Sultan Kudarat is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao. Its capital is Isulan and borders Maguindanao and Cotabato to the north, South Cotabato and Sarangani to the south, and Davao del Sur to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the west. The province’s total land area is 4783.1898 square kilometres. The three coastal towns on the province’s western side are lined with mountain ranges that wall the central part of the province from the sea. There are also mountains on the eastern side, leaving flat land in between.
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.
Sultan Kudarat Province is subdivided into 11 municipalities and 1 city. Three of the municipalities (Kalamansig, Lebak, and Palimbang) are coastal towns, while the rest of the province are located inland. Tacurong City is the smallest unit in the province in terms of land area, but it is the most urbanized, and is considered to be the province’s commercial center. Other growth centers are Lebak and Isulan, the latter being the provincial capital. Bagumbayan is the largest town in terms of land area. The 11 municipalities and Tacurong City are further subdivided into 249 barangays.
From hilly inlands to coastal towns, the province is incredibly blessed with natural resources; so rich in fact, that much of the flora and fauna have not been fully discovered. And it has just opened its doors to investment and tourism. So head on out and blaze your own trail.
Looking for low-key and sun soaked beaches? Try the town of Kalamansig. From the pebble-washed white of Lenek, Santiak and Tayandak to Poral’s dark grey, the beaches are special coves you can have all to yourself. The emerald waters are so clear, you don’t need to get off the boat to see what’s underneath. And here’s a well-kept secret: the coastal towns of Kalamansig, Palembang and Lebak are swarming with yellow fin tuna, dolphins, and whales.
In Tacurong, view thousands of birds at the Baras Bird Sanctuary. In 1996, there were only four egrets in this area, and now it’s home to 20,000. No one knows why they are here, but we sure are glad these migratory creatures chose to stay.
After a busy day of beach and bird-watching, the capital Isulan provides a glimpse of Philippine Islamic architecture. The five-storey Capitol building, with its golden dome, is one of the most attractive state buildings in the country. Take a tour and see for yourself. And of course, a capitol building isn’t complete without a monument to the greatest leader of the Maguindanaoans—Sultan Kudarat.
Because of the size of the province, it was divided into smaller units. Additionally, conflicting political, social, and economic interests limited the province’s progress. Cotabato was first split into North Cotabato and South Cotabato. North Cotabato was then split into what is now Maguindanao (from which the new province of Shariff Kabunsuan was created), (North) Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato split into South Cotabato and Sarangani.