Cotabato’s Awang Airport serves the general population of Cotabato City in the province of Maguindanao in the Philippines. It is a domestic airport that offers flights to and from the cities of Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga. These files are operated by some of the country’s low cost airline carriers such as Cebu Pacific, PAL Express of Philippine Airlines and Fil-Asian Airways.
Cotabato is a landlocked province located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region of Mindanao bordered by the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur on the north, Davao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat to the southeast, Davao City and Davao del Norte on the east and by Maguindanao on the west.
Cotabato is popular for its history and culture. Some travelers have described it as “other-worldly” as visiting the city can make one think they have stepped back in time when the Rajah’s and Datu’s ruled. Women in Cotabato still wear ornate malong (traditional cloth wraps) and traditional music and artwork still prevail. When planning your holiday in Cotabato, here are just a few of the more popular tourist destinations in Cotabato to add to your itinerary.
The Grand Mosque which is located by the Tamontaka River and Moro Gulf is a sight not to be missed. Cotabato’s Grand Mosque is the largest and most exquisitely designed mosque in the Philippines. The mosque was built thanks to the generous donations from locals and through the help of the Sultan of Brunei, Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Other architectural wonders in Cotabato include the Old City Hall and the New City Hall which locals call the “People’s Palace”.
Make sure to take the time to visit Cotabato’s textile markets such as the Cotabato Mega Square and the Barter Trade Center. Tourists can find anything Maguindanaon in both of these markets. Cotabato is also known for premium metalwork so be sure to visit Barangay Kalanglangan’s brass craftsmen. These craftsmen use an ancient brass casting method to create the handcrafted gongs, urns and kulintang – an ancient instrument composed of small, horizontally laid gongs.
For adventure travelers, make the trek down to the Kutawato Cave Complex for spelunking. The caves has several entrances but the one at Barangay Bagua would have to be the best option. It was said that natives used these caves to hide and fight in during World War II.
Before leaving the city of Cotabato, drop by the Pedro Colina Hill to pay your respect to the Sultan Kudarat who is considered to be one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Philippines. His monument is located on Pedro Colina Hill.
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