|Where to Go|
|The KUTAWATO CAVES|
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.
Old Cotabato City Hall
New City Hall
A majestic structure located at Malagapas, Barangay Rosary Heights 10, combining ethno-modern architectural with Muslim-inspired roof symbolizing its royalty. The entire bureaucracy of the Executive Department are now housed under one roof.
Old Provincial Capitol
Of early American architecture, it was the seat of then Empire Province of Cotabato.
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 earthquake, a portion of the church collapsed but the Oblate Fathers restored the ruin parts following the original design.
Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine
The shrine was named after Col. Takumi Butai, the Provincial Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the then empire Province of Cotabato during the Second World War. Upon Takumi's request, part of his ashes was enshrined in Cotabato City, a place he considered his second home. The month of August is recognized by the Japanese as All Souls Month. It ushers a sentimental journey of relatives, friends and compatriots back to the city to pay homage to a fallen hero.
Overlooking the Illana Bay, it is protected by Bongo Island. The place is a good resort with bluegreen waters, sandy white beach, lake and cave, wooded park and a river, is ideal for camping, skin diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing and other water sports. It likewise offer nature lovers and ideal place for trekking, bird and white monkey watching and other lesure activities. The cultural village which will be set at the foot of the hill is a typical Maguindanao village where people practice the 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.
Regional Autonomous Government Center
It houses almost all regional offices of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and has a unique blend of modern and muslim architecture. Within the complex, a guest can visit the regional library, museum and on season can witness cultural spectacles at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center.
Masla Pulangi or Rio Grande de Mindanao
Reputedly the second longest river in the country, it is estimated to be 182 kilometers and 96 meters wide. It is not only of aesthetic value but also of economic importance. Water sport and boat racing are the popular attractions of the river, usually held to coincide with the feast of Hariraya Puasa, Hariraya Hadj, Maulidin Nabi, Araw ng Kutabato, Our Lady of Peñafrancia Fiesta and Shariff Kabunsuan Festival.
Located at the foot of the hill, it is the only cave in the entire country located in the heart of the city. It has four major entrances offering various natural attractions like rock formations, salt water ponds, underground river and an army of fruit bats. It is also rich in historical and cultural legacy, and ideal for guided tour and spelunking.
The Kutawato Caves
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.
PROVINCIAL CAPITOL CAVE
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.
KWEBA NI SATUR
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”.