When I was in high school — I watched “The Bucketlist” with two of my closest friends — Karen Jumarang Tan and Chynna Cuna. It was a film staring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman about two terminally ill men on a road trip with a list of things to do before they kick the bucket. After the movie, we decided to write our own. The first thing on my list was to visit every province in the Philippines.
After enrolling in UP Los Baños, I was even more determined. Laguna had a charm that up until today I couldn’t seem to get over with. Maybe, I thought, it would be as beautiful as Laguna. Rightly so. I couldn’t forget the first time I saw Lake Sebu or Lake Holon in South Cotabato. It was a paradise tucked away 1,756 meters above sea level. Fortunately, they are more accessible now.
Today, we’ll explore Region 12, more commonly known as Central Mindanao, a region composed of four provinces, namely South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and one highly urbanized city — General Santos.
According to Build, Build Build czar Mark Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways has completed a total of 2,011 km of roads, 275 bridges, 324 flood mitigation structures, and 9,199 classrooms in Region 12.
- Datu Paglas – Columbio – Matanao Road
The 23.170 km Datu Paglas – Columbio – Matanao Road in Sultan Kudarat will connect Soccsksargen (Region 12) and Davao Region (Region 11). It is the shortest route from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to Davao City.
2. Surallah – T’boli – San Jose Road
The 66 km Surallah – T’boli – San Jose Road will connect the neighboring municipalities of T’boli, Surallah and Lake Sebu to commercial centers, sea ports and airports of General Santos City. When completed, travel time from Surallah to General Santos will be reduced by 50 percent from two hours to only one hour. It bypasses the municipalities of Banga, Tupi, Polomolok and Koronadal.
3. Puntian – Arakan Road
The Puntian Arakan Road will connect the Central and Northern portion of Mindanao. It starts in Barangay Puntian in Quezon, Bukidnon and ends in the municipality of Arakan in North Cotabato. The masterplan includes an interconnection structure to three road projects: Davao-Calinan-Bukidnon Road, Digos Cotabato Road, and the Paco – Pres Rox – Antipas – Arakan Road.
4. Isulan Bagumbayan – SNA – Lebak – Kalamansig Road Network
The 135 km road network will connect the municipalities of Esperanza, Isulan, Bagumbayan, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Kalamansig and Lebak in Sultan Kudarat. When completed, it is expected to reduce transportation cost of agricultural and marine products.
5. Banga – Tupi – Malugon Road
The 102 km Banga – Tupi – Malugon Road will connect the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Maguindanao, Davao and Davao del Sur.
6. Koronadal – Lutayan – Columbio – Matanao Road
The 16.514 km Koronadal – Lutayan – Columbio – Matanao Road in Sultan Kudarat will connect Central Mindanao to Davao Del Sur in Davao Region. Motorists from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and BARMM can take this route to Davao City.
7. Surallah – Lake Sebu – Maitum Road
Heading to Lake Holon or the Seven Falls? Explore the 101 km road network of Surallah – Lake Sebu – Maitum Road which connects South Cotabato and Sarangani.
8. Sarangani – Davao Del Sur Coastal Road
Heading to Gumasa Beach or Kamlayaman Falls? The upgrading of the 1.5 km Sarangani – Davao Del Sur Coastal Road is almost complete.
9. Pinguiaman Bridge
The Pinguiaman bridge along Dulawan – Marbel Road in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat strengthens the linkage of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Cotabato City and Maguindanao. It is part of the 101 km Midsayap – Marbel Road which traverses Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, Rajah Buayan and Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao, Tantangan in South Cotabato, and Tacurong in Sultan Kudarat.
10. Cotabato City East Diversion Road
The 13 km Cotabato City East Diversion road will strengthen urban – rural linkages in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. This will provide an alternate route to decongest traffic along Sinsuat Avenue in the Central Business District of Cotabato City. It will reduce average travel time going to and from the Cotabato City proper from 70 minutes to 20 minutes. It starts along the Marbel – Allah – Cotabato Road near Awang Airport in Cotabato City and ends at Cotabato City – Lanao Road.