Zamboanga (province)

Zamboanga (also Zamboaŋga) is a former province of the Philippines located in the western region of the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines.

Province of Zamboanga
Provincia de Zamboanga
Former province of Philippines
Zamboanga province map 1918.JPG
Map of Zamboanga Province in 1918
CapitalZamboanga (1914-1942)
Dipolog (1942-1948)
Molave (1948-1952)
• Established
September 1 1914
• Splitting of Zamboanga
June 6 1952
Preceded by
Succeeded by
District of Zamboanga
District of Misamis
District of Cotabato
Zamboanga del Norte
Zamboanga del Sur
Today part ofBasilan, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City



During the time of the United States' purchase of the Philippines (1898), the Republic of Zamboanga had its own independence and jurisdiction on what is now Zamboanga City. After the dissolution of the republic, Zamboanga was eventually consolidated into one major administrative area by the American government of the Philippines, consisting of an enormous region that was the Mindanao island's western peninsula, Basilan Island, and the entire Sulu archipelago, with the ancient namesake town/fort of Zamboanga as the seat of its government, and was called the Moro Province of the Philippines.

The Moro Province, in 1914 was replaced by the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. It was divided into Zamboanga, Sulu, Cotabato, Davao, Agusan and Surigao. The town of Zamboanga as its capital. Luis Lim[1] was appointed as the first governor of Zamboanga.

In 1920, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu was officially dissolved and Zamboanga became an independent province and in 1922, elections were held for the first elected provincial officials of Zamboanga. Florentino Saguin was elected as first elected governor.

At that time the province was composed of five (5) municipalities:

Zamboanga was also sub-divided into twelve (12) municipal districts:

World War IIEdit

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines (1942), Zamboanga acting Governor Felipe Azcuna moved the capital from Zamboanga City to Dipolog. After the defeat of the American-Filipino forces in Corregidor, most of the province went under Japanese control.

After the war, on June 16, 1948, Molave was designated as Zamboanga's capital by the virtue of Republic Act No. 286[2] signed by President Elpidio Quirino.


On June 6, 1952, the Republic Act 711,[3] authored by Zamboanga Congressman Roseller Lim was passed by the Philippine House of Representatives to divide the province of Zamboanga to Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, while the chartered City of Zamboanga was relegated its own independent area of city governance. The bill was signed by President Elpidio Quirino in a ceremony held at the Malacañan Palace.

The towns of Dapitan, Dipolog, Rizal, New Piñan, Polanco, Katipunan, Manukan, Sindangan, Liloy, Labason and Siocon are composed of the province of Zamboanga del Norte. The towns of Molave, Pagadian, Labangan, Margosatubig, Dimataling, Dinas, Ipil, Buug, Malangas, Kabasalan and Aurora are under Zamboanga del Sur.

The town of Dipolog was designated capital of Zamboanga del Norte and the municipality of Pagadian as Zamboanga del Sur's capital.

In 2001, a brand new Zamboanga province, Zamboanga Sibugay, was created from the province of Zamboanga del Sur with Ipil as its provincial capital.


Governor Portrait Term Notes Ref.
Luis Lim July 23, 1914–1917 Lim was the first appointed civil governor of the province. [4]
Agustin Alvarez 1917–1920 Alvarez succeeded Lim in 1917 as governor and reelected in 1928.
In 1940, he was elected Zamboanga City Mayor.
Agustin Alvarez 1920–1922 [4]
Florentino Adasa Saguin 1922–1925 Saguin was the first elected governor of the province.
He later represented Zamboanga in the 1934 Constitutional Convention.
Jose Dalman Aseniero 1925–1928 Aseniero formerly served as Municipal President of Dipolog before elected Governor. [4]
Agustin Alvarez 1928–1931 [4]
Carlos Hernandez Camins 1931–1934 [4]
Felipe Ramos 1934–1937 Ramos previously served as Municipal President of Zamboanga City from 1925 to 1934 before being elected Governor. [4]
Matias Castillon Ranillo   1937–1940 Ranillo was later elected representative of Zamboanga's Lone District in 1941.
When war broke out, he was appointed as the province's military governor.
Felipe B. Azcuna 1940–1941 Azcuna was a member of the Provincial Board before elected as governor. He was reelected governor in 1948. [4]
Lazaro Alfabeto 1945–1946 Alfabeto was appointed governor after Zamboanga was liberated.
Leoncio Sagario Hamoy 1946–1948 Hamoy was appointed Provincial Fiscal before becoming governor. [4]
Felipe B. Azcuna 1948–December 30, 1949 [4]
Serapio Datoc December 30, 1949–June 6, 1952 Datoc served as Zamboanga's last governor
When the province was divided, Datoc became Zamboanga del Sur's first governor.


Post-War PeriodEdit

  • 1970 – Local Government troops invaded Zamboanga and cleared the fields against the Islamic rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that began the Islamic Insurgencies.
  • September 21, 1972 – Then President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law in the Philippines.
  • November 14, 1984 – Then Zamboanga City Mayor Cesar Climaco was assassinated and shot dead in downtown Zamboanga City.
  • February 22–25, 1986 – EDSA People Power Revolution. Corazon A. Aquino was the first woman president and 11th President of the Philippines when she was declared as the winner of the 1986 presidential election after the EDSA People Power Revolution.
  • January 5, 1989 – Camp Cawa-Cawa siege in Zamboanga City; government forces assaulted the camp where Gen. Eduardo Batalla and Col. Romeo Abendan of the Philippine Constabulary were being held hostage by rogue Muslim policemen led by Rizal Alih.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Father of Congressman Roseller T. Lim
  3. ^ Firm, Ronald Echalas Diaz, Chan Robles & Associates Law. "PHILIPPINE LAWS, STATUTES AND CODES; CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY". Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "DISTINGUISHED GOVERNORS OF THE PROVINCE". Old website of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte (ZaNorte). Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2007-04-21.