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Caves at the Heart of the City

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The only caves in the country that is right in the heart of the city are the Kutawato Caves. It’s various entrances; all within traffic is a rarity that can only be had in the “ Heart of Mindanao- Cotabato City”.

These caves were also the source of the city’s present name for “kuta” means fort and “wato” means stone hence the name fort of stone, which later became cotabato. Kutawato caves with its walls of white, beige and brownish shade glitters in the dark and echoes a colorful past dating back to the days when no foreign foot yet trampled upon this island.

This caves had given sanctuary to the natives when the Spaniards tried to convert them into the castillan faith and has thus served the purposed when Filipino guerillas fought the invading force of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.

When the Japanese firepower proved superior to that of the natives, the caves then used as an armory and even as a garrison. Within its confines, tortured and oppressed souls that thirst for freedom and democracy echoed their faint moans and cries that were buried in its bosoms, muted for over half a century.

Formally re-opened and blessed on September 19, 1996, the outwait caves of cotabato city has once again reverberated the voices of the cotabateños; this time however, in a peacefully happy tone.

Located at the foot of the “Tantawan” or P.C. hill, the cave is reputed to be seven kilometers long and of formidable, solid rock. Having four major entrances, each gaping mouth offers unique experience to its visitors.

At the back of the historic Old Provincial Capitol building and descending a plight of steps that was build for access to its bottom the cave welcomes the visitor to an awesome sight of stalactites and stalagmites. In addition, it likewise offers an impressive display of rock and mineral formations and deposits.

Ideal for adventurous, one can scale its wall that rises to a height of 50 feet and discover chambers and caverns that the untrained eye would easily miss. Ideal for spelunking and simply nature tripping, the cave will definitely meet the expectations.

Located along San Vicente Street, thus cave offers the visitor another kind of thrill. Greeting you at a entrance is a natural pond of salty spring water flowing clearly towards its length. Bounded by two of these ponds is a gallery, that serves as a launching pad for art and photo exhibits intimated theatre and musical presentations.

This tunnel-like cave boast also of an awesome rock and mineral formation, an army of fruits bats, a fresh water well and hidden chambers believed old folks to still hide the treasures left behind by the retreating Japanese forces.

Named its interior of Spanish dungeons, complete with inscriptions, torch holders alongside its chambers and iron grills. Used as a jail by the Japanese Army in the height of war, it offers three separate tunnels inside which can be reach after going down twenty-one plights of concrete stairs.

Situated aloft within the Tantawan or P.C. hill this L-shaped cave offers two entrances, either vertically through a gaping hole by way of clinging vines or a rope, and horizontally after scaling another plight of stairs. Believed then to be the mouth of hell, as it was reputed to be a pit of snakes; thus was feared by the natives and generations that followed through there by earning the moniker “Kweba ni Satur”.


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