Iligan is a city in the northeastern coast of Mindanao, surrounded by the towns of Baloi and Linamon of Lanao del Norte on the south, the town of Lugait of Misamis Oriental on the north, and the land of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon on the east and Iligan Bay on the west.


Chroniclers say that centuries ago, long before Legaspi's expedition reached the Philippines in 1565, the Tala-andigs and the Banhawons, two of the known peace-loving Higa-onon tribes of Mindanao, had to build an ilihan or iliyan, meaning a "fortress of defense" on the coastal plain to secure them from the frequent attacks of pirates and savage tribes. Hence, the place to be called as Iligan. Some say its name was derived from the seasonal surge and outflow of its two major rivers. Local folks call this alluvial phenomenon "ilig". This is the reason why Iliganons consider the monsoon season a blessing because the soil along the riverbanks are fertilized. Its Cebuano-speaking inhabitants likes to believe that Iligan means "where good fortune gravitates".

Obviously, Mother Nature has blessed this city of more than 300,000 inhabitants. Not only is it situated on a limestone-rich area, it is also way out of the typhoon belt, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Iligan is also ringed with more than twenty waterfalls (earning the moniker "City of Majestic Waterfalls") and more than a dozen springs distributed evenly within a 30-kilometer radius of the city.

Its rivers and tributaries practically caused Iligan to move forward economically and make it the industrial center of Mindanao today.

Besides its rich natural resources, it is also the home of nationally acclaimed artists, poets, cultural workers and writers.

Iligan is predominantly Christian (93.61%). Iliganons are the mixture of the Muslim and Cebuano population with a minority of Tagalog and some other cultural minorities and immigrants from other places.

Get in

By plane

The nearest airport to Iligan City is the Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. there are multiple daily flights every day from Manila and Cebu with Cebu Pacific and Philippines Airlines. Flight time from Manila to Laguindingan Airport is approximately one hour and 20 minutes. Flight time from Cebu is approximately one hour.

By boat

From Manila, you can take a ferry going to Iligan once a week (every Sunday) via 2GO Travel. From Cebu, you can take a ferry going to Iligan (via Ozamiz) five times a week via Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

By bus

The best way to travel to/from Iligan is by bus. At Bulua Westbound Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro, you can find buses going to Iligan. Travel time from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan by (bus) is approximately two hours, and the a/c bus ticket is 120 peso. The buses are modern with air conditioners and movies playing on the video screen. From Laguindingan Airport, you can also take a direct bus to Iligan. the non a/c bus/ferry fare from Iligan to Ozamis is p 125.

Get around

Jeepneys or jips are the most common public transport in the city with a minimal fare of P7.50. Taxis are readily available anytime of the day. It can be radio dispatched, and will pick you up if you give the dispatcher a call. Habal-habal or motorcycles are most common especially in going to the city outskirts or hinterland areas. There is also the famous "Tartanillas" (calesas) that is also a public mode of transportation which serves through Barangay Pala-o and Barangay Tambacan.


Cebuano is the common language among Iliganons. but most people also speak English and Tagalog, Maranao, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Chavacano, and Waray-Waray are also understood and spoken by a few.


A number of these attractions are quite unique and could only be found in this city. There are numerous waterfalls, springs, and beach resorts.

This is not the final list on what's worth seeing, but it's a good place to start whether you're a first-time visitor or an Iligan expert.


You may request for a tour guide at the City Tourism Office, Bahay Salakot, Buhanginan Hills, Pala-o, Iligan City Tel. #221-3426 or you may wish to go around on your own. Here are some tips for the unguided tourist for a whole day tour.

Other things to do


Banks & ATMs

Shopping Malls & Supermarkets

Iligan Delicacies







Iligan City offers adequate accommodation for every type of traveller. There are economy class hotels, pensionne houses, modest inns, and several lodging houses.

Go next

It is 88 km or a two hour bus ride to Cagayan de Oro, 57 km to Laguindingan Airport, and it is a 2 hour bus ride to Ozamiz.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.