It’s no secret that the Cotabato province is a melting pot of Mindanaoan culture, heritage, and natural attractions. North Cotabato is known as a jumpoff point for Mt. Apo tours as well as its beautiful Grand Mosque in Cotabato City, and South Cotabato is known for the stunning Lake Sebu and its highly skilled T’nalak weavers. But both provinces hold so much more in store for people who are looking to take their adventures to another level. Here’s a list of points of interest for those seeking the lesser known, the unknown, and the paths less traveled but well worth the journey.

Matigol Falls in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

North Cotabato’s breathtaking waterfalls. There are indeed many waterfalls to chase in North Cotabato. One of the increasingly popular ones is the Asik-Asik Falls, and the sheer scale of its rock formations and the gentle cascades of water that have given it its name (which means “to sprinkle”). But have you been to Matigol Falls in Arakan Valley, Tausuvan Falls and Kapati Falls in Magpet, Salban Falls in Tulunan, and Palepaz Falls and Daday Falls in Alamada? Time to add these to your list.

The late Lang Dulay weaving in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

South Cotabato’s living heritage hubs. Lake Sebu is renowned for its living schools of tradition and heritage that showcase T’boli culture and their intricate T’nalak weaving with pride. Among the more popular ones are the Maria Todi School of Living Tradition, Lang Dulay Weaving Center, and the Lake Sebu Indigenous Women Weavers Association, Inc. (LASIWWAI) House, which lets tourists participate in sustainable tourism that helps uplift and empower T’boli women and children. But there are more ways to immerse yourself in South Cotabato’s rich heritage. Lake Sebu is also home to the Surallah Tri-People Monument, which is a cultural landmark that celebrates the convergence of Muslim, Christian, and T’boli cultures, and Polomolok has the Fu Yabing Weaving Center, which keeps the memory of master Mabal Tabih (Blaan weaving process) weaver, Yabing Masalon Dulo or Fu Yabing, alive and thriving.

Cacao in Sebul Farm, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Fun and educational farm destinations. Being the food basket of Mindanao, Cotabato has a long list of farms that are as educational as they are scenic. Visit the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)-accredited Gabay-Bayawanon Integrated Farm in Magpet, North Cotabato; the Pacific Bonsai Farm in Midsayap, North Cotabato; the organic Sebul Farm in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; Organikian Urban Farms & Cafe in Koronadal, South Cotabato; and the Strawberry Guyabano (SG) Farm and Tupi Fruit park which are both located in Tupi, South Cotabato.

One of Lake Sebu’s 7 Falls. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Rugged outdoor adventures. Bask in the great outdoors that Cotabato has to offer. Zipline over Lake Sebu’s famous 7 Falls, Climb up the ​​Akir Akir Mountain in Alamada, North Cotabato or leisurely enjoy the view from Aleosan UK Peak in Aleosan, North Cotabato and Sanchez Peak in General Santos, South Cotabato. Alternatively, you can dive deep into the rich waters off  South Point, Kapatan-Lago, Tango Point in General Santos, or go river tubing in South Cotabato’s Sepaka River. For beginners who want to try camping and ziplining, Koronadal has the Damweng Dmatal, Bong Gumne De Muhon, and RMM Zipline & Eco-Tourism Resort.

Discover more destinations to see, experience, and savor in North Cotabato and South Cotabato. Visit these links to map out your next journey across the Philippines. 

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Travel Safely!

All these tourist destinations have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.

To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel, Apple Store, or Google Playstore.