South Cotabato

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The Prosperous Land of South Cotabato

Overview

South Cotabato is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao. Its capital is Koronadal City, and it borders Sultan Kudarat to the north and west, Sarangani to the south and east, and Davao del Sur to the east. To the southeast lies Sarangani Bay.

General Santos City, on the shores of Sarangani Bay, is the largest and most important city in the region, and is a major seaport. The province of Sarangani used to be part of South Cotabato until it was made an independent province in 1992.

South Cotabato is a natural haven for both tranquil and intrepid endeavors. It has all the cityscape extras one may want for a comfortable stay without the big city worries. Everything here is charmingly unassuming and laced with rustic appeal. This laid back way of the sets the province’s tempo of many striking contrasts that blend the east with the west, the old- world with contemporary and everyday to the exotic.

Discover our distinct culture renowned for its T’nalak weaving and set out on a cultural Odyssey. South Cotabato is a showcase of diverse cultures with interesting mutual ties, all resonant, vibrant and mysterious. Embrace the outdoors and set adrift on a boat and be introduced to our majestic Lakes or trek up to the scenic mountain terrain to come across a hidden treasure trive of stunning sights coupled with unsurpassed flora and fauna. Like the cascading waterfalls of Lake Sebu set amidst a verdant panorama or take a different path and traverse up Mt. Melibengoy to behold the wonders of Lake Holon.

Tourists Attractions

NATURAL

Mt. Matutum    

Location: Boundaries of the Municipality of Tupi, Tampakan and Polomolok in South Cotobato Province, and Malungon in Sarangani Province.

Description: Towering at 2,286 Meters Above Sea Level, it stands as the landmark of the SOCSKSARGEN area and probably the only conical shaped volcano in the Vis-Min area. Pure dense forest and waterfalls abounds at the foot of this volcano.

There are 3 established trails: Glandang Trail is the shortest, Lemblesong Trail is the oldest and it offers waterfalls and gorges. The first 2 trails offer backtracking while the 3rd which is Ulolandan offers a 3 day traverse from Landan, Polomolok to Kablon, Tupi. Jump Off Point: Tupi Side: est. Distance from GSC 32 + Km.   

Mt. Parker Ranges and Lake Maughan 

Location: T'boli, South Cotabato

Description: The older version of the now popular eco-tourism destination in Luzon, Mt. Pinatubo. Its peak known as Asamblak peak stands tall at 1,750 m ASL and holds a mossy campsite. Overlooking is the Maughan Lake at 300 m below. It is the crater lake of Mt. Parker and is estimated to be 300 ha wide.

Two popular trails exist the Salakafe Trail which goes directly to the lake via 4 to 5 hrs of smooth trail where one could savor the coolness and serenity of Lake Maughan, and the San Jose Trail at GenSan City. This trail is strenuous and goes directly to Asamblak Peak where one could not go any further and can only view the Lake at the tree viewing deck of the peak. (Jump off point : 35 + Km from GSC proper.   

Lake Sebu       

Location: Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

(Jump-off-point: 96 + km from Gen. Santos City)          

Description: Consists of islets and a large body of water (365ha) surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. Fishponds abound and migratory birds roam. The lake is home to the T'bolis, a highland tribe who has its roots in South Cotabato. A tourist can see T'bolis fishing on their wooden canoe and costume during market day. For the adventurers, one can take a hike going to the Traangkini River or take a dip at Falls #2 of the 7 lonon river-falls.

Salkak Caves 1 & 2      

Location: Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato. Reachable by 4x4 vehicle or an hour hike from the barangay of Landan (JOP: est. 32 Km from GSC)  

Description: A 222-M cave, that offers a 25-M of squeeze, a 100-M duck walks as one enters a very tight passage. It has also a 30-M vertical pit and a chamber with an open pit above.

SEVEN FALLS IN LAKE SEBU

Location: Lake Sebu, South Cotabato  

Description: Some of these falls are of more than 100 feet in height and its ideal for swimming. The first 3 falls can be reached in a day's walk. The Lonon Falls which is the largest, pours thousand of cubic meters of water to a natural pool.

MAMBUCAL SPRING

Location: Barangay Mambucal

Description: It has hot sulfuric water that is reputedly to be medicinal.

SIOK WATERFALLS

Location: Accessible only by breaking 30 minutes from Barangay Siok.

Description: A 70 feet falls that provides a challenge for mountaineering enthusiasts.

CULTURAL

T'BOLI CULTURAL COMMUNITY

Location: West of Lake Sebu

Description: A number of minorities live in the mountains of Lake Sebu.. Among them are the Tasaday's cave dwelling people who have live in isolation in high caves (4,800 ft. above sea level) in a primary rainforest area.

West of Lake Sebu is the T'boli settlement. T'bolis are famous for their colorful costumes, intricate beadwork, beautiful woven baskets and traditional brass ornaments.

STA CRUZ MISSION SCHOOL

Location: Lake Sebu

Description: A non government organization which aims to provide quality and relevant formal and non-formal education that will develop productive and self-reliant community members (indigenous people, i.e. T'boli, Manobo, B'laans, Kalagans and Maguindanaons) thru a comprehensive education program which channel to the community its triad functions in instructions, research and extension.

MAN MADE

ABIERA FARMS

Location: Palkan, South Cotabato, 20-minute ride from the city

Description: Collection of ground and serial orchids as well as indigenous flowers can be found.

KALSANGI

Location: Kalsangi, Polomolok

Description: The site of the DOLE Philippines (DOLEFIL) Clubhouse, it is laid out beautifully laid the foot of Mt. Matutum. It includes the housing projects of DOLEFIL executives, a school, restaurant, swimming pool, golf course and guest house. It is also a jump-off point for climbing Mt. Matutum.

Note:

- Appointment with the personnel Manager of DOLEFIL should be done prior to visit to Kalsangi

WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AND ZOO

Location: Barangay Sarabia

Description: This Protected area is home to rare species of flora and fauna

T'BOLI MUSEUM

Location: Lake Sebu

Description: It houses historical, archaeological and ethno-cultural collections including crafts and novelty items.

List of Accommodations

  • Ramona Plaza Hotel - Gensan drive, Koronadal city
  • Gensan drive, Koronadal city - GensanDrive, KoronadalCity
  • Rose Carmen Pension House - GensanDrive, KoronadalCity
  • ATI Dormitory - Brgy. San Felipe, Tantangan, South Cotabato
  • Sunrise Inn - Brgy. Morales, KoronadalCity
  • The Signature Place - Nat’l. Highway, Sto. Niño, South Cotabato
  • Greenwoods Retreat House and Convention Center - Brgy. Morales, KoronadalCity
  • Green State Suites - Arellano Street, KoronadalCity
  • SOCSARGEN SamahangNayon -  KoronadalCity, South Cotabato
  • Tourism Lodge - Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
  • The Farm @ Carpenter Hills - Brgy. Carpenter Hill, KoronadalCity
  • The Inn @ Lyndale’s Garden - Causing Comp, 1st Blk Baldostamon Subdivision, Koronadal City

List of Restaurants

  • ARPOCHI SEAFOODS - SMRAA Grounds, Koronadal City
  • BFE FOOD PRODUCT - Cannery, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • BJ's LECHON HOUSE - Abad Santos St. Koronadal City
  • BUHAY BARYO PARK & RESTO - National Highway, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • ESMA RESTAURANT - Cannery Road, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • FERINZE BAKER AND RESTAURANT - Sinsuat St. , Koronadal City
  • FIGUEROA HIGHLANDS - Matulas, Koronadal City
  • GEORGE ANGEL'S FOOD HAUS - Gensan Drive , Koronadal City
  • JASMINE FARM & GRILL - Barangay Sto.Niño, Bo.2 Koronadal City
  • LANTAW MARBEL RESTAURANT - Brgy. Paraiso, Koronadal City
  • MANG GORIO BAHAY KAINAN - General Santos Drive , Koronadal City

How to get there

By Air: 

  • PAL       - Daily flights from Manila to Gensan City and back
  • Air Phil  - Daily flights from Manila, Cebu and Ilo-ilo to Gensan City and vice-versa.

By Land:         

Yellow Bus Lines, Holidays, and STM maintain bus routes from Davao City to Koronadal via Gensan City (4hrs.). Husky and Unity Trans buses ply Gensan to Koronadal route for 1hour. Rural Transit serves the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Tacurong City (7-8hrs.).  Tacurong is mere 30 minutes by van to Koronadal. Rates are from PhP100-130 (Davao-GSC), PhP30-50 (GSC-Koronadal) and PhP336-350 (CDO-Tacurong) and PhP25-35 (Tacurong City-Koronadal).

From Koronadal, one can take the Yellow Bus Lines or Van plying the Surallah route (20 minutes), then take the public jeep to Lake Sebu (25 minutes).  Van rentals are available in daily rate basis.

By Sea:           

  • Supper Ferry (WG&A) Leaves Manila every Monday and Saturday to GSC via Ilo-ilo
  • Negros Navigation (NN) – departs from Manila to GSC every Monday via  Iloilo and Zamboanga
  • Sulpicio Lines – sails  from  Manila  to  GSC  every Tuesday  via  Iloilo  and Zamboanga; and from Cebu to GSC every Friday.