Cotabato City

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Independent Component City
City of Cotabato
Cotabato City Hall ARMM Regional Center architectural details.jpg
Mall of Alnor Down town Cotabato City.jpg
City Hall of Cotabato (top), ARMM Regional Center , Mall of Alnor and Downtown Cotabato City
Official seal of Cotabato
Nickname(s): Stone Fortress of Mindanao
Map of Maguindanao highlighting Cotabato City
Map of Maguindanao highlighting Cotabato City
Cotabato is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 7°13′N 124°15′E / 7.22°N 124.25°E / 7.22; 124.25Coordinates: 7°13′N 124°15′E / 7.22°N 124.25°E / 7.22; 124.25
Country Philippines
Region Soccsksargen (Region XII)
Province Maguindanao (geographically only)
District 1st District of Maguindanao
During Manobo Period 13th Century
Founded as capital of Maguindanao Sultanate 1520
Founding of Pueblo de Cotabato 1862
Cityhood June 20, 1959
Founded by Apo Mamalu and Apo Tabunaway
Barangays 37
 • Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi (NPC)
 • Total 176.00 km2 (67.95 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[2]
 • Total 299,438
 • Density 1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 9600
IDD:area code +63 (0)64
Income class 3rd city income class
PSGC 129804000
Electorate 103,530 voters as of 2016

Cotabato City, officially the City of Cotabato (Malay: Kota Batu; Maguindanaoan: Kuta Wato; Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Cotabato; Hiligaynon: Dakbanwa/Syudad sang Cotabato; Filipino: Lungsod ng Cotabato; Spanish: Ciudad de Cotabato), is a city in the Philippines in the province of Maguindanao, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 299,438.[2]

Although Cotabato City is the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but the city is administratively part of the Soccsksargen region, which is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, (North) Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, as well as the highly urbanized city of General Santos. Cotabato City is an independent component city, not subject to regulation from the Provincial Government of Maguindanao where it is geographically located. The Philippine Statistics Authority also list Cotabato City as statistically independent. For geographical and legislative purposes, it is grouped with the province of Maguindanao but still does not belong to the ARMM.[3]

Cotabato City is distinct from and should not be confused with the province of Cotabato. The city was chartered by the virtue of Republic Act No. 2364.


The Spanish fortress in Cotabato, El Fuerte Reina Regente, 1896

The name Cotabato was derived from the Maguindanao word kuta wato and the Malay Bruneian word of Kota Batu, or City of Stone; kota mean city or fortress, and batu mean rock or stone.[3]

Following the Spanish evacuation in Jan. 1899, Datu Piang led the Moro's in a massacre of the remaining Christian community, enslaving those they did not kill.[4]:529–530 Americans arrived in Mindanao in 1900 after the Spanish–American War ended in 1898. Cotabato town was part of Moro Province and of Department of Mindanao and Sulu from 1903 to 1920, when the Empire Province of Cotabato, referred to as "Moroland" by the Americans, was founded with the town as the capital, with Datu Piang as its first governor.[3]

Datu Piang, fourth from the left, with American officers circa 1899. He was the first governor of the Empire Province of Cotabato; Cotabato City was once the capital of the province from 1920 to 1967.

Several towns were carved off from Cotabato town since the year 1913, with Pikit being the first one founded by Cebuano Christian colonists. Dulawan (now Datu Piang, Maguindanao) and Midsayap were incorporated as regular municipalities in 1936. In 1942, at the beginning of the Pacific Front of World War II, the Japanese Imperial forces entered what is now Maguindanao province. In 1945, Maguindanao was liberated by allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and Muslim Maguindanaoan guerrilla units after defeating the Japanese Imperial forces in the Battle of Maguindanao during the Second World War.[3] In August 18, 1947, just two years after the Second World War and a year after the official inauguration of Philippine independence, the number of towns in the gigantic Cotabato province were multiplied by Executive Order No. 82 signed by President Manuel Roxas, namely: Kidapawan, Pagalungan, Buayan, Marbel, Parang, Nuling, Dinaig, Salaman, Buluan, Kiamba, and Cabacan, a total of eleven (11) towns added to the previous four towns; the newly founded towns of Kabuntalan, Pikit (conversion as regular municipality), and Glan added up in September 30, 1949. More and more newly created towns added up in the province's number of towns as the province entered the second half of the 20th century.[3]

On July 1, 1950, the then Municipality of Cotabato was made first class municipality under Executive Order No. 466. Nine years later, it became a city on July 10, 1959, and on June 20, 1959 it was officially created into a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No. 2364.[3]

The city used to be part of the original Province of Cotabato and was its capital from 1920 until 1967, a year after the separation of South Cotabato; since then the city was the administrative center of the ARMM when Maguindanao was carved out in 1973. However, the city broke off administratively from Maguindanao as it rejoined Soccsksargen in the 1990s. Now many sources consider the city as part of the present Cotabato province, although geographically it is still considered part of Maguindanao.[3]


Cotabato is approximately 698.9 nautical miles (1,294.4 kilometres) from Manila, the country's capital, and is bounded by the municipalities of Sultan Kudarat to the north—with Rio Grande de Mindanao separating the two—Kabuntalan to the east, and Datu Odin Sinsuat to the south. The city faces Illana Bay, part of the Moro Gulf, to the west.

Cotabato City has a total land area of 176.0 square kilometers, located at the mouth of the Rio Grande de Mindanao and Pulangi River.[5]


Cotabato City is politically subdivided into 37 barangays.

  • Bagua Proper
  • Bagua I
  • Bagua II
  • Bagua III
  • Kalanganan
  • Kalanganan I
  • Kalanganan II
  • Poblacion Proper
  • Poblacion I (Sultan Kudarat Mopak)
  • Poblacion II (Sultan Depatuan Kudarat)
  • Poblacion III (Sultan Wadaullah Bolkiah)
  • Poblacion IV (Sultan Ali Molay Mopak)
  • Poblacion V (Sultan Shariff Baguilan)
  • Poblacion VI (Shariff Kabunsuan)
  • Poblacion VII (Shariff Abdullaziz)
  • Poblacion VIII (Shariff Kansay)
  • Poblacion IX (Shariff Al Nayan )
  • Rosary Heights Proper
  • Rosary Heights I
  • Rosary Heights II
  • Rosary Heights III
  • Rosary Heights IV
  • Rosary Heights V
  • Rosary Heights VI
  • Rosary Heights VII
  • Rosary Heights VIII
  • Rosary Heights IX
  • Rosary Heights X
  • Rosary Heights XI
  • Rosary Heights XII
  • Rosary Heights XIII
  • Tamontaka Proper
  • Tamontaka I
  • Tamontaka II
  • Tamontaka III
  • Tamontaka IV
  • Tamontaka V


Under the Köppen climate classification system, Cotabato City features a tropical rainforest climate (Af), falling just short of a tropical monsoon climate (Am).

Climate data for Cotabato City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32
Average low °C (°F) 21
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60


Downtown Cotabato City
Population census of Cotabato City
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1970 61,184 —    
1975 67,097 +1.87%
1980 83,871 +4.56%
1990 127,065 +4.24%
1995 146,779 +2.74%
2000 163,849 +2.39%
2007 259,153 +6.53%
2010 271,786 +1.75%
2015 299,438 +1.86%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[2][7][8][9]

The majority of the inhabitants of Cotabato City are Maguindanaoan, comprising about 66% of the city's population. There are sizable ethnic populations of Maranaos (8%), Tagalog (9%), Cebuano (8%) and Ilonggo (6%). The remainder of the population belongs to other ethnicities (e.g. Iranon, Binisaya, Tausug, Chavacano).

The main language is Maguindanao. Other languages spoken in Cotabato City are Cebuano, Ilonggo and Chavacano, spoken by both Christians and Muslims as well as Tagalog, Maranao, English and Arabic. The dialect evolved from Chavacano native to Cotabato City is called Cotabateño.


Today, the majority of the city's population is Muslim, comprising about 80% of the population. The majority of Muslims in Cotabato City are Sunnites. The majority of Christians in Cotabato City are Roman Catholics, most of whom are Cebuanos, Ilonggos and Chavacanos. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotabato is headed by Orlando Cardinal Quivedo.


Citymall along Governor Gutierez Avenue

The city's economy relays on the following major industries:

  • Retailing Industry: The city is the shopping and commerce hub of central Mindanao, the city has the following shopping centers:
  1. Mall of Alnor (Local brand)
  2. South Seas Complex (Local brand)
  3. Superama (Local brand)
  4. CityMall (National Brand)
  5. Puregold (National Brand)
  6. Fiesta Mall (National Brand)
  • Aquaculture Industry: Cotabato city has a more or less 1,700 hectares of fishponds which has an annual productions of 85,000 kg of Crab, 75,000 kg of Prawn and 180,000kg of Milkfish.

Landmark and parks[edit]

Rio Grande de Mindanao at Cotabato City
Sultan Hassanal Bolkia Mosque
Church of the Immaculate Conception of Tamontaka
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception of Tamontaka: The oldest church, of Spanish architecture and design, was built by the Jesuits. This is where the old settlement was built in 1872. During the 1976 Moro Gulf earthquake, a portion of the church collapsed but the Oblate Fathers restored the ruin parts following the original design.
  • Immaculada Concepcion Cathedral: It is the Central Mindanao center of Catholic Preaching.
  • Lourdes Grotto: A replica of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France.
  • Kutawato Caves is only cave system found in the heart of a Philippine City, it is located in the foot of PC Hill.
  • Old Cotabato City Hall Museum: A century old structure which houses Marines Camp. It showcases the architectural design of the Maguindanaon Art.
  • Old Provincial Capitol: An early American architecture which was the seat of then Empire Province of Cotabato. It houses now by the reserved Military Soldiers.
  • People's Palace: A structure located at Malagapas, Barangay Rosary Heights 10 combining ethno-modern architectural with Muslim-inspired roof symbolizing its royalty and Roman art symbolizing the existence of Christianity in the City. The entire bureaucracy of the Executive Department are now housed under one roof.
ARMM Regional Building
  • ORC Complex: The regional seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which composed of different government offices of the entire region of ARMM and some offices of the SOCCSARGEN. Most buildings are built with state-of-the-art Islamic architecture.
  • Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine: A monument in honor of Takumi Butai and the Japanese soldiers who died here during the Second World War. Takumi was the Provincial Commander of the Japanese forces assigned in Cotabato City. Before he died, he requested that some of his ashes be buried in Cotabato City. This shrine was put up by the Lion's Club of Kyoto, Japan in cooperation with the City Government of Cotabato.
  • Tantawan Park: This park is build at the foot of Pedro Colina Hill which stand the huge golden statue of Sultan Kudarat.
  • Pedro Colina (PC Hill): A stone fort towering over the city with a height of 90 feet, now houses the Cotabato city Internal Defense Command. This is Cotabato City's famous landmark, this historic hill served as a watch tower for the natives in their defense drive to detect and repel assaults by enemies. From this hill, one can have a panoramic view of the city, its surrounding areas, and the Rio Grande de Mindanao.


Guinakit Fluvial Parade in Cotabato City
  • Araw ng Kutabato (June 12–25): It commemorates the city’s charter anniversary officially commencing on Independence Day (June 12). Capping the celebration is the selection of the city’s fairest maiden in the Search for the Mutya ng Kutabato and the mammoth civic/military and cultural dance parade dubbed as the "Lilang-lilang Festival".
  • Our Lady of Peñafrancia Fiesta (3rd Sunday of September): Celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia hosted by the Bicolano Association of Cotabato City. This annual event is a replica of the same event in Naga City.
  • Immaculate Conception Fiesta (December 8): The patroness of Cotabato City, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is held from the first day of December.
  • Shariff Kabunsuan Festival (December 15–19): Celebrated in honor of Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan, an Arab missionary from Johore who planted the seed of Islam in Central Mindanao. With his arrival came the Sultanate form of government and Royal houses, the Madrasa system of education, trade, commerce, to name a few.


Cotabato City can be reached via Cotabato Airport in neighboring Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines maintains connecting the city to Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga.

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Cities". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Census of Population (2015). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Cotabato City". Philippine Information Agency, Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 23 August 2017.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Foreman, J., 1906, The Philippine Islands: A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  5. ^ Disaster Preparedness of Schools by Abdul Raffi A. Abas
  6. ^ "Historical Weather for Cotabato, Soccsksargen, Philippines". Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  7. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Province of". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Cotabato City in Sisterhood with Sultan Kudarat Municipality". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  11. ^ "Malaysian investors in Cotabato City". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  12. ^ "Mindanao LGUs emulate best Indonesian city – The Standard". 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 

External links[edit]