Kidapawan City is a 1st class city in the province of Cotabato, Philippines per Department of Finance Order No. 20-2005. It is the capital city of North Cotabato. It is a favorite tourist destination in the late October to December and in the summer, where thousands of tourist climb the majestic Mt. Apo, the country's highest peak. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 101,205 people in 20,393 households. Estimates indicate that as of 2005, the population has reached 120,210.
Kidapawan, the city hailed as “A Spring in the Highland”, comes from the words “tida” which means spring and “pawan” meaning highland. The city is found at the bottom of the majestic Mt. Apo, the country’s tallest mountain making it a great spot and first-rate tourist attraction. Kidapawan is situated at the southeastern section of Cotabato province, placed in the middle of three other major cities of Davao, Cotabato,General Santos and koronadal city.
Its 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.
Strategically located at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines' tallest peak at 10,311 feet above sea level, Kidapawan City bustles with renewed energy as it opens its doors to the world. Mount Apo and its other scenic attractions make the province of Cotabato a potential world-class tourist destination.
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.
Kidapawan City was legally created by virtue of Republic Act. No. 8500, signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos on February 12, 1998, making it the first component city of North Cotabato Province. The people overwhelming ratified the said Act on March 21, 1998 during a plebiscite conducted for the purpose.
Originally named a district of Pikit in 1942, In 1942 the Japanese Imperial forces entered in Kidapawan, In 1945 defenders of the Filipino soldiers and guerrillas taken in Kidapawan fought the battles attack by the Japanese Imperial forces beginning the World War II, Kidapawan was later declared a separate municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 82 issued by then President Manuel Roxas on August 18, 1947 – thereby becoming the fourth town of the then Empire Province of Cotabato, composed previously of the municipalities of Cotabato (now Cotabato City), Dulawan (later named Datu Piang) and Midsayap.
Created along with the city were the 12 original barangays, namely: Birada, Ginatilan, Indangan, Linangcob, Luvimin, Manongol, Marbel, Mateo, Meohao, Mua-an, Perez, and Sibawan. From the original land area of 273, 262 hectares, Kidapawan retained only 34,007.20 hectares when four municipalities were created from it namely: Magpet (June 22, 1963, R.A. 3721), Matalam (Dec. 29, 1961, E.O. 461), M’lang (Aug. 3, 1951, E.O. 462) and President Roxas (May 8, 1967, R.A. 4869).
Prior to its conversion to a municipality, five appointed District Mayors had served Kidapawan. The first was Datu Siawan Ingkal, tribal chieftain of the Manobos, who headed the Civilian Emergency Administration when World War II broke out. He was followed by Felimon Blanco, Ceferino Villanueva, Jacinto Paclibar, and Alfonso Angeles Sr., who became the first elected mayor of the municipality.
Kidapawan became the provincial capital of North Cotabato pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 341 dated 22 November 1973, with the provincial seat of government located in Amas. Later, Batas Pambansa No. 660 dated 19 December 1983 renamed the Province of North Cotabato just plain Cotabato. By the time it became the province’s capital, Kidapawan had already 40 barangays under its geopolitical jurisdiction