What is a Dabawenyo?-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
(Editors Note: We welcome our new lifestyle columnist Jackie Garcia Dizon starting today to share her thoughts and anecdotes on life, living, leisure, and adventures. This being her first time to write for a wide audience, we're starting her off with baby steps. Twice a month at first then more when she gets into the groove.)
WHEN Stella invited me to become a part of the Sun.Star family as a lifestyle columnist, my initial reaction was "WHY ME?!?" First of all, I am awful at writing (I actually dread it)! I used to have a diary/journal back in high school and college where I would write my experiences and innermost thoughts and secrets. But, living in Manila in a five-bedroom house with then Assemblyman, tito Nonoy Garcia and his family (which included former congressman Vince and Cong Mylene Garcia-Albano), my sister, Imee and 12 teen cousins who had no inkling, whatsoever, about privacy and personal space, my diary was bound to be read by anyone who would care. And, of course, as it was bound to happen, someone did & teased me about it during one of our meals. I was so embarrassed, (humiliated & traumatized would be apt descriptions) that I vowed never to write in my diary again... the end of my journals.
Second, I don't need the added stressor. Having been inducted recently as pres of Hijos de Davao with 2 major projects falling under my term, her reply was "You would be surprised to know that writing is a stress-reliever. "Huuuuuuhh??? How can that be possible???" I asked. "Believe me," she said, "Writing will even keep you young ;-) ". TINNNGG!!! The magic word! Ok, so who am I to argue with a very well-respected, multi-awarded writer and editor, right? And so, with her as my mentor and the promise to watch over me, I agreed to give it a try.
The next problem was choosing a good topic for a lifestyle column. Being my first, I thought this would be crucial as it would be my guide for the succeeding ones. Hundreds of ideas cropped up until I decided on the topic of being a Dabawenyo. Why? Because the editor-in-chief, Stella, wanted me to write about the Davao lifestyle. (No socials, please, I requested). Having been born, partly raised (with so many beautiful and precious childhood memories), gotten married and starting my family here, I decided on the topic of being a DABAWENYO? So, what makes us different from other Filipinos?
To describe a Dabawenyo, one has to consider the fact that we are blessed with vast natural resources. Davao, is indeed a land of opportunity and has become the melting pot of the Philippines since pre-war. It is with this reason that people from different parts of the country, from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao migrated to Davao. My late grandfather, the former Mayor Leon Garcia Sr., for instance, migrated from Tanauan, Batangas, to Davao in search of greener pastures and met my grandmother, the late Milagros Monteverde Garcia, a descendant of Suazo-Bangoy family. My father in-law, the late Francisco S. Dizon Jr., a Kapampangan who was married to Pacita de los Santos of Iloilo, along with a brood of three very young children, came after the war and successfully went into agri-business and later on, real estate development.
We, Dabawenyos, are a totally different class, evolving continuously as we interact with different people of different ethnicity from different regions and countries who continue to migrate to our city. Most of us who are Davao-born have been nurtured and affected by how we were brought up. We were taught by our elders to embrace our culture and value our traditions by example. Even our dialect "Dinabaw" is still continuing to evolve, and so, as our traits that we have adopted from the different migrants.
Our women are matriarchal, meek but with strong personalities, and when pushed to the wall, "lalabas ang pagka-Dabawenya," (even the genteel ones, mind you)!
Our men are meek, mild-mannered and patient but can be stubborn at times. We are modern but still traditional.
Patria G. Montemayor - a true Dabawenyo is one who has learned to live in peace and harmony despite differences in religion, culture, and political beliefs.
Atty. Rose Cabaguio - A Dabawenyo is much more than a person who is born in Davao or someone born of parents who are ancestrally Dabawenyo. I consider that a person, wherever he was born in this world, if he grew up and studied in Davao, appreciates its cultural values, has deep respect for each ethnic heritage, has kept this pride in his heart forever burning wherever he goes, who keeps coming back like a song, a true blooded Dabawenyo.
Benjie Lizada - A true Dabawenyo is one who loves to eat amik, eats durian with rice, one who takes afternoon siestas. After taking a nap, whiles away the afternoon in a wooden rocking chair.
Margie Moran-Floirendo - A Dabawenyo is one who was born or has lived in Davao by choice. I married one and our children, who grew up here, will one day have their grandchildren trace their ancestry in this place. That makes me a Dabawenyo by heart.
Jj Sarona - Dabawenyos are comprised of a multitude of traits. Brave yet humble, strong yet caring, different but yet united. Being unique, Dabawenyos stand out from the rest but yet we also stand together.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 19, 2013.