Malaybalay City

Monastery of Transfiguration-Bukidnon, Malaybalay CityHISTORY

The original inhabitants of Malaybalay were said to have come from the seashores of Northern Mindanao but were driven inward by marauding pirates and the colonizing Spaniards. Before the final conquest of the hinterlands of Mindanao, Malaybalay together with Sumilao, Linabo, Mailag and Silae had been known settlements in Bukidnon. In 1850 the entire village of what is now Kalasungay (an old settlement site of Malaybalay) was burned down during the battle against the Spaniards. All male adults were killed on sight. All women and children were taken hostage. It was the last recorded resistance by the inhabitants against the conquering Castillan Army.

A few years later, those who survived and fled to Silae slowly came back and settled near the Sacub River (what is now the Rizal Park) under the protection of Datu Mampaalong. This leader led 30 other datus on June 15, 1877 to accept Spanish dominion and embrace Christianity, 356 years after Spain first discovered the Philippines. On that day of 1877, Malaybalay became a pueblo with the name “Oroquita del Interior” with a territory covering the land area of what is now the entire province of Bukidnon. But the original name of Malaybalay remained. From 1877 until the end of the Spanish rule in the islands, which covered a period of 20 years, Capitanes who were appointed from among the acknowledged tribal chieftains governed Malaybalay. They were Mariano Melendez (Datu Mampaalong), Doroteo Melendez, Juan Carbajal, Alejandro Bontao, Esteban Tilanduca and Faustino Abello.

Malaybalay City, the capital and the first city of Bukidnon Province, is in Northern Mindanao. It is bounded on the east by the Pantaron Range separating 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 the city of Valencia and municipality of San Fernando. The whole eastern and southeastern border adjoining Agusan and Davao called Pantaron Range are elevated and densely forested mountains, which is the remaining forest blocks of Mindanao.

The city is a landlocked area, the nearest sea and airports are in Cagayan de Oro City, which is 91 kilometers away.

Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) year 2000 census show that population of Malaybalay City has reached 123,672. The figure was only 112,277 in the year 1995 census, which means that the rate of growth is at 1.95%. The projected population then of 2001 is 126,086. The provincial growth rate is 2.43%, while the neighboring city of Valencia is 2.45%.


Inventory of roads in the City showed that there are about 749 kilometers of road linking the different parts of the City. About 103 km are classified as national road, 60 km provincial road, 26 km city road and 560 km barangay roads. Paved roads, either concrete or asphalt, are about 11% of all roads, while the bigger portion or 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.

The national highway passing through the City also serves as the urban center and main thoroughfare contributing to the congestion of the area. Buses that ply the Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Cotabato and Davao route, as well as jeepneys, multi-cabs and vans pass through the main highway contributing to its heavy traffic. Inner streets are served by three-wheeled motor cycle motorelas and improvised bicycles (trisikads).


Recent data (2001) from City Health Office and Malaybalay City Water District (MCWD) showed that 65% of the total household population has access to safe potable water, while the remaining 35% have doubtful sources like undeveloped springs, rivers, and creeks. A closer look at those with access to safe potable water reveals that only 20% of the total household population is on Level III (Water District) connections, and 12% and 33% respectively for Level I and II systems. The MCWD serves only 14 out of 46 barangays of the entire city. The areas served are concentrated in the 11 urban barangays and 3 of the urbanizing barangays.

The main terminal for public transportation is beside the public market. With the increasing vehicular traffic and people going to the market, the need for higher capacity public terminal and market has already seen.


Forty-four (44) out of forty-six (46) barangays of the City have electric connections served by the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (BUSECO). However only 53% of the total household population has connections. Chart 1 below shows that the gap between household with and without connections is wider in the rural barangays, which are found in the uplands with mountainous terrain.


The City is served by two telephone companies, Southern Telecommunications Company (SOTELCO) and PhilCom. Both companies recorded a total domestic connection of 1,988, which is only 8% of the total household population. These two companies also provide internet services that have a total of 238 connections. Mobile cellular phones are also widely used in the urban center of the City, which are within cell sites signals.

There are 3 radio stations (2 AM Bands, 1 FM) and 1 cable television network. National daily newspapers circulating the city are the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin, while there are also two local newspapers; Mindanao Gold Star Daily and Bukidnon News Watch. The major mail distribution center of the City is still the Philippine Postal Office, though other private companies like Aboitiz, LBC Air Cargo, RCPI, JRS Express, PT & T and DHL are now providing messengerial services.

The urban center is coping up with the latest technological advancement of telecommunication but the rural areas are still using the traditional letter sending through vehicle drivers and broadcasting over the public radio stations for their messages. To communicate (especially emergency cases) with the barangay officials in the rural areas the City government has issued two-way radios to the barangays.


The City is mainly an agricultural area, with products including rice, corn, sugarcane, vegetables, legumes, root crops and commercial crops such as rubber, coffee, banana and pineapple. During the past years, corn used to be the pre-dominant crop in the city.

But as the corn areas gave way to sugarcane, agri-farms (poultry, hog), and residential areas, sugarcane (306,600 metric tons) and rice (30,318 MT) came out presently as the predominant crops in terms of production volume. These products are usually sold in the local market, or in nearby municipalities of the province. There are also farmers producing larger volume of corn and rice who sell their products in Cagayan de Oro.


Agri-based industries primarily poultry and piggery, now flourish in the City. These farms are assisted by big corporations such as San Miguel, Purefoods, Monterey and Swift. Other agri-based industries in the City include Asian Hybrid Philippines (feeds processing), Rubbertex (rubber shoes manufacturing), and Monastery Farms (peanuts and other preserved foods). Also notable are the 12 cattle ranches that produce an average of 470 heads yearly.

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