Cotabato City a nice place to be. It is blessed with a lush countryside. If only it were a peaceful place, it could have been a good tourist destination.
If you ever dreamed of becoming a movie star, disembarking at Cotabato Airport is the place to be. Why? You may ask. Porters await for you similar to the sight of fans waiting for the arrival of the stars. They stand by next to the only luggage conveyor they have there. The luggage cart you usually get yourself are already in the hands of the porters. It's hospitality with a price.
The marshland of Cotabato City which is visible from the plane as it touches down, extends as far as General Santos City. It is believed to be rich with mineral deposits, more so with oil. If this were to be developed just imagine what growth it will give this place. That same eventuality is feared to be the reason why political groups fight for the government seat at the expense of the residents' safety.
Houses in the city itself are very near the national road, not following the distance requirement provided for by law,which is at least three (3) meters easement. Danger lurks at them anytime but the residents don't seem to care.
Food is affordable. If you want to eat tasty egg noodles you can stop at " Mardoneys" the oldest Chinese-Muslim Restaurant which also sells local delicacies like duiran hopia and "tinagtag" a local crispy candy. If you are not watching for your diet, then don't leave the city without eating lechon, alimango, and sugpo. It's cheap! If eating all these would cost us 3k to 4k in Dampa in portions, your P1500 in this city will take you to forgetfulness. Fruits you say? Cotabato has plenty to offer. Care to have a motorbike loaded with durians?
If you need malongs, scarfs, fabrics from Indonesia and Malaysia, the Barter Trade is the place to be. Best time to shop, lunchtime, which is the also the locals' prayer time.