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Sultan Kudarat- sa SK, Sikat Ka!

The maddening lights of the city, the crazy night life, on top of the pollution that you constantly deal with, no wonder this generation of human beings are hungry for raw authentic adventure on a daily basis. This generation of travellers know no age, race and walks of life. It is like, ok I am tired, pack my bags and go. Interestingly enough is how we pick as to where will be our next adventure as we all know, as a Filipino, travelling outside the country can be really a challenge and a nightmare for the majority. So why don't we venture more locally? As I already introduce the Southern Punch-Sarangani, let me take you a bit north of the region-let us go to Sultan Kudarat-sa SK- Sikat Ka!

There is no direct connection from Manila to Sultan Kudarat. However, you can do the folloowing:

1. Take the train to Edsa Lrt, take the walk to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Lungsod ng Pasay, take the night bus to Terminal 1 Arrivals Area Rd, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Parañaque City, Manila, take the walk to Manila airport, fly to Cotabato, take the taxi to Mindanao Star Bus Terminal, Cotabato, then take the bus to Sultan Kudarat.
2. Alternatively, you can take the train to Edsa Lrt, take the walk to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Lungsod ng Pasay, take the night bus to Terminal 1 Arrivals Area Rd, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Parañaque City, Manila, take the walk to Manila airport, fly to Ozamis, take the drive to Ozamis Pier, take the ferry to Iligan Port, then take the drive to Sultan Kudarat.
3. Lastly, you can take the train to Edsa Lrt, take the walk to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Lungsod ng Pasay, take the night bus to Terminal 1 Arrivals Area Rd, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Parañaque City, Manila, take the walk to Manila airport, fly to General Santos City and then ride a bus to Sultan Kudatat with our famous Yellow Bus line.

Now, a little tatse of the province history. Sultan Kudarat was once a part of the former empire province of Cotabato. It was created as a separate province along with Maguindanao and North Cotabato on November 22, l973 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 341 signed by former Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos. The province is located in the southwestern part of the island of Mindanao. Hundreds of first class caves are actually found in this province. The province is also the top producer of coffee in the Philippines. The name Sultan Kudarat given to the province was derived from the Muslim ruler, Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat who begun to assert his leadership in the year 1619 and reigned in the Sultanate of Maguindanao from 1625 to 1671.

For a starter, Sultan Kudarat province is known for having the grandest and most luxurious capitol building in the entire country and in Asia. Its golden dome and Arabic-inspired architecture will make you feel like you are in the Middle East. In addition, Sultan Kudarat beams with various eco-tourism destinations such as pristine forests, scenic mountains, hidden beaches, towering waterfalls, and mystic caves. It’s also a haven of biological and cultural diversity.

Places to Visit

1. Panigan Underground River - one of the sought after tourist spots. From the cave’s mouth you can get a glimpse of its stunning stalactites. Gushing out from the cave are cascading waterfalls forming numerous waterfalls. Nobody has yet to explore the inside of the cave. To get here, you need to trek on dense forests. Along the way, you’ll pass several waterfalls where you can have a quick dip or swim after visiting Panigan Underground River.

2. Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol- I remembered the old days where I had my internship in this gigantic stature before graduating from univeristy. One of the coolest infrastracture I've seen locally. It is one of the top Sultan Kudarat tourist spots. Majestically standing as almost comparable to the Taj Mahal of India, inside the capitol is nothing but luxury. You can really tell that this places did cost a lot of money.I bet it is all worth it.

3. Tenobac Cave - Similar to the majestic Puerto Princesa Underground River, this travel destination is estimated to be 7 kilometers or more. Deep inside you will be in awe for stalactite and stalagmite rock formations. Another top tourist spot of the province. This is located at Sitio Kipuwas, Brgy Keytodac, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat

4. Balot Island/Balet Island - after your exotic trip into the rivers and caves, time to kiss the sun and dip your toes into the powdery-white sand beaches, inviting turqoise waters in this island. because of the challenge of being accessible as it is in a secluded area, it is one of the province most preserved tourist spot. You need to ride a boat to reach Brgy Paril, Kalamansig.

5. Lom Cave - alongside Tran River, you do not wanna miss giving this spot a quick visit. The cave is estimated to be 400 meters long with a running water through it. You will not miss sightings of stalactite and stalagmite rock formations. To explore it, you need to wade and swim, adding to the thrill and experience. Now heaven is located in Brgy Keytodac, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.

6. Baras Bird Sanctuary - One of the many experiences I had during the internship in Sultan Kudarat was visiting this bird sanctuary. The tall trees that surrounds the area and the cool breeze is lik eyou are on a different dimension. This a home to more than 20 000 migratory birds. This sanctuary was established in 2002 to protect the species. There were only four birds then and to everybody’s surprise, their numbers swelled very rapidly. The sanctuary covers two hectares consisting of swamps, wetlands, and marshes. The commonly seen bird species here are the great egret, the Rufus night heron, and the intermediate egret. This is located in Tacurong City.

7. Marawir Peak - after checking out the bird sanctuary, time to climb some mountain. With a height of 2,654 feet above sea level, Marawir Peak is one of the popular hiking spots in Sultan Kudarat. From the hiking base, the mountain’s altitude is around 577 feet. From it’s top, you’ll catch a panoramic view of the surrounding plains and forested mountains. This spot is located in Brgy Salumping, Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

8. Lebak Katunggan Eco-Park - this eco park features vast and old-grown mangrove forests covering more than 320 hectares. Here, you’ll find at least 26 mangrove species as well as a variety of bird and marine species. To enjoyu the trip, you’ll be riding a boat around the mangrove areas. Riding around the area, you will get the feel of being in the middle of Amazon. During our visit, we had a very good lunch as well as they have a local restaurant that caters to the visiting tourist in the area. Thisis located in Brgy Taguisa, Lebak.

9. Gregory Cave - this jewel offers incredible sights for limestone rock formations. It has accessible rooms that if you are up on a quick adrenaline rush, you can access them by crawling on your belly. This is located in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.

10. Tres Andanas Falls - one of the most popular Sultan Kudarat tourist spots. It has three layers with a beautiful catch basin where you can dip or swim. Lush forests surround the waterfall, adding to the scenic view. Locals love to come here for picnic and other recreational activities. Adventurous visitors can climb from one of the surrounding cliffs and take a thrilling jump to the deep pool. This is located in Lebak as well.

11. Sinapulan Underground River - this mystical place is not as talked about as the others because of its location. It is secluded thus, you can enjoy the place for yourself or with your friends. You’ll also see waterfalls with icy-cold and crystal-clear waters. Along the way, you’ll glimpse of scenic hills and mountains. This is located in Sitio Asmakul Basag, Brgy Sinapulan, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

12. Ugis Peak- bewing one of the prominent peaks of the Daguma Mountain Range. Known for its knife-edge peak, Ugis Peak rises to more than 930 meters above sea level. Trekking to the top is not that easy but, dont' let that stop you as its summit will reward you with magnificent views of the lowlands. This is located in Esperanza.

13. Setuloday Cave- is another adventure to explore. With a total length of 1,897 meters though much of it remains unexplored. It contains several huge chambers with beautiful rock formations. It contains streams inside that you need to swim across at some point. There are two primary entrances to get inside the cave. This is located in Brgy Keytodac, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.


The following are my runner ups in case you have extra time.

-Kinayao Falls
-Pitot Cave
-Datalbao Cave
-Lagandang Hot Sulphur Spring
-Liguasan Marsh and Bird Sanctuary
-Alidama Island

With the above listed adventure, if you finish all of those, SIKAT KA!





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