The original inhabitants of Malaybalay were said to have come from the seashores of Northern Mindanao but were driven inward by marauding pirates and the colonizing Spaniards. Before the final conquest of the hinterlands of Mindanao, Malaybalay together with Sumilao, Linabo, Mailag and Sila-e had been known settlements in Bukidnon. In 1850, with the outbreak of an epidemic, the entire village of what is now Kalasungay(an old settlement site of Malaybalay) was burned down during the battle of the Spaniards. All male adults were killed on sight. All women and children were taken hostage. It was the last recorded resistance by the inhabitants against the conquering Castillan Army. Few years later, those who survived and fled to Silae slowly came back and settled near the Sacub River (what is now Rizal Park) under the protection of Datu Mampaalong. This leader led 30 other datus on June 15, 1877 to accept Spanish dominion and embraced Christianity, 356 years after Spain first discovered the Philippines. On that day of 1877, Malayblay and the environs became pueblo with the name “Oroquita del Interior” with a territory covering the land area of what is now the entire province of Bukidnon. But somehow the original name of Malaybalay remained. During this time up to the end of the Spanish rule in the islands, for a period of 20 years, Malaybalay was governed by Capitanes who were appointed from among the acknowleged tribal chieftains. With the creation of the Province of Bukidnon by the American Military Government, Malaybalay became its capital town with a reduced territory. The municipalities of Valencia, San Fernando, Lantapan, and Cabanglasan were still part of Malaybalay until the mid-sixties and seventies when they were created municipalities.
The City of Malaybalay is within the grid coordinates between 8 and 9 degrees north latitude and 125 degrees longitude. It is strategically located at the eastern side of Bukidnon. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Impasug-ong, in the south by the City of Valencia and San Fernando, in the west by the municipality of Lantapan and Mt. Kitanglad and in the east by the Pantaron Ranges separating Bukidnon from the province of Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte.
The terrain of the city varies in landforms and characterized by its rolling hills and low plains, alternated by the rivers and creeks, with deep canyons and valleys. The average elevation is 622 meters above sea level.
LAND USE CATEGORIES
Alienable and Disposable 1,193 has
Agricultural Land Use 33,962 has
Forest Land/Timberland 65,891 has
Data from the National Statistics Office year 2000 census show that the population of Malaybalay City reached 123,672. The figure was only 112,277 in the year 1995 census, which means that the rate of growth is at 1.95%.
According to its spatial distribution, urbanizing barangays has the highest growth rate at 2.25% followed by the rural barangays at 2.23%, while the least growth registered is in the urban center at only 0.66%.The least growth in the urban center is due to more rapid residential growth in the nearby urbanizing areas.