. From 1903 to 1913
Zamboanga City was the capital of the
Provincia Mora which comprise five district,
namely ; Cotabato, Davao, Lanao,
Zamboanga and Sulu
In 1903, Judge William Howard Taft, President of the Second Philippine
Commission (Later on became the
President of the United States of America) decreed
Dapitan to be separated form
Cagayan de Oro and annex to Provincia
Mora, which later on 1913 became part of the
Province of Zamboanga
day in the year 1910 the
Governor of Zamboanga Province, Mr.
Helper visited Dipolog on his way to Dapitan on
horseback. He was asked by the Dipolog town
people that Dipolog be separated from Dapitan.
This was the beginning of the crusade to
make Dipolog a Municipality.
On September 15,1911, the governing body of the
Provincia Mora, the legislative council passed Act.
No.272 converting the Municipality of Zamboanga into
a city. The ceremony was held on January 1,
1912 with the appointment of American
Christopher F. Bader as the first City Mayor.
Also at almost the same time
created the provinces of Davao,
Lanao, Sulu, Zamboanga, Cotabato,
Surigao, Butuan (a subprovicne of Surigao), Agusan
(a sub province of Davao), Malaybalay
(now Bukidnon) and Misamis. Misamis
was part of the Department of Cebu, Agusan and
Surigao was District of
Caraga during the Spanish era.
John J. Pershing, Governor
of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu granted the
petition to elevate Dipolog into a town. On
July 1, 1913, amidst a solemn inspiring
ceremony John J. Pershing pronounced Dipolog as a
Municipality from the balcony of the brand new
Dipolog Municipal Hall and the appointment of
Pascual T. Martinez as the first Municipal Mayor
(called president at that time).
In 1942 during the Second World
War, Acting Governor Felipe B. Azcuna transferred
the seat of the provincial government from ZAMBOANGA
City to DIPOLOG. Thus making DIPOLOG the
capital-in-fact of the ZAMBOANGA Province.
June 5, 1952, a bill
fathered by Roseller Lim
became the republic act 711. It created the
Province of Zamboanga del Sur with
Pagadian as its capital and Province of Zamboanga
del Norte and with Dipolog as the capital