The Islamic City of Marawi in the province of Lanao del Sur was the last province I have to tick off to complete the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Finally! It has always been the ultimate travel dream of mine to travel to these provinces: (1) Basilan, (2) Sulu, (3) Tawi-tawi, (4) Maguindanao and (5) Lanao del Sur. And so now let me share this Marawi Itinerary with you, how to get there, where to eat, and who to contact.
About Marawi City
Marawi City is the capital of Lanao del Sur Province and it is located in the shores of Lake Lanao. The locals are the Maranao people and the primary source of livelihood is fishing. Additionally, they are also known for sophisticated artworks on clothing, woodcarving and brassware.
Language. Maranao or Meranaw is widely spoken in Marawi. However, local inhabitants can also speak Maguindanao, Iranun, English and Tagalog.
How to Get There (Marawi Itinerary)
If your are coming from CDO, take note that there are no hourly bus that goes directly to Marawi City. You have to do a cutting trip in Iligan City then to Marawi City.
Step 1: From Buluan Terminal in CDO, ride a bus to Iligan City. The fare is Php190.00 and the travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Step 2: From the bus terminal of Iligan City, ride a jeepney outside going to the Southbound Bus Terminal. The fare is Php20.00 and the travel time is only 10-15 minutes.
Step 3: From the Southbound Bus Terminal, there are hourly vans and jeepneys that will take you to Marawi City. The van fare is Php150.00 and the travel time is 1 hour. Tell the driver to drop you off at Sarimanok and hire a tricycle going to the City Hall. Proceed to the Tourism Office and meet with your Tour Guide.
Important Contacts & Budget
I highly recommend a guided tour when in Marawi instead of DIY. It is the best way to learn more about the place, its culture and traditions. And the best way to find a safe guided tour is to ask assistance directly from the local Tourism Office. Contact them at least 1 week before your plan to visit, oh and don’t forget to say hi to them for me please!
- Mam Jho – 0970 909 4857
- Mam Rose – 0975 469 4553
For the rate/budget for a whole day tour, there is no definite rate for that. To set the right expectation, the whole day guided tour will be on a motorcycle. 1 tourist per motorbike only. The rate will only be the gas fee and if you want to give a tip. To give you an idea, I originally plan to give Php500.00/motorcycle. But after the tour I gave Php700.00/motorcycle because I enjoyed the tour and they were so kind too.
Marawi Itinerary & Places to Visit
This Marawi Itinerary is assuming that you will leave from CDO Buluan Terminal at 6am and arrive in Marawi by 9am. Make sure to blend in, Marawi is an Islamic City so please wear appropriate clothing.
What to eat in Marawi City? I asked Mam Jho to bring us in a local karenderya for our breakfast because I’d like to try a local dish. She suggested for us to try this bisayang manok which is cooked with turmeric and coconut! It was so yummy, I think it even tasted better than inasal chicken for me.
The 0 Kilometer is located in the middle of the streets and this marks the starting point of all roads in Mindanao. We didn’t get the chance to take photos since it was a busy street and we cannot actually just stop and cause traffic just for a photo, lol. But anyways it was our first itinerary after eating our breakfast.
Trivia: did you know that Kilometer 0 in Luzon is in Rizal Park? Here in Mindanao the Kilometer 0 is in Marawi City.
Marawi Siege Battle Ground
The Marawi Siege or Battle of Marawi way back May 2017 scattered all over the international and local news. The war ended in October of the same year. As a result, the remnants of the war became a place to visit for tourists in Marawi City.
In all honesty, roaming around the battleground and seeing it before my eyes brought a twinge in my heart. I cannot absorb what’s in front of me, yes it may have been years but the remnants made it seem like it was only yesterday.
The Grand Mosque was also damaged from the war. But as our Tour Guide said that the Grand Mosque is the center and most important part of the destroyed City that is why they rebuilt it first. I have this fascination when it comes to Mosques. I find it really astonishing and what made it more respectful for me are the norms that our Muslim brothers and sisters practice.
The Lake Lanao
Lake Lanao is a large ancient lake in the province of Lanao del Sur. Moreover, it is the largest lake in Mindanao and the 2nd largest in the Philippines. For more information, read here.
Mindanao State Univerity (MSU)
Mindanao State University is commonly referred to as MSU Main — is a regional state, coeducational, research higher education institution in Marawi City. Entering MSU gives me a feeling like I’m entering University of the Philippines Diliman. There are large trees on the side of the road and the atmosphere is really cool and refreshing.
They also have this large space area like that of UP’s too. It doesn’t feel like I’m inside of a school here, it almost felt like we were in a park.
Aga Khan Museum
Located inside MSU is the Aga Khan Museum. This is the best place to learn more about the history, culture and traditions of the Maranaos. Here you will also see a brief history about the Lake Lanao and the main fishes living in the lake. This striking university museum houses the largest Philippine Muslim collection in the country.
Important Tips From Joan’s Footprints
- Please wear appropriate clothing when visiting these provinces. Revealing clothes are not encouraged, let’s respect the culture of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
- Plant respect and know that you will harvest it back.
- Avoid talking about taboo topics like the Government and/or Religion, we don’t want the wrong ears to hear them. Especially do not compare their culture to yours.
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2 thoughts on “A Day in Marawi City (2023 Itinerary & Budget)”
Hello. Glad that my Km 0 photo has been useful to your article. It would be very much appreciated if you could link back to The War Fish’s Lair at https://brahmineyes.wordpress.com/ as a courtesy 😉
Hello! Yes no problem. 😊