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, Davao del Sur to the east, and South Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies the Celebes Sea.
|Region||SOCCSKSARGEN (Region XII)|
|Governor||Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu|
|Area|| 4,714.8 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 586,505|
The census showed that 84 dialects are spoken in the province. The most dominant language is Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), though Ilocano and Cebuano are spoken in some municipalities. Maguindanao is the local language of the Muslim population.
The economy of Sultan Kudarat is predominantly agricultural. With vast agricultural potential, the output consists of practically all types of crops grown in the country, including rice, corn, beef, coffee, and vegetables. The province is self-sufficient in poultry, swine, and root crops. The province is one of the few producers of Irish potatoes in the Philippines. The southern Philippines Grain Complex in Tacurong is the largest grains-processing complex in the country. There are more than 200 ricemills in the province.
Fishing is a fast growing industry. Tuna caught along the coasts along the Celebes Sea are of high quality, and are exported to Japan and Europe.
Another significant economic activities include the cottage industry, which includes crafts made of rattan and other types of wood.
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.
Sultan Kudarat is located on the southwestern part of the island of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by the provinces of Maguindanao and Cotabato; on the south by South Cotabato; on the east by Davao del Sur; and on the west by the Celebes Sea. 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.
The climate is characterized by a short dry season lasting from one to three months. Unlike most other provinces in the country, Sultan Kudarat is generally free from typhoons and rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year.
The native Maguindanaon have a fascinating culture that revolves around kulintang music, a specific type of gong music, found among both Muslim and non-Muslim groups of the Southern Philippines.
The territory that is now the province of Sultan Kudarat was originally part of Cotabato province, which was one of the largest and most resource-rich provinces in the country. During the Spanish colonial era, the land was heavily forested and left largely underdeveloped.
Because of the enormity of the province, there was a need to divide it into smaller units to ease the magnitude of responsibility on the local government. 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.
- Official website of the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat
- WOW Philippines - Sultan Kudarat
- Sultan Kudarat province info
- Traditional Music of the Southern Philippines - An online textbook about Southern Pilipino Kulintang Music. Has chapters devoted to kulintang instrumentation, styles and uses by the Maguindanaon and other Southern Pilipino Groups.