DaVaOpublic - created 02/17/04
Davao is the home of the ethnic Bagobo, Mandaya, Manobo, Tiboli, Mansaka, and B'laan tribes. Tribal settlements were mostly found along the banks of the mighty Davao River. The name Davao was derived from the word Daba-daba which evoked images of fire-breathing mythical figures and rituals of fire set before tribal wars. The other settlers along the banks of the Davao River were tribes from the neighboring provinces of Kotabato, Zamboanga, and Jolo. Earlier conquests by the Spaniards failed until the mid-19th century when they were able to overrun the Moslem enclaves in Davao. Christian settlers arrived soon after the conquest.
Today, Davao is also a multifaceted tourist destination. People who come here for conventions can also enjoy other things like nature, fresh fruits, the lovely flowers and various nature sports like rappelling which you aptly demonstrated in the opening of the Mindanao Travelmart. Of course, other sports being promoted are tubing and white water sports, mountain climbing, mountain biking and scuba diving.
Metropolitan Davao, considered one of the world's largest cities in terms of land area, covering 244,00 hectares of land wherein about 70% of which is characterized by extensive mountain ranges with uneven distribution of plateaus and lowlands. Vegetation covers in the city are grouped into four types, namely, forest, grasslands, swamps and cultivated crops. Davao is approximately 7.8 times the size of Cebu and 3 times that of the entire Metro Manila. It is located on the west central part of Southern Mindanao, in the southernmost portion of the island of Mindanao. It is subdivided into 11 administrative districts, namely, Poblacion, Talomo, Buhangin, Bunawan, Agdao, Paquibato, Toril, Tugbok, Calinan, Baguio and Marilog Districts. Geographically, the city is located near the equator, approximately 6 degrees, 58 minutes, North Latitude and 125 degrees, 14 minutes, East Longitude. Davao is approximately 946 aerial kilometers or 588 statute miles southeast of Manila and 241 statute miles to Cebu City. Its strategic location in Asia makes it a transit point between Australia-Oceana and the East Asia-Pacific regions.
Davao City is home to about 1.3 million people with an annual population growth rate of 3.22%. Its inhabitants are of mixed ethnic origin representing people from all regions of the Philippines with major traces of Malay, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic heritage. Cebuano is the dominant ethnic dialect while Filipino constitutes one of the major spoken languages which include English and Chinese. Davao is predominantly Roman Catholic. Other faiths practiced are Protestantism and Islam.
Davao enjoys a mild pleasant tropical climate with no pronounced dry or wet season, and is practically free from typhoon, which is a boon to tourism and agriculture. Average temperature is from 20.8C to 32C and average rainfall is up to 2,000 mm yearly.
Agriculture, fishery and forestry contribute 40% to the city's economic performance while 25% from industry and the 35% from the service sector. Only 5% of the total land area of Davao is utilized for commercial, industrial, institutional and residential purposes. Top exports include banana, crude and refined coconut oil, activated carbon, copra, plywood and copper ore concentrates.