History in Davao - Philippines
If you are familiar with Davao, you will probably think of that region in the Philippines whenever you hear the name. But what is the history of Davao? What is the story behind its name?
Many historians believe that the name Davao is actually the mixture of the three names that three different tribes, the earliest settlers in the region, had for the Davao River. The Obos, an aboriginal tribe, referred to the Davao River as Davoh. Another tribe, the Tagabawa Bagobos, referred to the river as Dabu while another tribe, the Guiangan tribe, called the river as Duhwow.
The history of this region dates back to the times when various tribes occupied the region. It is believed that the Manobos, Mandayas and the Bagobos actually occupied the area. These are the same tribes that created the small governmental units and communities that eventually became Mindanao.
History shows that for centuries the tribes lived in relative peace until the Spanish, attempting to spread Christianity, arrived in the region in 1528. At that time, Datu Bago of the Moro tribe was in control of Davao. The Spanish forcibly invaded Davao, removed the power from the Datu and changed the name of the region to Nueva Guipozcoa.
The Spanish then took the reins and attempted to develop the region. The Spanish gained the upper hand when they finally controlled the ports of the region; thereby, they were able to gain trading leverages. The population of the Spanish began to grow as well and many Europeans began to settle in Davao. The tribes, however, refused to succumb, so the Spanish never truly gained complete control over the whole island.
History shows that control eventually passed to the Americans after the Spanish-American War. Americans then landed in the region and they subsequently developed the regions communications and transportation systems. When the war between the Japanese and the Americans broke, many Japanese immigrants moved to Davao and began to create a small Japanese community in the area. However, as history tells, the region eventually passed to the American hands again when the Japanese were driven out of the country.
Nowadays, Davao is one of the largest regions in the country. It is a thriving, populous region that has so much to offer. History tells of a long story of invasions but Davao remained to be a strong independent region.