Sultan Kudarat: Not Your Ordinary Provincial Capitol

Provincial Capitol of Sultan Kudarat

The capitol carries a design that is a combination of Muslim and Christian symbols with a commanding gold painted dome. The exterior is magnificent, a far cry from the country’s usual capitols. This landmark, more so, is said to be Southeast Asia’s biggest. 

I heard of this stunning capitol from my past visits to the province. I was able to take a quick look of its façade when I took the Lake Sebu – Isulan – Tacurong route years ago. But it was only this year that I get to actually step inside this massive structure. 

I went with a relative in July. At the entrance, we were greeted by a friendly guard who, after hearing my desire to simply check out their place, escorted us to a table to log in and met some young ladies who gladly answered some of my queries. 

Hues of white and gold surrounds the interior of the building. The chandelier was lustrous. Sparkly metal steel railings provided the stairs a touch of elegance, no people rushing in and out of the building making the interior looks really clean, shiny and peaceful. Their restroom feels clean too. We walked up the stairs and made our way to the spacious balcony. It was around 10am and the heat was intense, but I didn’t mind. I kept saying, “Ang ganda ng capitol nila!”

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On a closer look, colossal pillars made of granite stones stand side by side the east and west wing making the exteriors even more beautiful and impressive. From the 2nd floor balcony, we saw the panoramic view of the garden space. Tall coconut trees abound alongside the main highway, which is by the way traffic free. It’s so green and so clean! Based on the layout, it looks like helicopters are usual sights. 

I can also see the back of Sultan Kudarat’s gold painted statue standing in front of the capitol like a brave king ready to defend its people. It made me even more excited, I wanted to meet him.

The Brave Mindanao Leader 

Sultan Kudarat (1581-1671) of Cotabato, the Muslim brave hero, the greatest Sultan of Maguindanao and the most powerful Sultan of Mindanao. Relentless, sagacious, cunning sultan who ravaged and conquered many parts of the Philippines from the authority of Spain and persecuted many Spanish friars.

I was born in Sultan Kudarat and meeting the man who bravely stood up for the freedom of Mindanao against foreign invaders is definitely a moment to remember.

The structure looks grand but...

Surely, the capitol’s exterior is massive and impressive. From the outside, visitors from Luzon and Visayas will surely be awed by the façade’s grandeur alone. The interior, on a quick glance is striking as well, but as I tour around the building, negative impressions started sinking in.

One good example of knowing how rich a local government's fund is by looking at its capitol building. But a capitol SHOULD be most and foremost a WORKING CAPITOL. A service oriented building rather than a fancy tourist spot. It should have the facilities and reliable government workers that can give effective and fast service to its people.

I just find it so odd, here you have one of the grandest buildings in Southeast Asia, said to be worth Php400 million, surrounded with public buildings which I believe is in dire need of an immediate upgrade, like the old Provincial Hospital.

And for almost half a billion pesos, one would expect a well done building right? When we were there, we were shocked to see a couple of floor tiles that needed fixing. And I can't help but notice and be irritated to those leaders rulers who plaster their names on every structure built during the time they're seated. I would have appreciated the building more if I saw more locals availing government services than curious tourists.

- Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol is located in Isulan, the capital of Sultan Kudarat.
- The capitol is surrounded by Provincial Hospital, Tourism Building, Governor's Palace and Provincial Gymnasium


  1. Hi
    I noticed you don’t have an arcticle about ecotourism in Brazil...
    It’s actually something I can write for your as a guest blogger.
    Let me know if you are interested =)



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