Torogan: A National Cultural Treasure

A visit in the Islamic City of Marawi will not be complete without visiting a traditional Maranao House called Torogan. The Torogan is the ancestral house and the royal residence of the upper-class Maranao. It is commonly found in Marawi City and other areas in Lanao del Sur province.

Within the sultanate, no one can have a house bigger than the Torogan which is the dwelling place of the datu along with his wives and children. Living in a traditional Torogan house signifies rank, prestige and wealth.

Torogan Replica
Torogan Replica

Jolo in Sulu has its own version of Torogan which is mainly made from Nipa and huge Bamboo. Just like in Marawi City, Torogan in Sulu is also used for a variety of socio-religious gatherings such as weddings, funeral wakes, conferences and even for court proceedings.


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Carving of Torogan house of Maranaw Philippines photo by Liane777 via Wikipedia CC
Carving of Torogan house of Maranaw Philippines photo by Liane777 via Wikipedia CC

The existing torogans in Marawi City were built by the community and the lower class citizens for the datu in 1800s. In Intramuros, A replica of the Torogan can be found right beside the Clamshell.

There are also existing torogans in various locations in Lanao such as the Dayawan Torogan of Marawi and Laguindab Torogan of Ganassi. All are in need of massive funding for their rehabilitation. These collection of torogans from various towns in Lanao are being pushed to be included in the tentative list of the Philippines in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The owner of the controversial Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar have bought and transported two ancient habitable torogans from Lanao into Bataan province in Luzon, sparking outrage from conservation groups. (source Wikipedia)

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