Davao City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dabaw) is a city in Mindanao, Philippines which 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 for Davao Region. As of the 2010, 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.Davao is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines.
EtymologyThe 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 Tagabawa 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.
GeographyDavao City is approximately 588 miles (946 km) southeast of Manila over land, and 971 kilometres (524 nmi) by sea. The city is located in southeastern Mindanao, on the northwestern shore of Davao Gulf, opposite the island city of Samal.
TopographyDavao City's land, totaling about 2,443.61 square kilometres (943.48 sq mi), is hilly in the west (the Marilog district) and slopes down to the southeastern shore. Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines, is located at the city's southwestern tip. Mount Apo National Park (the mountain and its surrounding vicinity), was inaugurated by President Manuel Quezon (in Proclamation 59 of May 8, 1936) to protect the flora and fauna of the surrounding mountain range.
The Davao River is the city's primary drainage channel. Draining an area of over 1,700 km2 (660 sq mi), the 160-kilometre (99 mi) river begins in the town of San Fernando, Bukidnon.
Almost half of the total land area is classified as timberland or forest. Agriculture remains the largest economic sector comprising banana, pineapple, coffee and coconut plantations.
ClimateDavao has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), with little seasonal variation in temperature. Average monthly temperatures are always above 26 °C (78.8 °F), and average monthly precipitation is above 77 millimetres (3.03 in). This gives the city a tropical climate, without a true dry season; while there is significant rainfall in winter, most precipitation occurs during the summer months (see climate chart, below).
Flora and faunaMount Apo is home to several bird species 111 of which are endemic to the area. It is also home to one of the world's largest eagles: the critically endangered Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird.
Fruits such as mangosteen and durian (known as the "king of fruits"), grow abundantly on Mount Apo.
GeologyDespite Davao City's location in the Asian portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the city has suffered few earthquakes and most have been minor. Mount Apo, 40 kilometers southwest from the city proper, is a dormant volcano.
PopulationThe population of Davao City is 1,449,296 according to the 2010 NSO Census. Metro Davao (with the city as its center) had about 2,274,913 people in 2010, making it the third-most-populous metropolitan area in the Philippines and the most-populous city in Mindanao. Also as of 2010, the population of the city's agglomeration of local government units (including other LGUs outside Metro Davao, such as Sto. Tomas and Kapalong in Davao del Norte and Bansalan in Davao del Sur) was estimated at 2,854,711.
Residents of Davao City are colloquially known as Davaoeños. Many Davaoeños of Asian descent live and work in the city. Most Davaoeños are of mixed Visayan and Lumad descent. Japanese and Chinese descendants make up the remaining Davaoeño population.
LanguagesDavaoeño Cebuano (or Visayan) is the most widely spoken language in the city. English is the medium of instruction in schools, and widely understood by residents.
ReligionThe largest religious group is Roman Catholic, comprising about 80 percent of the population. Other Christian groups, such as the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), Evangelicals, the Jesus Miracle Crusade and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) comprise eight percent. Seventh-day Adventists and Baptists are other Christian denominations. The remainder belong to non-Christian faiths (Islam, Buddhism and animism).
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao is the main metropolitan see of the Roman Catholic Church in southern Mindanao. It comprises the city of Davao, the Island Garden City of Samal and the municipality of Talaingod in Davao del Norte; under its jurisdiction are the three suffragan dioceses of Digos, Tagum and Mati (the capital cities of the three Davao provinces). Archbishop Romulo Valles of the Archdiocese of Davao, appointed on February 11, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI, took office on May 22, 2012, at San Pedro Cathedral. Saint Peter, locally known as San Pedro, is the patron saint of the city.
Culture and heritageAssimilation is the essence of multi-cultural city of Davao. A chartered city, it appreciates differences in culture and tradition of the ethnic groups which joined the local tribes present during its early history as a city.
Foreign influenceLike most cities in the Philippines, Christians predominate in Davao. Christian churches and chapels dot the city's landscape along with temples, mosques and other places of worship.
Another Spanish tradition is the celebration by barrios (villages) of the feast day of their respective patron saint with a festival (fiesta). In these celebrations, songs and dance become the sights and sounds of Davao. The largest of these celebrations is the week-long Kadayawan Festival. The Davao Chinatown is the primary residence of the Chinese community. It has its own seaport, the Santa Ana Wharf which is also a part of Davao International Port.
Japanese cultural influence, like that of the Chinese, was also prominent in the city.The concentration of the Japanese Community before was in Mintal in the 3rd District of Toril, Davao City. In fact, a Japanese cemetery and Japanese Shrine is located there in Bago Oshiro in Mintal. There are various Japanese-owned businesses in the city. Davao is also home to Nikkie Jin-Kai International School, a Japanese Educational Institution.
MediaMedia networks such as ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network, Inc., TV5, PTV, IBC-13, Solar News Channel, Davao Christian Broadcasting Channel and Sonshine Media Network International maintain local stations in the city.
In addition to 24 national newspapers, Davao City has 21 local newspapers, including the Sun Star Davao, the Mindanao Times and the Mindanao Examiner
HeritageThere are a number of cultural-heritage sites in the city, including the Davao Museum (in Insular Village, Lanang), the Mindanao Folk Arts Museum (Philippine Women's College, Juna Subdivision, Matina), Davaoeño Historical Society Museum (at Magallanes and Claveria Streets) and the Philippine-Japan Museum (Matsuo Compound, Calinan). Japanese historical sites include the Japanese Tunnel (used by Japanese forces during World War II), the 20th-century Japanese cemetery and the Furukawa Fiber Plant (used by Yoshizo Furukawa as an abacá and banana plantation).
CuisineThe cuisine of Davao City features skewered and grilled meat dishes, but the most common dish served in the city is kinilaw, a relative of ceviche made from tuna, mackerel, or swordfish with cucumber (and sometimes radishes) and chili marinated in vinegar. Sinuglaw, a portmanteau of sinugba (grilled) and kinilaw in the Cebuano language, is also a term for a dish in which diced, grilled pork belly is mixed with kinilaw.
Fruit dishes, snacks, and desserts are also popular, most made from durian and bananas. Ginanggang is a banana dish that originated in this city and spread to other parts of the country; a banana is grilled, skewered, brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. Durian dishes, snacks, and desserts include durian ice cream, durian pie and durian shakes.
CityscapeDavao City is divided into three congressional districts, which are subdivided into 11 administrative districts with a total of 182 barangays.
With an estimated urban area of 293.78 km2 (113.43 sq mi), or about 12 percent of the region's total land area, Davao is the largest city in Mindanao and the Visayas with the population of 1,449,296 and the third most populous metropolitan area after Metro Cebu. .
There are several commercial centres in the metropolitan area: Poblacion (the city centre), Davao Chinatown, Bajada, Lanang, Matina, Ecoland, Agdao, Buhangin and, at the city's southern edge, Toril and Mintal.
Davao City has the first taxis in the Philippines to accept payments from BancNet and MegaLink ATM and debit cards. The black taxis are linked to the Global Positioning System (GPS), and dispatching is done by computer.
Davao City offers a wide bus network to cities and provinces in Mindanao and as far as Pasay City in Luzon, Ormoc and Tacloban in the Visayas. The city is accessible by bus from several points in Mindanao such as Cotabato, Kidapawan, General Santos, Digos, Koronadal, Isulan, Tagum, Tandag, Malaybalay, Mati, Nabunturan, Malita, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Surigao .
Construction of roads and bridges is underway. The city's third major road (the Buhangin Underpass) was completed in the first quarter of 2003. The Traffic Management and Computerization Scheme was implemented, considered one of the most modern in the country.[11
SeaDavao is connected to Manila by roll-on/roll-off inter-island ferries. The city is served by domestic passenger ferries at Sasa Port and Santa Ana Wharf, the international seaports of the Port of Davao (the busiest port in Mindanao). The port is capable of servicing inter-island and international shipments. It is located in Davao Gulf and has two approaches, one at Pakiputan Strait between Davao and western Samal Island.
The Port of Davao has two government seaports (Sasa International Wharf and Santa Ana Domestic Wharf) and nine privately owned ports. In addition, the Toril International Fish Port Complex accommodates small and large-scale fishing activities and provides facilities such as cold storage.
AirDavao City has direct flights to major Philippine cities and Singapore. Francisco Bangoy International Airport is the major airport serving the city. It is the busiest airport in Mindanao, and the third-busiest in the Philippines. On November 12, 2007, Cebu Pacific announced that the airport would be its third hub
EconomyDavao is part of the East Asian Growth Area, a regional economic-cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia. Like the rest of the Philippines, Davao City has a market-oriented economic system.
In 2011, Davao City ranked 87th among the world's fastest-growing cities by the City Mayors Foundation, based in London and Freiburg, Germany. According to the foundation, the city has a projected average annual growth of 2.53 percent over a 15-year period; Davao was the only Philippine city to reach the top 100.
Davao Light and Power Co., an Aboitiz company which is the third-largest electric utility in the country, serves the city's needs. With Davao Light's Bajada Power Plant and supply agreements with other generating plants, the city has fewer power interruptions compared to other parts of Mindanao during an island-wide power shortage.
Durian monument at Davao International Airport
Davao is a leading producer of mangoes, pomeloes, bananas, coconut products, papayas and mangosteens. Durians are also a notable export.
Davao City is one of the financial hubs of Mindanao. One Network Bank, based in the city, is the largest rural bank in the Philippines in assets; most branches are in Mindanao (including 17 locations where it is the only financial-services provider). Government social-insurance agencies such as the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System are also in Davao.