THE Davao Tourism Association (Data) is pushing for the construction of a Davao Cultural Village Center in Davao City in a bid to improve local tourism here.

During the Turismo Café press conference at Abreeza Ayala Malls Activity Center Thursday, January 26, Data president Gatch Gatchalian said the cultural village center in the city will showcase the culture of the eleven local tribes of Davao City.

“The Davao Cultural Village Center will be the jump off point to visit first before we go to the individual tribes. This is one way of preserving our culture. Because what we notice, when we have VIPs, that’s the only time we experience Kalumon [Dancing Ensemble]. Why is it only the VIPs experiencing the rich culture? Any Dabawenyo can visit the center,” said Gatchalian.

He said that the dancing ensemble inspired him to come up with the idea of constructing a cultural village. According to him, Kalumon has no home or a physical establishment that they consider their own. They can sometimes be seen at the airport or in hotel lobbies performing but not on a specific venue where people can watch them anytime they wish.

He added that we do not have a venue that would regularly showcase these dances unlike restaurants in Vietnam and Thailand where their traditional dances are being performed for the guests on a regular basis.

Aside from the cultural dances, the venue will showcase the different ways of living of the eleven tribes of the city. It will serve like a museum and a performing venue. They also envision the establishment to have commercial spaces that can be rented for souvenir shops.

“So we need something to showcase this, not because there are visitors but simply because every Dabawenyo should enjoy and should really enrich it,” said Gatchalian.

He said the idea had been shared with the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) and CTOO chief Generose Tecson is very supportive of the idea.

They could not disclose the location that Data had been eyeing to build the village center on but he said the area is where locals and tourists alike go to have a taste of durian, especially during its peak season.

There had been no finalities of the details yet but Gatchalian hopes construction begins within the year.

He said the funding will be coming from fund-raisings, sponsors, private sectors, and any other Dabawenyos who are willing to be part of the said project. He added that through this, the project will not anymore be a Data project but will be of the entire Davao City. (JPA)