Davao del Sur is in southeastern Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by Davao Province, on the east by Davao Gulf, on the west by Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato, and on the south by the Mindanao Sea. Geographically, Davao City is in Davao del Sur. It is a highly urbanized city.
|Land Area:||5,164 sq. km.|
|Number of Towns:||14|
The western part of the province is dominated by Mt. Apo which is the country´s highest peak. Mount Tanglao and Mount Latian are two other landmarks in the hinterlands. Wide fertile valleys are found between the mountain ranges and the narrow coastal plains in the east.
The weather is basically warm with no marked seasons. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.
A Brief History
Davao del Sur was created from the old province of Davao in 1967. Davao derived its name from the Bagobo word Daba-Daba referring to the Sacred Brass of the tribe´s legendary chieftain, Datu Duli, who lived in Mount Apo.
The letter “o” was added to the word, making it Daba-o Daba-o which, to the Bagobos, means justice and the datu´s fairness to his people. As years went by, the word was shortened to Dab-o and eventually, Davao.
Davao City was founded by a Spanish expedition led by Jose Oyanguren in 1848. He named the village Nueva Vergara after his hometown in Spain. It became a city on October 16, 1936.
The majority of the population are Visayan migrants. Cebuano is the most widely spoken language. Other prominent migrant groups are the Ilonggos and the Ilocanos.
Several ethnic groups exist in the province, among them B´laans, Bagobos, Manobos and Tagacaolos. These early settlers occupied the slopes, and base of Mt. Apo, and have developed their own cultures which have been preserved to this day.
The Bogobos, for example, are known for their colorful dresses woven from Abaca fiber and ornamented with beads, shells, metal disks and embroidery in geometric patterns. They also wear bells as anklets or costume accessories so they jiggle when the walk or dance.
Commerce and Industy
Because of its favorable climate and fertile soil, Davao del Sur is primarily an agricultural province. It is popularly known as Coconut Country since coconut is its major commercial crop. Its rice and corn production is more than sufficient for its population. Other crops grown are bananas, cacao, ramie, coffee, fruits and vegetables.
Davao City is the commercial center of southern Mindanao. Foreign and domestic vessels load and unload goods at its port.
Davao Gulf is the major fishing grounds of the city. There are eleven coastal municipalities facing the Philippine Sea.
Logging has supported a wood-processing industry but rapid forest depletion is a cause of concern.
Getting There and Away
Regular buses ply the route from Davao City to General Santos. Buses depart from Manila to Davao City via Bicol, Samar, and Leyte daily. Buses from Cagayan de Oro are also available daily. Flights are also available from Manila and Cebu. Ferries going to Davao City from Manila via Cebu and Zamboanga city are also available.