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Kidapawan, officially the City of Kidapawan (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Kidapawan; Hiligaynon: Dakbanwa sang Kidapawan; Maguindanaon: Ingud nu Kidapawan) or referred to as Kidapawan City, is a 3rd class city and capital of the province of Cotabato, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 140,195 people.[3]

City of Kidapawan
Skyline of Kidapawan
Skyline of Kidapawan
Official seal of Kidapawan
  • City of Fruits and Highland Springs
"Nakapangyayari ang Sambayanan"
(The People are Sovereign)
Map of Cotabato with Kidapawan highlighted
Map of Cotabato with Kidapawan highlighted
Kidapawan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 7°00′30″N 125°05′22″E / 7.00833°N 125.08944°E / 7.00833; 125.08944Coordinates: 7°00′30″N 125°05′22″E / 7.00833°N 125.08944°E / 7.00833; 125.08944
Country Philippines
RegionSoccsksargen (Region XII)
District2nd District
FoundedSeptember 1, 1914
IncorporatedAugust 18, 1947
CityhoodFebruary 12, 1998
Barangays40 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorJoseph A. Evangelista (Nacionalista Party)
 • Vice MayorJivy Roe C. Bombeo (Nacionalista Party)
 • CongressmanRudy S. Caoagdan
 • Electorate84,651 voters (2019)
 • Total358.47 km2 (138.41 sq mi)
279 m (915 ft)
 (2015 census)[3]
 • Total140,195
 • Density390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
 • Income class3rd city income class
 • Poverty incidence19.05% (2015)[4]
 • Revenue (₱)721,853,788.93 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)64
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Native languagesHiligaynon
Obo language
Ilianen language

Located at the foot of Mount Apo, it is a popular destination from late October to December and in the summer, when thousands of tourists climb the country's highest mountain.


The origins of the word Kidapawan are disputed. According to official documents, Kidapawan means "Spring in the Highlands", a contraction from the old native Manobo words tida, which means "spring", and pawan, which means "highland".


The first settlers around what is now Kidapawan were predominantly Maguindanaon and Manobo natives.

The American colonial authorities exercised their jurisdiction on the whole region that would be the Empire Province of Cotabato after the end of the Philippine-American War in 1901. But despite nominal American authority of the said region, several Moro and Lumad tribal leaders, fearing to lose their aristocratic statuses and privileges, threatened to rebel if their demands are not met. With the Americans still reeling from the bloodshed of the Moro Rebellion thus losing their appetite for further bloodshed, both sides issued a compromise in which the tribal leaders would be officially appointed as captaincies of their own territories in return for recognizing American suzerainty. One of them is Datu Ugos Ingcal, the Manobo tribal chieftain of Tidapawan, which would later be called Kidapawan, was appointed the captain of the place by the American authorities in 1908. As a result, Kidapawan was founded in September 1, 1914 as a municipal district of Pikit. Datu Ugos Ingcal was appointed as its first municipal district president.[5]

The influx of Christian settlers from Luzon and the Visayas into the place during the mid 1910s and beyond resulted in the evolution of the word from 'Tidapawan' to 'Kidapawan'. Aside from the Manobos and Christians, Kidapawan was also home to the most prominent Muslims, including a Sultan, Sultan Omar Kiram II, who was a descendant of Rajah Baguinda.

The municipal district of Kidapawan became an independent entity of its own in 1935. Datu Siawan Ingkal, tribal chieftain of the Manobos and son of the first municipal president Datu Ugos Ingcal, became its first district mayor. He was to lead the local Civilian Emergency Administration during the Second World War.

In January 1942, during the opening months of the Pacific War, Japanese Imperial forces entered Kidapawan and subsequently occupied it. Three years later, local Filipino soldiers of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary units and Moro guerrilla fighters fought their way across Kidapawan in their objective to liberate Mindanao from Japanese occupation.

Five appointed District Mayors had served Kidapawan from 1935 through the chaos of World War II until 1947. The first was Datu Siawan Ingkal, and he was followed by Datu Embac, Felimon Blanco, Ceferino Villanueva, Jacinto Paclibar, and Alfonso Angeles Sr. Kidapawan was later declared a municipality by Executive Order No. 82 issued by President Manuel Roxas on August 18, 1947. It thus become the fourth town of the then Empire Province of Cotabato, composed previously of the municipalities of Cotabato (now Cotabato City), Dulawan (later named Datu Piang) and Midsayap. Alfonso Angeles Sr., the last district mayor, became the first elected municipal mayor.

Created along with the town were the twelve original barangays, namely: Birada, Ginatilan, Indangan, Linangcob, Luvimin, Manongol, Marbel, Mateo, Meohao, Mua-an, Perez, and Sibawan. From the original land area of 273,262 hectares, Kidapawan retained only 34,007.20 hectares when five municipalities were created from it namely: Magpet (June 22, 1963, R.A. 3721), Makilala (September 8, 1954, E.O. 63), Matalam (Dec. 29, 1961, E.O. 461), M’lang (Aug. 3, 1951, E.O. 462) and President Roxas (May 8, 1967, R.A. 4869).

Kidapawan became the provincial capital of Cotabato Province pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 341 dated 22 November 1973, with the provincial seat of government located in Barangay Amas in the western part of the town. Later, Batas Pambansa No. 660 dated 19 December 1983 renamed the Province of North Cotabato to simply Cotabato. By the time it became the province capital, Kidapawan had already 40 barangays under its geopolitical jurisdiction.

Kidapawan City was created by the Republic Act. No. 8500, signed by President Fidel V. Ramos on February 12, 1998, making it the first component city of Cotabato Province. The Act was ratified by a large majority by a plebiscite on March 21, 1998.


Kidapawan is located at the foot of Mount Apo in the south-eastern section of Cotabato province, placed in the middle of other major cities of General Santos, Davao City, Cotabato City and Cagayan de Oro. It borders the other towns of Cotabato province, namely: Magpet and President Roxas to the north, Matalam to the west, M’lang to the south and Makilala to the east.

Kidapawan covers a total land area of 358.47 square kilometers. Much of its land area was mostly flat, except for the increasingly hilly and mountainous areas to the northeast near Mount Apo which is the highest point in the Philippines. The Kabacan River has its source in the northeastern part of the city and flows through across its northern border with Magpet town.


Kidapawan lies outside the typhoon belt and has a mild climate characterized by wet and dry seasons. The coldest months are December and January. The hottest are April and May.


YearPop.±% p.a.
1918 4,027—    
1939 12,593+5.58%
1948 31,644+10.78%
1960 61,675+5.72%
1970 46,820−2.71%
1975 46,720−0.04%
1980 54,864+3.26%
1990 74,190+3.06%
1995 87,758+3.20%
2000 101,205+3.10%
2007 117,610+2.09%
2010 125,447+2.38%
2015 140,195+2.14%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][6][7][8]

In the 2015 census, the population of Kidapawan was 140,195 people,[3] with a density of 390 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,000 inhabitants per square mile.

In the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 125,447 people,[6] up 117,610 from in 2007. The religion is predominantly Christian, although there are many Muslims residing in the city as well. The main languages are Cebuano and Hiligaynon, while English functions as a secondary language. Other languages spoken include Maguindanao, Obo, Ilianen, and Tagabawa.

Cebuanos and Hiligaynons are the major ethnic groups in the city. Other ethnic groups residing in the area are the Ilocanos, Maguindanaons and Manobo groups of Obo, Ilianen, and Tagabawa. Cebuano is the most widely spoken language, especially in the city proper. English is used as the medium of instruction in schools and other learning institutions; it is also predominantly used in major government agencies in their transactions and reports. Laws and ordinances in the city are all written in English.


City Hall of Kidapawan

The city of Kidapawan is governed by the city mayor, the city's local chief executive and administrative officer, along with the city vice mayor. The Sangguniang Panlungsod serves as the local legislative body of the city. Kidapawan is also the seat of the provincial government of the province of Cotabato, with the provincial capitol being located at Barangay Amas in the western portion of the city.

List of MayorsEdit

Appointed Cabeza de Barangay of Kidapawan District, Pikit (American period)

  • Datu Ugos Ingkal – 1901-1935

Appointed head (Alcalde) of the Civilian Emergency Administration during and after WWII

  • Datu Siawan Ingkal (1941- ?)
  • Datu Embac (?)
  • Filomino Blanco (?)
  • Ceferino Villanueva (?)
  • Jacinto Paclibar (?)
  • Alfonso O. Angeles Sr. (? – 1947)

Elected Mayors

  • Alfonso O. Angeles Sr. (1948 – 1955) (1964-1967)
  • Gil F. Gadi (1956 – 1957)
  • Lorenzo Saniel (1958 – 1959)
  • Alberto Madriguera (1960 – 1962)
  • Emma B. Gadi (1963-1964) (1968-1971)
  • Juan Sibug (1967, September–December)
  • Jose Tolosa (1968, Acting Mayor)
  • Augusto R. Gana (1972 – 1980) (1980-1985) (1988-1992)
  • Florante Respicio (1986-1987, Appointed OIC)
  • Domingo B. Landicho (1988, Appointed OIC)
  • Joseph A. Evangelista (1992-1994) (2013 ~ )
  • Luis P. Malaluan (1994 – 2004)
  • Rodolfo Y. Gantuangco (2004 – 2013)[9]


The city of Kidapawan is politically subdivided into 40 barangays.[2]

  • Amas
  • Amazion
  • Balabag
  • Balindog
  • Binoligan
  • Birada
  • Gayola
  • Ginatilan
  • Ilomavis
  • Indangan
  • Junction
  • Kalaisan
  • Kalasuyan
  • Katipunan
  • Lanao
  • Linangcob
  • Luvimin
  • Macebolig
  • Magsaysay
  • Malinan
  • Manongol
  • Marbel (Embac)
  • Mateo
  • Meohao
  • Mua-an
  • New Bohol
  • Nuangan
  • Onica
  • Paco
  • Patadon (Patadon East)
  • Perez
  • Poblacion
  • San Isidro
  • San Roque
  • Santo Niño
  • Sibawan
  • Sikitan
  • Singao
  • Sudapin
  • Sumbac


The city is considered as the province’s industrial hub, and plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the province and its adjacent areas. It is the commercial and trading hub of eastern Cotabato province as it lies at the heart of three large domestic markets of Davao City, General Santos City, and Cotabato City.

Commercial retail centersEdit

Gaisano Grand Mall of Kidapawan

The city of Kidapawan boasts the most number of shopping and retail centers in the whole province of Cotabato. Gaisano Grand Mall of Kidapawan,[10] the largest shopping center in the city, is located at Purok 1, Barangay Lanao in the northern part of the city's urban core, while the KMCC Shopping Center is located at Dayao St., deep into the city's main thoroughfare. Other retail centers include Davao Central Warehouse Club Inc. located in National Highway, and Survive Marketing and Sugni Superstore both located at Quezon Boulevard.


Kidapawan is home to the Dole-Stanfilco Banana Plantation and Palletizing Facility, which is under the management of Dole Philippines, itself a subsidiary of the American food producer Dole Food Company. The said plantation, which also had its holdings on neighboring towns Makilala and Matalam, is the largest in the province of Cotabato.[11][12] With this, the city is an international exporter of bananas globally.

Kidapawan is home to a sizeable flower-cutting industry and one of the major sources of income among Kidapaweños.[13] In addition to ornamental and forest tree seedlings, flowers such as roses, anthuriums and orchids are abundantly grown and cultivated locally, providing a very promising and highly profitable source of livelihood and business in the area.

Crops abundantly grown in the city include abaca, rubber, corn, rice, coconut, and vegetables.


Foot of Mt. Apo
Lake Venado

Kidapawan City is one of the most well-known starting points for trekking on Mount Apo via the city's Lake Agco in Barangay Ilomavis,[14] Kidapawan-Santa Cruz,[15] and Kidapawan-Magpet trails[16] which towers at 10,311 feet above sea level with a total area of 14.6 square meters. The country’s tallest peak is an abode to the almost extinct Philippine eagle.[17][18] Within the Mt. Apo Natural Park is the Mandarangan Geological Site which is being promoted as a major educational tourism site. Lake Venado, hidden among the mountain ranges, stands at an elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level.

Another tourist attraction in this city is Kansal Falls located at Sitio Lapaan in Barangay Perez in the eastern part of the city. The water from the Kansal Falls is still one of the cleanest and cheapest in Asia and the source of North Cotabato’s Metro Kidapawan Water District Dam. The water rushing through Kansal Falls comes from the various mountain springs of Mt. Apo. This waterfall is the source of Kidapawan City’s water supply.


Often dubbed as the Second Fruit Basket of the Philippines, the city government celebrate the abundance of the exotic fruits grown in Kidapawan City by holding an annual festival in the month of August called Timpupu, the fruit festival. This festival, first held in 2002,[19] celebrates fruit harvest. The city purchases large quantities of local fruit which is laid out on tables along the streets for visitors and residents.[20] Dubbed “Timpupu” from the Manobo word “harvest”, the celebration signifies the people's thanksgiving.

The Foundation Anniversary of the City of Kidapawan is held every February 12. It corresponds the day Kidapawan turned from town into city in 1998.


  • Southern Philippines Methodist Colleges, Inc.
  • Spottswood National High School
  • Marciano Mancera Memorial Elementary School
  • School For Life Montessori
  • Kidapawan Doctors College, Inc.[21]
  • Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School SPED Center
  • Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School
  • Kidapawan City National High School (City High)
  • ABC Educational Development Center
  • Felipe Suerte Memorial Elementary School
  • Central Mindanao Colleges
  • Colegio de Kidapawan[22]
  • Kidapawan Anchor Bay Bible School
  • Kidapawan Jireh Christian School
  • Kidapawan Southern Baptist Elementary School
  • Kidapawan Polytechnic College
  • Kidapawan Doctors College, Inc
  • North Point College of Arts and Technology
  • North Valley College Foundation
  • Notre Dame of Kidapawan College[23][24]
  • Read Data Access Computer College (RDACC)
  • Habitat Elementary School
  • St. Mary's Academy of Kidapawan (formerly Notre Dame of Kidapawan for Girls)[25][26][27][28]
  • University of Southern Mindanao - Kidapawan City Campus[29]
  • Kidapawan City SDA Elementary School
  • St. Louis Review Center (SLRC) - Kidapawan (Nursing, Teachers & Civil Service Review)
  • Lanao Central Elementary School
  • Saniel-Cruz National High School (SCNHS) (formerly Kidapawan City National High School Annex)[30]
  • Linangkob National High School
  • Paco Central Elementary School
  • Paco National High School
  • Amas Central Elementary School
  • Amas National High School
  • Isidoro S. Lonzaga Memorial Elementary School



Kidapawan is the transportation nexus of the whole eastern Cotabato province. It is the main highway road junction to all of the province's eastern municipalities that were not situated on and was not passed through by the National Highway which passes through the entire east-to-west span of the city. It is also the primary gateway and road junction to the towns of the Arakan Valley, namely President Roxas, Antipas and Arakan.

Quezon Boulevard, the Paco-Arakan-Katipunan Highway, the Kidapawan-Magpet Highway, the Kidapawan-Kalaisan-Calunasan-Bialong-M'lang Highway, and the Kidapawan-Ilomavis-Agco Road are the major thoroughfares of the city.

Local public transportation is primarily served by almost 3,000 motor tricycles known as just "motor". Multicabs and jeepney provide transportation to barangays and nearby municipalities. Tricycles are the primary mode of transportation within the urban and suburban areas of the city.

The Kidapawan City Overland Terminal caters passenger vans and buses that serve the city to certain areas in SOCCSKSARGEN area, Bangsamoro and Davao Region. Public utility vans serve multiple destinations outside the city. Mindanao Star, Davao Metro Shuttle and Yellow Bus Line are the bus companies operating in the city, serving the city with destinations towards the cities of Cotabato, Davao, General Santos, Digos and Tacurong.

Kidapawan has no existing airport of its own and thus rely on nearby airports for its air transport. Nearest airports from the city are at Davao International Airport some 115 kms away and Cotabato Airport some 130 kms away.


Metro Kidapawan Water District is the main water service provider in the city, while Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) delivers electric services into the city. The Mount Apo Geothermal Power Plant, one of the only three geothermal power plants in the Philippines, is located on Barangay Ilomavis in the hilly and geologically active northeastern part of the city.[31]


Metro Kidapawan Telephone Corporation is the main telephone and telecommunications company operating in Kidapawan. It is operated by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company since 2015.[32] Bayantel is the other telephone and telecommunications company operating in the city.

Notable security-related incidentsEdit

Identified by the Arm Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command as conflict affected area which has the presence of CPP-NPA and BIFF, the list below are the current incidents happened in the city.

  • Road side blast Improvise Explosive Device (IED) bomb burst along the national highway in Barangay Marbel, leaving three (3) cops wounded around 2 p.m of May 26, 2017. New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Guerilla Front 53 was behind the said attacks.[33]
  • The 2017 Kidapawan jail siege occurred when about a hundred unidentified armed men attacked the North Cotabato Provincial Jail in Kidapawan, Philippines at around midnight freeing at least 158 inmates. Five inmates, a barangay official and a prison guard died in the siege. The jail break resulting from the attack is reportedly the biggest in the history of North Cotabato.
  • 2016 Kidapawan protests - For three days from March 30, 2016, thousands of farmers and their supporters blockaded the Davao-Cotabato Highway in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. A day before prior to the road blockade, 500 farmers protest in front of the National Food Authority Office in Kidapawan to air their grievances. The demonstration ended violently with at least three deaths on the side of the protesters and a total of 116 injured on both sides after the police dispersed the mass action.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "City". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Province: North Cotabato". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. ^ The Filipino Muslim armed struggle, 1900-1972 1977, Samuel K. Tan
  6. ^ a b Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  7. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region XII (Soccsksargen)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  8. ^ "Province of North Cotabato". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Random Kidapawan Historiography | Karlo Antonio Galay David". 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  10. ^ Gaisano Grand Mall Kidapawan
  11. ^ "Banana Industry". November 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Malu Cadelina Manar. "Brgy chair stops multi-national firm from building environmental hazard". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Kidapawan City: The Spring in the Highland]
  14. ^ "Mt. Apo trail in Kidapawan opens in April". GMA News Online.
  15. ^ "Trekking Mt. Apo through Santa Cruz-Kidapawan Trail". August 24, 2016.
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ IUCN Red List
  18. ^ "The Haribon Foundation - The Haribon Foundation is the Philippines' pioneer environmental organization". The Haribon Foundation.
  19. ^ "MindaNews". MindaNews.
  20. ^ Sun.Star General Santos - Timpupu Festival: Paying homage to the exotic fruits
  22. ^ "Colegio de Kidapawan".
  23. ^ "Notre Dame of Kidapawan College | University Directory".
  24. ^ "Notre Dame Of Kidapawan College - Datu Ingkal St., Poblacion, City Of Kidapawan (Capital), North Cotabato - Educational Institutions".
  25. ^ " - This website is for sale! - rvmonline Resources and Information".
  26. ^ [2][dead link]
  27. ^ "St. Mary's Academy Of Kidapawan - Quezon Boulevard, Kidapawan City, City Of Kidapawan (Capital), North Cotabato - Educational Institutions".
  28. ^ [3][dead link]
  29. ^ "Welcome to the Official web portal of University of Southern Mindanao".
  30. ^ [4][dead link]
  31. ^ "Mindanao Geothermal Production Field (MGPF) | The Energy Development Corporation Website". February 2, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-02-02.
  32. ^ Lorenz S. Marasigan. "PLDT acquires Metro Phone in Kidapawan". Business Mirror. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  33. ^ Cadelina-Manar, Malu. "3 cops hurt in another roadside blast in Kidapawan | MindaNews". Retrieved 2017-12-01.

External linksEdit