Davao is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area, as it has a total land area of 2,443.61 km2 (943.48 sq mi). It is also the second most populous city, next only to the nation’s capital, Manila, with about 1.7 million people. Perhaps because of its size and population, Davao has become a melting pot of people through. Furthermore, it is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Philippines.
People who live in Davao City are often called “Dabawenyos” or “Davaoeños”. Generally, Davaoeños speak Cebuano, Filipino (which is the national language) and English (as the second language). Most foreigners remark that Davaoeños are one of the best and most fluent English speakers in the Philippines.
Most Davaoeños are Christians, majority of which are Catholics, followed by Muslims. Davao is full of religious structures like churches, mosques and shrines. Since the Philippines was colonized by Spain, a considerable number of people have at least a bit of Spanish blood in them. Most last names in Davao are also Spanish surnames such as De la Cruz, Gomez, De la Rosa, and others. Also, many Davaoeños are descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to Mindanao to trade or to farm, as well as Japanese immigrants who came to the Philippines after the war to settle in mainly agricultural areas such as Calinan and Mintal. Since the end of the Second World War, a considerable number of other non-Filipino Asians such as Indonesians, Malaysians, Koreans, and Indians have settled and made small communities in Davao City.
Filipinos are known to be hospitable and friendly, and if you don’t believe that, meeting Davaoeños might truly change your mind. Davao truly is an amazing city! There are hundreds of places to go to and discover. You’ll never have a boring day in Davao. Every corner might lead you to a new friend and a new memory to cherish forever.