Being in Davao for seven years running, it made me believe that I know everything about the city. I know the city streets like the back of my hands and been to many cool places. However, my excursion last weekend made me realize that I have barely scratched the surface of what Davao City really has to offer.
I got to discover more about the long history that made Davao City what it is now. I also got to see some neat things that I didn’t expect to exist in the city. I was really fortunate to be invited to the Davao Bloggers Tour. The tour was a cooperative event by the Davao Tourism Office, City Government of Davao, Duaw Davao Festivals Foundation Inc. and Davao Bloggers partners.
Truth be told, one week before the event, the thing that I was really excited about was the prospect of being able to be in an adventurous tour in Davao’s nature resorts. After all, I’ve always thought that the best thing Davao has to offer is its bountiful nature. However, just like everything else in life, not everything goes with your expectation.
The day prior to the event, I met up with the other members of Davao Bloggers and that was when I learned that we will be divided in four groups with different assigned locations for the tour. I was in the group of downtown explorers. Basically, it’s an urban tour which really didn’t excite me. Me being me, I thought that I was already experiencing the urban life of Davao in a day-to-day basis, so I didn’t think there’d be something more the city’s busy center could offer. Well, I was dead wrong in that one.
The downtown tour was a fun-filled learning experience that made me see the urban district of the city in a new light. Actually, I even kind of felt guilty because I never believed that among the bustling streets of Davao, there are opportunities for a unique and rich experience as long as you’re willing to explore a little.
So, without further ado, let me take you on a ride with me as I experienced the urban side of Davao as a member of the Downtown Explorers.
The first stop to our “exploration” was around the city’s heart of government, the City Hall. If you’re someone who’s from or who’s been in Davao, you’d be thinking, “Well that’s boring.” However, the place where the local powers who are currently shaping the city is taking office, is actually surrounded by interesting places.
|Davao City Hall|
Flanking the left side is the Rizal Park which is a common venue for many important events for the city. Farther on the right side, next to the Sangguniang Panglunsod building is the Osmeña Park. It’s a place where people spend their free time lazing around or chatting with friends under the shade of trees, playing board games such as chess and you could even get to have a massage while relaxing.
So here’s something that I just discovered that made me kind of ashamed as someone who’s been in Davao for quite a long time. There’s this monument in front of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. Do you know what that is all about?
|Rizal Park, Sangguniang Panglungsod|
|From top left: Bonifacio Rotonda, The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity, Osmeña Park, San Pedro Church|
Well, for the last seven years or so, I have passed by that monument countless time and I always thought that depicted Andres Bonifacio and other Katipuneros. Well, it’s not. It’s called The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity and here’s the plaque that explains in detail what is being depicted.
Just across the street and in front of The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity stands one of the city’s most famous landmark and the oldest church in Davao, the San Pedro Cathedral. The church that is frequently visited by so many devout Catholics got an imposing feel to it.
So, here’s a question with a very obvious answer. If you want to learn about the culture and history of Davao, what’s the first place you should go visit?
The Davao Museum
Despite my seven years living in Davao, it’s actually my first time to enter the local museum. I never gave it a thought before as I was never a big fan of museums. In fact, I’ve only been in one museum my whole life and that was in Museo de Loboc in Bohol which I have visited back when I was still 11 years old. It’s kind of sad, right?
However, when I was standing in front of the museum itself, I was excited and I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess the excitement I felt was justified. Even though the local museum doesn’t boast when it comes to size, but it is a treasure chest rich with information about the history and culture of Davao. I don’t have that many pictures in the museum as photography is prohibited except for some designated sections.
D Bone Collector
|Photo credit to Astoldbyjulz.com|
After the visit to the city’s local museum, I found myself in a place that I never even imagined existed in this city. It’s D Bone Collector. Among all the places that we were able to visit that day, it is perhaps one that was presented a very unique experience for me and provided me with so much information. Just from the name, it doesn’t take a genius to know what this place is all about.
For one, I saw a LOT of animal bones that were being preserved, and they are not just your ordinary animals as there where really big ones like the Sperm Whale which stretches approximately 46feet. However, the thing that really concerned me is the fact that most of the bones there were animals that died because of the pollution in their marine habitat. There were whales who are full of squids in there stomach but died because of a crown from a soft drink and some other pollutants.
I am aware of the growing pollution that our environment is suffering right now but with this excursion, it brought me closer to this harsh reality that we are the reasons for their suffering. It’s a realization that I will keep in mind as I go through life.