From NicarAGDAO to bustling Davao
It was almost 30 years ago that Davao’s moniker were labeled out from notoriety of Nicaragua of Central America. The country, especially Davao, was then rotten with killings, murders and chaos. Agdao, the main business district but hosts a large slum area located in the city proper and is mostly comprising its south shore including major port areas, had been a district ruled by communists and criminal elements back then.
Killings, murders and criminal activity was a common norm then that it served the birthplace of Alsa Masa, a vigilante group that has equally earned its notoriety in their pursuit to weed out the social dirt.
The city epitomizes the struggle of self-determination of its people to eradicate the ugly face of criminality dogged by its shadowy past to become a splendor of success, and to install the ultimate bustling economy.
The legendary mayor Rody Dutere, who now reigns over the country as president, has earned mix reviews from the national media scene but well loved and trusted by his people. He became mayor for already seven terms since the early 90′s. In his seventh inaugural on June 28, 2013, he said:
“Today, as I take my oath of office as City Mayor for the seventh time, I ask you to join me in sustaining not only this government of the people, by the people and for the people, but also in creating a government for the least, the last and the lost.”
He said further: “There will be no let-up in our fight against all forms of criminality. As a matter of policy, we will intensify our efforts in this campaign. I have said it before, I will say it again: Criminals have no place in our city except in our jails, detention cells and God forbid, in our funeral parlors should these criminals decide to fight it out with the authorities.”
Today, Duterte is the country’s president after he won by landslide in last year’s election and what he did to Davao he promised to replicate nationwide.
Today, Davao City isn’t putting their energy and resources on the nocturnal concerns of criminality any longer, it has refocused its strength on the area of development such as in business and trade, real property and tourism. It had savored the sweet fruition of their past sacrifices. It’s time to move forward.
Madayaw sa Davao meaning “it’s beautiful in Davao,” is a common greetings among the natives meaning “good” and “of value”. Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival is an annual festival celebrating the good harvest and good life.
Davao being the center stage of food production including the famous Durian fruit, which is endemic in the region. It also cultivartes flowers and other agricultural produce. It is also the threshold of the country’s tallest peak the Mt. Apo.
It is in the middle of the month of August that it will burst to colors. It enthralls visitors by the awesome outburst of colors and revelry from street dancing and exposition of cultural wonders. The new trending wave of travel towards Davao City is unarguably the relative peace it has now achieved. The city is experiencing a surge not only in investment but tourism influx and migration from neighboring provinces in Mindanao.
Top 3 Destinations
The kindred spirits and adventurers might be captivated by the allure of Mt. Apo mountain peak, nestled in the northwestern frontier of Davao and Cotabato.
The 9,692 ft. Mountain is home to the rich flora and fauna and stood as beacon of the endangered Monkey Eating Eagle. But in and around Davao are an array of romantic and nature-designed paradise, beach and mountain resorts.
Davao due to its relative peace have pushed tourism infrastructure and services to its heights and has become a favorite destination among local and foreign tourists.
The Island Garden City of Samal for instance has become the direct beneficiary of the uptick in tourism. It has now become one of the top drawer of visiting foreign tourists, it sits just south off Davao City.
It hosts various top-rated resorts that are surrounding the city island. Going there is easy and even provides added adventure, being just 20 minutes Roro drive from Sasa Port.
Of course, you can bring in your car and drive your way around the beautiful island paradise.
The next big thing especially if you love and advocate nature’s preservation, you should go to the Philippine Eagle Center, it is home of the 36 species of eagle, prominent among them are the Monkey Eating Eagle.
It is near Calinan district, about an hour bus ride from the city proper going north. Minimal amount of an entrance fee of P50.00 ($1.20). But the cost of your experience is priceless.
Top 3 Hotels for the choosy
There are dozens of classy and superior hotels in Davao City, and there are dozens more budget hotels for those who are particularly spending less for accommodation.
And in the top list I chose The Marco Polo Hotel, it’s right in the center of the City, and it has top ranked accommodation and has added perks for nightly entertainment. Rates from $80 to 120$/day.
The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites, also located in the city center, rooms averaging 60-90$ a day.
The Chateau Veronica Apartelle suites your quest for a classy stay, amenities include high-speed internet and from the “apartelle” to airport transfer, and the cost is very affordable from 30-50$ a day.
Tips when you are in Davao
Even anywhere you go in the Philippines or in any places on earth your security is the foremost considerations. When in Davao City, you don’t have to worry much since the city is peaceful, and law enforcement is trustworthy.
The city’s leadership is even more supportive especially to tourists alike. Only one thing you should not do while in Davao, don’t violate the law, especially the local ordinances.
So when you set foot on the city, first thing you should have to do is look for any local government assistance corner in the airport. There must be someone there who could provide you with important information regarding the city’s do’s and don’ts. Or you can have more information from their tourism desk.
For the religious ones, before starting out with your tour, how about a visit to the historic San Pedro Cathedral? It is near the City Hall in the city proper.
Opps. . One more thing, when in Davao you should know the emergency numbers for the POLICE STATION for emergency purposes and their TOURISM OFFICE for route guidance. Enjoy your stay!!