The Sangil inhabit the islands of Balut Sarangani and parts of the coastal are of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur provinces. The word "Sangil" is dreived from Sanghe, an archipelago in eastern Indonesia located between Sulawesi (Celebes) and Mindanao which was the original home of the Sangil. In the past the Sangil were among the buccaneers who attacked Spanish held territory in the Visayas and Luzon.
The Sangil had been Muslim prior to their arrival in Southern Mindanao. Their migration perhaps came about as a result of Dutch colonial pressure and increasing Christianization of their homeland (Sangihe Archipelago) starting in the second half of the 18th century. Their language seems to show affinity with Sama language in terms of commonality of vocabularies, similarity of the manner of speaking and the sound of the utterances of words. The Sangil earn their livelihood by fishing and cultivating small quantities of food crops. A few of them engage in boat building of vessels like vintas and pump boats.