SOCCSKSARGEN (pronounced like socks-sarjen) is also officially known as Region XII and is 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 older name Central Mindanao. The regional center is Koronadal City located in the province of South Cotabato. Cotabato City, although geographically within the boundaries of the province of Maguindanao, is part of SOCCSKSARGEN and is independent of Maguindanao province. (Maguindanao province is a part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which has its seat in Cotabato City. SOCCSKSARGEN and the province of Maguindanao were once part of the original Cotabato province.
The region once formed Central Mindanao until the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao is transferred to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; Lanao del Norte is soon transferred to Northern Mindanao. Saranggani, South Cotabato and General Santos are 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.
- See also: Mindanao#Understand
The region borders the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 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.