Davao City has come a long way over the last twenty years. It was once considered to be a lawless place where gunfights on the street were normal. Obviously with that amount of lawlessness there was no growth and no stability. The city was somewhere to avoid if you were a rich person, foreigner or politician or even a trader.
Now Davao City is now a thriving city and still growing very fast. It is well policed and is considered as the safest city in the Philippines for both locals and foreigners. It is doing so well now that the population is growing fast with expats and even people from Manila who have made their money and want to live in a safe and cleaner province.
There are around 2 million people now in Davao city proper, which is around 115 sq. miles in area, and Davao also encompasses a total area of around 1560 sq. miles. The beauty of Davao is that as it is growing now, it looks new. The malls are brand new and the people of the provinces are very happier than their Manila cousins. Although the traffic is now getting so bad and the Davao roads cannot cope with the increase.
Unlike Manila, Davao City still has the huge palm trees the slower pace of life mixed in with the new businesses and growth that is making Davao a place for many expat and local retirees. The place is so tropical and has an average temperature of around 78.8 F. Up until recently the city was spared the effects of typhoons and just had some great rainfalls that were mostly manageable. Over the last three years that part of Mindanao has encountered typhoons, which is very unusual.
Davao is a mostly a Catholic city and like most provincial areas religion is a very important part of life for the Filipinos. There are small churches everywhere and some really large churches that seem so out of place when they are situated next to the poorer areas.
Davao has its very own airport and is less than two hours flying time from Manila. There is also a ferry service, but if time is against you, do not use the ferry as it can take two days to get to Manila. The roads are in reasonable condition and most things work. There are very few power outages as the city has its very own power station, be it very noisy sometimes.
The Mayor is known to be a very determined man and keeps the criminal classes out of the city by all means possible. He does not wait for the court system for offenders, he deals with them himself. This may cause a few problems outside Davao and outside the Philippines, but in general inside Davao he is much respected for his style of law and order. His reign as Mayor has seen the transformation of the city and the influx of businesses and vacationers too.
What to see and do in and around Davao?
Well keep watching the site and we will tell you much more.
Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.