Cotabato City, officially the City of Cotabato (Maguindanaon: Ingud nu Kutawatu; Iranun: Inged a Kotawato; Arabic: مدينة كوتاباتو) is an independent component city in the Philippine region of Bangsamoro. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 299,438.
|City of Cotabato|
Birds eye view of Cotabato City ; City Hall of Cotabato; Mall of Alnor (Robinsons Town Center); Southseas Mall; Old Cotabato Provincial Capitol; Rio Grande De Mindanao in Cotabato City
“City of Cultural Charms” 
Sigay ka Cotabato! (Shine Cotabato!)
Map of Maguindanao highlighting Cotabato City
|Region||Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)|
|Province||Maguindanao (geographically only)|
|District||1st District of Maguindanao shared with Cotabato City|
|During Manobo period||13th century|
|Founded as capital of Maguindanao Sultanate||c. 1520|
|Founding of Pueblo de Cotabato||1862|
|Cityhood||June 20, 1959|
|Founded by||Apo Mamalu and Apo Tabunaway|
|• Type||Sangguniang Panlungsod|
|• Mayor||Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi (One Kutawato)|
|• Vice Mayor||Graham Guiani Dumama|
|• Total||176.00 km2 (67.95 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Cotabateño (masculine) Cotabateña (feminine)|
|Time zone||UTC+08:00 (PST)|
|IDD : area code||+63 (0)64|
|Income class||3rd city income class|
|Revenue (₱)||899.754 Million Local Source Income plus Internal Revenue Allotment(2017) |
|Electorate||103,530 voters as of 2016|
|Climate type||Tropical climate|
|City Annual Budget for 2018 (₱)||938 million (Approved)|
Cotabato City is formerly part and the regional center of Region XII. However, due to the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, it is now part of BARMM and served as the regional center. Being an independent component city, it's not a subject to regulation from the Provincial Government of Maguindanao where it is geographically located. The Philippine Statistics Authority also list Cotabato City as statistically independent.
Prior to the arrival of Hindus and Muslims, the city was a vast swamp and rainforest landscape where numerous ethno-linguistic groups lived. Maguindanao vernacular architecture developed during this era, which included the architectural techniques of at least 10 ethno-linguistic groups. Later on, Hindu traders arrived and the people of the area embraced the practice of Hinduism. The set of moral standards and culture of present-day people of Maguindanao are seen due to this Hindu influence.
Sultanate of MaguindanaoEdit
By 1515, after a successful Islamic colonization in Sulu, Muslim traders went to Maguindanao and converted many of the natives to Islam. Those that did not accept the arrival of the Muslims went into higher ground or the interior of the island. During the same year, the Sultanate of Maguindanao was formally established, with Kota Wato as its capital, and ruled a vast territory in Mindanao from until its total collapse in 1888.
Following the Spanish evacuation in Jan. 1899, Datu Piang led the Moro's in a massacre of the remaining Christian community, enslaving those they did not kill.:529–530 Americans arrived in Mindanao in 1900 after the Spanish–American War ended in 1898. Cotabato town was part of Moro Province and of Department of Mindanao and Sulu from 1903 to 1920, when the Empire Province of Cotabato, referred to as "Moroland" by the Americans, was founded with the town as the capital, with Datu Piang as its first governor.
Several towns were carved off from Cotabato town since the year 1913, with Pikit being the first one founded by Cebuano Christian colonists. Dulawan (now Datu Piang, Maguindanao) and Midsayap were incorporated as regular municipalities in 1936. In 1942, at the beginning of the Pacific Front of World War II, the Japanese Imperial forces entered what is now Maguindanao province. In 1945, Maguindanao was liberated by allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and Muslim Maguindanaoan guerrilla units after defeating the Japanese Imperial forces in the Battle of Maguindanao during the Second World War. In August 18, 1947, just two years after the Second World War and a year after the official inauguration of Philippine independence, the number of towns in the gigantic Cotabato province were multiplied by Executive Order No. 82 signed by President Manuel Roxas, namely: Kidapawan, Pagalungan, Buayan, Marbel, Parang, Nuling, Dinaig, Salaman, Buluan, Kiamba, and Cabacan, a total of eleven (11) towns added to the previous four towns; the newly founded towns of Kabuntalan, Pikit (conversion as regular municipality), and Glan added up in September 30, 1949. More and more newly created towns added up in the province's number of towns as the province entered the second half of the 20th century.
The city used to be part of the original Province of Cotabato and was its capital from 1920 until 1967, a year after the separation of South Cotabato; since then the city was the administrative center of the ARMM when Maguindanao was carved out in 1973. However, the city broke off administratively from Maguindanao as it rejoined Soccsksargen in the 1990s. Now many sources consider the city as part of the present Cotabato province, although geographically it is still considered part of Maguindanao.
Inclusion in the Bangsamoro regionEdit
The city has traditionally resisted efforts for its inclusion to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao despite serving as the government center of the autonomous region. Despite of this, the city's residents voted for their locality's inclusion in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region by voting to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the January 21, 2019 plebiscite. The city became the government center of the new region.
Cotabato is approximately 698.9 nautical miles (1,294.4 kilometres) from Manila, the country's capital, and is bounded by the municipalities of Sultan Kudarat to the north—with Rio Grande de Mindanao separating the two—Kabuntalan to the east, and Datu Odin Sinsuat to the south. The city faces Illana Bay, part of the Moro Gulf, to the west.
The city is situated in the lowest portion of Maguindanao province. The City of Cotabato with its 37 barangays spans an area with marked landscapes of flat, level to nearly level, very gently sloping to gently undulations to moderately sloping or rolling. It is basically a delta formed by two big rivers, the Tamontaka River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao. Basically 70% of its total land area is below sea level. There are only 2 existing elevated areas in the city, the PC Hill and the Timako Hill with an altitude of 90 and 150 feet, respectively.
Concentration of settlements and other urban uses are in the central portion while the southwestern and southeastern portion have mixed uses of agricultural land settlements. The city is criss-crossed by meandering and braided creeks and rivers like the Matampay, Parang, Timako, Esteros and Miwaruy.
These water bodies serve as sources of both agricultural, industrial and domestic water requirements of some rural barangays. These rivers also serve as the natural drainage flow of the city's wastes.
- Bagua Proper
- Bagua I
- Bagua II
- Bagua III
- Kalanganan I
- Kalanganan II
- Poblacion Proper
- Poblacion I
- Poblacion II
- Poblacion III
- Poblacion IV
- Poblacion V
- Poblacion VI
- Poblacion VII
- Poblacion VIII
- Poblacion IX
- Rosary Heights Proper
- Rosary Heights I
- Rosary Heights II
- Rosary Heights III
- Rosary Heights IV
- Rosary Heights V
- Rosary Heights VI
- Rosary Heights VII
- Rosary Heights VIII
- Rosary Heights IX
- Rosary Heights X
- Rosary Heights XI
- Rosary Heights XII
- Rosary Heights XIII
- Tamontaka Proper
- Tamontaka I
- Tamontaka II
- Tamontaka III
- Tamontaka IV
- Tamontaka V
|Climate data for Cotabato City (1981–2010, extremes 1986–2012)|
|Record high °C (°F)||36.1
|Average high °C (°F)||32.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||27.8
|Average low °C (°F)||22.9
|Record low °C (°F)||20.0
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||88.4
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||9||9||11||11||17||20||19||16||16||17||14||12||171|
|Average relative humidity (%)||75||74||74||73||74||76||76||76||76||76||75||75||75|
|Source: Philippine Statistics Authority|
The majority of the inhabitants of Cotabato City are Maguindanaon, comprising about 50% of the city's population. There are sizable ethnic populations of Cebuanos (14%), Tagalogs (9.7%), Iranun (7%), Hiligaynons (5.6%), Binisaya (2.7%) and Chinese (2%). The remainder of the population belongs to other ethnicities (e.g. Tausug, Teduray, Ilocano, Maranao and Indian).
The main language is Maguindanao, Tagalog, Chavacano and Cebuano spoken by both Christians and Muslims, as well as Iranun, Maranao, English, and Arabic, are also heard in the city. The dialect of Chavacano native to Cotabato City is referred to as Cotabateño.
As reported by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on 2015, 76.15% of the people of Cotabato City are adherent of Islam and mainly belong to Sunnites. The followers of Islam are mainly Maguindanaoan, Iranun, Maranao, and Tausug people. The remaining proportion belong to non - Islamic belief such as Christianity, Buddhism and other sects.
Cotabato City also hosts the largest mosque in the Philippines, the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid which can accommodate approximately 15,000 worshippers. It is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Cotabato which serves its Roman Catholic population.
Festivals religious of origin are also held in the city annually such the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival which is dedicated to Sharif Kabungsuwan, a Muslim missionary which introduced Islam in the area. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, since the Mary, mother of Jesus as the Immaculate Conception, is regarded by the patron saint of the city by its Catholic population.
Elected officials 2019-2022:
- Atty.Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi (NPC)
- Vice Mayor:
- Graham Nazer Dumama (NPC)
- City Councilors:
- Jayjay Guiani (NPC)
- Bruce Matabalao (NUP)
- Dr.Eddie Rabago (NPC)
- Johari Abu (PFP)
- Michael Datumanong (NPC)
- Abdillah Lim (NPC)
- Popoy Formento (PDPLBN)
- Hassan Biruar (NPC)
- Freddie Ridao (NPC)
- Christina Chua (NPC)
Former and Present MayorEdit
- Jose Lim Sr. - 1930’ to 1947 (Municipality of Cotabato)
- Datu Mando U. Sinsuat - 1947 to 1951; 1952 to November 16, 1967
- Teodoro V. Juliano - November 17, 1967 to February 2, 1975; March 1, 1980 to March 5, 1984
- Juan J. Ty - February 3, 1975 to February 28, 1980; May 12, 1984 to March 1986
- Ludovico D. Badoy - March 30, 1986 to December 2, 1987; May, 1988 to 1992; 1992 to 1995; 1995 to 1998
- Arthur P. Bueno - December 1987 to February 1988
- Dra. Lydia Mercado - February 1988 to May 1988
- Muslimin Sema - January 1998 to 2001; 2001 to 2004; 2004 to 2007; 2007 to 2010
- Rodolfo Mañara (Won thru electoral protest against Muslimin Sema) - January 2001 to March 2001
- Japal Guiani Jr - May 10, 2010 to June 30, 2013; June 30, 2013 to May 30, 2016; May 30, 2016 to September 22, 2016 (deceased)
- Atty.Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi - September 22, 2016 to May 13, 2019 (Law of succession); May 13, 2019 to Present.
The City currently serves as the center for economic support activities (trade and finance), education and other support services such as social, physical, cultural and other basic services of Central Mindanao are offered in the city.
Cotabato City has one of the Highest Bank Deposits in Mindanao with total of Php18,736,523,000.00 deposits as of June 30, 2017 with 150,406 bank accounts the city has 20 banks (Private and Government), due to high bank deposits and good economic dynamism. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas built its Central Mindanao branch in the city.
The city has local and national-based shopping centers. Local-based shopping centers like Superama, Sugni, Mall of Alnor, and South Seas Mall have been in competition with the national-based shopping centers like CityMall, Puregold, Robinsons Supermarket and Department Store, Centro Department Store, and SM Savemore. Cotabato City is one of the fastest growing economy in the Soccsksargen region.
KCC Malls have confirmed their interest to build a mall within the City's Downtown. Construction will start after the clearing operations are finished. NCCC Malls, a Davao-based mall corporation have also confirmed their interest to build their mall within the city.
Aiming to be the halal hub of the Philippines, the City Government and Malaysian Businessman built a Class AA halal slaughter house in Baranggay Kalangan II in the city primary serving the entire Central Mindanao, the Halal slaughter house generates a gross income of 4,642,135.00 pesos in 2018.
The city has different factories for cooking oil, coffee, corn starch, processed food and furniture operating within the city.
Cotabato City's tourism struggles a lot during the early 2000s which was also the time of Sema administration, because of multiple incidents of kidnapping, extortion, bombing and robbery, making Cotabato City as one of the dangerous city in the Philippines at that time.
But decades past and entering of the new administration in the local government, the peace and order and the local economy has improved, Cotabato City boosts its number of visitors for only 39,060 in 2012 it has now a total of 411,508 visitors in 2018 making it as one of the top tourist destination in Region 12.
Recently the number of hotels, inn and pension houses increases, in 2015 the city post an all-time high tourist arrivals growth of 241.01% highest on region 12, and Cotabato City has a 63.97% hotel occupancy rate, rank 1 in region 12.
The city is accessible by land from many parts of Mindanao. Buses, jeepneys and minivans link the city to Midsayap, Koronadal, Lebak, Pagadian, Tacurong, Kidapawan, Marawi, Iligan, General Santos, Davao City and to various points in Maguindanao.
Multicab and tricycle are the usual means of transportation around the city, minimum fare is P7. There are also Taxis roaming around the city and Habal habal. Two taxi operators are currently operating into the city, namely Alnor Taxi and Wow Taxi. 
Power is handled by Cotabato Light and Power Company, a private firm owned by Aboitiz who gets power resources from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. (NGCP). It also operates a bunker fuel-fired stand-by power engines to address emergency situations like power failures, trip-offs and fluctuations.
Metro Cotabato Water District is the main water supplier in the city. It has an active connection of 29,960. It resources are located in Barangay Dimapatoy, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
Telecommunications are handled by PLDT or Philippine Long Distance Company, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, and Sun Cellular. Internet service providers in the city are PLDT, Smart, and Globe. Cable services are being handled by local-based Cotabato Cable and national-based Cignal and Sky Cable.
|Frequency||Name||Company||Format||Call Sign||Power||Covered Location|
|567 AM||DZRH 567 Cotabato||Manila Broadcasting Company||News, Talk radio||DXCH-AM||10 KW||Cotabato City (Primary)|
|729 AM||Radyo Mo Nationwide||Radio Mindanao Network||News, Talk radio||DXMY-AM||10 KW||Cotabato City (Primary)|
|882 AM||DXMS-AM Radyo Bida 882 AM||Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation||News, Music, Entertainment||DXMS-AM||10 KW||Cotabato City (Primary)|
|945 AM||DXRO Sonshine Radio 945 Cotabato||Sonshine Media Network International||News, Music, Christian radio||DXRO-AM||10 KW||Cotabato City (Primary)|
|1089 AM||DXCM 1089 Radyo Ukay||UM Broadcasting Network||News, Music, Entertainment||DXCM-AM||10 KW||Cotabato City (Primary)|
Hospitals and medical facilitiesEdit
The city has one government hospital and eight private hospitals. Below is the list of current operating hospitals in the city.
- Cotabato Regional and Medical Center – Sinsuat Avenue.
- Notre Dame Hospital – Sinsuat Avenue
- Cotabato Medical Specialist Hospital – Quezon Avenue
- United Doctors Hospital of Cotabato City – Notre Dame Avenue
- Dr. P. Ocampo Hospital – De Mazenod Avenue
- Cotabato Doctors Clinic and Hospital – Sinsuat Avenue
- Cotabato Puericulture Center and General Hospital Foundation, Inc. – Jose Lim Sr. St.
- Cotabato Polymedic and Diagnostic Center - Governor Gutierez Avenue
- Eros Medical Clinic and Hospital - Bubong Road, Barangay Tamontaka
There is a single public and 17 private educational institutions in the city, having a total of 14,228 enrollees for Higher Education (Colleges and Universities) in School Year 2017-2018.
Universities and collegesEdit
- Notre Dame University
- Cotabato State University formerly Cotabato City State Polytechnic College
- STI Cotabato
- St. Benedict College of Cotabato
- Notre Dame – RVM College of Cotabato
- AMA Computer College
- Coland Systems Technology
- Headstart College of Cotabato
- A.R Pacheco College
- Notre Dame Hospital and School of Midwifery
- Doctor P. Ocampo College
- Dela Vida College
- Computer Aided Design and Information Technology Institute, Inc. (CAD.It)
- Jamiat Cotabato - Cotabato City University
- Academia De Technologia in Mindanao
- Mindanao Capitols Colleges
- Shariff Kabunsuan College, Inc.
- Kutawato Darusallam College
Defunct Schools in Cotabato CityEdit
- University of Mindanao - Located at Bishop Mongeau Ave., Cotabato City, Cotabato
- Harvardian Colleges - Located at Quezon Avenue, Cotabato City now El Manuel Hotel and Citi Hardware
- Mindanao Institute of Technology(Cotabato Campus)
- Cotabato City Central Colleges - Located at Sinsuat avenue, now transfered in Koronadal City and renamed as Regency Polytechnic College
- Orlando Quevedo – Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Cotabato
- Resham Ramirez Saeed - Half Pakistani and half filipina, who won the title Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2019.
- Sheriff abas - COMELEC Chairman, he is the first COMELEC chairman from Mindanao and the youngest too.
Festivals and EventsEdit
- Shariff Kabunsuan Festival– this festival is celebrated every December 15-19, which is celebrated in honor of Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan, an Arab missionary from Johore who planted the seed of Islam in Central Mindanao. On this event, certain presentations are performed such as dances. There are also many recreational activities and sports. Highlights in this festival are Dance Parade, Banca Race and the re-enactment of Shariff’s arrival.
- Araw ng Kutabato(Cotabato Day) – celebrated every June 12-25, this is the biggest celebration in all of the city’s festivals. This festival is held to commemorate the city;s charter day.
- Festival of Lights - A christmas celebration organized by the Notre Dame schools in Cotabato City, celebrated every December of the year.
Cotabato City is twinned with:
- Davao City
- Panabo, Davao del Norte
- Quezon City, since June 1987
- Tagum, Davao del Norte
- Naga, Camarines Sur
- Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
- Parang, Maguindanao
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