Text By Henrylito D. Tacio
Photos taken from Facebook
There is no other city like Davao City.
“It’s a place of disciplined, supportive and peace-loving community,” said Bubuyz Sasotil, a college professor. Joefer Maninang, another college professor, said that people flock to Davao City for its peace and order. “There is progress when there is peace,” he pointed out.
“Because Davao City is just an over-sized barrio. Everybody knows everybody,” replied Thayk Ferols when asked what makes the city unique. Ferols works at the Bureau of Immigration seaports with national jurisdiction.
Dennis Ladaw, a lifestyle reporter, described it as “a modern, cosmopolitan city where scenic natural landscapes and beaches are just a short hop away. It’s also very tourist-friendly. Taxi drivers are so courteous and refuse tips.”
Bella Amor, who now lives in the United States, commented: “It has the first and busiest international airport in Mindanao.”
Juanito Dy, Jr., a kababayan who now lives in Davao City, said, “No other city in the country offers so much peace, order, progress, equality and inclusion. The thing I like most about Davao City is it’s a model of urban and rural convergence: You can find plantations in the middle of the city, the roads to the outskirts are very good, local tourism is very much and indigenous peoples are very well taken care of and respected.”
Miguel Ongpin, a former journalist-turned-restaurateur, wants to retire in this city. “For an economically vibrant city, the locals are very friendly and most memorably unpretentious,” he reasoned. He never fails to mention foods, too. “(This is why) Davao is my favorite city,” he added.
Another thing, Ongpin said, Davao helped him dress well. “I buy all my batik everyday wear from the Aldevinco vendors who, I believe, have relocated to a new market.” He also hoped that one day, he could “buy furniture and antiques there too.”
Salome B. Bulayog, a professor at Visayas State University, praises the taxi drivers, whom she described as “honest.”
Steve Hyde, an American missionary which has visited Davao City several times, said: “I do enjoy Davao very much. I do love Davao for who is there – the people. That’s why I’m going to Davao first (when I come to the Philippines).” He added that there is still “plenty of room for improvement.”
Randy Halasan, a Ramon Magsaysay laureate and recipient of the Datu Bago Award, also considered peace and order as one of the reasons why Davao City is one of the best places in the country. In addition, “child-friendly and mura lang ang mga bilihin compared to other cities where the cost of living is high.”
Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, director of the Laguna-based Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and professor of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, remembered Davao City as “just a normal city of trade.”
It has completely changed. “Now, it’s a city of innovation and discipline, making people of Luzon and other countries want to see, feel, and explore/taste it if it’s true!”
Christian Middleton, a Filipino-American who once lived in the Island Garden City of Samal but oftentimes visited Davao City, said that he misses the friendliness of the people. He now lives in Florida. He recalled that knowing Bisaya helped a lot as “the locals treated me like one of them instead of being a foreigner.”
Mailyn Otakan-Anthony, a former resident of Davao City but is now living in California, enumerated the reasons why she likes Davao: “abundance of fruits, the home of the endangered Philippine eagle, the queen of orchids waling-waling, and the majestic Mount Apo. Of course, the very hospitable people.”
“Because you get to enjoy urban luxuries and amenities at a fraction of a cost while being just minutes away from nature retreats and urban pleasures,” says Ivan C. Cortez, of the Office of the City Planning and Development Coordinator. “Most importantly, there is this prevailing culture of respect, discipline, and orderly standards that make the city a soothing place for the soul.”
Davao City is good for artists, according to Peter Buaya. The choirmaster at Sta. Cecilia Chorale explains: “Artists have the opportunity to promote and perform in many available places in Davao like malls, Matina Town Square, and Eden Nature Park, among others.”
Now, you know why Davao City is a very likable city?