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Kidapawan: City of fruits and highland springs
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Lynda B. Valencia
Date: 2002-08-17
KIDAPAWAN City, Cotabato (PNA) – After the TRICON meeting in Davao City, the Manila-based journalists covering the event motored to Kidapawan City where Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon launched the “Kidapawan City Fruit Festival.”

Perceived to be the first-of-its-kind in the country, this festival showcased the fruit and tourism industry of the city with the theme, “Prutas, Kalakalan at Kultura: Yaman ng Lungsod na Pinagpala.”

The Secretary cut the ceremonial ribbon with Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Piñol; Kidapawan Mayor Luis Malaluan; Benjamin Mallorca, Sr., City Tourism Officer; and Amanda Gomez, city agriculturist. Also present were officials and representatives from the private sectors.

Gordon said, “I don’t know that you have so many things to show. You are the only one who can help your city to show to the world that you have all of these. For example, this hotel in front of us, which I understand was not opened, can be used to accommodate tourists who will come. I will talk to the Lank Bank of the Philippines (LBP) management and the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA — the infrastructure arm of the DoT) to help you open this hotel so that it will add to what you have now. I want this to be opened next year when I come back.”

He added, “Your city could not just remain as that. It should be appropriately illustrated and charaterized through visual representation in order to further promote the fruit industry of the city and at the same time boost the tourism program of the city.”

Activities during the festival include fruit show and contest; market matching, film showing, fruit eating contest, draw and tell at the city gym, poster making and cultural show. The highlight of the festival was the street dancing participated by 17 barangays and the fruit float parade.

The tourism program of the city can be handled by the Kidapawan Tourism Council which is now a Hall of Famer having been adjudged as Tourism Council of the Year in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

This year, some 23,128 tourists came to the city. Of the total, 324 or 14 percent are foreigners.

On the other hand, Piñol said, “I hope with the launching of this festival, Kidapawan will now be remembered. For so long it was lost because they said Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ tallest peak (10,311 feet above sea level) belongs to Davao. But no, it is with us.”

“We have plans to hold the first fruit festival in Metro Manila. We will bring the fruits there on Friday morning, and have our display on Sunday. We will be bringing fruits, except bananas, like rambutan which is R15 a kilo here; durian (R30 a kilo); mangosteen (R40 a kilo),” Piñol said.

Kidapawan was derived from the Manobo words “tida”, meaning spring and “pawan” meaning highland, hence, “Spring in the Highland”. The first settlers were predominantly Manobos. The influx of Christian settlers from Luzon and the Visayas has resulted in the evolution of the word Tidapawan to Kidapawan.

Kidapawan was originally a district of Pikit. Shortly after Liberation on Aug. 18, 1947, Kidapawan was declared a separate municipality, becoming the fourth town of the empire province of Cotabato by virtue of Executive Order No. 82 signed by then President Manuel Roxas.

The city has a total population of 94,823 as of 1998, with 40 barangays. It has a total land area of 273,252 hectares. Later, four other municipalities were created out of Kidapawan, thus diminishing its area to 33,926.4 hectares.

On Feb. 12, 1998, then president Fidel Ramos signed Republic Act No. 8500 declaring Kidapawan a component city of Cotabato. Despite strong opposition from certain sectors, RA 8500 was finally ratified on March 21, 1998.

Kidapawan City plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the province and its adjacent areas. It is the commercial and trading center of six adjoining municipalities. It also boasts of agricultural productivity that can provide a strong base for much-required industries.

The city’s strategic location at the foot of Mt. Apo provides the city with vast tourism potentials waiting to be tapped. One of the major tourist attractions is the Mt. Apo’s twin peaks and home to the almost extinct Philippine Eagle.

One of the most visited summer respites of local and foreign tourists, it is surrounded by moss-covered century-old trees, captivating flora and fauna, sulfur craters and massive boulders.

The city has two lakes, one is the Lake Venado which is hidden among the mountain ranges at an elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level and the other one is the Lake Agko, a steaming blue lake where hot and cold springs converge at an elevation of 4,200 feet above sea level. It is five kilometers away from the jump-off point at Barangay Llomavis.

They have also the Mandarangan Geological site which is an education tourism site within the Mt. Apo Natural Park. (PNA)

[ Mt. Apo Wiki | Lake Venado Wiki ]

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