Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Davao City is the Place to be

I was born and raised in this premier city of the south. Located at the southeastern part of Mindanao, Davao is the largest and the most progressive city of the country with a land area of 2,444 sq. km.. Here are some facts that you have to know about my beautiful hometown.

1) Davao is very accessible. Davao is an hour and forty minutes away from Manila and almost an hour from Cebu. You can opt to take the ferry or the PhilTranco bus.

2) Roman Catholic is the dominant religion of the city.

3) You can drink water directly from the tap. Don't worry, our water system is the third cleanest drinking water in the whole world.

4) The city's lifestyle is relatively cheap. Local vendors sell fruits at rock bottom prices. Average water bill for every household ranges from Php 150 to Php 400. Also, we don't have to worry about the expensive toll fee because we don't have it here.

5) Speaking of toll fee, traffic is not really a big problem. Usually we experience traffic every rush hour period, but generally, travel time will not be compromised due to traffic.

6) If an accident occurs, call 911.

7) Davaoeños sleep. As early as 11 pm, streets in the downtown area looks almost deserted, as if people have evacuated due to an incoming calamity. I've been to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City and even if it's 2am, the streets are still busy, partying as if there's no tomorrow.

8) It is safe to use your cellphones on public places. Crime rate is relatively low compared to other major cities of the country.

9) Davao Death Squad. Sad to say this exists. For more details, use Google.
10) Due to its location, it's rarely visited by typhoons. We really do not know what it feels like to be battered by a super typhoon. Though during wet season we always experience heavy rain.

11) The climate throughout the city isn't really consistent. Downtown Davao's altitude is approximately 10-20 feet above sea level. Other areas can be as high as 4,600 feet above sea level. In these places, temperature would range from 10-19 degrees Celsius. Also people and travelers always experience heavy fog during early morning, dusk and night time.

12) With regards to no. 11, we also grow and sell strawberries. Buda is the Baguio City of the south.

13) We do not need to spend thousands just to travel to Boracay. We have our very own Samal Island. It's just 5 minutes away from the city proper.

14) Generally, the city is not that polluted.

15) Davaoeños speak Tagalog and Bisaya fluently, which led to the development of the new dialect called "Davao Tagalog". For example, instead of saying "Hoy, ang tagal talaga ni Tricia. Nasaan na ba siya?" we say, "Ay uy! Katagal talaga ni Tricia! Nasaan naman iyan siya uy!". Sounds awkward or funny? Well it is clearly evident that Davao is a melting pot of all cultures. Moreover, this is a product of collaborative efforts coming from different dialects which eventually influence the people over time. Davao City is just... diverse.

16) Because the city is very big, establishments aren't clustered on a certain area. Establishments are strategically distributed to each major points of the city just to serve their clients. It's a pain in the pwet when one decides to go for bar hopping.

17) Since 2001, we haven't experienced firecrackers exploding on the night sky. Every Christmas and New Year's Eve, the sky is illuminated by stars, not the flying 5-stars (if there is really a flying five-star firecracker). The local government had implemented the city ordinance which deals with the complete ban of firecrackers. Sparklers are also prohibited. It may be a sad thing for others but let's look on the brighter side! We breathe cold and fresh air during these festivities and we won't have to worry for stray bullets.

18) Smoking is prohibited in almost all areas. One stick of cigarette costs only Php 2.00. Once you violate the rule, you have to pay the fine starting at Php 1,500.

19) We are creative. There are lots of local artists here. Kublai Milan is one. Once you arrive at the airport, you'll be greeted by this giant Durian sculpture. You can also see his works at People's Park.

20) Marco Polo Hotel is the tallest structure in the city. Skyscrapers isn't necessary since the city has still LOTS of spaces available despite its 1.5 million inhabitants.

There are lots of things to say about Davao but it will take me more than a day to finish this article.

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