Cotabato City is one of the cities of the Philippines located in Mindanao. Cotabato City is an exclave of the SOCCSKSARGEN region found within the boundaries of Shariff Kabunsuan province, but is independent of that province. Cotabato City is distinct from and should not be confused with the province of Cotabato. Cotabato City is the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao but the city is actually part of the SOCCSKSARGENregion. Cotabato's population was about 150,450 in 2000 census.
Cotabato is approximately 698.9 nautical miles (1294 km) from Manila, the country's capital, and is bounded by the municipalities of Sultan Kudarat to the north—with Rio Grande de Mindanao separating the two—Kabuntalan to the east, and Datu Odin Sinsuat to the south. The city faces Illana Bay, part of the Moro Gulf, to the west. Cotabato City has a total land area of 176.0 square kilometers. -------------------------------------------------
Cotabato City had witnessed more history than any other place in Mindanao. Its history dates back to the 15th century when Shariff Kabunsuan, an Arab missionary, landed along the banks of the Rio Grande de Mindanao and introduced Islam to the natives. Islam was the faith that moved the early settlers to communal life, and to establish the Sultanate of Maguindanao with its golden age ushered in by Sultan Dipatuan Qudarat during the 17th century the time when Cotabato City developed as the capital town of Maguindanao. In the nineteenth century, when Sultan Makakua ruled, roads and wharfs were constructed which gave rise to the birth of modern day Cotabato. However, the then Municipality of Cotabato was first organized at the later part of the 19th century when the Spaniards established a military post at Barangay Tamontaka, one of the earliest Christian settlements. The town was founded by the Spaniards in 1862 and named it in a Spanish equivalent of the...