City's colorful history, tradition

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Thursday, March 13, 2014


THE Araw ng Dabaw is one of the most anticipated annual festivities in the country today. Fun-filled activities have been prepared by the city government and its private partners to ensure the celebration gets more exciting each year.

It is a celebration with trade fairs, colorful socio-civic and military parade along the main streets, cultural presentations of various ethnic tribes, sports competitions and concerts. Among the highlights of the event are Mutya ng Dabaw, Datu Bago Awards, and Parada Dabawenyo.

The festival offers tourists and spectators the opportunity to witness and experience the rich culture and tradition of the Dabawenyos, and how friendly, polite, and disciplined the people of Davao City are.
At least 100,000 tourists and spectators are expected to visit and flock to the city during the celebration, city tourism officer Maria Felisa Marques said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao.

Marques said the tourism office is hoping to surpass last year's over 90,000 tourists and guests, 10 percent of whom were foreign nationals.
"We have already accredited more than 200 accommodation establishments. We are happy that a lot of business people and tourists are really looking at Davao City as destination and a place for new investments," she said.

Davao City, branded as the symbol of unity among its inhabitants, has already taken great stride in terms of development, surpassing some cities of the country. With the celebration of the Araw ng Dabaw, this reminds people about the colorful history and tradition, and how Davao changes into a promising city.

City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, in a separate interview, said if he is going to rate Davao in a scale of 1-10 during the Martial Law years, he will rate the life in Davao, 3 to 4.

"I will give you a visual. Maybe from Martial Law, life in Davao City was down to 3 or 4 from freedom, peace and order, food supplies and all. It's just now that I can say naa na ta sa six-and-a-half. Dili pud ko mang ambition ug taas pa ana, I would rather let people judge Davao City," Duterte said.

"Pero para sa ako, sa akong kahago ug kahago natong tanan, we are known to be disciplined. Mao jud na ako kanunay madungog sa gawas. I would place it (Davao City) from three to six-and-a-half in terms of development. Lahi na ang Davao ron. Davao City was a dead place during the martial law days," he added.

The Araw ng Dabaw has its roots. In 1930's, the city was under control of the Japanese immigrants, who, despite laws restricting foreign ownership of land, managed to become the largest plantation owners in Davao.

Doubts were raised as to the intentions of the Japanese in the city when they’ve defeated Russia in 1904 and the Korea in 1910 then Manchuria in 1931. During 1934 Constitutional Convention, Davao delegate Pantaleon Pelayo Sr. bravely denounced the control of Davao by the Japanese.

On March 16, 1936, Davao Assemblyman Romualdo C. Quimpo filed a Bill No. 609 or Commonwealth Act No. 51 -- The Act Creating the City of Davao, which was intended to break the control of the Japanese on the city.

The act further stipulated that the city officials would be solely appointed by President of the Philippines instead of being elected, as it was believed then that in elections, Japanese-supported candidates would win, and, therefore, entrench Japanese power in Davao.

Bill No. 609 was signed into law by the late President Manuel L. Quezon in October 16, 1936. It was in March, 1937 when the Executive Proclamation No. 132 had been formally issued and created the City of Davao.

From then on, during the term of Mayor Elias B. Lopez, the celebration of the foundation of Davao City was culminated March 16. Today, Davao City is one of the most progressive cities across the world--with its slogan "Life is here".

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 14, 2014.

Lifestyle

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