Filed under Municipalities
With the distinction of being one of Zamboanga del Sur’s oldest towns, Dimataling is a 4th class municipality that is located some 56 kilometers northwest of the province’s capital of Pagadian City. Its geographical coordinates are 7 degrees 31′ 55″ North and 123 degrees 21′ 59″ East. According to the census, as of 2000, Dimataling has a population of 25,843 people in 4,949 households. All the 24 barangays are distributed over 141.8 square kilometers of land, majority of which are flat lands and rolling lands. Those who want to go to Dimataling will find that it is accessible via land and sea via Pagadian City.
Dimataling was originally inhabited by Muslims during its initial creation on June 17, 1950. Like most of the municipalities and towns of Zamboanga del Sur, settlers eventually came in, although not as many as those in major municipalities such as Midsalip or Aurora. Most of the migrants who came in are Christians, mostly Cebuanos, and until now, both peoples are co-existing peacefully with each other. Muslims and Subanens, however, are still the prevalent group of people and their customs are the ones that a visitor will often see in their first trip to the place.
Dimataling is mostly an agricultural town, with cassava, bananas, and copra as its main products. Since the town is also coastal, by Illana Bay, fishing is also another source of livelihood. The bananas produced in Dimataling, in particular, are quite popular with the neighboring municipalities and even out of the province. Banana production started small, with only several farmers planting the crop. However, upon discovering that there is indeed money to be had with the crop, other farmers followed suit until it became the a major crop of the municipality. The bananas that Dimataling produce are usually of the cardava variety and they are usually made into chips and other banana products.
With the construction of the concrete provincial road that leads from Dimataling to Pitogo, it is assumed that more and more people and industries will find its way into this lovely municipal town.