Paniki Falls side view located at Umpan, Village Barangay Balabag, Kidapawan City By Techleaders – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Exploring Cotabato Province: A Hidden Gem in the Philippines

Cotabato, often referred to as North Cotabato, is a landlocked province situated in the SOCCSKSARGEN region (Central Mindanao) in the Philippines. Its provincial capital is Kidapawan City.

It boasts a rich tapestry of cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and a historical narrative that attracts history buffs and adventure seekers alike. Here’s a closer look at what makes Cotabato worth a visit.

Cultural Diversity

Cotabato is a melting pot of various indigenous groups, including the Maguindanaon, the Manobo, and the Ilongots. Each ethnic group brings their unique traditions, languages, and crafts to the province, creating a vibrant cultural mosaic. Festivals such as the Kalivungan Festival celebrate this diversity through music, dance, and traditional games.

Natural Attractions

Mt. Apo

As the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo is a prominent natural landmark in Cotabato. It is a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers, offering challenging trails, stunning vistas, and a chance to encounter diverse wildlife.

Mount Apo by Kleomarlo

Lake Venado

Located at the foot of Mt. Apo, Lake Venado is known for its crystal-clear waters and serene environment. It’s a perfect spot for camping and is widely recognized for its mirror-like reflection of the sky, especially during calm weather.

Asik-Asik Falls

Hidden in the remote areas of Alamada, Asik-Asik Falls presents a unique curtain of water cascading down lush greenery instead of a typical waterfall flowing from a river. The trek to the waterfall is an adventure in itself, through verdant landscapes and ends with the rewarding sight of this natural wonder.

by Tanaw Ilonggo

Historical Significance

Cotabato has a storied past, with influences from various rulers and colonizers. Landmarks like the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, mirror the Islamic heritage of the region. The T’boli Museum in the neighboring South Cotabato offers insights into the province’s history through artifacts and exhibits.

Culinary Delights

The cuisine of Cotabato is as diverse as its culture. Local dishes are flavored with a blend of spices and ingredients unique to the area. Specialties include piaparan, a chicken dish cooked with turmeric and coconut milk, and pastil, a popular street food consisting of rice wrapped in banana leaves with a choice of savory toppings.

by Cotabato Province-Official


Cotabato province offers a unique blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and historical depth, making it a worthwhile destination for travelers looking to experience a less commercialized side of the Philippines. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history aficionado, or someone looking to delve into the cultural heritage of the Filipino people, Cotabato welcomes you with open arms and promises a memorable journey.

When traveling you may need to purchase a few items before you come like a new camera or laptop. It is always a good Idea to be prepared. Also read my blog on What Should You Buy Before Travelling? – Philippine Tourism and Statistics (


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by Uncle Nonoy
by 3D Phtography and Videography

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