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Sunday, May 25, 2008

DAKBAYAN SA DABAW: Eradicating the fallacies




How many times do you hear people in the movies say "Uuwi na ako ng Davao?"... And the next screen shot takes you to a rural, totally arcadian place filled with trees, nipa huts and carabaos....

I thought people in Manila knew better until I stayed in Manila for a year when I was 8. I went to an all girl catholic school in Manila and had a hard time making friends... All I get for (trying to be) friendly is dead silence and and cold stares filled with awe and a bit of fear. "Like, No Way..." I could imagine them saying that at the back of their minds. Then followed a barage of questions like, do we have any malls there... how big is the agricultural land we own and how many carabaos do we have.... I couldn't blame them for their ignorance.... What do they know anyway? What they have is a vague picture of Davao which might have been from some old pictures or postcards of the city circa 1970's or 60's when Bangkerohan river was clean enough to whet your craving for a summer dip.

Sadly, even foreign investors wouldn't gamble in setting up a business in Davao for the fear of NPA's and the MILF or Abu Sayyaf.

I have the Philippine media to blame. The Northerners have been greatly misled. We got movies depicting Davao as an idyllic rural community and the news showcasing a war torn Mindanao with no hope of redemption.

I'd like to eradicate some of these often fallacious notion of my beloved city.

IT'S NO COUNTRYSIDE...
We might not have skyscrapers and the fastpaced hurlyburly of its cebu or manila counterparts but it's no picture of rustic perfection. We do have the comforts and amenities modern city living can offer like spas, cars, fancy schmancy restaurants, clubs, malls, 5 star hotels and the like. Davao is infact the center of trade and commerce in Mindanao and alot of people go here to get the best of education and to make a living.

IT'S NO WAR TORN WASTELAND...
Most people think life in Davao would involve dodging bullets and living in constant fear for your life. That may have been the truth in the 80's when NPA's used to ravage this city. But these days? You're safe enough to go out at 3 am and still reach your destination in 1 piece. Contrary to what most people think, the Abu Sayyaff and the MILF is out of reach in this city... And crime rates are low in this side of planet earth... Thanks anyway to our Hon. Mayor Rody Duterte... He has so done a great job keeping the city clean... Literally and otherwise...

NOT ALL PEOPLE IN DAVAO ARE MOSLEMS

I guess this is by far one of the most common misconceptions the Luzonians have when they meet someone from Davao. Once you came from the south, you're either Bisaya or a Moslem, that's what they always say. But then, it's not always the case. Come on... We got Jesuit and Catholic schools for Petesakes... Davao is actually predominantly Catholic. Moslems rank second in population, followed by the Iglesia ni Kristo. Other than that, Davao's basically a melting pot of different cultures and religions. We got Tsinoys, Japanese descendants, Mestizos, Luzonians and Visayans as much as we have Manobos, Bagobos, Tausogs, Samals, Badjaos, Aetas and Dabawenos. Contrary to popular belief that Christians and Moslems can't get along very well, Davao is the perfect example of Moslems and Christians coexisting harmoniously... and mind you, though we can speak Visayan, I'm proud to say, malambot dila namin...

WE'RE NO SNOBS...
So you're a movie star... Who cares? You're still just like anyone else trying to make a living...
That's the best thing about Davao city... People here just don't make a big fuss about celebrities coming over here for a break or for a show...
Don't get us wrong though... we're absolutely not snobs... We're just not as star struck as anyone else here in this country. Besides, we feel that it is better to leave them be... They've practically lived their lives in a fishbowl so it's best that once in a while, they get to be treated like ordinary people.

We're no Ignoramouses
We live in a city dahlings... not in a cave... so better think twice before you ask us if we have cars in Davao...
We're also literatis so sign language is not necessary...


WHY YOU'LL ABSOLUTELY LOVE DAVAO CITY...

There's more to Davao than Pearl Farm people...

* IT's the best of both worlds: Comforts of city living and vibrant nightlife with just a hint of the rustic idyll of a small town... the lush countryside and pristine beaches are within a short driving range... No need to take a 5 hr trip to the nearest resort as most resorts here are even a stone's throw away... from our house atleast...
* Water is abundant and clean enough to drink straight from the tap... We rank 3rd or 2nd in having the cleanest water in the world...
*We're safe from typhoons and tsunamis... we're protected by the Davao Gulf...
*Things come in cheap here... Where else can you buy beer for less than P30?
*We're far from any threats from the Al Qaeda forces and crime rates are really low in this part of the country...
*celebrities can live their lives here like ordinary people...
*Lifestyle here is laidback and fashion here is subdued, yet striking... A far cry from its Manila counterpart... Who needs to be in their best clothes anyway when you're only getting dogfood for your pet Lab?
*Though people here are a bit hard to please, Davao is an investor's gold mine... This city has so much more to offer...

I could go on and on about Davao city but it's best that you don't take my word for it... Pack up your bags and discover the magic that will keep you coming back here for more...

Hmm... sounds more like a travel ad, but bottomline is, I could never imagine myself living anywhere else but in Davao city...

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