|ZaNorte At a Glance - Introduction|
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Zamboanga del Norte was born on June 6, 1952 when the mother province of Zamboanga was divided into two provinces.
Inhabited by peaceful Subano tribes who lived along the river (suba) banks, it had its beginning in the old Zamboanga province when the Spanish conquistadors imposed the corregimient militar government of Zamboanga. In 1837, this corregimiento was changed to gobierno militar". Zamboanga was one of the six districts of Mindanao and Sulu in 1860. By the end of the Spanish rule, these districts were increased to seven with Zamboanga town (now city) enjoying the role of being the capital of Mindanao since the beginning of the Spanish rule, except during the period between 1872 and 1875.
Northern Zamboanga, or Zamboanga del Norte today, was occupied by the colonizers through Dapitan in the north, and Siocon in the south where an old Spanish fort, atop a hill beside the sea, still stands today at Port Sta. Maria. Dapitan was created by a politico-military commandancia in 1863 up to 1905. It was in this former town that the late Dr. Jose P. Rizal, our National hero, was exiled by the Spanish rulers. In 1897, a year after Dr. Rizal left Dapitan, a rebellion broke out in the Zamboanga province under the leadership of Isidoro Midel and Melanio Ramos. This uprising, however, was shortlived and did not accomplish important results.
When General Vicente Alvarez was appointed head of Revolutionary Forces in the region in 1898, he attacked the Spanish stronghold in Zamboanga town and finally took possession of the province. With the coming of the Americans, the Moro Province was created with Zamboanga as one of the districts. By this time, Cebuanos, Boholanos, and other migrants from the Visayan islands had already settled in the many part of the vast virgin lands of the province. They now form part of the majority ethnic groups. In 1914, a civil government was established as the Department of Mindanao and Sulu by the Americans. Later, under the Bureau of Non, Christian Tribes, Zamboanga became one of the duly constituted provinces of the department with the town of Zamboanga as the seat of government. After the Second World War, residents began to develop their agricultural-natural resources, cultivating the logged-over fertile lands after the Lumbermen has done their thing. There is a plywood and Veneer plant of the Misamis Lumber Co. in Sirawai, near Siocon in the South. Governing the entire 1,532 square kilometres of the Zamboanga peninsula, however, was a tedious task for an administrator of an underdeveloped province.
Thus, it came that on June 6, 1952, the Province of Zamboanga was divided into two. Zamboanga del Norte came into being.