Cotabato City - The Promise Land

When I was little I always hear one of ASIN's songs entitled "Cotabato" on different FM radio stations. I'm pretty sure the song was one of the top songs in the airwaves during the time. I remember myself singing along one time but never really understood its meaning. I was too young if you were to ask.
A few years later during the time I understood that life was of great importance, I felt sad about the people of Cotabato killing their own kind and kin just because one can't accept other's religion and principles in life. Cotabato was tarnished and labelled as one of the Philippine's dangerous provinces where people are simply killed in cold blood. 

Its reputation was destroyed more when bombings, frequent kidnappings and the infamous Maguindanao massacre hit the news in both print and television. I thought there is no room for tourism in Cotabato and will be evaded by travellers forever. But I was wrong...

This politically independent city of Maguindanao is slowly making a name in domestic tourism. Aside from the famous monument of Sultan Kudarat, a Muslim hero who fought the Spaniards and hindered the spread of Christianity, it is also the haven of Barter Trade Center where bargain goods are abundant. If you are into the original crafted products and other Muslim thingies like batik, sarong, etc... then this is the place for you.

If you are still skeptic in paying this city a visit then think again. Sultan Hadji  Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid of Brunei, who partially funded the breathtaking Grand Mosque named after him, is now an emerging tourist attraction of the city. The Yellow domes and the walls painted in white can be seen from afar.  It can accommodate 1,200 worshippers (800 men and 400 female). The rise of this magnificent mosque will surely help the city in welcoming the influx of tourists and won't be feared by people once and for all.
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