THERE are many unique and wonderful things that locals in Davao can take pride of: the picturesque landscapes, different fruit plantations, virgin forests, and pristine beaches.
Also highlighted is the harmonious relationships developed among its people who are from diverse cultures and religions as they continue to peacefully co-exist with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), the original inhabitants decades ago.
So, this is our personal top 7 ranking of the unique facts about Davao.
1. President Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Roa Duterte, became the first ever Mindanawon to be elected on the highest post of the country. Duterte served as a local chief executive in Davao City for 21 years before he took oath as the 16th president of the country last June 30. The 71-year-old Duterte, whose famous battle cry #ChangeisComing used by his supporters during the campaign period, has vowed to eradicate the pandemic problems of illegal drugs and corruption.
2. Duterte's residence an instant tourist attraction
With President Rodrigo Duterte being elected as the 16th president of the country, Digong's hometown, Davao City, has become the center of the spotlight now. Everyone became curious about Davao City and the Dutertes, which includes Digong's children: Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, her brothers Vice Mayor Paolo and Sebastian "Baste", and the youngest Veronica. This is what prompted the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao to conceptualize a tourism campaign wherein Digong's supporters and non-supporters get to know more the tough-talking public official. The planned tourism tour includes Digong's life story, political highlights, key projects, house, and his favorite eatery.
Davao City is not only associated with the President and the Dutertes. But it is only popular with the Durian, the king of all fruits. The Southern Mindanao, in fact, is considered as the "durian republic” in the country. This is because this part of the country seldom experiences typhoon and also enjoys a pleasant weather all year round with temperature ranging from 20 to 32 Celsius. Among the famous durian varieties include Arancillo, Puyat, Oboza, Umali, Chanee, Mon Thong, Lacson 1 and 2, and Kanyaw. The Durian season is usually in season during August to October.
4. Kadayawan Festival
Usually the peak of the harvest of Durian fruit usually coincides with the celebration of the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City in August. The Kadayawan Festival is described as a "celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, wealth of culture, and the bountiful harvest and serenity of living." Over the years, the annual celebration of the festival has evolved from the usual tradition of giving back for the bountiful harvest into a tribute for the indigenous peoples (IPs) living in the city. Notable activities during the festival are the Davao River Festival, Sayaw Mindanao, Lumadnong Dula, Tunog Mindanaw, Hiyas sa Kadayawan, Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, Pamulak sa Kadalanan, and Floral Float Parade.
5. Davao City's 11 tribes
The celebration of the Kadayawan Festival has been centered on celebrating the culture of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) residing in Davao City. There are 11 tribes: Ata, Bagobo-Klata, Bagobo-Tagabawa, Iranun, Kagan, Maguindanaon, Maranao, Matigsalog, Ovu Manubo, Sama, and Tausug.
All of these tribes lived harmoniously together, in peace and friendships. In fact, one of the activities of the festival gives focus on the culture of the tribes.
The Hiyas sa Kadayawan, similar to regular beauty pageants wherein each tribe is represented by one young woman. But unlike other pageants, it tests how the candidates understand their culture and traditions thru question and answer, talent, and among others. Other highlights for the lumads include Tribuhaning Pasundayag (tribal cultural show), and Tribal Games, and Subang Sinugdan (fluvial parade).
6. Tourist attractions
Davao region does not have shortage when it comes to tourist attractions. The unique mix of diversity, both in landscape and in culture make the Davao region a must-visit. The region has so much to offer from white sand and pristine beaches, animal sanctuaries, and adventure stops.
Among the top tourism spots include Philippine Eagle Center (PEC), Crocodile Park, Eden Nature Park, People's Park, among others. It is also the gateway to the region that boasts of equally enticing destinations.
The best places for white sand beaches are the Dahican Beach Resort in Mati City, Davao Oriental; and Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte. Then there are the waterfalls and caves to explore, as well as the mountains, including the first Unesco inscribed heritage site, the Mt. Hamiguitan Mountain Range in Davao Oriental.
7. Peace and order
Davao City takes it pride when it comes to peace and order. Last year, Davao City ranked 4th safest city in the world based in the user-contributed survey site Numbeo.com. This was made possible with the efforts of the law enforcement agencies such as the Davao City Police (DCPO), Task Force Davao, and the 10th Infantry Division (ID). This is the highest ranking that Davao City got under the leadership of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.