History and Culture

3 Icons of Davao: Symbol of Hope & Pride

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Sep 08, 2016
3 Icons of Davao: Symbol of Hope & Pride

When you say Davao City, these four come to mind: one of the rarest eagles in the world, the queen of orchids, the country’s highest mountain, and the king of fruits.

The city’s festival, the Kadayawan, used to be called Apo DuWaling Festival after its icons--- Mt. Apo, Durian, Waling-Waling.

Here are the reasons why:

Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecopaga jefferyi) is one of the most powerful, rarest, and largest eagle species in the world.  It is also in critical danger of extinction due mainly to habitat loss through logging and hunting.

The largest number of the remaining population is in Mindanao. However, in recent years, there have been increased sightings from different areas in Luzon and Visayas.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resopurces (DENR) are the primary organizations working on the protection and conservation of the eagle and its forest habitat.

The Philippine Eagle Center is the conservation breeding facility for the raptor and is located in Calinan, Davao City.


The Waling-Waling or Vanda sanderiana is the queen of Philippine orchids. It is endemic to Mindanao and found in the trunks of dipterocarp trees. 

The Philippine Senate in 2013 passed a bill naming the Waling-Waling as one of the country’s national flowers alongside the sampaguita.

One of Davao City’s tourist attractions is a tree with waling-waling orchids at the Malagos Garden   Ms. Charita Puentespina of the Puentespina Orchids and the Malagos Gardens is instrumental in the propagation of the Waling-Waling and getting it off the endangered species list.   

READ: Food trip and Heritage Tour of Davao City: A Fun Walk to Remember 

Mt. Apo

The Philippines’ highest peak stands at 9,692 feet from the provinces of Davao del Sur and Cotabato and the biggest city in terms of land area, Davao City.

It is a Filipino mountain climbers’ dream to summit its peak

READ: IN PHOTOS: Why It’s Always Beautiful Waking Up to Mt. Apo’s Stunning View 


Durian is the Philippines’ king of fruits, and Filipinos simply adore their King. In fact, Davao produced 500 metric tons of durian on 3,000 hectares of land in 2014.

The durian and other fruits’ harvest time coincide with the Kadayawan.  


How to Get There:

Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Metro Manila and Cebu.  Travel time from Manila is an hour and 50 minutes while it only takes 50 minutes from Cebu.

The Kadayawan is celebrated every third week of August with the Street dancing on the third Saturday of the month and the Floral Float parade on a Sunday.

Read Related Stories:

How to Tour the Philippines’ Biggest City in Just 5 Days 


Davao’s Top Produce:  Why Malagos Chocolate is World’s Best 


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