About Davao City
Davao City is the hub of commerce and industry in the Southern Mindanao region. Yet, to this day, Davao City continues to straddle two worlds – the new and the old. But what makes Davao City different from other cities in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific Region that would make it ideal for tourism and investment?
We have one of the BEST POTABLE WATER IN THE WORLD
Davao City’s tap water has been tested for quality and was adjudged as one of the best in the world in terms of cleanliness, safety, mineral content, and taste. No need for boiling, distilling, purifying, adding of minerals.
We are a MULTI- CULTURAL AND COSMOPOLITAN PEOPLE
Experience harmony in diversity as Davao City is home to at least 11 major indigenous tribes – Christian, Islam, Lumad- as well as migrant settlers from all over the Philippines and a growing global community of expatriates of various cultures and religions, speaking different languages who consider the city their home away from home.
We have a STRONG, DYNAMIC LOCAL GOVERNMENT
A favorite destination for study tours, Davao City is regarded as a model for other cities in the country. The local government is much admired not just nationally but also internationally. It has led in crafting landmark pieces of legislation, pioneering innovations in local governance, strong political will in implementing policies and programs, a high level of self-sufficiency; and its pluralist and liberal political climate result in significant grassroots and civil society participation.
We are a SAFE DESTINATION
Have a holiday in the city that boasts of having one of the lowest crime rates (averaging 0.8 per 10,000 population per month). The Davao City Police Office has consistently been chosen as the Best Police Office in the entire country. The Davao City Peace and Order Council has been elevated to the Philippine Hall of Fame for consistently being the best performing in the country.
We are MOST PREPARED TO RESPOND TO EMERGENCIES
Davao City is the only Asian city that has an integrated emergency response system similar to that of the United States and Canada, the difference being that in Davao City , the service is absolutely for free and totally subsidized by the local government. Central 911 responds to all kinds of emergencies : medical, fire, police assistance, natural or man-made disaster. The Davao City Disaster Coordinating Council has been cited as the best prepared disaster coordinating council in the country.
We have EXCELLENT PUBLIC UTILITIES AND INFRASTUCTURE
Dabawenyos enjoy an abundant and stable supply of water and power 24 hours a day all year round. The Davao City Water District (DCWD) is the number one water utility company among the 50 water utilities in the Asia- Pacific region. Being the third largest privately-owned electric utility in the Philippines, Davao Light & Power Co. is the country’s most efficiently run power utility. The city is also the first in the country to have an adaptive traffic signalization system and has a state-of-the-art traffic system similar to the system in Los Angeles, California, USA.
One can have a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Live a wholesome and healthy lifestyle in Davao City! The city pioneered the regulation of smoking in public places in the Philippines that gave birth to the National Anti-Smoking Law. Davao City has been a recipient of the prestigious Red Orchid Award of the Department of Health in 2010 and 2011 during the World No Tobacco Day. It has tough policies against dangerous drugs, violence against women and children (including prostitution and human trafficking), and environmental pollution. It has addressed the concern over aerial spraying in large plantations and banned the use of firecrackers and similar pyrotechnics. It leads in the conservation of endangered species such as the country’s national bird, the Philippine Eagle, as well as the protection of the city’s watershed, coastal areas, rivers and gulf. Davao City boasts of having one of the most progressive and comprehensive reproductive health program in the world.
You get MORE VALUE FOR MONEY
In Davao City, the ideal quality of life does not come at a high cost! When in Davao City, you enjoy the freshest and highest quality agricultural produce. It exports large volumes of banana, pineapple, orchids, and tuna. Its pomelo, durian, and mangosteen are sought-after by many, yet these remain affordable and accessible to the locals on a daily basis.
Our ENVIRONMENT IS OUR LIFE
Davao City takes advantage of environmental laws which ensure proper collection and disposal of garbage. The city is known for its well- disciplined residents plus a localized version of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act which is now being implemented. A huge sanitary landfill in place, regular and systematic collection of garbage from fixed points, and proper segregation have maintained cleanliness in the surroundings.
We are BUSINESS – FRIENDLY
Surveys and evaluations on the best places for business have always cited Davao as among the best performers. These include distinctions as being the Top 10 Asian Cities of the Future by the FDI magazine of The Financial Times, the Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippines with the Best Quality of Life by the Asian Institute of Management and a long list of numerous recognitions and distinctions as the city has received in the recent years. All these are proof of the continuous and decisive strides in making Davao City a home for many productive ventures and endeavors.
A great place to live, work and play
Davao City has been cited in Asia for its high livability index, where residents can easily switch between fast-paced business transactions and soothing relaxation options. It is considered a major tourist destination in the East Asian region with an increasing number of international visitors since the 1990s.
The designation of the Tagurano-Catigan-Eden Tourism Development Zone as the Mountain Resort and Agro-Tourism Capital of Southern Mindanao illustrates determined efforts leading to the desirable transformation of the city as the Summer Capital of the Philippine South. Additionally, the presence of world-class beach resorts both in the city and on nearby Samal Island (30 minutes away by boat ride) has allowed Davao to offer a complete tourism package for all visitors.
Beyond just visiting, Davao is also seen as a retirement haven for people seeking a slower pace, due to its relaxed atmosphere, low cost of living, and numerous recreational options.
Harvests are bountiful in Davao City. The cultivation and propagation of natural resources dominate the economic landscape of the region as the city is surrounded by many different plantations and stock farms supplying both local and export markets. With the richness of agribusiness opportunities in and aroundthe city, it’s no wonder that Davao City is considered the Food Basket of the Philippines.
Davao City is blessed with abundant fresh drinking water from both ground and surface sources. Mount Apo serves as the recharge point and the areas at the foot of the mountain contain large reservoirs, the biggest of which is the Calinan, Toril and Talomo Triangle.
Peaceful, orderly and health-oriented
Even with a population of over 1.3 million and an urban density estimated at 2,400 persons per square kilometer, Davao City’s crime rate still remains among the lowest in the country. This has earned for Davao City the distinction as the Most Peaceful City in the East and Southeast Asia for a number of years already.
The city contains also numerous medical facilities, both private and public, with highly competent medical practitioners. There are three public hospitals: Davao Medical Center, Paquibato District Hospital and Camp Panacan Station Hospital, in addition to more than 30 private hospitals, excluding clinics and lying-in centers. Some hospitals are capable of performing complex operations from kidney transplantsto heart surgeries, as well as providing luxurious medical tourism facilities.
The city also has an Anti-Smoking Ordinance implemented in 2002. Primarily, the intention is to protect the public from the hazard of second-hand smoke.
Responsible and responsive
The city has policies to keep its remaining environmental frontiers intact and rehabilitate those which have been destroyed by development and lack of concern. These are in the form of ordinances and issuances, prominently among them the Watershed Code, the Marine Protected Area Ordinance, the Ordinance Banning Aerial Spraying of Farms, and the Anti-Smoke Belching Ordinance.
It has also affiliated with the Clean Cities Coalition of the Energy and Clean Air Project of the United States Agency for International Development or USAID to be able to create the necessary mechanisms to help address the issue of global warming.
It also leads the Davao Gulf Management Council, which is now undertaking the Environment Sensitivity Index (ESI) on the city’s gulf water. The ESI is a combined satellite, aerial imaging and ground truthing which identifies areas where sea creatures including coral reefs and sea grasses thrive and those that should be protected.
DAVAO: LIFE IS HERE
A presentation during the CIBTM Expo in Beijing, China (29 August 2011)
Recharge in our cool mountain resorts.
Frolic in our white sand beaches.
Indulge in our wide array of fresh seafoods.
Delight in our sensuous feast of fresh exotic fruits and colorful cutflowers.
Pump up your adrenaline with our exhilarating thrill rides.
All these and more awaits you in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world: DAVAO.
Situated in the Southern part of the Philippines, Davao City is among the largest cities in the world with a sprawling land area of 244,000 hectares. It is the premier city and hub of Southern Philippines known for its bustling economic activities, diverse population, urban build-up and modern amenities. It is considered as the most important economy in the island and the third most important urban center in the Philippines. The city is known to many as a destination offering a unique combination of various eco adventures in the midst of a modern, urban landscape characterized by a flourishing business and tourism environment.
Access to Davao City is never a problem with its almost 20 daily flights to the nation’s capital of Manila, and 7 weekly flights from Singapore serviced by Silk Air, Singapore Airlines’ regional carrier and very soon by one of the leading low cost carriers in the region, Tiger Airways. Visitors from neighboring cities and provinces can easily find their way to Davao with major highways connecting the city to the other major cities in the Southern Philippines.
Export in the City is now a billion dollar industry with a growing niche market for its products. The stable banana and flourishing coconut industries are among the country’s leading export commodities, with China ranking 2nd among our top trading partners.
Davao City also exudes a strong cultural identity being home to at least 10 major indigenous tribes, both Islamized and non-Islamized, as well as migrant settlers (mostly Christianized) from all over the Philippines. As opposed to the rest of the Filipinos who have been colonized by the West, the people of Davao are indigenized — which means that they may come from different places with different ways but when they become residents of Davao, they adopt the multicultural and cosmopolitan way of life, embracing the diversity of the city.
There is also a growing global community of expatriates with different languages, cultural traditions, religious beliefs, and political persuasions present in the city as a result of its strong balance for ecological preservation amidst its fast economic growth. In fact, the city has recently been cited as home to the biggest Chinatown community in the world outside of China. A Chinatown Development Council has been created by the City Government to support the preservation and further propagation the Chinese culture within the city.
Blessed with a typhoon-free weather all year round, Davao is the Philippines’ favorite eco-adventure tourism destination. A few hours away from the city are both the sea and the mountains with a unique view of Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines. Adventure seekers can literally get a natural high by climbing its peak of 3,144 meters above sea level, while at the same time, enjoying the exotic flora and fauna teeming from the foot to the top. In a segment between 300 to 1000 meters above sea level, about 800 different endemic plants have been identified as growing on the mountain’s slopes. Endemic animals are also abundant with the mountain playing home to about 227 vertebrate species including amphibians, reptiles and mammals, 118 species of butterflies, and about 272 species of birds, of which 40% or 111 are endemic to Mt. Apo, including the Great Philippine Eagle. Despite its height, Mount Apo is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines for its summit is considered easy to reach.
Mountain resorts are also easily accessible within the city. A big number of these offer deluxe accommodation facilities for families and groups of friends who simply want a brief respite from the rigors of the metropolis, while enjoying the cool, crisp air of the countryside and feasting on our fresh fruits and vegetables. And while you’re enjoying the view, marvel at our unique flora and fauna such as the exquisite waling-waling, which is considered as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids” and the Philippine’s national symbol, the Philippine Eagle, both of whom can only be found in Davao.
Davao City though is not all about mountains as the City is also know for its pristine, white sand beaches. Within just 20 minutes, one can explore the world-class resorts off Samal Island. Diving enthusiasts are also sure to be treated to the breathtaking view of the underwater world. Due to the gentle water current prevailing in the area, some spots provide an ideal experience for beginners when diving in Davao. It is categorized as an easy dive, with visibility within a depth of 20 meters where soft and hard corals abound. For a deeper depth for experienced divers, going down 40 to 50 meters can reveal huge jack fish, tunas, and mackerels.
If adventure is what you’re looking for, Davao has every adrenaline pumping activity that will definitely excite your senses! From the long, breathtaking ziplines in the mountains that stretches by almost a kilometer, to the rush of the rapids that meets as you go white-water rafting, Davao City has it all.
The city also has a vibrant shopping scene with local brands competing with highly recognizable national & international brands. Any shopaholic will surely be delighted by shopping finds in our malls, thrift shops, & seasonal bazaars and one need not spend a lot to do so. One can find a wide array of souvenir shops in the city selling colorful ethnic-inspired clothes and fabrics, intricately-made crafts and trinkets, and many other products that depict the diversity of the city’s culture.
After enjoying our local sites and attractions, treat yourself to our wonderful variety of local flavors as restaurants, bars & cafes offer dishes & cuisines offer you our fresh abundance of seafood, meats, herbs, vegetables & fruits. Tropical fruits abound the city, most popular of which is the king of fruits, Durian. Every food craving is sure to be satisfied when you are in Davao City.
At night, enjoy ice cold beers and unique cocktail blends while listening to the beats of the local music scene. Davao artistry takes root from a rich and diverse cultural heritage that is vibrant and captivating.
Your home in the city can be sweeter than home as one will find a wide array of choices for your preferred accommodations. Whether in the quietness of the mountains or in the heart of the city, Davao has almost 5,000 hotel rooms waiting for you. From deluxe accommodations to boutique hotels, Davao City guarantees unparalled hospitality to make your stay a safe and memorable one.
Every year, the City also pays homage to its unique culture and to the abundance from nature. This is celebrated in two festivals that highlight the best that Davao has to offer: the Araw ng Dabaw, a vibrant feast celebrating the birth of the city and the oneness of its people and the Kadayawan Festival, the country’s king of festivals, a celebration and thanksgiving for nature’s bountiful harvest. Through these two festivals, Davao City has captured the hearts of many tourists and their love affair with the city continues as they experience the city’s peace and serenity. We are sure that you too will fall in love with the city during your next visit.
The air is fresh. The city is clean and green. There is real abundance of the freshest harvest from the land and sea and the quality of potable water is among the best in the world. No wonder it was awarded as the most livable city in the Asia by Asiaweek Magazine in 1998.
The city’s best asset will always be its people. Warm and hospitable, there will always be a friendly Dabawenyo to help you do business, go on an adventure, enjoy the urban pleasures and experience the culture. You also need not worry in exploring the city as one can easily find a local tour guide that speaks fluent Mandarin.
From islands to highlands with the comforts of an urban center, Davao City will definitely be your best choice for business and pleasure. With its friendly and hospitable people, rich culture, and wide array of flora and fauna, life can certainly be found here in Davao.