Monkayo, officially the Municipality of Monkayo, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Davao de Oro, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 94,908 people.[4]

Municipality of Monkayo
Gold Ore Hub of Davao de Oro
Map of Davao de Oro with Monkayo highlighted
Map of Davao de Oro with Monkayo highlighted
Monkayo is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 7°48′55″N 126°03′16″E / 7.81528°N 126.05444°E / 7.81528; 126.05444Coordinates: 7°48′55″N 126°03′16″E / 7.81528°N 126.05444°E / 7.81528; 126.05444
Country Philippines
RegionDavao de Oro
ProvinceDavao de Oro
District1st District
FoundedSeptember 14, 1954
Barangays21 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorRamil L. Gentugaya[1]
 • Vice MayorJoanna Aileen A. Gentugaya
 • CongressmanManuel E. Zamora
 • Electorate57,718 voters (2019)
 • Total609.61 km2 (235.37 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[4]
 • Total94,908
 • Density160/km2 (400/sq mi)
 • Income class1st municipal income class
 • Poverty incidence30.81% (2015)[5]
 • Revenue (₱)284,788,617.38 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)87
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Native languagesDavawenyo
Kalagan language
Ata Manobo

Monkayo is an agricultural town, with vast tracts of land planted to rice and banana. The municipality is also host to the gold-rich barangay of Mount Diwata, popularly known as "Diwalwal" (which in the local dialect means one's tongue is hanging out due to exhaustion), a 1,000-meter high range known for its rich gold ore deposit. Monkayo's seat of government is located in Barangay Poblacion, a highly developed rural town center, and is 120 kilometres (75 mi) away from Mindanao's regional center of Davao City, and some 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Nabunturan, the provincial center.


The Municipality of Monkayo is a political unit with a land area that was once and for a long period of time a wilderness in the Northern hinterlands of Davao de Oro. The name “Monkayo” is derived from a gigantic tree towering on top Tandawan mountains and its northern tip in between and immediately adjacent to the Agusan River. The tree is called “Mondabon Kayo” (Mondabon Tree). It was however shortened by the first settlers of the area as “Monkayo”.

In the other related version, it is believed that a certain Fr. Ladour, the first missionary priest assigned in the area, gave the place the name of Moncayo, a snow-topped mountain dividing the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, in Spain, probably as an analogy to the high mountains in the area that reminded him of his own place of birth.


Monkayo belonged to the northern hinterland of what is now called Davao de Oro. It was occupied by Mandaya, Manobo, Mansaka, Manguangan and Dibabawon people who dwelt on primitive life and lived by hunting, fishing and crude method of farming (Kaingin) long before the Spanish conquistadors penetrated deep in Mindanao in the middle part of the 18th century. These different tribes or groups, each had a bagani as head or chief. They wore clothing and armed with bladed weapons and bows and arrows, they sang hymns called Tudom and long narrative songs called Owaging they danced and held rituals, feasted and chewed beetle nuts. Nevertheless, when Spanish missionaries came, these natives changed their lives and attitudes and eventually receptive to Christian teachings and ultimately embraced Christianity. Today, this municipality still has Mandaya, Dibabawon, Manguangan and Manobo, other tribes have transferred to other places.

Monkayo became a Municipality District in 1917. The position given to the highest official was District President. The first one appointed to the position was Adolfo Mongado, the first Mandayan educator who served from 1917-1925. The other prominent leaders who held the same position were : Ignacio Cervantes – 1926-1933; Ildefonso Labrador – 1934-1935; and Pedro Aroma – 1936-1937. The title of the position was changed to District Mayor in 1938 with the following officials: Jose Ibañez who served from 1938–1939, followed by Feliciano Cervantes who held the position from 1940 up to the end of the World War II.

During the Second World War, Monkayo was made an important military outpost. The 81st Military Division under the command of Col. Kangleon was established in the Poblacion and was named Camp Kalaw.

On September 4, 1954, Monkayo became a separate district and founded as a Municipality by virtue of a Presidential Executive Order No. 65 by then President Ramon Magsaysay of the Republic of the Philippines. The first mayor was Angelo Ortiz (Sept. 1954–Oct. 1955), who also was responsible for making Monkayo an independent municipality. Alejandro Peñaranda (Nov. 1955-Dec. 1955) was the shortest reigning mayor for only one (1) month, the next appointed mayor who donated portion of his land which became part of the Municipal Town Site. He was followed by Severino Lacson (Jan. 1956-Nov. 1964), Jose T. Amacio (Nov. 1964-Mar. 1972), and Anastacio C. Basañes. After the EDSA Revolution, Mayor Anastacio Basañes was succeeded by Constantino Alcaraz (April 1986 – 1992) as Officer In-Charge by virtue of the Freedom Constitution implemented under President Corazon Aquino. He was succeeded by Rizal G. Gentugaya, and Avelino T. Cabag (1998 to 2001).


Monkayo is politically subdivided into 21 barangays.[3]

  • Awao
  • Babag
  • Banlag
  • Baylo
  • Casoon
  • Inambatan
  • Haguimitan
  • Macopa
  • Mamunga
  • Mount Diwata (Mt. Diwalwal)
  • Naboc
  • Olaycon
  • Pasian (Santa Filomena)
  • Poblacion
  • Rizal
  • Salvacion
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • Tubo-tubo (New Del Monte)
  • Upper Ulip
  • Union


YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 4,898—    
1939 2,741−2.73%
1960 16,062+8.78%
1970 24,597+4.35%
1975 34,120+6.78%
1980 37,571+1.94%
1990 58,239+4.48%
1995 66,550+2.53%
2000 85,830+5.61%
2007 90,971+0.81%
2010 94,827+1.52%
2015 94,908+0.02%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[4][6][7][8]

In the 2015 census, the population of Monkayo was 94,908 people,[4] with a density of 160 inhabitants per square kilometre or 410 inhabitants per square mile.

It is the most populous among the municipalities of Compostela Valley.

Ethnic groups:

  • Mandayas
  • Dibabawons
  • Mansakas
  • Manobos


The largest group is the Roman Catholic having 65% of the population, other Christian group comprises (Evangelicals, Born Again, Kingdom of Jesus Christ) comprises 10%, the Iglesia ni Cristo comprises 10% and the remaining 15% belong to the other non-Christian groups.

  • Roman Catholic: 65%
  • Islam: 12.5%
  • Iglesia ni Cristo 10%
  • Other Christian Groups: 10%


Climate data for Monkayo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27
Average low °C (°F) 23
Average precipitation mm (inches) 160
Average rainy days 20.0 17.2 15.9 13.9 23.8 27.2 28.1 28.2 27.0 27.0 21.3 18.7 268.3
Source: Meteoblue [9]


There are various means to travel to Monkayo. The common modes of transportation within the municipality are multicabs, jeepneys, motorcycles. Tricycles play the routes that are outside the main streets of the town. In mountainous areas, the habal-habal passenger motorcycle is the main mode of transportation.


Kumbilan Cave(Casoon)
Kumbilan Cave has tunnel-like features and wide chambers laden with stalactites, stalagmites and other formations. Fauna observed within the cave are snakes and fruit flies. The cave is home to the "kabyaw" fruit bats.
Mt. Diwalwal
A barangay of 18,000 people, mostly migrants from Surigao, Agusan and Cebu - all dependent on gold. Small-scale mining has been their major industry since the gold-rush in the area in the 80’s. Diwalwal is a relatively quiet town but recently caught the headlines when an estimated 25 miners died on October 25 inside a tunnel allegedly due to toxic gas suffocation.
Seven Waterfalls of Awao
The gushing water coming from above are not that high in volume but cold but not chilling; it is noticeable that the fauna on its surroundings as well as the moss that was formed above the rocks where the falls are flowing are still thick indicating that this falls is not frequently visited by outsiders.
Octagon Farm
This is man-made wonder owned by Congressman Manuel Zamora Sr., it has been visited by various personalities, Josh Hartnett being one of them.
Upper Ulip Hot Spring
This is one of the nearest springs near the famed Mount Diwata.
Sagay and Pasian Falls
These are the falls that remain untouched by modernity.

Culture and heritageEdit

Another Spanish influence that remains up to this day is the observance and celebration of barrios, or villages, of the day of their respective patron saint called "Fiesta". It is in these celebrations wherein songs, dances and other forms of arts and merrymaking from various cultures have evolved creatively into the sights and sounds of Monkayo now.

Kariyawan Festival
Kariyawan Festival which is celebrated every 4 September is also one of the highlights in the municipality. This tells of the story of a diwata who has protected the people of Monkayo and who has given the first gold to the people.
Binibining Monkayo
Is the organization responsible for sponsoring the annual town beauty pageant which selects the beautiful girl throughout the municipality of Monkayo.
Drum and Bugle
Is a musical marching unit (similar to a marching band) consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guard. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, they perform in competitions, parades, festivals, and other civic functions. Participants from different schools throughout the town compete for the title.
Monkayo Fiesta
Monkayo's celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola every July 31.
Araw ng Monkayo
The celebration falls on the fourth day of September.



There are 37 public elementary schools within Monkayo, namely;

  • Anagase Elementary School, located at Casoon
  • Awao Elementary School, located at Awao
  • Bagong Taas Elementary School, located at Haguimitan
  • Babag Elementary School, located at Babag
  • Banlag Elementary School, located at Banlag
  • Baylo Elementary School, located at Baylo
  • BLISS Elementary School, located at Poblacion
  • Boay Elementary School, located at Salvacion
  • Cabangkalan Elementary School, located at Casoon
  • Casoon Elementary School, located at Casoon
  • Depot Elementary School, located at Upper Ulip
  • Haguimitan Elementary School, located at Haguimitan
  • Inambatan Elementary School, located at Inambatan
  • Liwanag Elementary School, located at Banlag
  • Mabuhay Elementary School, located at Awao
  • Macopa Elementary School, located at Macopa
  • Mamunga Elementary School, located at Mamunga
  • Matangad Elementary School, located at Upper Ulip
  • Monkayo Central Elementary School, located at Poblacion
  • Moria Elementary School, located at Banlag
  • Mt. Diwata Elementary School, located at Mt. Diwata
  • Munoz Elementary School, located at Union
  • Naboc Elementary School, located at Naboc
  • New Kapatagan Elementary School, located at Casoon
  • Olaycon Elementary School, located at Olaycon
  • Paco Primary School, located at Banlag
  • Pasian Elementary School, located at Pasian
  • Pilar Elementary School, located at Babag
  • Rizal Elementary School, located at Rizal
  • Samuag Elementary School, located at Salvacion
  • San Jose Elementary School, located at San Jose
  • San Isidro Elementary School, located at San Isidro
  • Sugod Elementary School, located at Union
  • Totoy Elementary School, located at San Jose
  • Tuburan Elementary School, located at Casoon
  • Tubo-tubo Elementary School, located at Tubo-tubo
  • Ulip Elementary School, located at Upper Ulip

There are also three (3) private elementary schools, namely;

  • Casa Amazing Grace School- Poblacion
  • Agape Christian Academy
  • Casa Amazing Grace School- Mt. Diwata

Public High Schools:

  • Awao National High School, located at Awao
  • Babag National High School, located at Babag
  • Casoon National High School, located at Casoon
  • Monkayo National High School, located at Poblacion
  • Mt. Diwata National High School, located at Mt.Diwata
  • Pasian National High School, located at Pasian
  • Tubo-tubo National High School, located at Tubo-tubo
  • Union National High School, located at Union
  • Upper Ulip National High School, located at Upper Ulip.

Private High School:

  • Assumption Academy of Monkayo, Inc., located at Poblacion
Colleges and University
  • Monkayo College of Arts Science And Technology (MONCAST) - administered by the municipal government of Monkayo.
  • MATIF - TESDA accredited school


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Province: Compostela Valley". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region XI (Davao Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  5. ^ "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  6. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region XI (Davao Region)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  7. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region XI (Davao Region)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  8. ^ "Province of Compostela Valley". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Monkayo: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Retrieved 16 November 2019.

External linksEdit