Filed under Municipalities
Kumalarang is classified as a 4th class municipality of Zamboanga del Sur. It is bounded by Lakewood on the north, by Lapuyan on the east, on the south by Dumanquillas Bay, and Buug on the west, which is already part of the Zamboanga Sibuyan province. Kumalarang has a total area of 151.49 square kilometers, populated by around 24,926 people as of 2000, distributed to 4,520 households. As of 1995, the population is divided into 75% Christians, 18% Subanens, and 7% Muslims. Kumalarang is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.
Even before Kumalarang became a barrio (and eventually, a municipality), it got its origin way back in 1878, when the Muslim leader Prince Datu Dakula I came upon the place while exploring the Sibuguey area while looking for a possible place to establish a community. While following a river upstream, he and his entourage found a luminous precious stone that, in Maguindanao term, is called Kumala, meaning carbuncle. Taking this as a favorable sign from the heaven, Datu Dakula eventually set up his settlement in that area. They fenced the settlement with round pieces of wood they called Ladang, in order to keep the crocodiles out. From that time on, the Muslims called the place Kumaladang, and by this time, Datu Dakula II was already ruling the settlement.
The municipality got its present name when Datu Dakula’s son, Mohammed Yusop, who became Datu Dakula III, befriended an American in 1901, General Leonard Wood. In 1916, the Americans modified the name into Kumalarang, the name it has carried up to the present. Kumalarang was made into a municipal district but in 1925, that seat was transferred to Malanagas.
Kumalarang was initially a barrio of Margosatubig, before becoming a barrio of Lapuyan when the latter became a municipality. However, on August 28, 1959, upon the recommendation of the Provincial Board of Zamboanga del Sur, Kumalarang officially became a municipality, under Executive Order No. 356 as issued by President Carlos P. Garcia.