Saturday, December 17, 2011

Region XII - Central Mindanao


    Central Mindanao is known in history as the site where the Muslim faith was introduced. It is composed of North Cotobato, South Cotobato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.


Central Mindanao comprises the provinces of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato, and the three cities of Cotabato City in Maguindanao, and Marawi City and Iligan City in Lanao del Sur. It has a total land area of 14,571,3 sq.kms. The province of Lanao del Sur which opted to join the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), is located between Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.

Lanao del Norte’s boundary on the north is Iligan Bay, south are Moro Gulf and Lanao del Sur, northeast is the province of Misamis Oriental and east is Bukidnon. North Cotabato is bound on the north by Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, on the south by Sultan Kudarat, on the west by Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

Since it is surrounded by the bays of iligan, Illana and Panguil and the Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea, this strategic location allows it to establish trade relations with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

Since it is in a typhoon free area, it good potential for agribusiness and agro-industrial enterprises .

Central Mindanao was once part of the Sultanate of Maguindanao. It was inhabited by Manobos. In 1861, the Sultan of Maguindanao acceded to Spanish rule. In 1901, the American government formed Cotabato as a province. It covered what are presently known as North and South Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Christian settlers from Luzon and Visayas established homes in Central Mindanao, which was then considered Muslim territory.


Based on the 2000 national census; the region had a total population of 2,494,000. This increased by 5.4% from its population of 2,359,808 in 1995. In 1990, there were 700,470 males (50.9%) and 675,938 females.

Around 70% of the total population in Central Mindanao are migrants Cebuanos, Hiligaynons, Ilocanos and Tagalogs. Native to the region are the Maranaos, Maguindanaons and other ethnic tribes.


Heavy rain during the months of June to October. There are dry spells from February to June. The two provinces are seldom visited by typhoons.


Its total land area of 965,794 hectares are divided as follows: forest- land: 32%; agriculture: 65%; mining and quarrying: 1.69%; and the rest for other land uses.

Fishing is a major economic activity because of the rich fishing grounds of Iligan Bay, the Moro Gulf and the Celebes Sea. Its water resources include the Maria Cristina Falls, large and numerous rivers, lakes and streams.

It has rich mineral resources such as gold, copper, iron, chromium, silver, zinc, clay gypsum, limestone and phosphate. It is also the main source for hydroelectric power for Mindanao.


The major earners in the region are fishing, agriculture and forest- related products. Hydroelectric power is provided by the Maria Cristina Falls. Steel, cement and coconut oil are some of the important products of the region. Coconut, pineapple, rubber, sugarcane, rice, corn, banana and other fruits are the main agricultural produce.

Central Mindanao is part of three Area Development Zones (ADZs): Cagayan – Iligan Industrial Corridor, the Greater Cotabato – Illana Bay ADZ and the Panguil Bay- Mt. Malindang ADZ. The Cagayan – Iligan Industrial Corridor will be the center for heavy industry and bulk supplier of industrial inputs and finished industrial products. It is envisioned to be a trade center for processed agri-based products as well as for intermediate and finished products.


The city of Iligan in Lanao del Norte serves as the urban center of Central Mindanao. Light to heavy industries, tourist facilities, and institutions of higher learning can be found in the area.


Maria Cristina Falls and other tourist attractions are found in the region. Electricity, water systems, transportation, telecommunication and postal facilities are also available.

Political Divisions

Pop. density
(per km²)
CotabatoKidapawan City958,6436,565.9146.0
South CotabatoKoronadal City690,7283,996.1172.9
Sultan KudaratIsulan586,5054,714.8124.4


Province of North Cotabato

North Cotabato is a landlocked province of the Philippines located at the interior of Mindanao Island in Soccsksargen Region. The 9th largest in terms of land area (see comparison of provinces), it is bounded on the north by Lanao Del Sur and Bukidnon, on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the south by Sultan Kudarat, and on the west byMaguindanao. Topography is dominated by mountains in the northern and eastern part of the province while the southern portion is a part of the vast plain of CentralMindanao. Climate is characterized by not very pronounced seasons: relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.
North Cotabato provincial capitol

Located on the western foothills of Mount Apo in North Cotabato Province at the heart of Mindanao Island, Kidapawan is only two hours by bus from Davao City in the east and around two and a half hours from Cotabato City in the west. It is bounded on the north by the town of Magpet, on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the south by Makilala town, and on the west by the towns of M'lang and Matalam. Also known as the city of fruits and highland springs, Kidapawan has a cool and refreshing climate and is a favorite destination during summer.
The city covers a total land area of 358.5 square kilometers and is composed of 40 barangays most of which are rural areas.
The city is the cultural center of the province particularly of the Manobo tribe. The Kalibongan Festival is held in August every year. Colorful parades and cultural presentations are featured.

Economic Profile, Products, and Industries

Although Kidapawan is considered the commercial and trading hub of centralMindanao, agriculture is still the chief economic activity. Fruits like banana, durian, lanzones, marang, mangosteen, and rambutan are grown abundantly within the city. Other farm products are rice, corn, coconut, vegetables, rubber, and abaca. The city has a thriving cutflower and ornamental plants industry.

Province of South Cotabato

South Cotobato is the home province of the T'boli tribe, who are known for their colorful costumes, intricate beadwork, woven baskets, and traditional brass ornaments. Lake Sebu, which is surrounded by rolling hills and waterfalls, is the site of the Lemlunay Cultural Festival every last week of November, and Lake Maughan is the source of 5 big rivers, and is abundant with flora and fauna, including the rare Tigris Butterfly. Mt. Matutum, located in the countryside, is a haven for climbers and trekkers. Waterfalls include Lumabat, Lumakot, Matamos and Narcon.

South Cotabato is a province of the Philippines located in Southern MindanaoRegion. It is bounded on the north and on the west by Sultan Kudarat, on the east by the eastern part of Sarangani, on the south by Sarangani Bay and the western part of Sarangani. Topography consists of a vast valley from General Santos City to the municipality of Norala with high mountains in the northeast and the southwest. Mount Matumtum is the tallest mountain with a height of 2,293 meters followed by Mt. Busa (2,083) and Mt. Magolo (1,450). Climate in the southern part of the province is of Type IV while the northern part is of Type III. Type IV is characterized by rainfall which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year while in Type III, seasons are not very pronounced, relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.
South Cotabato provincial capitol

South Cotabato Provincial Capitol


  • 1st District Representative: Mr. Pedro Acharon Jr.
  • 2nd District Representative: Mrs. Daisy Avance Fuentes
  • Governor: Mr. Arthur Y. Pingoy, M.D.
  • Vice Governor: Mr. Elmo B. Tolosa, M.D.

Famous for seafoods particularly yellow fin tuna, General Santos City or Gensan for short is one of the key cities of the PhilippinesClassified as a highly urbanized city, it lies on the southern coast of Mindanao facing Sarangani Bay. It is the gateway toRegion 12 also know by its acronym SoCCSKSargen. Neighboring towns are Malungon and Alabel of Sarangani Province in the east, Maasim also of Sarangani in the southwest, T'boli of South Cotabato in the west and Polomolok also of South Cotabato Province in the north.

Awarded as the most business friendly city in Mindanao, Koronadal City is located on the northern part of South Cotabato province in Southern Mindanao. It is the seat of the provincial government of South Cotabato and one of only two cities of the province. The other is General Santos City. The city is bounded on the northwest by the town of Tantangan, on the northeast by Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat, on the southeast by Tampakan town, and on the southwest by Banga town. The city is situated on the southern part of the great plain of Central Mindanao. Mountain ranges however, defined the city's terrain in the east and in the southwest.
Executive Order no. 304 made Koronadal City the regional center of Region 12. It is accessible by air and by sea via General Santos City which is only an hour-drive away. It is traversed by the Maharlika Highway which is the main access road to this city.Travelling from Davao City via Gensan is about four hours but via Makilala town of North Cotabato is three to four hours. Coming from Cotabato City takes around two to three hours.
Hiligaynon is the dialect of the majority of the people. Other dialects spoken are Cebuano, Ilocano, and Maguindanao. English and Tagalog are widely used in schools, business and government offices.
Agriculture is the main engine of the city's economy. Primary products are rice, corn, coconut, and palm oil. Aquaculture is an alternative source of income and several residents are fishpond operators. Industries include woodcrafts, metalworks and farm implements.

Province of Sarangani

Sarangani's main attraction is the Sarangani Island which consists of blue lagoons, white sand beaches and tropical rain forest. Other beaches include Siguel and Gumasa, which has been compared to Boracay for its powdery, white sand. Another natural site is the Ayub Caves, where prehistoric pottery were discovered. Tampat is the site of a shrine and ancient tombs of the ruling Sultanates of Maguindanao.

Sarangani is a province of the Philippines located in southern Mindanao. It is divided into eastern and western parts separated by Sarangani Bay. It is bounded on the north by South Cotabato, on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the south by Mindanao Sea, and on the west by Sultan Kudarat. The province can be reached via the airport or seaport ofGeneral Santos City or Davao City. Terrain is mostly mountainous with narrow flat coastal areas. Climate is of Type IV in which rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year.
Sarangani provincial capitol

Sarangani Provincial Capitol

 Province of Sultan Kudarat

Sultan Kudarat, named after the great ruler of Mindanao and Sulu during the 17th Century, is a big producer of food, especially fruits and vegetables. The people consists of Maguindanoans, Tirurays, Hiligaynons, Ilocanos and Cebuanos. Natural attractions include Marquez and Columbio Hot Springs, Lebak Caves, Buluan Lake, and Lebak and Kalamansig Beaches. The Waling-Waling Orchid can also be found in Sultan Kudarat.

Sultan Kudarat is a province of the Philippines which is located in the southern part of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by North Cotabato and Maguindanao, on the east by Davao Del Sur, on the south by South Cotabato and Sarangani, and on the west by Mindanao Sea. Mountains dominate the western landscape while the eastern part is mostly flat, being a part of the vast central plain of Mindanao. The climate of the southern part is characterized by rainfall which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year while the rest of the province experience seasons that are not very pronounced, relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.
Sultan Kudarat provincial capitol

Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol

Situated at the heart of Central Mindanao, Tacurong City is the only city and premier trading center of of Sultan Kudarat province. It is bounded on the north by the town of Lamboyong, on the east by President Quirino town, on the south by the town of Tantangan in South Cotabato, and on the west by the capital town of Isulan. It has a total land area of 153.4 square kilometers. Terrain is generally flat, the area being a part of the vast central plain of Mindanao. It has also a favorable climate, being away from the typhoon belt.
Among the 4 cities of Region 12, also known as SoCCSKSarGen, Tacurong is the least populated. Dialects spoken are Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Maguindanao. English and Tagalog are widely used in schools, government and business offices. The citycelebrates the Talakudong Festival to coincide with the foundation day of the city. It features native dancers in colorful costumes and ethnic musical instruments.
Famous Tourist Attractions
  • Mt. Apo in Kidapawan City - Several trails lead to the summit, coming from Kidapawan, North Cotabato. An average hike requires 2–4 days. Various sights include Lake Venado, one of the highest lakes in the Philippines, and the old crater of Mt. Apo near its summit. In the classification system used by local popular mountaineering website, the difficulty of the hike is 7 out of 9. The mountain may be climbed year-round.
  • Lake Sebu in Lake Sebu - is a natural lake located in the municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and within the Alah Valley region. The Philippine government has recognized it as one of the country's most important watersheds. Lake Sebu is one of the many bodies of water supplying important irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South is one of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the Region. famous for its 2 km Zipline, Longest in the Philippines.
  • Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City - the most visited site in Tacurong, the Baras Bird Sanctuary is truly a humbling experience. In an almost two hectares of land lying by a river bank here, the crack of dawn offers a melodious harmony of birds; thousands dot the skies also during sunsets, a pleasure for bird watchers.
  • Gumasa Beach in Glan - dubbed as the "Small Boracay in Mindanao" Barangay Gumasa has a six kilometer-long crescent beach on Sarangani's eastern shore and only about an hour's drive from General Santos City.Gumasa Beach, the Small Boracay of Mindanao or Boracay of the South, whatever name herein is the beauty of the beach. The white sand and fine crystal land makes your feet comportable to walk around the beach.
  • Fishport Complex in General Santos City - The tuna fishing industry had never been this promising and lucrative since its birth on this side of the earth-General Santos City. Lying at the head of the Sarangani Bay, the city has been dubbed the “Boom Town City of the South,” and considered as one of the fastest-growing cities in the Philippines.Had it not been for its strategic geographical location and existence of other amenities needed by the fishing industry, General Santos City could not have become South Cotabato’s heart of commerce and trade. Boosted with the signs of prosperity sprouting everywhere,” business has never been better,”. With the advent of the operation of General Santos City Fish Port Complex, post-harvest technology equipment needed to prolong the shelf-life of tuna and other species of fish, are made available, thus playing a vital role for trading and other post harvest activities.

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