Cotabato City: People’s Palace and Al Nor Complex Changing Lifestyle

The People's Palace, seat of the local government in Cotabato City
The People's Palace, seat of the local government in Cotabato City

If one would imagine Cotabato City solely from how media paints it to be, I would picture people cowering in fear hiding in their homes, areas devastated by bomb blast or probably a war zone (now that is exaggerating a bit). But being there is different. I didn’t have heightened alarms ringing in my head like when I was in Basilan during an election period, and I see people, families happily going around the street. Yes there are military check points for safety purposes but threats to security won’t stop this city from developing, especially with the people striving for a change. With the old structures are new establishments changing the way Cotabateños live.

The Malay influence on the Old City Hall
The Malay influence on the Old City Hall

Within the city there are interesting landmarks to visit. At the city plaza is the Old City Hall, a beautiful Malay-inspired building with elements of ethnic design in its architecture. Currently, it is home to a team of Marines. I do hope they try to utilize this structure further like a museum or better, their tourism office. From what I’ve seen, the building condition isn’t getting any better.

Inside the People's Palace
Inside the People's Palace

The New City Hall is now at Malagpas which they now called the People’s Palace, aptly named since this new seat of local government was made and funded with the people’s money. The building is a hybrid of modern neo-classical and Moro design. It may look like a straight line structure but viewed on the side angle, the wings look like long outstretched arms ready to embrace.

Restaurant row at Al Nor Complex
Restaurant row at Al Nor Complex

What could be spearheading in development of Cotabato City is the Al Nor Commercial Complex along Sinsuat Avenue. Al Nor houses a number of eateries, shops, a business hotel and the first 24-hours convenience store in the City. Before, a lot of Cotabateños just go home after work. Now some people would head out here at night just to chill at one of the coffee shops like Bo’s or other cafes. Young entrepreneurs are also able to showcase some of their works and business at the shops.

Entrance to the Al Nor Business Hotel
Entrance to the Al Nor Business Hotel

The AL Nor Hotel and Convention Center has to be the most upscale in the city at the moment with its 30 gorgeous rooms complete with hi-end amenities from flat-screen TV, ref, wifi among others. All that at a starting price of P1300 up to the more expensive P3500.  They also have 3 function rooms that can occupy up to 1,200 persons. They are becoming a favourite for weddings and events.

One of the rooms in Al Nor Hotel
One of the rooms in Al Nor Hotel

Cotabato City is changing, despite the adversities the city faces, it won’t stop them from developing. They definitely want to share their treasures to the rest of the country. Cotabato City welcomes everyone with a warm embrace.

Al Nor Hotel and Convention Center
Telephone: (064) 552.0188
Mobile: +63947.555.7003

11 Responses to “Cotabato City: People’s Palace and Al Nor Complex Changing Lifestyle”

  1. I blasted with the view of the pictures.whats SOCCSKSAREN mean?

    Reply
    • Hi Ritz! SOCCSKSARGEN means South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City

      Reply
  2. The Cotabato City that I know back in the late 60′s is so vastly different that it is now. Time to go back and relive fond memories.

    Reply
  3. It’s like stepping into foreign soil. So much diversity in the Philippines and the more people travel within our boundaries the more solidarity would be achieved by its citizens.

    Reply
  4. Did you go direct by plane or via Davao? My first time there long ago i took the bus from Davao, didn’t know it will pass via the what they call ‘killing fields’. And they thought i was a reporter because i had a long canon lens (film) that time. I was scared when they told me about that and realized the kidnappers were in those areas too, in fact the father of my friend was kidnapped once. I stayed actually in their house. But i took that route again 2x later after a few years!

    Reply
  5. An overwhelming positive view of some Bloggers like you Sir Ferds to appreciate the historical City of Cotabato which you’ve mention in your blog that “Cotabato City is one such place that has been marred by negative publicity by the media who exaggeratedly painted the minds of other readers who wanted to see the place but there are hindrance due to this negative views of others.

    Hope you keep on spreading this good impression and experience the wonders of South Central Mindanao.

    J’ne

    Reply
    • Hi Jane! Nice to see you here. I do hope you get more visitors in your area this time around :)

      Reply

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