Soccsksargen or SOCCSKSARGEN (pronounced socks-sarjen), also officially known as Region XII, is a region in central Mindanao.
The name is an acronym for the region's four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City. This region is often known by its former name Central Mindanao. The regional center is in Koronadal at the province of South Cotabato. It is to the south of Bangsamoro (formerly Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), the Muslim-majority region of Mindanao.
- 1 General Santos — the largest city, with a booming tuna industry
- 2 Isulan — capital of Sultan Kudarat
- 3 Kidapawan — the best jumping-off point if you wish to climb Mount Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain
- 4 Koronadal — a planned city that is home to ethnic Hiligaynons, who comprise 95% of the city's population
- 5 Surallah — an agro-industrial and commercial center for Allah Valley
- 6 Tacurong — the commercial hub of the province of Sultan Kudarat
- 7 Lake Sebu — a town and the lake surrounded by Allah Valley, a pristine rainforest landscape recognized by UNESCO as an important cultural region
The region was called Central Mindanao until the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao were transferred to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Lanao del Norte was later transferred to Northern Mindanao. Saranggani, South Cotabato and General Santos were moved to Central Mindanao to form the present region.
The oldest inhabitants in the region are the nature-worshipping Lumads; the arrival of Christian Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Ilocano migrants drove the Lumads into the mountains. Muslim Maguindanaoans also inhabit the region, at the area bordering Maguindanao, especially in Sultan Kudarat province..
- See also: Mindanao#Understand
The region borders Bangsamoro, and there is high risk of possible attacks from Islamic militants. Areas near the regional border are the most prone to terrorist and insurgent attacks, but attacks can occur anywhere. See the warning on the top of the page for further information.
Communist rebels also hide in the mountainous areas of the region, and are involved in extortion; nevertheless, they are less of a threat to the average traveler.