Kidapawan City is the capital of Cotabato Province, a first-class city touted as “Spring in the Highlands” and “City of Fruits”. It brings forth life to its constituents much like the spring after an enduring cold season with its bountiful produce and rich natural resources.
It is a perfect blend of the province’s progressive industrial hub and great hidden retreat. It became the provincial capital in 1973 then turned into a city via a plebiscite in 1998. Although situated at the foot of the grand Mt. Apo, Kidapawan City still stands out as the Second Fruit Basket of the Philippines after Davao City.
It holds an annual Timpupo Festival every August as it celebrates its local fruit industry. Aside from being blessed with Mother Nature’s splendor, it is fortunately situated at the atria of General Santos City, Davao City, and Cotabato City.
Coming from Manila, you can book direct flights either via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific Air to Cotabato City. Once you arrive at Awang Airport, take a van, bus, or jeepney to Kidapawan City.
The next nearest airport is the Davao International City.
If you’re coming from nearby provinces, there are buses going to and coming from the city. From Davao City, you can ride the bus at Ecoland Terminal.
If you’re coming from General Santos City, head to Digos City Terminal and take the Weena Bus to Cotabato City.
There is a variety of local public transportation in Kidapawan City that is available but the most common are the motor tricycles or motor. Around 3,000 motors operate in the city.
Other modes of transportation include multicabs, jeepneys, and public utility vans. There are several bus lines that serve routes to and from the cities of Cotabato, Davao, and Tacurong.
Kidapawan City is located at the foot of the majestic Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines. The city serves as the starting point for this first-rate attraction which stands 10, 311 feet above sea level and home to the Philippine Eagle. Mt. Apo is also a popular destination for hikers for its cold weather and other sights like century-old-trees, flora and fauna, sulfur craters, and massive craters.
Within the Mt. Apo Natural Park is another famed spot, Mandarangan or “little volcano”. The Mandarangan Geological Site is being promoted as a major educational tourism site.
Check out some of the interesting natural water attractions in the city such as Lake Agco, Lake Venado, Kansal Falls, Marbel Falls, and Mawig Falls. You can also visit the man-made Agco Mahomanoy Mountain Resort and bask on its hot pools.
Go all natural as you feast on the bountiful fruits during the harvest season from August to September. Take your pick form the homegrown tropical produce such as Mangosteen, Rambutan, Singkamas, Marang, Bananas, Lanzones, and Durian.
Roam around the city center and familiarize yourself with the popular destinations such as the Kidapawan City Hall and the City Plaza. Or immerse yourself with the city’s culture by joining the Apo Sandawa Climb Festival. The celebration happens from April to May and October to November where trekking groups hike Mt. Apo to hone the indigenous people of the city.
Another event to mark in your calendars is Kidapawan Carnival. The merriment happens from February 8 to 12 as a tribute to the founding of the city. Mardi gras-like festival and street dancing highlight the event.
Kidapawan’s foodscape might not be as fanciful as other urban gastronomic hub but still offers something hearty nonetheless.
Can’t get enough of affordable home-cooked meals? Enjoy a buffet meal of meat, vegetables, and seafood dishes at Karahay Eat-All-You-Can Restaurant. For a mix of Asian, Filipino, and International cuisine, AJ Hi-Time is your resto of choice. The food joint also accepts credit cards.
Take your squad to Boyd’s Pizza House and help yourself to servings of all-time fave comfort food like burgers, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, soups, salads.
The nightspots of the city come to life starting at 10 pm. A cafe and resto in the morning, U3 turns into a bar come sundown with a band or duo to jam your night away.
On a bit higher notch for some unwinding spot is AJ Hi-time, located in AJ Hotel. And if you’re the last man standing, better to hang out at Eigor’s as this is the last pub to call it a day.
There are numerous places to stay for travelers in Kidapawan City. Depending on your preference and needs, you can choose among the budget-friendly hotels like Hardin ni Lola, Sam’s Guesthouse & Apartelles, and Survive Travelers Inn.
If you have some extra budget, you can check in at Eva’s Hotel, ABC Landmark Hotel, Agco Mahomanoy Mountain Resort, and AJ Hi-Time Hotel.