Towns and Cities

The provincial capitol of old Cotabato province, this independent component city is also known as the “Heart of Central Mindanao.” Cotabato City is the regional commercial center, minor coastal port and seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Places to See
  • The sprawling ARMM Complex, at Brgy. Rosary Heights 7, has a blend of modern and Muslim architecture.  The complex houses almost all regional offices of Region XII and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Sharif Kabunsuan Cultural Center and the Regional Museum and Library.
  • The City Hall, located in front of the plaza (intersection of Almonte, Magallanes and Makakua Sts. and Datu Odin Sinsuat Ave., Brgy. Poblacion, is a century-old structure that showcases a unique  architectural design depicting Muslim art.
  • The Old Provincial Capitol, at Brgy. Poblacion 1, has a vintage relief map hanging on one side of the wall.
  • The 33-m. high P.C. Hill (also called Tawantawan Hill), at Brgy. Poblacion I, has an old Spanish fort and now houses the Cotabato City Internal Defence Command.  It has a panoramic view of the city and the Rio Grande de Mindanao.  Also used as a watchtower, the caves at the foot of the hill were also used as an armory by the Japanese during World War II.
  • The caves at the foot of P.C. Hill were once used as an armory by the Japanese during World War II. The L-shaped Kuweba ni Satur, situated on a loft within P.C. Hill, has two entrances.  The first entails clinging to vines and ropes through a gaping hole in the ceiling and the other is through a flight of stairs.
  • The tunnel-like Bagua Cave, along San Vicente St., has fruit bats, a salty spring water pool at the entrance, awesome rock and mineral formations, freshwater wells and an underground river.  It serves as an art gallery and a venue for intimate theater and musical presentations.
  • Caverna Espanol, reached by a 21-step concrete stairway, has 3 separate tunnels.
  • The Provincial Capitol Cave, located at the back of the old Capitol building, has awesome stalactites and impressive rock and mineral formations.
  • At the foot of P.C. Hill is the 7-km. long Kutang Bato Caves.  Reopened on September 19, 1996, it has 4  major entrances.
  • The Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine, at L.R. San Sebastian Compound, Malagapas, Brgy. Rosary Heights 10, was built by the Lion’s Club of Kyoto in honor of Takumi, the Japanese World War II commander, part of whose ashes are enshrined here, and his soldiers.
  • Tamontaka Church, in Brgy. Tamontaka, was built by the Spanish Jesuits in 1872 and is the oldest church in the city. The statue of the Lady of Lourdes, at the grotto, is a replica of the original in France. The place also has a children's park, mini zoo, forest area, a small Santa Claus museum, a lot of Elvis Presley memorabilia and a diorama called "Hope of the Seeds."
  • Timako Hill Seaside Resort and Cultural Village, at Brgys. Kalanganan 1 and 2, overlooks Illana Bay and is protected by Bongo Island. It has blue green waters, white sand beach, lake, cave, wooded park and a river.  It is ideal for trekking, camping, skin diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing and other leisure activities.  The cultural village at the foot of the hill is a typical Maguindanao village where people practice traditional crafts such as brassmaking, malong weaving, mat and basket weaving, boat building and bamboo crafts. It is also a sanctuary for oral and written traditions of the people including lores, legends, dances, songs, rituals and other metaphysical culture of the tribe.
  • The Cotabato Museum, at the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook Complex, ARMM Compound, is a branch museum of the National Museum.  It was established on April 14, 1982.  It houses the ethnographic and archaeological collection of the different ethnic communities and depicts the ancient culture existing in Region 12.
Brief History
  • The city's name was derived from the word kuta meaning “fort” and bato meaning “stone.”
  • Cotabato was first organized at the later part of the 19th century when the Spaniards established a military post at what is now Brgy. Tamontaka, one of the earliest Christian settlements founded south of the Phiippines.
  • It was then officially founded in 1862 when the Pueblo de Cotabato was established
  • Christianity was introduced in the area in around the year 1870.
  • On July 1, 1950, the then Municipality of Cotabato was made into a first class municipality under Executive Order No. 466.
  • On July 10, 1959, it was made into a city
  • On June 20, 1959, Cotabato was officially created into a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 2364.

Cotabato City serves as Central Mindanao's center for economic support activities (trade and finance), education and other support services such as social, physical, cultural and other basic services.

Location and Topography

This city, situated on the northern side of the Rio Grande de Mindanao's swampy delta, is bounded on the north by Sultan Kudarat, on the east by Kabuntalan, and on the south by Datu Odin Sinsuat.

General Information
  • Area (sq. kms. ): 175.99
  • Population (2010): 271, 786
  • No. of Barangays: 37
  • Income Class: First
  • District:  First
  • Zip Code: 9600
  • Area Code: 064
Where to Dine
  • Airaleen Restaurant - Sinsuat Ave. (halal)
  • Armando’s Steak House - Sinsuat Ave. (steak, tel: 421-5211)
  • Casa Blanca Steak House - Sinsuat Ave. (steak and sizzling dishes, tel: 421-2126)
  • Circuit Resto - Circuit Rd. (Chinese and Filipino dishes)
  • Cotabato Fiesta - Circuit Rd. (Filipino dishes)
  • Jollibee - Cotabato Plaza, S.K. Pendatun Ave. cor. Makakua St. (tel: 421-9111).
  • Las Hermanas Restaurant - Sinsuat Ave. (“greaseless” chicken, Peking duck, Chinese dishes,  tel: 421-1179).
  • Lido Restaurant - Roman Vilo St. (Chinese dishes,  tel: 421-2026)
  • Mami King - Don Rufino Alonzo St.(Chinese dishes,  421-2663)
  • Sunburst Fried Chicken - Don Rufino Alonzo St. (tel: 421-2582)
  • Metro Garden Restaurant - Gen. S.K. Pendatun Ave. (seafood and Filipino dishes, tel: 421-7427)
  • Sardonyx Plaza - Sinsuat Ave. corner Gov. Gutierrez Blvd. (Chinese dishes and sizzling steaks, tel: 421-3464 & 421-2685).
Where to Stay
  • Agong Lodge, along Don Rufino Alonzo St., has 43 non-airconditioned single/double rooms with common bath.
  • Boni Lodging House, along A. Bonifacio St., has 20 non-airconditioned single rooms and offers room service.
  • Delfah Lodging House, along Gen. S.K. Pendatun Ave., has 25 non-airconditioned rooms with common bath (single, double, matrimonial) and offers room service.   Tel: 421-2869.
  • El Corazon Inn, a tourist inn along Makakua St., has 25 rooms [airconditioned (single, twin, regular, double de luxe, triple, suites) and non-airconditioned single/twin rooms with or without bath] and offers 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-3035, 421-2710 & 421-3240.
  • Estosan Garden Hotel, along Gov. Gutierrez Blvd., has airconditioned rooms with bath and cable TV (de luxe twin/double, junior suite and executive suite), restaurant (Lorenzo Lounge), coffee shops (Café Jurella, Zinugba), swimming pool, ballroom, conference room (La Cabana Hall), disco (Colours) and business center and offers laundry, pressing, van rental and 24-hr. room service.   Tel: 421-6777-81.  Fax: 421-5488.
  • Evie's Gardenville, at Second corner Don E. Sero St., has 12 airconditioned and non-air-conditioned single/double rooms with bath and TV, restaurant, swimming pool and offers 24-hr. room service.   Tel: 421-4223 & 421-2271.
  • Hotel Castro, at 47 Sinsuat Ave., has 34 airconditioned rooms with bath and cable TV (single standard/de luxe,  double standard, single/family deluxe with terrace, suites), restaurant (ihaw Ihaw sa Rooftop), coffee shop, fastfood (Tita Emma’s), jazz bar (Kiko’s) conference room, souvenir shop, business center, function room and offers car rental, laundry, pressing and 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-5343, 421-2709 & 421-1385.  Fax: 421-6406 & 421-7521 to 24.
  • Hotel Cirilo has 14 airconditioned single/double rooms with bath, rooftop function area and offers 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-3583.
  • Hotel Filipino, a tourist inn at Gen. S.K. Pendatun corner Sinsuat Ave., at the plaza, has 77 rooms [non-airconditioned single/twin rooms with or without bath, airconditioned single (with or without TV)/double (with TV)/matrimonial rooms with bath], restaurant and offers 24-hr. room service. Tel:  421-2307, 421-7232, 421- 2333 & 421-2787.
  • Hotel Romeo, along Don Rufino Alonzo St., has 10 rooms with bath (airconditioned single/double/triple, matrimonial, non-airconditioned single/ double), conference room and offers 24-hr. room service.   421-3733 & 421-7517.
  • Kayabe Pension House, along Gen. Luna St., has eight airconditioned single/double rooms, restaurant and offers 24-hr. room service.   Tel: 421-1286.
  • Leo Lodge, along Palma St., has 25 non-airconditioned single/double rooms with or without bath and offers room service.  Tel: 421-3173.
  • New Imperial Hotel, an economy-class hotel at 51 Don Rufino Alonzo St., has 85 airconditioned rooms with bath (single, twin, triple, family suite, presidential suite), restaurant, conference room, gift shop, bar and disco (201).   Tel: 21-2075 & 21- 2077 to 78.
  • Pacific Heights Hotel, at 66 Don T.V. Juliano St., has 27 airconditioned rooms with bath and TV [standard, superior, suites (de luxe, executive, family, presidential)], restaurant, 150-pax function room, ballroom, disco, karaoke bar and offers shuttle, car rental and 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-5832, 421-5193, 421-5252, 424-6416 & 421-3483.  Fax: 421-2249.
  • Padama Pension House, along Quezon Ave., near the bus terminal, has non-airconditioned rooms with or without bath.
  • Pensionne Rafael, along San Isidro St., has 23 rooms (airconditioned single/double rooms with bath and TV and non-air-con double rooms with bath) and offers car rental and 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-2941.
  • Presco Lodging House, along A. Bonifacio St., has 24 non-airconditioned rooms with common bath.  Tel: 421-2110.
  • Riverview Arcade, at A. Dorotheo corner Raja Tabunaway St., has seven airconditioned single/double rooms with bath and TV, restaurant and conference hall.   Tel: 421-3052.
  • Sanitary Lodging House, along Gen. S.K. Pendatun Ave., has 14 non-airconditioned single/double rooms with common bath and a restaurant.   Tel: 421-3129.
  • Sardonyx Pension House, along Gov. Gutierrez Ave., has 10 airconditioned single/double rooms, restaurant, conference room, videoke and offers 24-hr. room service.  Tel: 421-1364.
  • Violtan Pension House, along A. Bonifacio St., has 17 rooms [airconditioned (single, matrimonial, double/twin, family), non-airconditioned single/double rooms with or without bath], restaurant, 50-pax function room and offers room service.  Tel: 421-7289.
Where to Shop
  • Cotabato Commercial Center - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
  • Cotabato Shoppers Plaza - Don Rufino Alonzo St. corner Sinsuat Ave.
  • Filidian Bazaar - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
  • Goodmark Commercial Center - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
  • Hua Hing Trading/Yoshi Ichi - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
  • Taday’s Commercial Center - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
  • Barter Trade Center - Gov. Gutierrez Ave.
  • Maguindanao Weavers Center - Gov. Gutierrez Ave.  (beside Estosan Garden Hotel)
  • Great Eastern Trading - Shariff Kabunsuan Blvd.
  • Icon Articrafts - Quezon Ave. (tel: 421-6749)
  • Muslim Souvenirs - Sinsuat Ave.
  • Tristar Marketing - Sinsuat Ave.
  • N.D. Village Handicraft - Notre Dame Village
  • Rani’s Quality House - Makakua St.
  • Sugni Superstore - Bonfacio St.
  • Sugni Superplaza - Supermarket Site
  • Superama Superstores - Supermarket Site
How to Get There


Philippine Airlines has one daily 887-km./95-min. flight (using Boeing 737 aircraft) to Cotabato City from Manila, one 350-km./70-min. flight (using Fokker 50 aircraft) from Cebu City (Cebu), one 143-km./30-min. flight (using Fokker 50 aircraft) to Cagayan de Oro City (Misamis Oriental) and one 241-km./1-hr. flight (using Fokker 50 aircraft) from Zamboanga City (Zamboanga del Sur).

Airline Ticketing Offices:

  • Air Philippines - E&H Complex, Quezon Ave. (tel: 421-5797, fax: 421-3820)
  • Philippine Airlines - Awang Airport (tel: 421-1212)
  • Philippine Airlines - Roman Vilo St. (tel: 421-2086)


Routes (Cotabato City to:)

  • Manila: (Sulpicio Lines and WG&A Superferry)
  • Estancia(Iloilo): (Sulpicio Lines)
  • Iloilo City (Iloilo: (Sulpicio Lines and WG&A Superferry)
  • Zamboanga City (Zamboanga del Sur): (Sulpicio Lines and WG&A Superferry)

Shipping Line Offices:

  • Sulpicio Lines - Leon Garcia St. (tel: 421-2513, 421-4072, 7-2974 & 7-1853)


Distances (Cotabato City to:)

  • Kidapawan City (Cotabato): 120 kms. (3 hrs., E.V. Liner, Grand Transport, Mintranco, NCTC Bus Line and Weena Express buses)
  • Koronadal City (South Cotabato): 151 kms. (3 hrs., JD Express and Maguindanao Express buses)
  • Davao City (Davao del Sur): 227 kms. (5 hrs., Mintranco buses)
  • Islamic City of Marawi (Lanao del Sur): 143 kms. (Mintranco buses)
  • Pagadian City (Zamboanga del Sur): 180 kms. (Fortune Sunshine Express and Lilian Express buses)
  • General Santos City (South Cotabato): (JD Express and Maguindanao Express buses)

Bus Terminals:

  • E.V. Liner - Jose T. Lim Sr. corner Magallanes St.
  • Grand Transport - Jose T. Lim Sr. corner Magallanes St. (tel: 421-7541)
  • JD Express - Jose T. Lim Sr. St. (tel: 421-2788)
  • Mintranco - Don Rufino Alonzo St.  (tel: 421-3481)
  • NCTC Bus Line - Don Rufino Alonzo St.  (tel: 421-3481)
  • Station 707 - Jose T. Lim Sr. St.
  • Weena Express - Jose T. Lim Sr. corner Magallanes St.
Tourist Information Center
  • Tourism Trade and Industry Division - City Mayor's Office (tel: 421-7804)
  • City Tourism Office - (tel: 421-7804)
  • June 12-20 (Araw ng Kotabato) - Cotabato City's charter day celebration, it features cultural presentations, trade exhibits, athletic competitions (banca race, etc.), fluvial parade, beauty contest (Mutya ng Kotabato), Layang-Layang kite festival and the colorful and exciting Sagayan Festival and Dance Parade competition (Sanlahi Kalilang).
  • November 22 (Guinakit of Maguindanao) - the foundation anniversary of the province, it features a boat parade along the Rio Grande de Mindanao.  Boats, adorned with colorful flags and buntings, are mounted with gongs (kulintang) and other percussion instruments.  The word guinakit means “to secure several boats together to make them move as one.”
  • December 8 (Oor Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion)
  • December 15-19 (Sharif Kabunsuan Festival) - commemorates the arrival of the Muslim missionary in Cotabato with a re-enactment of his arrival, a colorful fluvial parade, a week-long trade fair and water competitions on the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands - corner of Don R. Alonzo and Makakua Sts. (tel: 421-3010 & 421-2205, fax: 421-2205)
  • East West Bank - Don Roman Vilo St., Sentral (tel: 421-5961 & 421-5963)
  • Philippine National Bank - 39 Makakua St. (tel: 21-2492, fax: 421-2696)
Medical Assistance
  • Cotabato Medical Specialist Hospital – Quezon Ave. (tel: 421-4145 & 421-2339)
  • Cotabato Regional and Medical Center - Sinsuat Ave.
  • Dr. P. Ocampo Hospital (25 beds) – De Mazenod Ave. Ext., Rosary Heights
  • Notre Dame Hospital - Rosary Heights
  • Puericulture Center Maternity and Children’s Hospital - Don Rufino Alonzo St.
Getting Around



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