Monument of Peace & Unity in Davao - Philippines
In 1998 the Philippines celebrated its 100th year of being free from Spanish rule, or the centenary of its independence from Spain. Everywhere in the country, in major cities most especially, various ways of commemorating the event took place. In Davao City the Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity was erected.
It welcomes people going to the Davao City Hall from the San Pedro Street---a gargantuan reminder of the invaluable efforts of revolutionary Filipino heroes in the late 1800s at freedom and independence. The Monument of Peace and Unity is a generational appreciation of the fruits of independence, which is peace and unity.
The Monument of Peace and Unity artfully depicts indigenous people of the country jointly raising the symbols of peace in detailed and commendable sculpture. Led by a woman in traditional saya—depicting Mother Filipnas—several men in various native outfits raise their hands together in approval and support as 3 doves are released from Mother Filipinas’ hands.
It is interesting how the 3 dove figures are suspended in mid air without strings or obvious supports. They are subtly connected with each other in a way that is not readily apparent. Their wing tips touching at the ends are the key here. At a glance, the Memorial of Peace and Unity looks amazing and arresting.
In 1998, at the height of the 100th year celebration of Philippine Independence, it was unveiled in special rites at Davao City Hall. Hall officials, employees, townsfolk, and luminaries witnessed the event. The Memorial of Peace and Unity has become part of the city hall vast landscape since. In addition, it highlights the unity among the diverse people of the city. Davao City is peopled by folks from different cultures and religions. Despite this, it still managed to develop to the world-class city it is today.
In the last 100 years migrants have been flocking to Davao City in droves—workers, investors, and pensioned tourist settlers. They realize the potential of the place. Notwithstanding the diversity, the strong spirit of unity that pervades the city always overcomes the challenges. The Memorial of Peace and Unity also stands for this.
Actually, Davao was barely affected by Spanish colonialism, until a certain Don Jose Oyanguren in 1848 ousted Datu Bago from his river bank (now Bolton River) turf. Spanish influences came to Davao after that, including Spanish Catholicism and its fiestas. Among this is the Kadayawan.
The Memorial of Peace and Unity reminds us of all the above.