Overtime a number of tribes in Mindanao converted to Roman Catholicism and built settlements and forts throughout the coastal regions of the island.
These settlements endured despite incurring attacks from neighboring Muslim Sultanates.
Roman Catholic is the dominant religious affiliation in Mindanao with 60.9 percent of the household population, Islam comprised 20.44 percent, and other religions were Evangelical (5.34%), Aglipayan (2.16), Iglesia ni Cristo (1.66%), and Seventh Day Adventist (1.65%).
Archaeological findings on the island point to evidence of human activity dating back to about ten thousand years ago.
In the classic epoch of Philippine history (900 AD onwards), the people of Mindanao were heavily exposed to Hindu and Buddhist influence and beliefs from Indonesia and Borneo.
Indianized abugida scripts such as Kawi and Baybayin was introduced via Sulawesi and Java, and the cultural icons of the sarong (known as malong or patadyong), the pudong turban, silk, and batik and ikat weaving and dyeing methods were introduced.
Hiligaynon/Ilonggo is widely spoken in Soccsksargen. Chavacano is a form of Spanish Creole that is widely spoken in the eastern and southern regions of the Mindanao.
Zamboangueño, one of the six dialects belonging to the Chavacano language, is used by a distinct ethnolinguistic group (Zamboangueños).
Maps made during the 17th and 18th centuries suggest that the name Mindanao was used by the natives to refer to the island, by then Islam was well established in Mindanao and had influenced groups on other islands to the north.Many of the ceramic objects are from the Yuan and Ming periods.Evidently, there was a long history of trade between the Subanon and the Chinese long before the latter's contact with Islam.The Hindu-Buddhist cultural revolution was strongest in the coastal areas of the island, but were incorporated into local animist beliefs and customs tribes that resided more inland.The Rajahnate of Butuan, a fully-Hindu kingdom mentioned in Chinese records as a tributary state in the 10th century AD, was concentrated along the northeastern coast of the island around Butuan.The evidence of old stone tools in Zamboanga del Norte may indicate a late Neolithic presence.