Davao City

Davao City
City of Davao
Dakbayan sa Dabaw
Lungsod ng Dabaw
—  Highly Urbanized City  —
Skyline of Davao City

Motto: "Love, Peace and Progress."
Map of Davao City and the province of Davao del Sur
City of Davao is located in Philippines
City of Davao
Map of Davao City and the province of Davao del Sur
Coordinates: 7°3′52″N 125°36′28″E / 7.06444°N 125.60778°E / 7.06444; 125.60778Coordinates: 7°3′52″N 125°36′28″E / 7.06444°N 125.60778°E / 7.06444; 125.60778
Country Philippines
Region Davao Region (Region XI)
Districts 1st to 3rd Districts of Davao City
Barangays 184
Incorporated (town) 1848
Incorporated (city) March 16, 1936
 - Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio (LP/Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod)
 - Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte (LP/Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod)
 - Highly Urbanized City 2,444 km2 (943.6 sq mi)
Elevation 22.3 m (73 ft)
Population (2011)
 - Highly Urbanized City 1,530,365
 - Density 558/km2 (1,445.2/sq mi)
 Urban 1,142,155 (78%)
Demonym Davaoeños
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 082
Website davaocity.gov.ph

The City of Davao (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw ; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Dabaw) is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines.

Davao City is also one of several cities in the Philippines that are independent of any province. The city serves as the regional center for Davao Region (Region XI). It has a population of 1,530,365 (2011 census), making it the country's largest city outside Metro Manila and the second overall with the cities of Metro Manila combined. In recent years, Davao City has emerged as the business, investment and tourism hub for the entire southern Philippines. The City Mayors Foundation ranks Davao City as the 87th fastest growing city in the world,[1] and it has been listed by the Foreign Direct Investment Magazine as the 10th "Asian City of the Future".[2]

The city has good beaches and mountain resorts, and is close to diving spots and the highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo. It was awarded by the Department of Tourism as the Most Livable City in the Philippines in 2008.[citation needed]




The beginnings of Davao as a distinct geopolitical entity started during the last fifty years of Spanish rule in the country. While Spanish sovereignty had been established along the northeastern coasts of Mindanao down to Bislig as early as 1620, it was not until the conquest of the Davao Gulf area in 1848 that Spanish sway in these parts became de facto, paving the way to the beginning of Davao’s history.

Name's History

Local historians of Davao claim that the word davao came from the phonetic blending of the word of three Bagobo subgroups when referring to Davao River, an essential waterway which empties itself into Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos who inhabit the hinterlands of the region called the river, Davoh; the Clatta or Guiangans called it Duhwow, or Davau, and the Tagabawa Bagobos, Dabu. To the Obos, the word davoh also means a place "beyond the high grounds", alluding to the settlements located at the mouth of Davao River which were surrounded by high rolling hills. When asked where they were going, the usual reply is davoh, while pointing towards the direction of the town. Duhwow also refers to a trading settlement where they barter their forest goods in exchange for salt or other commodities.

Spanish Conquest and Administration

Conquest Of The Area

Spanish influence was hardly felt in the Davao until 1848, when an expedition of 70 men and women led by Don Jose Cruz de Uyanguren, a native of Vergara, Guipuzcoa, Spain, came to establish a Christian settlement in an area of mangrove swamps that is now Bolton Riverside. Davao was then ruled by a chieftain, Datu Bago, who held his settlement at the banks of Davao River (once called Tagloc River by the Bagobos). The chieftain was the most powerful datu in the area during that time. When Uyanguren met with the Mandaya chieftain Datu Daupan, he allied with the chieftain to help defeat Datu Bago, who treated their neighbors Mandayas as tributary barangays. Uyanguren attempted to defeat Datu Bago, but failed when their ships were outmaneuvered in crossing the narrow channel of the Davao River bend, where the Bolton Bridge is now located. Three months after the battle, he was forced to build the causeway that connects to the other side of the river, but Datu Bago's warriors raided the causeway and harassed the workers. However, a few weeks later after the battle, Don Manuel Quesada, Navy Commanding General of Zamboanga, arrived with a company of infantry and joined in the attack against Datu Bago’s settlement.

Establishment Of The Town

After Uyanguren defeated Datu Bago, he renamed the region Nueva Guipúzcoa and founded the town Nueva Vergara, which was Davao, in the year 1848, in honor of his home in Spain, and became its first governor. He himself was reported to have peaceful conquest of the entire Davao Gulf territory at the end of the year, despite lack of support from the Spanish government in Manila and his principals during the venture. He attempted to make peace with the neighboring tribes -- the Bagobos, Mansakas, Manobos, Aetas, etc. -- to urge them to help develop the area; his efforts to develop the area, however, did not prosper.

The Region Under A New Governor

By 1852, due to intrigues by people in Manila dissatisfied with his Davao venture, Marquis de Solana, under Governor General Blanco's order, took over Uyanguren's command of Nueva Guipúzcoa (Davao) Region. By that time, the capital town, Nueva Vergara, which is Davao, had a population of 526 residents and while relative peace with the natives prevailed, population expanded very slowly that even in the census report of 1855, the Christian inhabitants and converts increased to only 817, which included 137 exempted from paying tributes.

In 1867, the original settlement by the side of Davao River (end of present Bolton Street) was relocated to its present site with the Saint Peter’s church (now San Pedro Cathedral) as the center edifice on the intersection of San Pedro and Claveria Streets.

In the meantime, in response to the Davaoeños persistent demands, Nueva Vergara was renamed "Davao". The name is derived from its Bagobo origins: the Tagabawa who called the river "Dabo", the Giangan or Diangan who called it "Dawaw", and the Obo who called it "Davah", with a gentle vowel ending, although later usage pronounce it with a hard "v" as in "b". The pioneer Christian inhabitants of the settlement understandably were the proponents behind the official adoption of the name "Davao" in 1868.

The arrival of a group of three Jesuit missionaries in Davao in 1868 to take over the mission from the lone Recollect priest in the Davao Gulf area, marked a systematic and concerted effort at winning souls over the native inhabitants to the folds of Christian life. Through their zeal and frequent field work, the Jesuit fathers gradually succeeded in winning souls over the different indigenous tribes to live in reducciones, or settlements, thus easily reached for instructions in Christian precepts and practices.

By the 1890’s, even the Muslims were starting to become Christian converts, through the efforts of their own datus, Datu Timan and Datu Porkan, although many others remained steadfast in their faith to Islam. Fr. Saturnino Urios who labored among the Moros of Hijo in 1892 further swayed the latter’s faith that led to the splitting of their population. Those who wanted to live among the Christians left Hijo and were resettled in Tigatto, Mawab, and Agdao, under the supervision of Don Francisco Bangoy and Don Teodoro Palma Gil, Sr. respectively. These separatist groups generally refer to themselves today as Kalagans.

American Administration

Initial Growth of the Town

A few years after the American forces landed in 1900, private farm ownership grew and transportation and communication facilities were improved, thus paving the way for the region's economic growth.

During the early years of American rule which began in late December 1898 the town began to mark its role as a new growth center of the Philippines, which it will be a city for the next 38 years. The American settlers, mostly retired soldiers and investor friends from Zamboanga, Cebu, Manila and the U.S. mainland immediately recognized the rich potential of the region for agricultural investment. Primeval forest lands were available everywhere. They staked their claim generally in hundreds of hectares and began planting rubber, abaca and coconuts in addition to different varieties of tropical plants imported from Ceylon, India, Hawaii, Java and Malaysia. In the process of developing large-scale plantations, they were faced with the problem of lack of laborers. Thus, they contracted workers from Luzon and the Visayas, including the Japanese, many of whom were former laborers in the Baguio, Benguet road construction. Most of these Japanese later became land-owners themselves as they acquired lands thru lease from the government or bought out some of the earlier American plantations. The first two decades of the 20th century, found Davao one of the major producers of export products --- abaca, copra and lumber. It became a regular port of call by inter-island shipping and began direct commercial linkages abroad - US, Japan, Australia, and many other countries. Some 40 American and 80 Japanese plantations proliferated throughout the province in addition to numerous stores and business establishments. Davao saw a rapid rise in its population and its economic progress gave considerable importance to the country’s economy and foreign trade.

A Japanese entrepreneur named Kichisaburo Ohta was granted permission to exploit vast territories which he transformed into abacá and coconut plantations. The first wave of Japanese plantation workers came onto its shores in 1903, creating a Little Japan. They had their own school, newspapers, an embassy, and even a Shinto Shrine. On the whole, they established extensive abaca plantations around the shores of Davao Gulf and developed large-scale commercial interests such as copra, timber, fishing and import-export trading. Filipinos learned the techniques of improved cultivation from the Japanese so that ultimately, agriculture became the lifeblood of the province's economic prosperity.

From Town to City

Because of the increasing influence of the Japanese in the trade and economy of region, on March 16, 1936, Romualdo Quimpo, the congressman from Davao filed Bill no. 609 and was subsequently passed as Commonwealth Act No. 51 creating the City of Davao from the Town of Davao (Mayo) and the Guianga District. The bill further called for appointments of the local officials from the President.[3]

Davao was formally inaugurated as a chartered city on October 16, 1936, by President Manuel L. Quezon. The City of Davao then became the provincial capital of the then undivided Davao Province. It was one of the first two towns in Mindanao to be converted into a city, the other being Zamboanga. By that time the city's population was 68,000.

The City At War

On December 8, 1941 Japanese planes bombed the city. Japanese occupation started in 1942.

In 1945, American and the Philippine Commonwealth forces liberated Davao City from Japanese forces. The longest and bloodiest battle during the Philippine Liberation occurred in the city; it was during the time of Battle of Mindanao. World War II brought considerable destruction to the new city and numerous setbacks to the earlier economic and physical strides made prior to the Japanese occupation. Davao was among the earliest to be occupied by the invading Japanese Forces, and they immediately fortified the city as the bastion of Japanese defense. It was subjected to constant bombing by the returning forces of Gen. MacArthur, long before the American Liberation Forces landed in Leyte in October 1945.

Philippine Administration

After the Second World War, though the forces of the Empire of Japan inflicted a heavy toll over the city and its citizens during the war, the city still continued on its economic growth. Its population rose to 112,000 in 1946. The city resumed its role as the premier agricultural and economic hub of Mindanao. Logs, lumber, plywood, copra and banana products gradually replaced abaca as the major export product.

Thirty years later, in 1967, the Province of Davao was subdivided into three independent provinces, namely Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental. The City of Davao was grouped with Davao del Sur and was no longer the capital. However, it became a center of trade for Southern Mindanao. Over the years, Davao has become an ethnic melting pot as it continues to draw migrants from all over the country, lured by the prospects of striking it rich in the country's second largest city.

From the 1970s to present, Davao became the Regional Capital of Southern Mindanao and with the recent reorganization, became the regional capital of the Davao Region (Region XI) and the Highly urbanized city in the Province of Davao del Sur.


The population of the city, based in its official website, in 2010 Census, was 1,464,301, from 1,363,337 in 2007, 1,147,116 in 2000, and 1,006,000 in 1995. However, an estimated number of between 2-4 million people are present in Davao City during the daytime owing to work or business activities. Davao City is the only city to hit the one-million mark outside Metro Manila since 1995, making it the country's second largest city.

Culture and heritage

The weeklong Kadayawan Festival, is dubbed as 'King of festivals'.

Easy assimilation is an integral essence of multi-cultural Davao. Being a chartered city, it has grown appreciating differences in culture and tradition by numerous ethnic groups that integrated easily to the local tribes already present during its infancy as a city.

Like most cities in the Philippines, Christians largely populate Davao. Christian churches and chapels dot the city's landscape along with some temples, mosques, and other places of worship.

Another Spanish influence that remains up to this day is the observance and celebration of barrios, or villages, of the day of their respective patron saint called "Fiesta". It is in these celebrations wherein songs, dances and other forms of arts and merrymaking from various cultures have evolved creatively into the sights and sounds of Davao now. Such showcases point to its ultimate climax as the celebration of all celebrations - the weeklong Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival.

The first inhabitants of Davao are the different Lumad groups. At present time, every year, the Kadayawan Festival is celebrated as a way of thanks giving for the bountiful harvest. It is also a way to honor the tribes of Davao. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons some of the tribes are not in the list at all. The Mandaya and Mansaka tribes are now regarded as inhabitants of Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte only. The recognition of the tribes of Davao today is based on the organized ethnic groups now residing in davao city. A deputy mayor is appointed for each organized group. Since the Mandayas and Mansakas are apparently not that organized in Davao City they are not represented in the Hiyas ng Kadayawan pageant at all. The tribes of Davao now include tribes which are not original Davaoeños like the Maranao, Tausug, and Maguindanao. Ironically, the two tribes that has "MADAYAW" word in their dialect are regarded as not one of the tribes of Davao.


Mt. Apo overlooks Davao City


The land area of Davao City is 2,443.61 square kilometers, It is divided into 3 congressional districts, which are further divided into 11 administrative districts containing a total of 184 barangays. Almost 50% of its total land area is classified as timberland or forest. Agriculture utilizes about 43%. This is reflective of the fact that agriculture is still the largest economic sector. Big plantations that produce banana, pineapple, coffee, and coconut eat up a large chunk of the total land area.


Davao City is approximately 588 miles (946 km) southeast of Manila, 971 kilometres (524 nmi) by sea.

As of 2010 built-up areas used for residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial purposes represent about 10% of the total land area. Under the approved land use plan built-up and settlement area will cover 15% of the total area, while agricultural will be maximized with 67.19%. The remaining 17.68 will be devoted to forestry and conservation.


Davao City is typhoon-free due to its location. The city enjoys a weather that remains balmy all year round. It is characterized by a uniform distribution of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It has no pronounced wet or dry season. Weather predictability makes it highly conducive to agricultural production. Temperature ranges from 20 to 32 degrees Celsius and average rainfall is up to 2,000 mm yearly.

Climate data for Davao City, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 108
Average high °F (°C) 86
Average low °F (°C) 74
Record low °F (°C) 66
Source: Weatherbase[4]


Cebuano, or Bisaya, is the most widely spoken language in the city, while Tagalog comes a distant second. English is the medium of instruction in schools and is widely understood and spoken especially in the business community and for all official documents. Bistaglish, an informal mixing of the above languages, is spoken as well. Other notable languages are Boholano and Hiligaynon or known as Ilonggo.


The largest group is the Roman Catholic at 95% of the population, other Christian groups such as Protestant churches (Evangelicals, Born Again, Ang Dating Daan, Kingdom of Jesus Christ) comprise 3%, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) comprises 1.5% of the population and the remaining .5% belong to other non-Christian faiths (Islam, Buddhism, animism)


Davao City is very accessible and is the gateway to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA.

By land

Davao City also offers a wide bus network connection to major cities and provinces, not only in Mindanao but even as far as Manila and Pasay City in Luzon. Davao City is connected to Manila by a series of roll on roll off or inter-island ferry connection. Davao City is accessible by bus to and from points in Mindanao like Cotabato, Monkayo, Kidapawan, Midsayap, Digos, General Santos, Koronadal, Isulan, Tacurong, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, Butuan, and with Manila in Luzon.

The DPWH is now proposing to build the Tagum-Davao City-Digos Light Rail Transit, which will be the first in the entire Mindanao island; and the construction of the Davao-Samal Bridge, which will be like the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in the United States, to begin in 2017.

By sea

The city is also served by domestic passenger ferries at Sasa Port and Sta. Ana Wharf.

By air

Silk Air Airbus A320 at Davao International Airport

Davao City has direct flights to major cities in the Philippines and some Asian Cities. Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) is currently being served by the following airline carriers:


The city is considered as the richest city in the country outside Metro Manila, with P4.11 B annual budget.[10]

Davao City is the premier city and hub of Mindanao. It has the greatest economic activity, population, urban build-up and modern amenities in Mindanao. It is the most important economy in the island and the third most important urban center in the Philippines. It is also the largest city in the BIMP-EAGA Economic Circle. Current revenue statistics show Davao City to be the fifth-richest city in the Philippines in terms of local income and IRA - the only city outside greater Manila in the top five.

Like the rest of the country, Davao City operates on an economic system that is market-oriented, although pricing mechanisms remain regulated in a few sectors (particularly on basic commodities) to protect consumers. The competitiveness of the market has been enhanced through the dismantling of protection for "infant industries" and the breakdown of industries with monopolistic or cartel tendencies.

On the international front, the economy has been opened to global competition, through a tariff, private investments has Davao City's economy is steadily growing in the last two decades. The City has shifted counting investments from millions in the '80s to billions in the '90s and pool of skilled workforce. With close to 1.5-Million people as primary market base, the city is conducive to business as evidenced by the presence of the country's top 200 companies. Inflow of investments has been remarkable in the last ten years. Exports in the City is now a billion dollar industry with a growing niche market for its products. The stable banana and flourishing pineapple industries are among the country's leading export commodities. A net exporter since 1987, Davao City largely contributed in making the Philippines as the world's top exporter of papaya, mangosteen, and even flowers. Recently, the annual income of Davao City of 2010 is more or less than 4 billion.

The productive linkages between established businesses and Davao City community reinforced the competitive quality of life in a city that has consistently maintained single digit inflation rate since 1993. Along with flourishing investments and exports, the low inflation rate serve as concrete illustration of the remarkable gains from Davao City's sustained competitiveness nurtured by high level of responsiveness of the local government which put priority focus in facilitating business-friendly initiatives and in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous environment.

The city government is earmarking P4.11 billion for this year's budget, about P80 million higher than last year’s, without introducing new taxes. In fact, Davao City is the 5th richest city in the Philippines after Makati (P10.1 billion), Quezon City (P9.4 billion), Manila (P7.3 billion), and Pasig (P5.3 billion), making Davao as the richest city in the country outside Metro Manila.[10] Davao City also ranked 87th as the world's fastest growing city by the City Mayors Foundation, which is based in London, United Kingdom and Freiburg, Germany. According to them, the city has a projected average annual growth of 2.53 percent during the 15-year period, which made Davao as the only city in the Philippines to make it on the top 100.[11]


City Hall of Davao
The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity with the Legislative Building in the background.

Unique to the local government set-up of the city is the designation of a deputy mayor by the city mayor. Although an appointed official only, the deputy mayor serves as a direct link to the city mayor, especially for people living outside the city proper. The deputy mayor also serves as the city mayor's representative in community events. The functions of the position are considered complementary to the functions of the city vice-mayor, given the large territorial jurisdiction of the city.

The present mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. The former Mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, now sits as vice mayor.

Davao City has 184 barangays with three legislative districts. The City Government of Davao is now proposing to add two more Congressional Districts to better serve the ever-growing population.

Security and Civil Defense

The city government has invested millions of pesos to ensure the security of people living and working in Davao City. Aside from the usual forces of the Philippine National Police, a special military task force has been formed to insulate the city from terrorist attacks and other forms of criminality. The Task Force Davao, as it is named, is affiliated with the Philippine Army and is headed by an army colonel.

The city government also maintains a 24-hour emergency response system patterned after the 9-1-1 system used in the United States. People can dial the 911 number to report emergencies and criminal incidents (except for Smart land line subscribers).

A curfew on minors is also observed in the city. All business establishments, in particular bars and discos, are mandated by a city ordinance to refrain from selling alcoholic drinks beyond 2:00 am. Also, motorcycle drivers with no helmets and motorists with defective lights are not allowed to enter or drive in the city. Regular checkpoints in key parts of Davao City and at the city boundaries are conducted 24 hours to ensure the strict implementation of traffic rules.

The use of fireworks and other similar pyrotechnics, as well as smoking, is strictly prohibited in most of the city. Even outdoors, if you are under a roof of any kind, you are prohibited from smoking. Violators are made to pay hefty fines, perform community service, serve jail time, or a combination of the three. Littering is also prohibited.

Public Safety and Command Center

The Public Safety and Command Center (PSCC), the first in the entire Philippines serves as the new headquarters of the 911 and the nerve center for the 17 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras installed in 16 strategic areas in the city, covering entry and exit points and populated areas in the downtown areas, and the traffic signalization for the entire city.

The PSCC is located at Sandawa, Matina, Davao City[12]

Foreign relations

The influx of foreign visitors and the presence of expatriates and migrants in the city have prompted the governments of Japan, Palau, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States to open consular offices in the city. An honorary consulate of the European country of Czech Republic was also established in the City.[13]

The US Embassy in the Philippines opened a virtual consulate where inquiries regarding visa issuances, foreign relations concerns and travel to the United States can be made on the Internet by e-mail and chat. The virtual consulate website is maintained in coordination with Ateneo de Davao University, University of Mindanao, University of the Immaculate Conception, Holy Cross of Davao College and AMA Computer College.

Physical Infrastructure

The presence of basic infrastructure within the city such as airport, seaports, roads, bridges, telecommunications, condominiums, malls and first class hotels has sustained the economic growth in the last 10 years. Due to the city's unprecedented growth, a clamor for higher capacity infrastructures resulted to a number of modernization projects now ongoing to meet the demands of the new millennium.


The Davao International Airport's Air Traffic Control Tower is considered as the most advanced ATCs in the Philippines.[14]

The Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) is the busiest airport in Mindanao. Expansion and modernization began in 1998. Today, the new DIA (opened in December 2003) has begun accommodating larger jets such as the Boeing 747, the Airbus A330 and the Airbus A340.

Roads and bridges

Construction of more roads and bridges are also underway. The construction of the City's third major road - the Buhangin Underpass - was completed in the 1st quarter of 2003. The Traffic Management and Computerization Scheme was also implemented and now considered as one of the most modern in Asia.[15] Davao City is ranked no. 5 among cities in Asia with better traffic flow based on vehicles per kilometer of city road. The DPWH is also preparing the Master plan for the Expressway Tagum City - Davao City - General Santos City.


The Port of Davao has two government seaports Sasa International Wharf and Sta. Ana Domestic Wharf and 9 privately owned ports. In addition, the Toril International Fish Port Complex accommodates small and large-scale fishing activities as well as provide among others cold-storage facilities.


Communication links within the key business areas are adequate. With the deregulation and privatization policies of the Philippine government, the number of telecommunications player is projected to increase as well as offer affordable telecommunications services to subscribers/clienteles.

Leading telecommunications companies put facilities in Davao City paving clear connections from and to various destinations in the Philippines and all over the world. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Bayan Telecommunications Corporation (Bayantel), Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular operate vital transmission towers in the city.

Internet service providers

There are six Internet Service Providers operating in Davao City offering dial-up, dedicated and DSL types of service. The City has over a hundred Internet cafés operating in strategic areas where one can surf, chat, play games, send and view e-mails, and engage in e-commerce using the latest computer innovation and technology. Most internet cafes in the city prohibit watching pornography, website hacking, and letting students in during class hours.


There are several malls located in the city. Notable malls are SM City Davao, Abreeza Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, NCCC Mall of Davao, Gaisano South Mall, Victoria Plaza Mall and Robinsons Cybergate. Another SM Mall is being constructed in Lanang along J.P. Laurel Avenue. When it opens it will be the 5th mall along this road. The mall is said to be twice bigger than the SM Mall in Ecoland. Abreeza Mall owned by Ayala Land and ANFLOCOR opened last May 12 and also a new mall called Starmall at Mintal.

Tourist Spots

Davao Crocodile Park
People's park at Davao City.
  • Battle Memorial -– A historical marker of the longest-fought battle between the troops of the American & Filipino forces and of the Japanese Imperial Army which took place in Mintal, Tugbok District. (Mintal Elementary School)
  • Camp Domingo Leonor -– Quarters of the Spanish and later American soldiers in the 1920s. (San Pedro St.)
  • City Hall of Davao –- The former municipal building constructed in 1926. (San Pedro St.)
  • Crocodile Farm –- The only crocodile park in the region provides home to locally bred crocodiles including the country's biggest crocodile named Pangil (or fangs) measuring over 18 feet (5.5 m) in length. On display are also dozens of species of birds and snakes, as well as tigers and great apes. One can take pleasure from viewing, horseback riding around the park, or feeding the young fierce reptiles.
  • Davao Museum -– Houses artifacts of Davao's indigenous tribes and photographs of the city's historic events and history of its pioneering families. (Insular Village I, Lanang)
  • Davao Historical Society Museum -– Features the historical and indigenous collections of the Davao Historical Society (Magsaysay Park)
  • DECA Wakeboard Park -– Considered to be the biggest wakeboarding park in the Philippines, offering the best venue for the extreme water sports, the wake-boarding and water-ski. The park also offers a scenic view of Mt. Apo that boosts amusement while riding.
  • Fort of Datu Bago -- Site of the bastion of the Muslim hero Datu Bago who lorded over the Tagloc River, the old name of Davao River. (Junction of Washington St. and Quimpo Blvd.)
  • Furukawa Plantation -– The abaca plantation in Daliao which was acquired from the Bagobos as a result of the Otha Public Land Act in 1903. (Toril)
GAP Farming Orchard Resort
  • Gap Farm -– GAP Farm has deluxe cottages and campsites, Olympic size swimming pool, picnic area, horseback riding facilities, convention hall, and a World War II cave among others. Its garden is filled with exotic flowers and tropical fruits. Located in Barangay Ma-a.
  • Gumamela Caverock Farm Resort --- An inland mountain resort, this resort has the largest statue of a Gumamela Flower. The resort has SPA pool and falls & caves dating back to World War II. Located in Mintal, Tugbok. www.gumamelacaverockresort.com
  • J.K. Mercado Corporation -- Founded in 1971 as a Philippine-based company with interests in the Agri-business, Hog Farming, Flori-culture and Tourism.
  • Japanese Museum –- The museum features historical accounts of the Japanese community residing in Davao before and during the war including tools which they used in the abaca plantations, currencies, publications, among others. (Calinan)
  • Japanese Peace Memorial Shrine -– During the "Ubon Yasumi, " Japan's version of All Souls' Day held in August, Japanese war veterans and their kin take a pilgrimage to visit this memorial shrine. (Mintal)
  • Japanese Tunnel -- A tunnel that the Japanese created in the time of the Japanese Revolution. 200 meters remains of the original 1 km of tunnels. Admission is 50 pesos for adults. (Matina)
  • Lon Wa Buddhist Temple -- The biggest Buddhist temple in Mindanao is set in an environment of candle trees and bamboo with an imposing statue of the Buddha and his life depicted in wood carving. (R. Cabaguio Ave.)
  • Memorial to a Brave Son -- This memorial marker was built in recognition of the gallantry of Armando Generoso, who died in the very site of the bridge while defending it from the Japanese invaders during World War ll. (Gov. Generoso Bridge)
  • Mindanao Taoist Temple –- Houses the holy icons of the Taoist religion. (J.P. Cabaguio Ave.)
  • Mintal Historical Marker -– A memorial to Colonel Yamada who defended Mintal during the war. It is also the site of the visit of McArthur, Stillwel and Eichelberger. (Mintal)
  • Monument of Peace & Unity -– Unveiled during the celebration of the Philippine Centennial in 1998, the monument depicts the peaceful relationship of the migrant and indigenous inhabitants of Davao in the last 100 years. (San Pedro St.)
  • Mosques -– Islam is also one of the major religions in the city with several places of worships found in Bankerohan, Quezon Blvd., Panacan, Quimpo Blvd., among others.
  • Museo Dabawenyo -– a government-owned museum located at Pichon-Claveria streets.
  • Old Japanese Houses -– The site of old Japanese homes, warehouses and abaca processing and drying plants before and during World War II. (Mintal, Tugbok District & Toril District)
  • Osmeña Park -– Formerly known as the Plaza, this was the site of the settlement of the early Davaoeños. (San Pedro St.)
  • Ottha Kyosaburu Memorial Shrine -– A memorial obelisk built in honor of Otha Kyosaburu who invoked the Public Land Act No. 926 of 1903. (Mintal Elementary School)
  • Uyanguren Landing Site -– The landing site of Don Jose Oyanguren y Cruz of Guipuzcoa, Spain, the Spanish conqueror who later became the Governor of Davao. (Rodriguez Park, Quezon Blvd.)
The endangered Philippine Eagle, is taken care of at Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City
  • San Pedro Cathedral –- One of the oldest churches in Mindanao, the original structure of the church was built in 1847 in honor of St. Peter, the city's patron saint. The old altar is preserved at the right wing of the cathedral(San Pedro St). It is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Davao.
  • Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague -– A local mecca of the city's Roman Catholic devotees. (Shrine Hills, Matina)
  • St. Mary of Perpetual Rosary -– A shrine built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary which features a series of steps that leads to the main chapel. (Cabantian, Buhangin District)
  • Talomo Beach –- Sunken warships during the Second World War used to be found just 200 meters from the shore until they were scrapped recently. (Talomo District)
  • Eden Nature Park -- A very popular mountain resort located in Eden, Toril District, some 40 min away from the city center. It is situated 3,000 ft (910 m) above sea level, giving it a cool and moderate climate. It is 95% man-made with pine trees dotting the landscape. It covers 40 hectares worth of developed land.
  • Philippine Eagle Center -- Home to the Philippines National Bird, The Philippine Eagle (previously named Monkey-eating Eagle), the largest eagle in the World. It is where they are bred in captivity in order to increase their population and prevent extinction. Located in Malagos, a 45 min drive from the city center. Aside from being a temporary home for the Monkey-eating Eagle's, it also hosts some other exotic animals native to Davao's forest. As of April, 2010, 18 eagles are on exhibit. Note that if the Crocodile Farm is visited first, a 4-day waiting period must be observed before visiting the Eagle Center to avoid disease transmission.
  • People's Park -- On December 15, 2007, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte led local officials in opening the P72-M People's Park (old PTA Ground) in Davao City which features a mini-forest and large sculptures (many by the same artist from Ponce Suites located in Bajada at Roads 4 and 3 in Davao City, which you should go see also, as the artwork at the hotel is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth looking at) representing indigenous groups in Southern Mindanao.[16]
  • River Rafting at Davao River -- An hour ride from downtown area, the starting point is near Tamugan Bridge along the Davao-Bukidnon Highway. With a 13-km stretch of whitewater adventure, the rafting ends near the Lacson-Lamanan Bridge. The trip package can be availed by booking with River One Adventure, 082 305 7624 or with Davao Wildwater Adventure at Crocodile Park.

Socio-cultural Environment

Health and Hospital

Southern Philippines Medical Center

The average life expectancy of Davaoeños is 70 for females and 65 for males. There are about 31 hospitals with a total of 1,963 beds in Davao City. Very affordable medical services are made available to poor residents through the Southern Philippines Medical Center, which has the most hospitals beds at 1,200.

On the other hand, hospitals such as the Davao Doctors Hospital, San Pedro Hospital, Brokenshire Memorial Hospital, Ricardo Limso Medical Center, and Davao Medical Center now known as the Southern Philippines Medical Center are training hospitals that also offer specialized medical care services. Davao Regional Hospital in neighboring Tagum City, also offers the same quality specialized physician training and health services.

Psychiatric hospitals, psychotherapy clinics and counselling centers are also found in the city, directed and manned by internationally-trained counselors, psychologists, psychometricians and psychiatrists.

In Davao City, there are currently six large tertiary hospitals: Davao Doctors Hospital, San Pedro Hospital, Brokenshire Memorial Hospital, Davao Medical School Foundation Hospital, Ricardo Limso Medical Center, and Southern Philippines Medical Center formerly Davao Medical Center.


University of the Philippines Mindanao.
Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City.

The government provides free education at the primary (grade school) and secondary (high school) levels. Government scholars from all over the region enjoy free college education in state-run universities such as the University of the Philippines Mindanao and the University of Southeastern Philippines. The literacy rate of the country is 93.9%. Davao City has a literacy rate of 98.05%.

Davao City is the education hub in Mindanao. The University of the Immaculate Conception (formerly Immaculate Conception College) is the first Catholic school in the island of Mindanao founded in 1905 by the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Sisters (RVM)

Notable institutions in Davao offering tertiary education include:

Other schools in the city are St. Peter's College of Toril run by the congregation of the Presentation of Mary Sisters, Davao Central College, Inc., Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School, Assumption College of Davao run the Missionaries of the Assumption, Holy Cross College of Sasa run by the TDM sisters, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (or Mindanao International College), Stella Maris Academy of Davao (SMAD) run by the Hijas de Jesus, Holy Child School of Davao (HCSD), Philippine Academy of Sakya, Davao Christian High School, Davao Central High School, Rizal Special Education Learning Center, Davao Merchant Marine Academy (DMMA),Agro Industrial College Foundation of the Philippines, MATS College of Technology, John Paul II College, AMA Computer College-Davao Campus , STI College of Davao, Rizal Memorial College, Jose Maria College run by the church founded by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, and Rogationist Academy - Davao run by the congregation of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus.

The Davao Medical School Foundation also is the oldest medical school in Mindanao and is ranked one of the Best Medical Schools in the Philippines.

Many religious organizations established their schools of theology for the formation of their pastors, ministers and priests. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao has their Saint Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary and the Saint Francis Xavier College Seminary. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines has its UCCP Pag-asa School of Theology. The Baptist churches established their own, the Southern Philippines Baptist Theological Seminary, Inc., the General Baptist Bible College and the Missionary Baptists has their "Philippine Missionary Baptist Seminary - Asia Institute of Theology" located at Circumferential Road, Marfori Heights, Davao City. Other fundamental churches have Christian Colleges of Southeast Asia Foundation located in Tulip Drive cor. Quimpo Blvd., Juna Subdivision, Davao City and the Mindanao Christian Foundation College and Seminary, Inc.

The city has contributed much to the Southern Mindanao's ever increasing pool of masters and doctorate degree holders helping the city gain the distinction of having one of the highest numbers of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) graduates in the region.

The city is considered the Center for Learning and Education in Southern Philippines. Currently, it has 374 elementary schools, 65 secondary schools including the Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus which is one of the most premiere A-1 schools in the Asian Region, and 46 colleges and universities.


Davao City, having over a million night-time population and an estimated 4 million day-time population is home to many media outlets. Large media networks maintain their respective local stations and branches for viewership, commercial and news coverage purposes. Most of these stations broadcast local news and public affairs as well as entertainment and dramas to cater the local viewers.

Moreover, there are cable television operations in the city offering for a fee worldwide array of television stations for news, sports, science and technology, movies and documentaries, history and natural sciences, action and sci-fi, lifestyle and fashion, cartoons and children's shows, entertainment and showbiz-oriented programs and more.

Aside from the 24 national daily newspapers available, Davao City also has 20 local newspapers. Among the widely-read are the Sun Star Davao, Mindanao Times.

Sister cities

There are 10 sister cities in Davao as designated in Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

Friendship Cities

See also



External links

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