| Zamboanga Peninsula|
| Saint Columban College (Pagadian), Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College (Zamboanga City), Medina College-Pagadian (Pagadian), Mendero College (Pagadian), Immaculate Conception Archdiocesan School (Zamboanga City)|
Zamboanga del Sur (Cebuano: ; Chavacano: Provincia del Zamboanga del Sur; Tagalog: ; Subanon: Shelatan Sembwangan/Sembwangan dapit Shelatan) is a province of the Philippines located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region in Mindanao. Pagadian City is the capital. Zamboanga City is traditionally grouped with the province for historical and statistical purposes, but is actually independent from the province.
The province borders Zamboanga del Norte to the north, Zamboanga Sibugay to the west, Misamis Occidental to the northeast, and Lanao del Norte to the east. To the south is the Moro Gulf.
Zamboanga del Sur occupies the southern section of the Zamboanga peninsula that forms the western part of the Island of Mindanao. It is located at longitude 122° 30"" and latitude 7° 15"" north. It has a total land area of 449,946 hectares (1,111,840 acres). When Zamboanga City is included for statistical purposes, the provinces land area is 591,416 hectares (1,461,420 acres).
Stretching northward from Sibugay in the southwest and running along the northern boundary to Salug Valley in the east is the province’s mountainous countryside. The coastal plains extend regularly from south to west then spread into wide flat lands when reaching the coastal plains of the Baganian peninsula in the southeast.
The province has a relatively high mean annual rainfall: 1,599 to 3,500 millimetres (63.0 to 137.8 in). Temperature is relatively warm and constant throughout the year: 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F).
The longest river in Region IX, the Sibugay River gets its water from the mountains of Zamboanga del Sur most specifically in Bayog and Lakewood, from where it flows into Sibugay Bay which is now part of Zamboanga Sibugay. Other notable rivers are the Kumalarang River, the Dinas River with its headwaters in the Mount Timolan Protected Landscape, and Salug River in Molave.
The name of Zamboanga was derived from the Malay word "Jambangan", meaning a pot or place of flowers. The original inhabitants of the Zamboanga peninsula were the Subanens, who settled along the riverbanks. The next group of settlers to arrive were Muslim migrants from the neighboring provinces. The Maguindanaoans and Kalibugans were farmers; the Tausugs, Samals, and Badjaos were fishermen; and the Maranaos were traders and artisans. Mat weaving was the major occupation of the Muslim settlers.
Then came an exodus of migrants from nearby provinces. Historians say most of them came from the Visayas, Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and Siquijor. Together with the original settlers, these pioneers helped develop Zamboanga del Sur into the abundant and culturally diverse province that it is.
Historically, Zamboanga was the capital of the Moro Province presently known as Mindanao, which comprised five districts: Cotabato, Davao, Sulu, Lanao, and Zamboanga. In 1940, these districts became individual provinces. Zamboanga City became the capital of Zamboanga province. Soon after World War II, the provincial capital was transferred to Dipolog. Molave was created as the provincial capital in 1948.
Zamboanga del Sur was carved out from the former Zamboanga province that encompassed the entire peninsula in the southwestern Mindanao on June 6, 1952 by virtue of Republic Act 711. As the 52nd province of the Philippines, it originally consisted of 11 towns, which were later expanded into 42 municipalities and one city, Pagadian, its capital.
Political developments in February 2001 saw another major change in the territorial jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Sur. Its inhabitants voted to create a new province out of the third congressional district, named Zamboanga Sibugay.