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Butig is a municipality in the province of Lanao del Surmarker, in Central Mindanao, Philippinesmarker. It became a municipality under Executive Order No. 21 issued on June 25, 1963 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal.

According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 16,283 people in 2,454 households.

Atty. Dimnatang Pansar is the incumbent mayor of Butig. His predecessors were mayors Abdulrahman Romato, Datu Mombao Romato, Macalinog Bao, Macabayao Macadato (first appointed mayor of Butig) and few others who have shown their styles of leadership in this old Maranao town. Butig is connected to all the 15 Royal Houses of Lanao. By tradition, any individual who has no blood line in Butig cannot hold any recognized Royal Title in Lanao.


The town of Butigmarker is considered as the oldest settlement in the center of Mindanao. A sultanate located in the Pangampong (Principality) of Unayan, Lanao, Mindanaomarker, Butigmarker belongs to the confederation of the Sultans of Lanao (Ranao in Maranao language). This historic town is the "cradle" of Maranao civilization.

Role in Islamization of Mindanao

While Islamic political institutions were being implemented in Sulu, Muslim traders and possibly itinerant teachers visited the eastern and northern parts of Mindanao Island. The advent of Muhammad Kabungsuwan and his lieutenants developed a system of multiple marriage alliances with various ruling families which served as a means of extending both political control and Islamization. The coming of this intrepid Arab-Malay, to whom the pervasive spread of Islam in Mindanao is attributed, and from whom all the leading sultans of that island have claimed descent, can be calculated to have taken place around the second decade of the sixteenth century. (Majul, 1973)

From the above-mentioned marriage alliances came the Moro dynasties of Maguindanaomarker, Buayan, and Butigmarker. From the Maranaos of Butigmarker, Islam was then introduced to the Maranaos of Lake Lanaomarker. Whereas the base and strength of the Buayan sultanate was in the upper valley of the Pulangi in the interior of eastern Mindanao, that of the sultanate of Maguindanao was at the lower valley and the nearby coastal areas. Actually, for many years it was Iranun support that strengthened the Maguindanaon rulers against their antagonists. (Majul, 1973)

In the time, the continued existence of Islam in Sulu and Mindanao was guaranteed by a more intensive Islamization of their neighbors such as Brunei and Ternate. The royal families of Brunei and Sulu became intimately related, as did those of Maguindanao and Ternate. Commercial relations and religious dialogue expanded among the peoples of these regions ... thus generating a sense of community transcending regional frontiers or dynastic loyalties. (Majul, 1973)

Resistance to European Colonialism

In 1658, a strong force took the field against the Moros of Mindanao under the command of Don Francisco Estovar, Governor of Zamboanga. The expedition debarked before the Moro town of Mamucan in the Cotobato Valley. Here an action conducted by Don Pedro de Biruga, who, with a force of 180 Spaniards, destroyed the town of Butigmarker, with many vessels and a quantity of rice.(Hurley, 1936)

Between 1663, when Zamboanga was abandoned, and 1718 when it was refortified, there was an interlude in the Moro Wars, which allowed the sultanates to become better organized and their Islamic institutions to be reinforced. Vigorous commercial relations with other principalities were initiated. It was around this time, too that the Sulu Sultanate acquired the North Borneo territory from the Sultan of Brunei as a grateful recompense for armed intervention in a dynastic quarrel. Sulu had reached the highest level of its territorial expansion. Actually, Sulu was simply filling up the power vacuum left in the island of Borneo as a result of Brunei's gradual political and commercial decline.

The Spanish government, principally on account of Jesuit agitation, decided to refortify Zamboanga. The Jesuits, more than any religious order in the Philippines, were the most insistent on the evangelization of the Muslim. This attitude, which in spite of traditional Muslim respect for men of religion of whatever faith, cost them (the Jesuits) a few casualties on account of extreme zeal.

It is proposed that the fifth stage in the history of the Moro Wars began with the refortification of Zamboanga in 1718 and ended in the Spanish failure in the eighteenth century to reduce the Muslim to vassalage. To achieve this political end, and Spanish plan was devised to convert the sultans of Sulu and Maguindanao preparatory to the eventual conversion of the datus and other subjects. In this stage, the combined Sulu-Maranao attack to capture Zamboanga in 1719 failed. Again, a desultory war followed. The plan to convert the sultans failed in the case of Maguindanao. Although 'Azim-ud-Din, the sultan deposed by his brother, was baptized in Manila in 1751, that action did not have the desired political results in Sulu since the sultanate was in the hands of a usurper. Also, the question of the sincerity of the conversion still remains an open one.

In this fifth stage, the Maranaos of Butigmarker began their devastating attacks on other parts of the Philippines, reducing the number of tributes for Spain coming from the Visayas and causing a virtual disruption in the economic life of many islands under the Spanish colonial regime. On account of thousands of captives taken by the Muslims, some depopulation started to take place in the Visayas. But all this was in response to the Spanish order in 1751 to enslave captured Muslims and destroy their settlements, boats, plantations, and fields. Yet, as the facts demonstrate, it was the Sulu Sultan who was always the first to initiate moves for a peaceful settlement. The lessening of Spanish power as a direct result of the British invasion of the Philippines and capture of Manila in 1762 once again brought about a decline of hostilities between Spaniards and Sulu and Maguindanao. The Muslim principalities again tried to recapture their days of commercial prosperity, but they were not to be left in peace. (Majul, 1973)

On December 8, 1720, Dalasi, the Datu of Butig (also known as Rajah of Butig), with an armada of one hundred vessels or “paraws” manned by several thousand Moros, attacked Fort Pilar in Zamboanga. He captured a local Jesuit priest and forced the Spanish government in Manilamarker to give ransom payment in exchange for his freedom. (Hurley, 1936)

American Rule in Mindanao

In July, 1908, Lieutenant Burr of the Americanmarker colonial forces was leading forty men through the Agus River in Mindanaomarker. Near Nyaan the party came to a cotta, well fortified and surrounded with a moat filled with brush. Resistance being encountered, the soldiers cut through the brush with their bayonets and assaulted the fort.

The first soldier to reach the cotta walls was attacked from the rear by a Moro with a kris. Hearing the cry of the soldier, Lieutenant Burr hurried to his assistance, killing the Moro with a pistol. Another Moro sprang from the shelter of the bush and struck Burr before he could turn to defend himself, dealing the American officer a terrible blow on the head with a campilane.

Burr died a few days later in the hospital at Camp Kiethley.

During the years 1908 and 1909, and for a number of years afterwards, the Butigmarker Mountain range and the Lake Lanaomarker and Buldung sections of Mindanao were infested with outlaw bands ranging in size from a few men to several hundred.

Early in the year 1906, Moro outlaws in the inaccessible mountains of Butigmarker fortified themselves in hill-top strongholds under the leadership of Sultan Mamantun of Maciu. Under Mamantun, a great force of outlaws became established at rancherias and were responsible for terrible depredations throughout the district.

Government launches operating at the mouth of the Malaig river were frequently fired upon, with the result that a camp of men from the 15th Infantry was established at the river.

The Moros were invited in for parleys and many of them came in and abandoned the outlaw life to return peacefully to their homes.

A number of the Moros, however, chose to ignore the American request for conciliation, and after a perty commanded by Lieutenant Furlong was fired upon, an American offensive was undertaken. Sultan Mamantun was killed.

Colonel J. F. Hutton took the field at the head of three columns of troops in the Butigmarker Mountains. The soldiers were fired upon from the cottas but after eight serious engagements all of the outlaws in the district were annihilated.

Upon completion of these operations in Mindanao, a short period of peace ensued, to be broken by rumblings in Jolo.


Butig is politically subdivided into 16 barangays.

  • Butig Proper
  • Cabasaran
  • Coloyan Tambo
  • Dilabayan
  • Dolangan
  • Pindolonan
  • Bayabao Poblacion
  • Poktan
  • Ragayan
  • Raya
  • Samer
  • Sandab Madaya
  • Sundig
  • Tiowi
  • Timbab
  • Malungun

External links

Historical Timeline of the Royal Sultanate of SuluIncluding Related Events of Neighboring Peoples

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