Davao City

DAVAO -- The city of Davao ranked fourth as the world's safest place, according to website Numbeo.com.

Out of 349 entries, Davao City is the only metropolis in the Philippines that made it to the top 10. It has a crime index of 13.27 and safety index of 86.73.

Makati landed at 20th place with a crime index of 18.75 and safety index of 81.25.
The only other cities listed from the Philippines are: Manila with a crime index of 64.54 and safety index of 35.46, and Cebu with a crime index of 46.88 and safety index of 53.12.

According to the website, safety index is, on the other way, quite opposite of crime index. If the city has a high safety index, it is considered very safe.

It said that it is 93.75 percent safe to walk alone during daylight in Davao, while 76.69 percent safe to walk alone during night.

"These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past two years. If value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high," the website said.

With regard the crime index of 18.75, the website explained, the issue with the highest rate is the problem on corruption and bribery with 31.67, followed by “worries things from car stolen” with 29.69, then “worries home broken and things stolen” with 26.56.

The issue with the least crime rate is “worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin or religion” with 6.67.

Treat with caution

The source Numbeo claims to be the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

It provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

But it gathers data through user input, thus although it is popularly consulted as source for cost of living, its data have to be addressed with caution.

User input can skew data and will not reflect the whole picture, especially from places where there is not much available data. It cannot also be ascertained where and how the numbers can be verified.

The crime and safety indexes were published online at http://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_current.jsp around 11 p.m. of August 8.

The website also said that Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates placed first among the safest place with a safety index rate of 90.47, then Lugano, Switzerland (90.16), and third is Marbella, Spain (88.78).

Fifth is Taipei, Taiwan (86.26); next is Munich, Germany (86.06); Quebec City, Canada (85.55) ranked seventh; then Hong Kong, Hong Kong (85.51) as eighth; Seoul, South Korea (84.28) on ninth place; and Bern, Switzerland (84.24) as tenth.


Like the jewel for which it is named, the The Pearl Farm Beach Resort is a precious gateway where guests can revel in tropical pleasures, relish life's flavors and feast on nature's bounties.The Pearl Farm Beach Resort lies in a secluded cove on Samal Island off the coast of Davao City. This 11-hectare spread was once a pearl farm, where thousands of white-lipped oysters, transported from the Sulu Sea, were cultivated for their pink, white and gold pearls. Today, the resort beckons with the promise of a relaxing, private retreat, under the care of our friendly, charming staff. The resort's Samal Houses are patterned after the stilt houses of seafaring Samal tribes of the Sulu archipelago. By day, schools of tiny fish frolic between the sturdy poles that support the houses. At night, the sound of the waves are a soothing aid to slumber. A jar of water and a coconut shell dipper are placed near the entrance to each house so that guests may wash away the sand after a day of barefooting on the beach. In local custom, this gesture is also symbolic of a cleansing of the spirit.


People's Park is a cultural-theme park located at the center of Davao City. It is the brainchild of the  mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte, who, in December 15, 2007, led the ceremonial inauguration of the park.

The 4-hectare park got its name from a "Name the Park" contest by the city government which was won by Romeo Sardon, a retired electrician and seaman. He bagged the P50,000 grand prize money for winning among the 918 entries that were submitted in contest.

This P72-M park is once an old, dilapidated Palaruang Panlunsod or commonly known as the old PTA ground where the city used to host athletic meets, sports events, orchid shows, concerts, and other citywide events. Now, the old PTA ground has transformed into a clean and beautiful park adorned with tropical rainforest trees, large sculptures, interactive fountains, ponds and waterfalls, a durian dome, a shady and open plaza, and a statue of a gigantic Philippine eagle, and is frequented by locals, visitors, and foreign tourists. The once dilapidated PTA ground has now become a city landmark and a major attraction in Davao City.

The Durian Dome serves as the visitor's center and main entrance which opens to the park. This spiky dome roof was artistically designed after the spiky shell of the durian, a tropical fruit which Davao City is known for.

The oval race track from the old sports complex was retained and permanently paved with bricks and is now called, 'The Promenade,' since the track is a favorite venue among joggers and health buffs for morning physical fitness and therapeutic exercises. Joggers can now jog around the oval amid the beautifully landscaped lush greenery and quiet ambiance of the park. Surrounding it are: a bambusetum, a collection of the different species of bamboo; a shady plaza where African tulips are planted within the 3,750 square meter-area; and an open plaza with a walk-through rainbow drive featuring some collections of potted palms.

At the center of the oval track is a wide grassy area with a dancing fountain which is considered the first in Mindanao, and a long, wide bridge which affords a panoramic view of the entire park. Also, there is a sloping hill filled with tall, stately pine trees that were brought-in from Baguio and Benguet in Luzon. Behind this area is the park's man-made "rainforest" that stretches all the way to the opposite side of the park close to the exit gate.

The Promenade
The Durian Dome

Gigantic sculpture of the Philippine Eagle


Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an elevation of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft) above sea level, it is the highest mountain in the Philippine Archipelago and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province in Region XI and Cotabato province in Region XII. The peak overlooks Davao City 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.

The first two attempts to reach Mt. Apo’s summit ended in failure: that of Jose Oyanguren (1852) and Señor Real (1870). The first recorded successful expedition was led by Don Joaquin Rajal in October 10, 1880. Prior to the climb, Rajal had to secure the permission of the Bagobo chieftain, Datu Manig. It is said that the Datu demanded that human sacrifice be made to please the god Mandarangan. Fortunately, the datu agreed to waive this demand, and the climb commenced on October 6, 1880, succeeding five days later. Since then, numerous expeditions followed. These and more are described in colorful narrations by Fr. Miguel Bernad, S.J. On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L. Quezon. A note on the etymologies: Mt. Apo is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who got killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu. Another proposed origin of the name is from the word Apo itself, which in Filipino tongues means “master” or “grandfather”.

Mount Apo Natural Park

On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park with Proclamation no. 59 by President Manuel L. Quezon, followed by Proclamation no. 35 of May 8, 1966 then Proclamation no. 882 of September 24, 1996. On February 3, 2004, the approval of Republic Act no. 9237 established Mount Apo as a protected area under the category of natural park with an area of 54,974.87 hectares (135,845.9 acres); with two peripheral areas of 2,571.73 hectares (6,354.9 acres) and 6,506.40 hectares (16,077.7 acres) as buffer zones, provided for its management and for other purposes.

Although a declared a Natural Park, the current climbing trails are littered with rubbish by irresponsible climbers, opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain and social climbing groups conduct climbs after the Holy Week/Easter, the peak climbing season, to clean the affected areas.

UNESCO World Heritage list

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) submitted Mount Apo on December 12, 2009 for inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list. The mountain is considered by DENR as the center of endemism in Mindanao. It has one of the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area. It has three distinct forest formations, from lowland tropical rainforest, to mid-mountain forests, and finally to high mountain forests.

A portion of the eastern slopes are also within the scope of the UNESCO Hydrology Environment Life and Policy (HELP) Network. The Davao HELP Network is focused on building collaboration among watershed stakeholders.

Mount Apo


Davao City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dabaw, Malay: Kota Davao, Spanish: Ciudad de Dávao or Ciudad de Davao) is a city on Mindanao, Philippines. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 1,449,296 people, making it the fourth-most-populous city in the Philippines and the most populous in Mindanao. It is the center of Metro Davao, the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines (as of 2010 Census with a population of 2.26 million, after Metro Manila's 11.86 million and Metro Cebu's 2.55 million). With a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers, the city is the largest in the country in terms of land area. The city serves as the main trade, commerce, and industry hub of Mindanao and the regional center of Davao Region. Davao is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines. Davao is also known as the "Durian Capital" of the Philippines.

For geographical and statistical purposes, Davao City is grouped with the province of Davao del Sur but is governed independently from it. The city is divided into three congressional districts, which are subdivided into 11 administrative districts with a total of 182 barangays.


The region's name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The word davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups' names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the river Davah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hard v or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawas called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means "a place beyond the high grounds" (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills).

When asked where they were going, the usual reply was davah (pointing towards the town). Dawaw also refers to a trading settlement, where forest goods are bartered for salt and other commodities.

Spanish Era

Although Spaniards began to explore the Davao Gulf area as early as 16th century, Spanish influence was negligible in the Davao region until 1844, when the Spanish brigadier general Agustin Bocallan claimed the area in what is now Davao City for the Spanish Crown, despite opposition by the Sultan of Maguindanao.[citation needed] Official colonization of the area, however, began in 1848 when an expedition of 70 men and women led by José Cruz de Uyanguren of Vergara, Spain, established a Christian settlement in an area of mangrove swamps which is now Bolton Riverside. Davao was then ruled by a chieftain, Bago, who had a settlement on the banks of the Davao River (then called the Tagloc River by the Bagobos). Bago was the most powerful datu in the Gulf area at that time.[citation needed] Cruz de Uyanguren met the Mandaya chieftain, Daupan, joining him to help defeat Bago (who collected tribute from the neighboring Mandayas). They failed to defeat Bago when their ships were outmaneuvered crossing the narrow channel of the Davao River bend (where the Bolton Bridge is located).[citation needed]

After Cruz de Uyanguren defeated Bago, he renamed the region Nueva Guipúzcoa, founding the town of Nueva Vergara (the future Davao) in 29 June 1848[5] to honor of his home in Spain and becoming its first governor. He was reported to have peacefully conquered the entire Davao Gulf region by year's end, despite a lack of support from the Spanish government in Manila and his allies. Cruz de Uyanguren attempted to make peace with the neighboring tribes (including the Maguindanaos, Iranun and Sangir, Samals, Bagobos, Mansakas, Manobos and Aetas), urging them to help develop the area; his efforts, however, did not succeed.[citation needed]

By 1852, due to intrigues by those in Manila dissatisfied with Cruz de Uyanguren's Davao venture, Marquis de Solana (by Governor General Blanco's order) took over Cruz de Uyanguren's command of the Nueva Guipúzcoa (Davao) region. By that time, the capital, Nueva Vergara (Davao) had a population of 526. While relative peace with the natives prevailed, the population grew very slowly.[citation needed]

By the 1890s, Muslims began to become Christian converts by the efforts of their datus (Timan and Porkan), although many others remained steadfast in Islam.[citation needed] Saturnino Urios, who labored among the Moros of Hijo in 1892, divided the population; those who wanted to live among the Christians left Hijo, and were resettled in Tigatto, Mawab and Agdao under the supervision of Francisco Bangoy and Teodoro Palma Gil. These groups generally refer to themselves today as Kalagans.



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Old Cebu Churches

A fraile and two indios tagalos create a map

Try mapping an island—say Boracay the next time you’re there—from a moving banca and from high cliffs and empathize with Antonio Pigafetta (Fernando de Magallanes’ chronicler and cartographer in 1521). Without airplanes, GPS, or other gadgets, Pigafetta was able to gauge locations, distances, shapes, and sizes only from ships and treetops, all the while battling Lapu-Lapu and sundry hazards like giant pythons and toothy crocodiles.

Understandably, Pigafetta could do no better than draw misshapen and mislocated islands, though with identifiable names, e.g., Zzubu, Mattan, Bohol, Humunu, Zzamal, Caghaian, and Pulaoam; and place names Maingdanao, Butuan, Calagam, Subanin.

Other expeditions followed Magallanes and in his 1543 voyage, Ruy López de Villalobos named Leyte or Samar Felipina in honor of Spanish Crown Prince Felipe (later King Felipe II). More information meant greater accuracy and Ateneo dean Leo Garcia calls Terza

Ostro Tavola by Ramusio-Gastaldi (Venice, 1563) the “birth certificate of the Philippines,” being the first map with the archipelago’s present name.

The super rare Ramusio-Gastaldi map was drawn upside down—China, Cochin-China, and Regno de Bengala at the bottom; Gilolo, Terenate, Ambon, Celebes, Iava Magiore, and Sumatra on top. Mid-map was Archipelago de S. Lazaro encompassing Lo Ladron, Humunu, Cyabu, Vendanao, Sarangan, Zolo, and Paloban. A narrow island east of Mindanao was labelled Filipina. There was no Luzon yet, with Martín de Goiti and companions having gone there only in 1570.

Maps have became progressively more accurate and detailed with the arrival of Miguel López de Legaspi in 1565 when military, religious, and civil authorities spread all over the archipelago and the Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Pampango, Waráy, etc. embarked on the path to nationhood.

Petrus Kaerius’ Insulae Philippinae (Amsterdam, 1598) was the first map to show the Philippines alone. It was drawn sideways but had many recognizable names: Ilocos, Luzom, Pagansi, Mondora, Negoes, Cabu, Paracalla, Mindanao, Suricao, Dapito, Calamiane.

The culmination of two centuries of mapmaking, the holy grail of Philippine cartography, was Carta Hydrographica y chorographica de las Islas Filipinas, published in 1734 by Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde, S.J. By then, Luzon and the Visayas were well-known and only Mindanao and the Cordilleras were largely terra incognita. The map was large (1.12 x 1.20 meters) and decorative with coat of arms, compass roses, sailing ships, and 12 vignettes with city and rural scenes and mini maps of Guajan (Guam), Intramuros, Zamboanga, and Cavite and its harbor. It was drawn and engraved, respectively, by Indios Tagalos Francisco Suarez and Nicolás de la Cruz Bagay and printed in Manila’s Jesuit press.

Only about a dozen copies are known to exist today, most in national libraries: Biblioteca Nacional de España, British Library, US Library of Congress, and Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale. I’ve seen three examples here: at Malacañang’s Presidential Museum, the GBR Museum in Cavite, and the 2012 PHIMCOS exhibit at Manila’s Metropolitan Museum. A fourth copy has just arrived. Auctioned at Sotheby’s London last Nov. 4 by the English Duke of Northumberland, it was won by a still-anonymous Pinoy for GBP170,500 or P12.6 million.

Fray Pedro, Mang Kikò, and Pareng Kulás would have been astounded.

Notes: (a) President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ map collection including a Murillo-Velarde (without vignettes) is in the Malacañang Presidential Museum and Library; (b) The definitive study of Philippine maps is Carlos Quirino, Philippine Cartography, 3rd edition, Leovino Ma. Garcia, ed. (Manila: Vibal Foundation, 2010): (c) An illustrated catalogue of the Philippine Map Collectors Society exhibit is available (check the PHIMCOS website); and (d) The Murillo-Velarde identifies places in the China Sea off Bataan, Zambales, and Pangasinan as Galit, Panacot, and Lumbáy (Tagalog for anger, threat and sorrow, respectively).