Food Trip & Heritage Tour of Davao City: A Fun Walk to Remember
Ida Damo | Jun 15, 2015
Starting where a lot of people congregate, a mall, this time the Felcris Centrale, was apt for our group’s turn to do the Food trip and Walking Heritage Tour of Davao City.
The mall is located in Quimpo Boulevard named after Assemblyman Romualdo C. Quimpo who was the one who formulated the bill for Davao City to be a charter city in 1936.
It is also where the 0 (zero) marker from which all distances from the center of the city starts.
Instead of walking to the most historic and the only street that has maintained its name, San Pedro, we took a van to get to it. The heat was scorching hot.
Olan Emboscado, the TravelTeller, Choose Philippines insider and our group’s tour guide, was keeping a running commentary of the city’s history and other tidbits.
San Pedro Street for one, is the only street with three parks--- Quezon, Rizal and Osmeña.
First stop is Quezon Park infront of the City Hall. In the park are representations of the three symbols of the city--- Durian, Mt. Apo and Waling-Waling. These symbols also comprised the forefather of today’s Kadayawan Festival, the Apo Duwaling Festival.
At its back is the City Hall from which the Mayor of the City holds office. It was built in 1926 and is considered a built heritage. In its lobby is a painting of the signing of the charter.
Then we move to the Rizal Park which is just a few steps from both Quezon Park and the City Hall.
Here, the national hero’s statue stands proud while the mighty Philippine Eagle’s wings gives cover to the stage.
Just a little across Rizal Park is the Sangguniang Panlungsod Building or the seat of the legislation is. This is where the Vice Mayor and the City Councilors hold office and from where the city’s ordinances are made.
This is also the site from which the church, the people and the state come together.
Ever wonder why the city’s patron saint is San Pedro? According to history, when Don Jose Uyanguren conquered Davao and defeated the fierce Davaoeño Bagobo warrior and local hero, Datu Bago, they celebrated the first mass on June 29 which is the feast day of the saint.
The boat-shaped San Pedro Cathedral has seen a lot of the city’s history and development and it has also undergone changes like the city has.
Infront of San Pedro Cathedral and a little to the side of the Sangguniang Pambansa Building is Osmeña Park.
I have always thought that the park is where the chess players congregate to play. It was very interesting to know that this is the site of the first Christian settlement of Davao City-- the place where Uyanguren brought his people to.
Now when I pass by Osmeña Park, that is what I would be thinking… that its not just a venue for the chess games.
We end the heritage part of the tour at the Museo Dabawenyo where a diorama of the 11 tribes shows their culture. There is also a bust of Datu Bago and Uyanguren along with photos of the Datu Bago awardees are. The Dau Bago award is given to outstanding Davaoeños who have contributed to the city’s development. There is also a representation of Quezon signing the charter.
You start on the walk a little clueless if you are not keen on the city’s history but end up a little knowledgeable of the city. If you’re a Davaoeño, you’ll be more proud of your city’s history and culture.
Then off to the food tour.
If you want to eat like a local, go where the locals eat.
Bangkerohan Public Market is the biggest market in Davao City. It offers almost everything that can be bought in the malls and groceries from dry goods to wet market.
It is also the site where you blend with the locals and savor their cuisine.
Before going to the first stop, we made a quick detour to the fish paste section where you can see the different colors, texture and size of fish for the ginamos and alamang.
From one smelly but interesting detour, we go to the first food delight.
First on the menu to be tried is the sikwate and puto maya to warm your tummies.
To make it warmer, try the kinutil or the mix of sikwate or tsokolate, raw egg and tuba or coconut wine. It was my first time to try this… and it was… yes, warm on the tummy.
After the snack, try the freshest fruits like durian and pineapple and see how pineapple is peeled and sliced in less than 20 seconds. The swiftness of the whole process has earned the name Pineapple Samurai.
To end the food tour, a local restaurant is tapped for the lunch. For our group, it’s the White House… a fusion of Japanese-European cuisine.
The Food Trip and Walking Heritage Tour of Davao City is still in its experiment stage. The Department of Tourism Region XI and the City Tourism Office is still fine tuning it to be offered to tourists in the next Visit Davao Fun Sale in 2016.
But for now, Davaoeños can make the tour and re-acquaint themselves with the City’s history and culture, heritage and culinary delights.
Take the jeep. Go down. Breathe in Davao.