South Cotabato (Filipino:Timog Kotabato) is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao. Its capital is Koronadal City, and it borders Sultan Kudarat to the north and west, Sarangani to the south and east, and Davao del Sur to the east. To the southeast lies Sarangani Bay. General Santos, located on the shores of Sarangani Bay, is the largest city in the region, and is a major seaport. The province of Sarangani used to be part of South Cotabato until it was made an independent province in 1992.
Centuries ago, the area that would be the South Cotabato was sparsely inhabited by Malay Pioneers which later evolved into various ethnic groupings that still exist in the Province today. Settlers, who would lay the foundation of what would become a progressive province, started trooping down 1914. The significant thrust occurred during the term of President Quezon in late 1930s. Gen. Paulino Santos, a man whose undaunted pioneering spirit inspired thousand, led the first of wave of settlers that time. After World War II, the final exodus of settler from Luzon and Visayas poured into the virgin land of promise.
The native Maguindanaon of South Cotabato 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.