Cotabato City is located at the heart of Mindanao and is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The name Cotobato originates from a combination of the words Kuta Wato, Kota, and Batu. It has a land area of 1,700 square kilometers and is considered one of the least populated provinces in the country. It is one of the least visited provinces in the country due to the stereotypes Filipinos associate it with such as concerns about safety and violence. Not known to many, Cotobato City is a small city with enchanting tourist spots and untouched breathtaking sceneries. In addition, Cotabato City is one of the most welcoming and secure tourist spots in Mindanao. This province is estimated to be around 1,300 kilometers or 807 miles away from Manila. Hence, Cotobato City is an ideal location if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle that the capital city brings. As such, if you truly want to discover and experience the wide variety of wonders around the Philippines, make sure to include exploring the different things to do in Cotobato City on your bucket list!
Read also: Your 2022 Travel Guide to Cotabato
Here is a rundown of the top 10 things to do in Cotobato City:
1. Shop til you drop around the vibrant markets
The city of Cotabato is famous for its thousands of hectares of fishponds that produce mud crabs, milkfish, and prawns. From manufacturing (furniture) to production (food processing), and is known for its diverse range of industries. Moreover, most locals engage in trade as their main livelihood. Try visiting the Barter Trade Center which is located on the south side of Cotobato City. It is a thriving market where you can discover different local products from jewelry to leather shoes and bags.
2. See the second-largest river in the Philippines
Rio Grande de Mindanao or Cotobato River is considered to be Mindanao’s longest river and the second-largest river in the Philippines. The river is about 96 meters wide and 182 kilometers long. It commences as the Pulangi in the central highlands of northeastern Mindanao island and streams south to connect with the Kabacan to form the Mindanao island. Aside from being used as the major inland transportation artery, it is mostly used for a wide range of water activities. Particularly, during different festivals such as the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival and the Feast of Peñafrancia.
3. Witness the picturesque view of Cotobato City from an elevated standpoint
Pedro Colina Hill, commonly known as PC Hill, is regarded as the highest point in the city. It is a 90-foot stone fort used by the natives as a watch tower during the war to detect and repel invasion from enemies. It provides a panoramic view of both the city and the Rio Grande de Mindanao. The local government initiated that around 100 houses in Cotabato City be painted with the vibrant and cheery hues of the rainbow with a tune of painted accents of the city’s representations such as gongs, “guinakit”, and crabs. This initiative transformed one of Cotobato city’s historical landmarks into a colorful hillside tourist spot.
4. Indulge yourself in local food and delicacies
Maguindanao cuisine can be found almost anywhere. One of its most popular dishes is the Pastil. It is rice topped with mashed chicken adobo meat wrapped in a sheet of banana leaf. If you are a sweet tooth then you may opt for desserts such as “Dodol”. Dodol is a softer version of the Maranao Dudul, mostly known as Calamay in other parts of the Philippines. This is a sweet and sticky snack that is commonly wrapped in folded banana leaf squares. More local delicacies that you should try are the renowned “Tinagtag,” a noodle-like roll made from rice flour; “Bulwa,” a localized version of muffins; and “Tipas,” a sweetened bread.
5. Have an unforgettable caving experience
The unique Kutang Bato Cave can be located right in the center of Cotabato city. During World War II, Filipino soldiers used this cave to outwit and combat the Japanese invading forces. It also served as a safe haven for natives when the Spaniards attempted to convert them to Christianity. There are numerous entrances to the cave spread throughout the city, although only four of these entrances are accessible to the public.
6. Know how high-quality brasswares are produced
Cotabato City is home to several Muslim skilled craftsmen and artists whose skills are rooted deeply in tradition and custom and have been transmitted from generation to generation. The brassware-making community, which continues to produce gongs and metal crafts using the conventional or traditional technique of shaping metal, is one of these artistic treasures. All are based on designs and imprints transferred from one generation to another. You may schedule a tour to see the brassware-making community located in Baranggay Kalanganan.
7. Take photos around Cotobato City’s central government office
The seat of the Cotabato City government, most commonly known as the People’s Palace, is a popular tourist destination. Since Cotabato City has been a very progressive city in the past few years, the development of this city hallmarks a new beginning of effective governance. Because of its Moro-inspired architecture, you will surely want to take a lot of pictures when you visit here. People’s Palace is located in Malagpas.
8. Visit the largest mosque in the Philippines
The Grand Mosque was named after Brunei’s Sultan, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who reportedly contributed to its development. This magnificent mosque is reported to be the largest in the Philippines. With its attractive yellow domes, beautiful minarets, and white and cream walls, it serves as one of Cotobato City’s most remarkable tourist spots. It is a massive structure that can accommodate over a thousand worshippers.
9. Take a look at the oldest Christian church in the city
Tamontaka Church is considered to be Cotabato City’s oldest Christian church. This was established around 1872 by Spanish friars, as made evident by the design and architecture. It was classified as a National Historical Landmark in 2004 and is also renowned as the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Within it, you will discover relics from history, which, along with the church that houses them, demonstrate that the Muslim and Christian religions can peacefully coexist. Among the most intriguing aspects of the Tamontaka Church is its underground passageway leading to a catacomb, which is a portion of the Cotabato cave system.
10. Browse for some Inaul weaving
Inaul is the Maguindanao people’s time-honored weaving art. Inaul, which means “woven,” is a handcrafted fabric with designs transferred from one generation to another. The lavish texture of Inaul is created by infusing silk and gold threads into pure cotton threads and weaving them in intricate methods.
If the province of Cotobato City captured your heart because of these fun and amazing things you can do here, then I have some good news for you! BRIA Homes has developed affordable housing in North and South Cotobato. You may now consider living in an economically thriving province while enjoying the above-mentioned tourist spots all over Cotobato City! BRIA Homes is gearing up to be an enticing residential community for both the locals and Cotobato’s other long-term residents looking to resettle in their home province such as retirees and returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), as well as other home seekers seeking ease of access to the breathtaking and amazing sceneries in this province of Mindanao.
BRIA Homes primes itself on developing affordable house and lot packages and easy-on-the-pocket condominium units that cater to ordinary Filipino families who aspire to acquire their own homes. It had become the perfect choice for average Filipino workers who wanted to invest in a high-quality and affordable home.
Interested property seekers can check out BRIA Homes developments through virtual tours on the BRIA website. You may also send inquiries via the official BRIA Facebook page, or reserve a property online through the BRIA reservation page.
Written by MC Sanchez