Strategically located at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines’ tallest peak at 10,311 feet above sea level, Kidapawan City bustles with renewed energy as it opens its doors to the world. Mount Apo and its other scenic attractions make the province of Cotabato a potential world-class tourist destination. The City of Kidapawan is located at the southeastern portion of the province. It lays 7 degrees north latitude, 125 degrees longitude. It is located almost midway between the cities of Davao and Cotabato at a distance of 110 and 120 kilometers, respectively. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of President Roxas and Magpet, on the south by Makilala, on the southwest by M’lang, and on the northwest by Matalam. The city has a total land area of 33,926.40 hectares, about 5,036.40 hectares are timberland.
Kidapawan was derived from the Manobo words “”tida,”” meaning spring, and “”pawan,”” meaning highland. Hence, the provincial title, “”Spring in the Highland.”” Its first settlers were predominantly Manobos. The influx of Christian settlers from Luzon and the Visayas has resulted in the evolution of the word Tidapawan to Kidapawan.
For centuries, people have been attracted to Mt. Apo, the “Grandfather” of Philippine mountains. Today, there are six different indigenous groups that stay here, calling this mountain their home – depsite it being a potentially active volcano, just one of 22 in the country.
If that doesn’t pique your adventurous side, how about scaling it through a 90-degree trail? Start from Kidapawan and find yourself in Magpet, Davao, or Digos; and vice versa. You can book through the local tourist office.
From Kidapawan, pass through Lake Agco, where cold and hot springs collide; then scramble through the raging Marbel River—more than once; soak in Mainit hot springs and end up in Lake Venado, 2,194 meters above sea level. Experience all these before you end up on the summit, which is 9,692 feet high!
You can also pass through a wild forest with century-old hardwood trees, massive boulders, grassland and everything in between.
Mt. Apo has five different types of forest, so it’s like mini-microenvironments rolled into one — from swamps, grassland, mossy forests, and pine forests. Tailor your own adventure!
And don’t forget to meet some exotic and unusual wildlife. Nearly half can only be found in the mountain. There are no traffic jams or noisy neighbors here—except for the simultaneous chirping of the 272 species of birds, 111 of them endemic to the mountain. And maybe you’ll be lucky enough to view the endangered Philippine Eagle. It’s the largest eagle on earth, with a wingspan of two meters!
If you’d just like to hang close to the city, try “falls-hopping”.
Take a short hike to Mawig Falls and Paniqui Cave and Falls just in Barangay Balabag, and bask in pure waterfall bliss. Hungry for more? We have the stinkiest fruit in the planet: the Durian. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Kidapawan became a City on February 12, 1998 by virtue of Republic Act No. 8500 inked by the 12th President Fidel V. Ramos, making it a Component City of the Province of Cotabato. Despite some opposition, Kidapaweños overwhelmingly ratified the cityhood in a plebiscite on March 21, 1998.
Historically named a district of Pikit in 1942, Kidapawan was later declared into a Municipality through Executive Order No. 82 of President Manuel A. Roxas on August 18, 1947-thereby becoming the fourth town of the then Empire Province of Cotabato. The empire was then composed of the municipalities of Cotabato (now Cotabato City), Dulawan (later named Datu Piang) and Midsayap.
Kidapawan had 12 baranggays along with its creation, namely: Birada, Ginatilan, Indangan, Linangcob, Luvimin, Manongol, Marbel, Mateo, Meohao, Mua-an, Perez and Sibawan with an original land area of 273,262 hectares. However, it retained only 33,926.40 hectares after four municipalities were created out of it as follows: Magpet, Matalam, M’lang and President Roxas.
Prior to its conversion into a municipality, five appointed District Mayors had served Kidapawan. First, Datu Siawan Ingkal, tribal chieftain of the Manobos who headed the Civilian Emergency Administration when World War II broke out; followed respectively by Felimon Blanco, Ceferino Villanueva, Jacinto Paclibar, and Alfonso Angeles Sr., who later became the first elected mayor of Kidapawan.
On November 22, 1973 Kidapawan became the provincial capital of North Cotabato. The provincial seat of government was established in Amas, one of its baranggays. By then, it already had 40 baranggays under its geopolitical jurisdiction.