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Isulan – The Capital City in Sultan Kudarat


Isulan: Unveiling the Heart of Sultan Kudarat

Isulan, the vibrant capital of Sultan Kudarat, Philippines, boasts a rich history intricately woven into its very foundation. Understanding this history takes us on a fascinating journey through government documents, revealing the steps that led to its creation. The provincial capital of Sultan Kudarat, Isulan, occupies 10.18% of the province’s landmass with its 545 square kilometers. Its population of 97,490, as identified by the 2020 Census, contributes significantly to both the province (11.41%) and the SOCCSKSARGEN region (1.99%). This translates to a population density of 179 inhabitants per square kilometer, highlighting the town’s vibrant presence within the region.

The Seeds of Isulan are Sown:

Our tale begins in 1947, when the fertile plains of Koronadal were officially recognized as a municipality through Executive Order No. 82 signed by President Manuel L. Roxas. Six years later, in 1953, Norala bloomed from Koronadal’s territory, further shaping the landscape of the region.

A Vision for Isulan Takes Root:

As time passed, a visionary named Datu Kudanding Camsa saw the potential for another thriving community nestled within the burgeoning municipality of Norala. In 1956, his vision bore fruit as Engr. Jose M. Ancheta of the Bureau of Public Highways meticulously laid out the proposed boundaries of this new municipality.

Petitioning for Isulan’s Birth:

Armed with Ancheta’s report and fueled by unwavering determination, the Cotabato provincial board petitioned then-President Carlos P. Garcia to grant Isulan official life. Their plea resonated, leading to the issuance of Executive Order No. 266 on August 30, 1957. This historic document, signed by Garcia himself, marked the official birth of Isulan, carving its territory from both Norala and Dulawan.

Kalawag: Isulan’s Seat of Power:

With its official status secured, Isulan proudly established Kalawag as its hub of governance. On September 12, 1957, the municipal government began its official journey, guided by the capable hands of its first appointed mayor, Datu Suma Ampatuan, who served until 1967.

A Legacy Etched in Time:

These historical documents stand as testaments to the tireless efforts of those who envisioned and birthed Isulan. Their dedication continues to echo through the streets of this vibrant city, a constant reminder of the rich tapestry of its past that paves the way for its promising future.

Exploring the Past to Illuminate the Present:

While these documents offer a glimpse into Isulan’s official beginnings, the town’s history undoubtedly holds many more layers waiting to be unraveled. Further research into the pre-colonial settlements, cultural influences, and the lives of ordinary citizens can paint a more complete picture of this captivating city.

By delving into the historical documents that shaped Isulan’s birth, we gain a deeper appreciation for its roots and the vision that guided its creation. This understanding enriches our experience of this dynamic city, allowing us to see beyond the bustling streets and discover the timeless legacy that defines it.



Isulan offers a delightful shopping scene, catering to diverse needs with both established favorites and exciting newcomers. Here’s a quick overview:

Current Shopping Gems:

  • CityMall Isulan: Boasting a partnership between Double Dragon Properties and SM Investments, this modern mall opened in 2018, bringing a vibrant range of shops and entertainment options to the city.
  • MGM Shopping Plaza: A well-known name in Isulan, this shopping center provides a convenient and diverse one-stop shop for various needs.
  • Isulan Central Plaza: Claiming the title of the first and one of the oldest department stores in Isulan, this established player holds a special place in the city’s shopping history.
  • Novo Shirts and Jeans: Breathing new life into the old Licon Cinema Building, this newcomer offers stylish options for casual wear.
  • New Valencia Dry Good Store and Gen. Mdse.: Combining groceries and ready-to-wear garments, this store provides essential items for your everyday needs.

Future Shopping Horizons:

Beyond these existing options, Isulan is also eagerly anticipating the arrival of some exciting new shopping centers, promising to further elevate the city’s retail landscape. Stay tuned for updates on these upcoming additions!

So, whether you’re seeking fashion finds, daily essentials, or simply a fun day out, Isulan’s diverse shopping scene has something for everyone. Be sure to explore these current gems and keep an eye out for the exciting new names coming soon!



Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, comes alive every August 30th with the vibrant Hamungaya Festival, a vibrant celebration of the town’s founding and its rich cultural tapestry. More than just a party, the festival is a heart-felt expression of Isulan’s identity, woven from its agricultural roots and artistic spirit.

Celebrating Isulan’s Soul:

  • A Showcase of Talent: Young and old, Isulanons take center stage, showcasing their skills in music, literature, and various cultural expressions. These performances are a testament to the community’s belief in the boundless wealth of arts and culture.
  • Thanksgiving for the Land: At its core, Hamungaya is a deep-rooted agricultural thanksgiving. Farmers, who largely cultivate rice, corn, vegetables, and the famed African palm (utilized for its unique “kalakat” woven material), express their gratitude for the land’s bounty through rituals and performances.
  • A Story Told in Movement: The festival unfolds in two acts. First, a vivid portrayal of agricultural life, from sowing seeds to reaping the harvest. Then, a joyous celebration erupts, with colorful dances embodying emotions through expressive movements, music, and props.

Beyond Entertainment:

The Hamungaya Festival is more than just a joyous occasion; it’s a powerful statement. It represents:

  • Life Itself: As a whole, the festival embodies the very essence of life, a blend of raw emotions expressed through the human body in graceful dance.
  • Unity and Solidarity: Through showcasing their unique talents and traditions, the people of Isulan contribute to the broader dream of fostering unity and understanding across Sultan Kudarat.

Experience the Spirit of Isulan:

The Hamungaya Festival is an invitation to experience the true spirit of Isulan. Witness the beauty of their artistic expressions, feel the gratitude for the land, and join in the joyful celebration of life. Come, immerse yourself in this unique art form and discover the heart of Isulan.

So, mark your calendar for August 30th and let the Hamungaya Festival lead you into the vibrant soul of this remarkable town!

Tourist Spots

1. Narra Eco Park: A Sanctuary of Serenity

Picture a sprawling haven of towering Narra trees, vibrant bird song, and gentle breezes whispering through the leaves. This is Narra Eco Park, an escape from the everyday, inviting you to unwind and reconnect with nature.

  • Breathe in the Green: Wander through shady paths lined with majestic Narras, dappled sunlight dancing on the forest floor. Hike or bike along scenic trails, immersing yourself in the symphony of nature.
  • Embrace Adventure: For the thrill-seekers, Narra Eco Park offers exhilarating zipline rides through the canopy, challenging obstacle courses, and even kayaking experiences on a serene lake.
  • Reconnect with Simplicity: Have a picnic under the shade of a majestic tree, play classic games like frisbee or badminton, or simply relax on a hammock and let the world float by.

2. Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol: A Monumental Legacy

Beyond the lush greenery, Sultan Kudarat reveals its rich history and cultural pride at the imposing Provincial Capitol. This grand structure, adorned with intricate details and a captivating dome, stands as a symbol of the region’s governance.

  • Step Back in Time: Explore the Capitol’s halls, learning about Sultan Kudarat’s fascinating past through exhibits and interactive displays. Discover the stories of its people, their traditions, and their unwavering spirit.
  • Witness Architectural Grandeur: Marvel at the intricate detailing of the Capitol’s facade, the blend of modern and traditional architecture telling a story of progress and heritage. Stand in awe beneath the soaring dome, a beacon of pride for the region.
  • Immerse in Local Culture: Take part in cultural events often held at the Capitol grounds, witnessing traditional dances, music, and art performances. Experience the warm hospitality and vibrant spirit of the Sultan Kudarat people.

Planning Your Sultan Kudarat Adventure:

Whether you seek quiet reflection in Narra Eco Park’s embrace or wish to discover the rich history within the Provincial Capitol’s walls, Sultan Kudarat has something for everyone. Remember to:

  • Visit Narra Eco Park during the early morning or late afternoon for the most comfortable temperatures.
  • Pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat for sun protection.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks, especially if you plan on staying for a while.
  • Be respectful of the environment and leave no trace.
  • Check for cultural events at the Provincial Capitol to enhance your experience.

So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover the hidden treasures of Sultan Kudarat. Let the lush greenery of Narra Eco Park soothe your soul and the grandeur of the Provincial Capitol inspire you. This remarkable region awaits with open arms, ready to create unforgettable memories.

Baranggays of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat:

Isulan, the vibrant capital of Sultan Kudarat, is divided into 17 baranggays, each offering unique experiences and contributing to the city’s diverse tapestry. Here’s a complete list:

1. Bambad 2. Bual 3. D’Lotilla 4. Dansuli 5. Impao 6. Kalawag I (Poblacion) 7. Kalawag II (Poblacion) 8. Kalawag III (Poblacion) 9. Kenram 10. Kolambog 11. Kudanding 12. Lagandang 13. Laguilayan 14. Mapantig 15. New Pangasinan 16. Sampao 17. Tayugo


Frequency asked question:

What are the top tourist attractions in Isulan?

Isulan offers a blend of historical, natural, and cultural experiences. Some highlights include:
Shariff Kabungsuan Mosque: Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of this majestic mosque, adorned with intricate Arabic calligraphy and traditional Maguindanao architecture. Witness vibrant religious ceremonies and experience the warmth of the Muslim community.
Tilandong Museum: Uncover Isulan’s fascinating past through exhibits showcasing artifacts, photographs, and documents. Gain a deeper understanding of the local traditions and customs through interactive displays and engaging narratives.
Asik-Asik Falls: Hike through lush vegetation and be rewarded with cascading waterfalls and a refreshing natural pool. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambience and reconnect with nature’s raw beauty.
Kalimudan Festival: Immerse yourself in the infectious energy of this annual celebration of Sultan Kudarat’s diverse cultures. Witness streets come alive with colorful parades, pulsating music, and graceful dancers adorned in traditional attire. Sample delicious local delicacies and participate in cultural activities.
T’nalak Weaving Villages: Learn the art of T’nalak weaving, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from generations of skilled artisans. Observe the meticulous creation of these intricate geometric patterns, each imbued with cultural stories and ancestral wisdom. Purchase a piece of this living artform as a unique souvenir.

What is the best time to visit Isulan?

The dry season (November-April) offers pleasant weather and sunny skies. However, if you enjoy cultural events, the wet season (May-October) hosts the Kalimudan Festival in July.

How do I get to Isulan?

The nearest airport is Cotabato City Airport (CVO). From there, you can take a bus or van to Isulan (approximately 2 hours). Buses and vans also connect Isulan to major cities like Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.

What language is spoken in Isulan?

Maguindanao is the primary language, but Cebuano, Filipino, and English are also understood.

Is Isulan safe for tourists?

Isulan is generally considered safe for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.
Isulan, with its diverse cultural tapestry, serene natural landscapes, and friendly community awaits your exploration. Start planning your visit today and discover the hidden treasures of this captivating city!

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