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Mindanao River: Map


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The Mindanao River, also known as the Rio Grande de Mindanao, is the second largest river system in the Philippinesmarker, after the Cagayan River of Luzonmarker. It is also the largest river on the southern Philippinemarker island of Mindanaomarker having a drainage area of 23,169 square kilometers, draining majority of the central and eastern portion of the island. It is also the second longest river in the countrymarker with a length of approximately 373 km (231.8 miles). It is an important transportation artery on the island, used mainly in transporting agricultural products and, formerly, timber.

Its headwaters are in the mountains of Impasug-ongmarker, Bukidnonmarker, south of Gingoog Citymarker in Misamis Orientalmarker, where it is called the Pulangi Rivermarker. Joining the Kabacan River, it becomes the Mindanao River. Flowing out of the mountains, it forms the center of a broad, fertile plain in the south-central portion of the island. Before its mouth in the Moro Gulf, it splits into two parallel sections, the Cotabato and Tamentaka, separated by a 180 m (600 ft) hill.

Population centers along the river include Cotabato Citymarker, Datu Piangmarker, and Midsayap.


The Mindanao River has its source in the Central Mindanao Highlands near the northern coast of the island, specifically on the northeastern part of the province of Bukidnonmarker, where it is known as the Pulangi Rivermarker. It then flows southward across the Bukidnon Plateau, fed up by its tributaries along the way and then emerges onto the Cotabato plains, depositing fertile mountain silt as it widens and arcs westward through the Cotabato River Basin. It finally empties into Illana Baymarker at its mouth in Cotabato Citymarker.


River Delta

As the Mindanao River meets Illana Baymarker, it branches out into two distributaries, the Cotabato in the north and the Tamontaka in the south at Cotabato Citymarker.


  1. "Principal River Basins of the Philippines", Published by the National Water Resources Board, October 1976 (p. 12)

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