JUST like other cities in the Philippines, Davao City also has a rich history.
Some Dabawenyos know about some of the city's history but only few know the nitty-gritty details of the history of this wonderful city.
The Museo Dabawenyo and the Davao Museum of History and Ethonography (Davao Museum) offers Dabawenyos and its visitors a treasure trove of not only Davao City's history but also of Davao Region and parts of Mindanao.
Davao Museum's history goes way back in 1976 when Don Enrique Zobel, chair of the Filipinas Foundation, now the Ayala Foundation, offered a lot at Insular Village in Lanang to the Zonta Club of Davao City for the establishment and development of a museum.
Davao Museum Foundation, Incorporated president Judy Ann Carpio-Prantilla said the club accepted the offer and took the challenge of developing the museum, which was spearheaded by former Zonta president Veronica Dalisay Tirol together with Nenita Azarcon and Concepcion de Asis. The three women, who were also collectors of ethnic artifacts, together with the other Zontians worked together to gather artifacts that will be displayed at the museum.
On August 1, 1977, the museum opened its doors to the public showcasing the rich culture and history of Davao City.
The museum showcases the tribes of Davao and South Cotabato, the textile traditions of different tribes, ritual objects, musical instrument, jars, brasswares, knives, war blades and spears, burial urns and shields, among others.
The musuem also has a wall featuring the timeline of the history of Davao and Mindanao. Most of the information on the wall are not those that can be found in history books.
The museum is located at Insular Village I in Lanang. Admission fees are P100 (adult) and P20 (student).
Meanwhile, Museo Dabawenyo gives more focus on the history of Davao City as compared to Davao Museum.
Museo Dabawenyo was created after the Davao City Council passed the Davao City Museum Ordinance in 2006. One of the primary objectives for the creation of the ordinance was to establish a center that will highlight the history and cultural roots of Davao City.
The museum is housed at the old building of the Court of First Instance at A. Pichon St. The structure was renovated and rehabilitated to cater to the museum. However, recently the city is preparing to transfer the museum to Peoples' Park.
The ordinance states that the museum was established to serve as an educational institution that showcases the cultural and historical roots of Dabawenyos. The museum also serves as the cultural center of the city by the study and preservation of the city's artistic and cultural heritage.
Museum director Orly Escarilla said the museum was the idea of Soledad Roa-Duterte, the late mother of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The museum features different galleries with highly informative displays and unique artifacts. He said some of the artifacts displayed were donated to the museum.
On the first floor, Lumadnong Dabawenyo features the 11 tribes of Davao City. The gallery showcases the tribes' unique culture, art, and history.
Also on this floor is the Duhwow, Dabaw, Davao gallery that gives a glimpse of Davao History from Spanish, Japanese, and American occupations up until the present. It also has a gallery of the mayors of Davao City from past to present, Davao City being declared as a charter city, and the history of Kadayawan, among others.
Also on the first floor is the Hall of Fame that pays tribute to Dabawenyos who have made their dent in the history of Davao like the Datu Bago Awardees and Datu Bago himself.
On the second floor, one will be greeted by the iconic and colorful Tri-People, a multi-medium artwork by Banjo Satorre III. The Nanay Soling Duterte Hall, also on this floor, gives its visitors a detailed history of the Undivided Davao Province and antiques from Nanay Soling.
The Dabawenyo Tsino, which is also found in this hall, highlights the Davao Chinese heritage. The Hall of Peace that showcases peace efforts around the world by Germany-based Peace Counts is also found here.
Lastly, Bahaghari featrues monthly changing exhibitions of Davao arts, crafts, discoveries, inventions, and creations.
"Mao ni ang space na gina-provide namo for changing exhibitions. So, mga artists, schools, organizations, they are free to conduct exhibitions.
Kay nindot pud sa museum nga naa pud tay something new every now and then (This (Baghari) is a space we provide for changing exhibitions that are conducted by artists, schools, organizations; free of charge. It is nice for the museum to have something that is new every now and then)" Escarilla said.
The museum is located just behind Osmena Park at corner A. Pichon Sr. Street & C.M. Recto Street.
The museum is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and selected holidays.
Escarilla said though Davao Museum and Museo Dabawenyo offer similar content but each museum has also its own unique features that allow them to complement each other.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 13, 2017.
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