In the 1930’s President Manuel Quezon deemed portions of this area a wild forest and pushed for resettlement in the provinces of Sarangani and South Cotabato. Homesteaders from Luzon and Mindanao arrived here carving vast tracks of farmland. The original groups that lived and toiled the land, the T’boli, Maguindanaon, Ubo, Blit, Blaan still live in the area although populations are not as large compared to the Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Ilocanos who have resettled the area in the early 1900’s and now call it home.
Today, you’ll see vast haciendas with plantations of rubber, pineapple, and other fruits. This is the place to go for some durian and mangosteen.
Learn about the lineage of Rajah’s in Cotabato, the seat of the 500-year old Maguindaaon sultanate. Mindanao is the only place in the country that follows this age-old system.
South Central Mindanao unravels with a history and culture that spans thousands of years. Check out Maitum and see 2,000-year old anthropomorphic terra cotta jars that you won’t find anywhere else in Southeast Asia.
See dreamweavers at work in Lake Sebu and discover why they only use black and red threads.
Using soil and old metal, try your hand at ancient brass casting in Cotabato and the T’boli heartland.
Learn of the great leader Sultan Kudarat in Isulan’s grand capitol building.
Pass through the coastal village of Inawan and be amazed at the golden dome of the Grand Mosque.
It’s a culture fest everyday with B’laan, Manobo, Maguindanaon, Ubo, T’boli, Teruray, Iranun, and Sangil indigenous groups, complete with their own traditional rituals, culture and governance. Don’t be surprised to hear different languages in each barangay you pass through!
Island-hop to the white sand beaches of Glan, Kalamansig, and Palembang. There are no crowds here—just you, the pristine waters, and the king of tuna—the Yellow Fin.
Looking for caves? There’s almost one in every town. And that goes for waterfalls too. Short, tall, big, small…they’re all here just waiting to be discovered, from Koronodal to Esperanza.
You can try hiking in the country’s tallest mountain too. Mt. Apo stands high above several provinces at 2,954 meters above sea level. Maybe you might even meet Haribon, the Philippine Eagle, face to face.
This region is waiting to be explored. And lots of towns have yet to be visited.