The name of Zamboanga was derived from the Malay word "Jambangan", meaning a pot or place of flowers. The original inhabitants of the Zamboanga peninsula were the Subanens, who settled along the riverbanks. The next group of settlers to arrive were Muslim migrants from the neighboring provinces. The Maguindanaoans and Kalibugans were farmers; the Tausugs, Samals, and Badjaos were fishermen; and the Maranaos were traders and artisans. Mat weaving was the major occupation of the Muslim settlers.
Then came an exodus of migrants from nearby provinces. Historians say most of them came from the Visayas, Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and Siquijor. Together with the original settlers, these pioneers helped develop Zamboanga del Sur into the abundant and culturally diverse province that it is.
Historically, Zamboanga was the capital of the Moro Province presently known as Mindanao, which comprised five districts: Cotabato, Davao, Sulu, Lanao, and Zamboanga. In 1940, these districts became individual provinces. Zamboanga City became the capital of Zamboanga province. Soon after World War II, the provincial capital was transferred to Dipolog. Molave was created as the provincial capital in 1948.
Zamboanga del Sur was carved out from the former Zamboanga province that encompassed the entire peninsula in the southwestern Mindanao on September 17, 1952 by virtue of Republic Act 711. As the 52nd province of the Philippines, it originally consisted of 11 towns, which were later expanded into 42 municipalities and one city, Pagadian, its capital.
Political developments in February 2001 saw another major change in the territorial jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Sur. Its inhabitants voted to create a new province out of the third congressional district, named Zamboanga Sibugay.
Read more about this topic: Zamboanga Del Sur
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