Davao City, the country’s largest city in terms of land area, is at the center of attraction of late. Not only because it is the city where President Rodrigo Duterte was once a mayor. It is gaining more popularity among local tourists and foreigners as well.
The city has its own characteristic that makes it charming and endearing. Modernity has caught up with Davao City but it has maintained a certain aura of mystery. Though, once in a while, hounded by activities of the far left and other attention-seeking groups, it is generally peaceful.
From the first time that I set foot in Davao City many years ago until the last time I was there to do the 65th Miss Universe Mindanao Tapestry fashion show of Renee Salud, I have seen a lot of changes to the city. Commercial establishments have spruced up. There is even a big Central Bank of the Philippines branch which has a convention hall that can accommodate a large number of people of big events. Then, there is also the SMX Convention Center in Lanang where our show was held.
Malls owned by SM and Ayala have mushroomed in Davao City through the years. It seems that their branches are not enough to accommodate the number of people who have made malls as their new leisure go-to places.
But, of course, there is still the good old reliable Aldevinco where you can buy Mindanao-made products. Not only that, you can also find items which come from neighboring countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Haggling for the best price is still practiced here. Then, there is the city center which has small as well as big named stores to shoppers’ delight.
A sign of a place’s marked development is the construction of big-branded hotels. Of course, there are smaller hotels which cater to tourists who are on a budget. The construction frenzy of hotels in Davao City makes the city more appealing to visit.
Durian can be bought in several areas as well as other delicacies that the city offers. Local restaurants are must-trys. With the abundance of fruits and seafood in the area, it is worth patronizing their products and eating places.
Davao City is at the center of attraction. It is one place which was carved of discipline and friendliness. Everywhere I went in the city, I was genuinely greeted by its people. Taxis gave exact change. Cleanliness is very evident. It is not be a surprise anymore that it is dubbed as the next important gateway to the Philippines.