Six Misconceptions about Mindanao

With the negative images being portrayed in different media platforms about Mindanao, it is quite understandable why people from other parts of the country will hesitate to come and visit this beautiful island. Here’s a summation of the top 6 misconceptions about Mindanao and a bit of defense about these misconceptions:

Misconception about Mindanao

1.) There is always war in Mindanao

Big trucks, men in army uniforms and holding their rifles are a common scene.  Mindanao is a big island. True, there are areas that are not quite good to stay and visit but majority of Mindanao is a paradise where there is freedom, peace and harmony.

Photo from

Photo from

2.) Bombings are very rampant

Well, Mindanaoans can’t deny it but it doesn’t speak the entire Mindanao per se. Bombings in Mindanao may be isolated to certain areas only. The bigger portion of Mindanao is safe; in fact, Davao City was named as the 4th safest city in 349 cities.

Perhaps one of the reasons why Mindanao has the negative image as a place where bombings and kidnappings are very rampant is because the media is giving much emphasis on it. It would have been fair if they too will highlight bombings and kidnappings in other areas aside from Mindanao where there are higher incidents as compared to what we have here in Mindanao.

3.) Kidnappings are as equally rampant as with bombings

This unlikely event happens anywhere in the country, right? Kidnappings cannot be confined to Mindanao alone because as you know, it also happens in other parts of the country.


4.) Majority are Muslims in terms of population

Most people who have never set their foot in Mindanao have this image that people living in the island are Muslims. Just like Luzon and Visayas, Mindanao too is made up of different smaller islands with different people, different beliefs and religion. Actually, majority of Muslims live in ARMM while those that live in other areas in Mindanao are living harmoniously with people of different religions. Therefore, it’s wrong to say that Mindanao is covered entirely with Muslim constituents.

Photo by: Chris Domingo

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid (Grand Mosque) in Cotabato / Photo by: Chris Domingo


5.) Mindanao is a mountainous area with little industrialization

Well, it may sound too much but hey, people who never had experience going here think that Mindanao barely has traces of industrialization. Mindanao has lots of cities and provinces with big buildings, malls, hotels and other infrastructures that other first class cities have.

Davao City at night. (Photo credit)

6.)Mindanao is not worth visiting

Perhaps of the three big islands of Philippines, Mindanao has the most promising places to visit. Pristine white sand beaches , virgin forests, majestic waterfalls , high-end accommodations, different species of flora and fauna and many more still abound this blessed island.

It’s such a shame that Filipinos are the ones portraying the negative images of Mindanao while foreigners are dying to step into this beautiful island. It would have been better if Filipinos are the ones who will help boost the tourism industry of Mindanao instead of giving potential tourists these misconceptions.

About the Author

By admin / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

on Aug 29, 2013

Our mission is to bring each of the 7,107 Philippine islands to you. We constantly make sure that our tour packages are high-quality and with reasonable rates. We do not just want to satisfy your travel needs, we make sure that we go beyond your expectations by taking you to the most memorable trip of your life, each and every time.

Comments (10)

  • Mark

    i love my hometown – Agusan del Sur! <3 ^_^

  • Sakura

    Indeed I can really say Mindanao is a great place.

    I’ve been to Camiguin Island, it was such a long trip approximately 10-12hours land trip and 1hour for the ferry but it was worth it! We went to Mantigue Island, White Island, Katibawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, Ardent hotsrping,etc.. It was the best! Aside from that it was affordable, we paid 2,000 each, there were only 3 of us, including the multicab (bus fare from our 8-10hour ride is not included). Also, I’ve been in Surigao, Agusan, Samal Island, Davao City, Lake Sebu, Cagayan de Oro, Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan. Mindanao is Paradise in experience and budget indeed.

  • Ail francisco

    correction… “where you might not want TO LEAVE the place anymore…

  • Ail francisco

    indeed, mindanao in general terms is a beautiful major island of the Philippines. please add in your “must see” places the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur… because if you find it great the island hopping in Palawan, you’ll see more in Hinatuan… also in Lake Sebu, Sultan Kudarat where you’ll find the 7 Falls… they’re really amazing!!! the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao, where you might not want the place anymore… and many more…

  • Motley Smity

    Have stayed with Davao for months, never have felt safe again.

    After the trauma in New York with the 9/11 bombings and muggings, Davao ranks in the top 10 in terms of SAFEty among the different cities I visited from Americas, Europe and Asia.

  • Roger Brown

    One of my favorite Islands in the Philippines for sure… going again February 2014

  • Juliet justado

    mindanao is really beautiful too. at first i also had this negative thinking about this region. but when my mother-in-law brought me here coz it’s her motherland. that negative impression was gone! the beaches, cold springs were great and the people too. we had our roadtrip to enjoy the different sceneries. from cagayan de oro city, gingoog city,davao city, agusan -much thanks that we we’re able to see Lolong alive, and the most fascinating,fabulous,alluring TINUY-AN falls in surigao del sur. all the tiredness and boredness during the trip we’re gone upon seeing how beautiful the falls was. i’m loving Mindanao, checking promo tickets to visit gen san esp saranggani. kris tv featured the white sands at Glan,Saranggani. wish to be there too.

  • Rebecca Callo

    Atrocities in Mindanao are localized and not in general Mindanao. Peace dominates the Islands. There are so many beautiful beaches, parks, natural flora and fauna that are within the reach of the local people. No need to go to far away places except when you also want to see distant tourists spots within Mindanao. We have vegetable, floral and commercial crop plantations just like Baguio and Tagaytay. Boracay can’t compare the natural beauty of Davao Pearl Farm. We have hundred of hectares of pineapple plantations by Dole Philippines in So. Cotabato and Del Monte in Bukidnon, big fish processing plants and exports of tuna and blue Marlin. Big area of banana plantations for export to Japan and the US. Plenty of fruits endemic to the area, such exotic fruits as Durian, marang and mangosteen.Name it you have it. Come, visit Mindanao.

  • Staffan Holm

    Sorry, but even just one bombing is way to many for me. I rather visit other places in PH. And please don’t blame media….blame the terrorists!

  • John

    i agree media makes mindanao not a safer place they think that most people here are muslims

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