About two hours of driving away from General Santos is Isulan, a medium-sized town with a little downtown area equipped with a shopping mall and a few business establishments. It’s also home to a huge building you would expect to fit just right perhaps in Putrajaya, Malaysia, but it’s a surprising sight in this sleepy provincial town.
This is the capitol building of the Province of Sultan Kudarat, located in the southwest of the island of Mindanao. The design for this seat of provincial government was inspired by local and Islamic architecture. The five-story building is predominantly white, with a golden dome that soars to the sky. Inside, the building is equipped with two helipads, an elevator, a visitor lounge, and a prayer room for Muslims. Local art and culture are on display as well, with ceilings are adorned with festive gold and orange designs, and woodwork featuring mother-of-pearl inlay.
The building sits at the heart of a large complex. An expansive green lawn stretches out from the capitol, and is home to a golden statue of Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, after whom the province was named. Sultan Kudarat was a Muslim leader who reigned in the Sultanate of Maguindanao from 1625 to 1671.
Romeo Zaragoza, provincial planning and development office, said the local governments spent at least P380 million for the construction of the building and for its furniture and utilities. Construction began in November 2000 and was completed in September 2006.
Know Before You Go
The sprawling provincial complex is located along the National Highway in the town of Isulan. Isulan is accessible from General Santos City which is 2 hours by plane from Manila.