During the pre-historic era, the Bukidnons, also called Montesses or mountain people, settled in the area of what is now called the Province of Bukidnon. These people have remained traditional till 1860 preserving most of their customs and tradition. Furthermore, these people had not been significantly influenced by the Spanish colonizers because of their isolation. The rugged mountain ranges and high plateaus serve as home to these people presented an overwhelming obstacle to these colonizers.
The Bukidnons undoubtedly have links to the culture predominant in the Southeast Asian region as evidenced by the similar customs and traditions. Their presence here can be traced to the early migrations of these Asians throughout the region. It was theorized that they came from places of what is now known as Indonesia. Traveling by the sea, these migrants reached the gulf of Davao where some ventured further to areas of what is presently known as Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
Today, the Asiatic beginnings of these people can be seen from their oral tradition and folk tales, like the “Kalikat Hu Mga Etaw Dini Ta Mindanao” (Origin of the People of Mindanao). This folk tale revolved on the story of two brothers from Asia “who crossed the seas” in their long journey “towards the East”, which refers to the Islands of the Philippines. The brothers reportedly landed in the island of Mindanao. With the region experiencing a drought, one of the brothers was forced to venture northward in order to survive. He did this by following a dried up river and intermarried with the local nomadic inhabitants in the upstream of what is now known as the Pulangi River. He and his family were considered as the ancestors of the present Bukidnon.
The municipality of Maluko was created through Resolution No. 98 series of 1916 and revised through Executive Order No. 4 series of 1917 by the Provincial Board of Bukidnon and finally through Executive Order No. 8 dated April 4, 1917.
Further it was amended by Section No. 36 of the Administrative Code of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu which provides:
The Municipality of Maluko in the Province of Bukidnon, shall consist of the following territory: beginning from a point in the crossing of Tagoloan River of the Provincial Boundary Line between Bukidnon and Misamis: thence south following the Tagoloan River for a distance of 20 kilometers to the southwestern corner of Malitbog, following the Tagoloan river; thence east along the southern boundary line between Bukidnon and Agusan; thence south for distance of 37 kilometers to the northeastern of Impasug-ong; thence following the northern boundary line of Impasug-ong in a westerly direction for a distance of 62 kilometers to the eastern boundary of Libona; thence north 18 degrees west along the eastern boundary of Libona on the Agusan River and the boundary line between Bukidnon and Misamis; thence following the Provincial Boundary line between Bukidnon and Misamis in an easterly direction to the point where this provincial boundary and the Tagoloan river cross, following the point of beginning.
The Municipality of Maluko shall consist the eight barrios of Maluko, Dalirig, Minsoro, Tankulan, Sankanan, Lindaban, Kalugmanan and Mambatangan with the seat of government at Maluko.
Then the Municipality of Maluko was changed to Manolo Fortich with the following act:
AN ACT CHANGING THE NAME OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF MALUKO, PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON, TO MUNICIPALITY OF MANOLO FORTICH.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1- The name of the Municipality of Maluko, Province of Bukidnon is changed to Municipality of Manolo Fortich.
Section 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved: June 21, 1957.