Revisiting Davao Oriental

Top-tier destinations, cultures, and festivals never cease to amaze tourists
Revisiting Davao Oriental

In the land where the sun rises and sets first, Davao Oriental is a place where natural scenery and vibrant culture come alive. Situated in the easternmost part of the Philippine archipelago, Davao Oriental captivates every tourist, leaving them longing to return after their first visit.

Davao Oriental stands out as a top-tier tourism destination in the Davao Region, strategically situated near the Pacific Ocean and the markets of the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia –Malaysia–Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga). 

It holds the distinction of being the largest province in the Davao Region, presenting abundant prospects in sectors like agribusiness, food manufacturing, and ecotourism. 

Photo by Davao Oriental LGU

Davao Oriental boasts a variety of attractions ideal for tourism and investment. The ‘Welcome Park’ in Banaybanay features a hilltop shrine and local delicacies, while ‘Sunrise Boulevard’ in Baganga offers amenities for social activities and stunning sunrise views. 

‘Dahican Beach’ in Mati is a hub for water sports and marine life sightings. The ‘Subangan Museum’ also in Mati highlights the province's rich heritage and biodiversity. 

‘Cape San Agustin’ in Governor Generoso, with its historic lighthouses, and ‘Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary’, a Unesco World Heritage site, showcase natural wonders. ‘Aliwagwag Falls’ in Cateel, the highest in the Philippines, and Pusan Point in Caraga, known for its early sunrise, are among the region's must-see sites.

Photo by D'Artagnan Yambao

Beyond its stunning tourism sites, the province takes pride in its rich and vibrant culture, which remains alive and practiced by the Lumad communities today. Indigenous tribes such as the Mandaya, Mansaka, Mamanua, Manobo, Mangguangan, Tagacaulo, and Kalagan have long inhabited the region. 

According to the history of Davao Oriental, these tribes thrived in Davao Oriental, settling near the Pacific Ocean, rivers, and forests. They supported themselves with basic agriculture, fishing, and occasional barter trade. Their spiritual life centered around the diwata worship system, guided by female priestesses, while their governance structure was characterized by paternalistic leadership.

The Mandayas, closely connected to nature, engaged in "kaingin" agriculture and hunting, generously sharing resources within their community. They crafted clothing from abaca fiber and maintained unique cultural traditions, including dance, music, and marriage rituals. 

Photo by Allan Joseph D. Albior/SunStar Davao

Overall, Davao Oriental is characterized by a simple, nature-centric way of life and diverse cultural practices that continue to thrive today.

While enjoying the tourism sites and cultural richness of Davao Oriental, the Provincial Government's commitment to preserve and nurture them goes beyond mere appreciation. Recently, from June 29 to July 1, the province hosted its first Kabilin Festival. "Kabilin," a local term meaning "heritage," symbolizes the essence of this event — a tribute to the province's rich cultural and natural legacy.

According to Davao Oriental Governor Nino Sotero L. Uy, the provincial government is passionately advocating for the Kabilin Festival because it believes it is worth celebrating — highlighting the community's strength and unity. 

To honor the deserving culture and heritage, the province has launched the inaugural Kabilin Festival in conjunction with the 57th Araw ng Davao Oriental. 

“This event is more than a celebration; it is a testament to the resilience and unity of the community, reflecting the spirit of the Oriental Dabawenyo people,” Uy said.

Uy emphasized the importance of exploring innovative policies and programs that consistently promote their culture and preserve environmental resources, especially beyond celebratory events like the inaugural Kabilin Festival. 

The initiative aims to enhance tourism by spotlighting attractions such as the Unesco-recognized Mount Hamiguitan Wildlife Sanctuary. It also seeks to celebrate the profound cultures and traditions of the Mandaya and Kagan peoples, integral to their heritage. 

“The goal is to ensure these cultural legacies are honored and celebrated daily, not solely during the Kabilin Festival,” Uy added.

Photo by Provincial Government of Davao Oriental

As part of the Kabilin Festival and 57th Araw Ng Davao Oriental celebration, new queens were crowned after a five-year hiatus. These queens represent not only the face but also the embodiment of Davao Oriental, promoting tourism and cultural heritage across the province.

Piligrina Jendy Bentayao, crowned as Binibining Davao Oriental 2024 from VM Farm Manay, is distinguished for her unwavering commitment to advocating positive change. She actively promotes environmental preservation and conservation efforts in Davao Oriental. 

Bentayao also raises awareness on women's rights, healthcare prevention, tourism development, access to quality education, and protecting youth from online exploitation. Her advocacy extends beyond her title, focusing on meaningful causes that benefit the community and enhance the province's welfare.

The new Binibining Davao Oriental 2024 plans to leverage social media to post and promote environmental policies, aiming to educate and spread awareness, particularly within the province. By implementing various activities related to ecotourism, she hopes to protect and educate the community about the ecological treasures of Davao Oriental. 

“My goal is to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of environmental conservation among the residents,” Bentayao added.

The celebration of Kabilin Festival will boost the visibility of the province's tourism sites and cultural heritage. It aims to make a significant impact, showcasing Davao Oriental's rich culture and attractive tourist destinations both locally and nationally.

Visitors to Davao Oriental will undoubtedly feel welcomed and captivated by its serene natural landscapes, providing the perfect backdrop to immerse in local culture while exploring various tourist sites. 

Everyone will surely carry fond memories, recognizing Davao Oriental as a haven for nature enthusiasts. This aligns perfectly with the province's tagline, 'First Light, First Sight,' reflecting the true essence of the experience it offers. AJA

Trending

No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph