City of Malaybalay
Dakbayan sa Malaybalay
Bukidnon provincial capitol

Nickname(s): Cool Place, Warm People; South Summer Capital of the Philippines; City in the Forest
Map of Bukidnon showing the location of Malaybalay City
Country Philippines
Region Region X
Province Bukidnon
District 2nd District
Barangays 46
Incorporated (town) October 19, 1907
Incorporated (city) February 11, 1998
 - Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri
 - Vice Mayor Victor P. Aldeguer
 - Total 984.38 km2 (380.07 sq mi)
Elevation[1] 622 m (2,041 ft)
Population (2007)
 - Total 144, 065
 - Density 146/km2 (379/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 8700
Area code(s) 88

The City of Malaybalay (Filipino: Lungsod ng Malaybalay; Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Malaybalay), dubbed as the "South Summer Capital of the Philippines", is a first class component city[2] and the capital and administrative center of the province of Bukidnon, Philippines. The city is bordered north by Impasug-ong; west by Lantapan; south by Valencia City and San Fernando; and east by Cabanglasan and Agusan del Sur. According to the 2007 Census of Population by the National Statistics Office (NSO) the city is inhabited by 144, 065 residents.[3]

When Spanish explorers came to the central portion of the province in the late 18th century, they inquired as to the name of the town. The people replied in Cebuano "walay balay", which means "no house". The Spaniards mispronounced the name and repeated it as "Malaybalay".[4]

It was formerly part of the province of Misamis Oriental as a municipal district in the late 19th century. When the special province of Agusan and its sub-province (Bukidnon) was created in 1907, Malaybalay was designated as the capital of Bukidnon. It was then formally established as a municipality on October 19, 1907 and was created into a city on February 11, 1998 by virtue of R.A. 8490.[5]

Malaybalay City is the venue of the Kaamulan Festival, held annually from mid-February to March 10.[6]



The original inhabitants of Malaybalay come from the seashores of Northern Mindanao (Misamis Oriental area) but were driven towards the mountains because of pirates and the arrival of Spanish colonizers. Before the final conquest of the central part of Mindanao (Bukidnon area), Sumilao, Linabo, Mailag and Silae has been established by Spanish missionaries (Dominicans and Jesuits). In 1850, Kalasungay (an old settlement site in Malaybalay), was burned down by the Spaniards during their final battle with the lumads, in which all male adults were killed and the women and children were taken as hostages. This battle is the last recorded resistance by the original inhabitants against the Spanish conquerors.[1][7][8]

A few years after their defeat, the survivors of the said battle who fled to Silae slowly returned to the area ans established a new settlement near the Sacub River (present-day Rizal Park) under the protection of Datu Mampaalong. Together with thirty (30) other datus, Datu Mampaalong accepted Spanish dominion and embraced Christianity on June 15, 1877, ending the long standing war between them. On that day, the Spaniards made Malaybalay into a pueblo named Oroquita del Interior with a territory covering the area of what is now the province of Bukidnon, but the name of the settlement was still retained as Malaybalay.[7][8]

From 1877 until the coming of the Americans, covering a span of 20 years, Capitanes, who were acknowledge tribal chieftains and were appointed by the Spaniard missionaries, governed Malaybalay. Some of this leaders were Mariano Melendez (Datu Mampaalong), Doroteo Melendez, Juan Carbajal, Alejandro Bontao, Esteban Tilanduca and Faustino Abello

In 1850, Malaybalay became a part of the province of Misamis Oriental as a municipal district. The Philippine Commission then headed by Commissioner Dean C. Worcester, Secretary of Interior and a member of the Philippine Commission proposed the separation of Bukidnon from Misamis Oriental Province.

On August 20, 1907, the Philippine Commission Act No. 1693 was enacted creating the Province of Agusan and the sub-province of Bukidnon. Malaybalay was then formally created as a municipality on October 19, 1907. When Bukidnon was declared as a regular province and become an independent political unit on March 10, 1917 by virtue of the creation of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu under Act 2711, Malaybalay was designated as its provincial capital.

During the Second World War, in 1942, the Japanese occupation troops entered Bukidnon. They occupied Malaybalay, establishing a camp in Casisang. Guerrilla groups operating around Malaybalay made frequent raids on the Japanese camps from the time of the occupation until the arrival of the Americans. In 1945, American liberation forces, together with the Philippine Commonwealth Forces and Filipino guerrillas liberated Malaybalay.

On March 26, 1996, the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Malaybalay passed Resolution No. 3699-96 petitioning to the House of Representatives for the conversion of Malaybalay into a city. Reginaldo Tilanduca, 2nd District Representative of Bukidnon at that time, files House Bill No. 6275, proposing the creation of Malaybalay into a component city. On February 11, 1998, President Fidel Ramos signed the act (R.A. 8490) that converted Malaybalay to a city, making it the first component city of Bukidnon.


Malaybalay City
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [9]


Malaybalay City, the capital city of Bukidnon is located in the central part of the province. It is bounded in the east by the municipality of Cabanglasan and the Pantaron Range, which separates Bukidnon from the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte; on the west by the municipality of Lantapan and Mount Kitanglad; on the north by the municipality of Impasug-ong; and on the south by Valencia City and the municipality of San Fernando.[10][11]

The whole eastern and southeastern border adjoining Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte is elevated and densely forested mountains, which is one of the few remaining forest blocks of Mindanao.

The nearest sea and air ports are in Cagayan de Oro City, which is 91 kilometers away.


The climate classification of Malaybalay City falls under the Fourth Type or intermediate B type, which is characterized by the absence of a pronounced maximum period and dry season. The period from May to October is where heavy rains occur. Rain falls at a yearly average of 2,800 millimeters (110 in) and occurs throughout the year, though it is more intense during the country's rainy season from June to October. On the other hand, November to April are the dry months. Compared with the rest of the country, the climate in Malaybalay is relatively cooler the whole year round and the area is not on the typhoon belt.[10][11]

Land area

The total land area of the city is approximately 108, 259 hectares (984.38 km²), that is about 13% of the total area of Bukidnon. An estimated of sixty five percent (65%) of this is classified as forestland/timberland and the remaining thirty five (35%) is alienable and disposable areas (A & D), lands which could be used for various purposes such as for agriculture or for industry.[10]

The city plays a strategic role in the protection of the headwater source of the Pulangi and the Tagoloan rivers because of its location the upper portion of both watershed areas. The Pulangi River then extends through the Cotabato provinces as the Rio Grande de Mindanao and to Cotabato City, where it empties into Illana Bay. The Tagoloan River, on the other hand, traverses northwestward towards Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, where it joins the Macajalar Bay. These watershed areas provided potable water, irrigation, hydro-electric power and various recreation and tourism activities.

Topography and soil type

Topographic map of Malaybalay City
Soil map of Malaybalay City

The average elevation of the city is 622 meters above sea level (2, 040.68 feet). About sixty percent (60%) of the city's area has above 30% slope, characterized by steep hills, mountains, and cliff-like stream side. About 25% are level, gently sloping, and undulating. The rest are rolling and hilly.[1][10]

One of prominent geographical structure in the city is the Kitanglad Mountain Range, located in the western frontier, in its border with Lantapan and Impasug-ong. Some barangays (Dalwangan, Capitan Bayong, Imbayao and Mampayag) are located in the foot slopes of this mountain range. Steep hills are found in the central portion of the city (Kibalabag, Manalog and Can-ayan), where the Tagoloan River headwater can be found. The Central Mindanao Cordillera (Pantaron Mountain Range), is on the eastern side of the city, in its boundaries with Agusan del Sur province. The Pulangi River cuts across the area between the hills in the central part and the Central Cordillera in the eastern part, creating a portion of the Upper Pulangi river valley. The southern portion of the city is made up of level to undulating area, a river valley created by the Sawaga River and the Manupali River, which are both tributaries of the Pulangi River.

About sixty six percent (66%) of the city's soil is identified as undifferentiated mountain soil and the rest are clay. The predominant types of clay are Kidapawan, Alimodian and Adtuyon, which are generally good for agriculture.


Population Census
Census Pop. Rate
1918 16,428
1939 18,816 0.6%
1948 16,458 -1.5%
1960 32,522 5.8%
1970 47,074 3.8%
1975 65,198 6.7%
1980 60,779 -1.4%
1990 94,790 4.5%
1995 112,277 3.4%
2000 123,672 2.10%
2007 144,065 2.13%
National Statistics Office (Philippines)
Historical growth of population of Malaybalay City, 1918-2007

Malaybalay is originally the home of the Bukidnon "lumads" or natives, but there has been an influx of settlers and immigrants from the Visayas and Luzon for the last four decades contributing to the growth of the population of the city. The original inhabitants, the Bukidnons, have retreated to the hinterlands as the migrants continued to occupy and dominate the population centers in the city. At present, Malaybalay City is the second most populous political subdivision in the province, after Valencia City.

The Census of Population conducted by the National Statistics Office in 2007 showed that the city now has 144, 065 inhabitants. The historical growth of population of the city showed a variable pattern of growth (See Figure). The first census of population in was made 1918 with Malaybalay having only 16,428 inhabitants. The 21-year period from 1918 to 1939 was a low-growth period with the city's population growing at a 0.6% annually. This was then followed by a period of population decline until the post-World War II era, declining by 1.5% per year. The twelve-year period from 1948 to 1960 is a period of high growth, when the city's population almost doubled from its 1948 level. This pace of growth continued until 1970, growing 6.7%. In 1970, Malaybalay has 65,918 inhabitants. A 5-year period of declining growth followed, the population dropped to 60,779. After the decline, Malaybalay's population has been increasing since then, growing by 3.4% from 1990–1995, 1.9% from 1995-2000. Government demographers estimate that the city's population will reach more than 150,000 by 2010.

The city is predominantly rural, with only 16% of the population in urban areas, 40% in urbanizing barangays and 46% in rural areas. Population is evenly distributed in the urban and rural areas. The urban areas are generally found on the confines of the Sayre Highway that traverses the city. The main urban population is found in the Poblacion-Casisang area. Secondary population centers includes barangays Aglayan, Bangcud and Kalasungay.

Malaybalay has one of the lowest average population density in the province, second only to Impasug-ong with only 146 persons per square kilometer although there are barangays, especially in the Poblacion area, with high population density.

Cebuano is prevailing medium of communication in the city. More than half of the city's population are native-speakers of this dialect. Other dialects are Binukid, spoken by the lumads or the original inhabitants, Boholano, Hiligaynon, and other tribal dialects.

Politics and administration

Mayors of Malaybalay City
Juan Melendez – 1906-1908
Fernando Damasco – 1909-1913
Jose Ruiz – 1914-1918
Juan Melendez – 1924-1936
Faustino Caterial – 1936-1937
Catalino Damasco – 1937-1939
Gerardo Pimentel – 1940-1941
Salvador Alberto – 1943-1947
Teofilo Salcedo – 1948-1951
Fortunato Carbajal, Sr. – 1951-1954
Lorenzo S. Dinlayan – 1955-1971
Timoteo C. Ocaya – 1972-1979
Edilberto B. Mamawag – 1979-1980*
Reginaldo N. Tilanduca – 1980-1986
Violeta T. Labaria – 1986*
Almaco A. Villanueva – 1987*
Rogelio M. Bides – 1988*
Reginaldo N. Tilanduca – 1988-1992
Bob Tabios-Casanova – April 1992-June 1992
Nicolas C. Jurolan – 1992-2001
Florencio T. Flores, Jr. – 2001-2010
Ignacio W. Zubiri – 2010 to present
* - Appointed

City administration

The City is administered by the City Mayor together with the Vice Mayor and the Sangguniang Panlungsod.[12] The mayor is the local chief executive officer of the city and exercises control and supervision over all local administrative offices as mandated by the Local Government Code of the Philippines (1991). The City also has a City Administrator that assists the mayor. Here are the offices of the Local Government Unit of Malaybalay City and its corresponding Head of Office:

  • City Mayor's Office
  • City Vice Mayor's Office
  • Offices of the City Councilors and the Sangguniang Panlungsod
  • City Planning and Development Office
  • City Budget Office
  • Office of the City Treasurer
  • City Assessors Offices
  • Office of the City Engineer
  • City Accounting Office
  • City Social Welfare and Development
  • City Health Office
  • City Agriculture Office
  • Office of the City Civil Registrar
  • City Economic Enterprise Management and Development Office
  • City Environment and Natural Resources Office
  • Human Resource Management Office
  • Malaybalay City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
Heads of Office
  • City Mayor
  • City Vice Mayor
  • City Councilors and the Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary
  • City Planning and Development Officer
  • City Budget Officer
  • City Treasurer
  • City Assessors
  • City Engineer
  • City Accountant
  • City Social Welfare Officer
  • City Health Officer
  • City Agriculturist
  • City Civil Registrar
  • City Economic Enterprise Management and Development Officer
  • City Environment and Natural Resources Officer
  • Human Resource Management Officer IV
  • City Jail Warden

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (or SP) serves as the local legislative arm of the City. It enacts ordinances and issues regulations that are necessary to promote the propriety and general welfare of the City’s residents; ensure the health, safety, comfort and convenience of its constituents, maintain peace and order, improve and promote high public morals, and ensure the protection of the properties within the City’s jurisdiction. There are 12 elected Sangguniang members and a permanent Sangguniang Panlungsod secretary. The Sangguniang Panlungsod is headed by the Vice Mayor, acting as its presiding officer. There are twelve (12) elected Sanggunian members and one permanent Sangguniang Panlungsod secretary.[12]

Malaybalay City forty six (46) barangays each headed by a barangay chairman together with seven Sangguniang Barangay members.


Malaybalay City is politically subdivided into 46 barangays.

Political map of Malaybalay City showing the 46 barangays under its jurisdiction
  • Aglayan
  • Bangcud
  • Busdi
  • Cabangahan
  • Caburacanan
  • Can-ayan
  • Capitan Angel
  • Casisang
  • Dalwangan
  • Imbayao
  • Indalasa
  • Kalasungay
  • Kibalabag
  • Kulaman
  • Laguitas
  • Patpat (Lapu-lapu)
  • Linabo
  • Apo Macote
  • Miglamin
  • Magsaysay
  • Maligaya
  • Managok
  • Manalog
  • Mapayag
  • Mapulo
  • Barangay 1 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 2 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 3 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 4 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 5 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 6 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 7 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 8 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 9 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 10 (Pob.)
  • Barangay 11 (Pob.)
  • Saint Peter
  • San Jose
  • San Martin
  • Santo Niño
  • Sila-e
  • Simaya
  • Sinanglanan
  • Sumpong
  • Violeta
  • Zamboanguita


Colleges and universities

Malaybalay City has four tertiary schools, found in the Poblacion area: Bukidnon State University (BSU), San Isidro College (SIC), Systems Technology Institute (STI)-Malaybalay and Mindanao Arts and Technological Institute (MATI). BSU is the first tertiary school in the City to attain university status last 2007.

Primary and secondary schools

The City has 64 primary/elementary schools and 13 secondary schools. Almost every barangay has at least 1 primary/elementary school, while secondary schools are strategically located in areas with higher population. Majority of the primary and secondary schools are run by the government through the Department of Education.[10][13]


Roads and highways

The different parts of Malaybalay is linked by about 749 kilometers of road classified as national, provincial, city and barangay roads. Approximately 103 kilometers are classified as national road, 60 kilometers as provincial road, 26 kilometers as city road and 560 kilometers as barangay roads. Paved roads, either concrete or asphalt, constitute only 11% of all roads while the rest or around 88% are unpaved (gravel or earth filled). The forestal communities in rural barangays are usually linked by old logging roads that are passable by farm animals and motorcycles.[10][14]

The Sayre Highway bisects the Poblacion, the main urban center of the City, serving as the main thoroughfare of the city.[15] Buses that ply the Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Cotabato and Davao City route, as well as jeepneys, multi-cabs, vans and private vehicles pass through this highway contributing to its heavy traffic. Suburbs are served by multicabs, motorelas and improvised bicycles (trisikads).[14]

Public transportation

Public utility buses and jeepneys serves as the main mode of transportation for the City's inhabitants. The Rural Mindanao Transit, Inc. operates the Cagayan de Oro to Davao City route, Cagayan de Oro-Tacurong City route, Cagayan de Oro-Wao and the Cagayan de oro-Libungan route that all passes through the City.

Airports and seaports

Malaybalay City has an airport. However, it receives no commercial flights, with all air traffic to the city relying on Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro. The city also relies on the Cagayan de Oro seaport for the delivery of its products to other destinations in the Philippines as it is the closest seaport to the city.


The Church of the Monastery of Transfiguration, San Jose, Malaybalay City

The City's 25 years Monastery of Transfiguration on San Jose hill, is made of heavy lime blocks, designed by National Artist for architecture Leandro Locsin. The first Filipino Abbot, Fr. Eduardo Africa and former Malaybalay bishop Gaudencio Rosales inaugurated it on August 6, 1983. Today, 10 monks had its 7 hectares planted to rice, 25 hectares to corn, and the rest for planting the world-famous Monk’s Blend Premium coffee. Its two-story Museum of Transfiguration Monastery (MTM) houses Dom Martin’s 50-piece vestment collection included in Philippines' 1998 centennial celebration. “Worship and Weave” book on the vestments won the 2001 National Book Award (art category).[16]

See also

  • Kaamulan Festival


External links

Coordinates: 8°6.5′5.21″N 125°8′23.17″E / 8.1097806°N 125.1397694°E / 8.1097806; 125.1397694

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