History and Culture

Museo Dabawenyo: The 'Peoples' Museum

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Ida Damo | Jul 12, 2013

The museum is housed in an old structure that has stood countless developments of Davao City. For a long time, the structure was ignored by many as they just pass through the street facing it. After its renovation and transformation into a museum in March of 2008, it came alive and is witness to a renewal of interest for Davao City’s history.

To quote from the museum’s brochure, “Museo Dabawenyo is a City Government of Davao facility and is being run in collaboration with the private sector. It is a “people’s museum” and its programs are geared towards better historical and cultural awareness, understanding and integration.”

So you arrive at the doors of the Museo Dabawenyo to learn, relearn and unlearn.

To your right is Gallery 1-A Lumadnong Dabawenyo. This is where Davao’s Distinguished Indigenous Peoples are showcased. During the Kadayawan in August which celebrates the unity in diversity of Davao City’s people, the ten tribes and communities of Davao City are given tribute. In this gallery is the life-sized diorama of the ten indigenous peoples.

Coming from the root of Davao City’s history which is the Lumadnong Dabawenyo, we go to Gallery 1-B Duhwow, Dabaw, Davao or Davao City History. The highlight of the gallery is a life-sized replica of President Manuel L. Quezon signing Davao City’s charter.

Also located on the ground floor is the Gallery of the Hall of Fame or Datu Bago and Oyanguren Strip. Datu Bago is the local hero. The highest honor given to a Davaoeño for his service to the Davaoeños is named after Datu Bago.

At the staircase leading to the second floor is Banjo Satorre’s Tri-People painting. It has now become the Museo’s icon. People use it as a photowall.

The second floor has several galleries. Gallery 2-A is the Gallery of the Undivided Davao History or Nanay Soling Duterte Hall which displays photos of Davao City before it became a charter city. It was named after Soledad Roa Duterte, fondly called Nanay Soling, who was the better half of the last governor of undivided Davao, Governor Vicente Duterte. She is also credited for envisioning the Museo Dabawenyo.

Gallery 2-B Bahaghari Space or Changing Exhibitions showcases works of local artists, culture, trade and history on a monthly basis.

Gallery 2-C Dabawenyo Tsino or The Chinese Heritage of the Davaoeños showcases the Davao Chinese heritage.

Gallery 2-D Hall of Peace or the Audio-Visual Room features photos and the documented efforts of peace builders around the world.

Workshops are done at the Bantawan or Museo Dabawenyo tent. It is also used as a waiting area.

Hamdumanan at the Museo Lobby is the Museum’s souvenir shop.

As you leave the Museo’s walls, you uncover, discover, recall and relearn about being a Dabawenyo. You take pride of having a rich history and culture and traditions and so what happens next? You share the experience and invite people to go visit the Museo Dabawenyo from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00PM.

It is a grounding at the same time enriching experience.

Museo Dabawenyo--- the “peoples’ museum”.

How To Get There:

PAL and other major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. It is an hour and 40 minutes away from Manila and an hour from Cebu. Airfare range from PhP4,000-9,000 (US$93-209.30). Taxi flag down rate is PhP40.

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