Friday, August 3, 2012

Mati City

Sambuokan Festival in Mati City celebrated every October

Mati City is the capital and only city in the province of Davao Oriental in Mindanao, Southern Philippines. It has a total land area of approximately 682 square kilometers or 263.32 square miles, with an estimated population of about 126,143 as per the 2010 Census. The City belongs to the Second District of Davao Oriental under Davao RegionResidents of Mati are called Matinians.

The word "Mati" is derived from the Mandayan word "Maa-ti" which refers to the town's creek that dries up easily even after a heavy downpour of rain. The pioneer settlers were the tribes of Kalagan, Mandayan, and Maranao which carries strong Arabic and Indo-Malayan influences. 

The city’s major dialects are Cebuano, Mandaya, Boholano, and Kalagan. Majority of Matinians speak and understand English and Tagalog.

Provincial Capitol of Davao Oriental is Located in Mati City

Mati was founded in 1861 by Captain Prudencio Garcia, the pioneer political-military head, and his comrade Juan Nazareno. By 1903, Mati was declared a municipality by virtue of Act No. 21, and subsequently in 1907, Act No. 189 further reaffirmed the establishment of its local government where Bonifacio Serrano was the first appointed mayor while Patricio Cunanan was the first elected mayor in 1923. Mati became the capital of Davao Oriental since 1967. 

On June 20, 2007, Mati was officially proclaimed a city by virtue of Republic Act 9408 converting the Municipality of Mati into a component city to be known as City of Mati.

An old painting of the Bay of Mati

Old Photo of Mati Wharf

The City of Mati is politically subdivided into 26 barangays: Badas, Bobon, Buso, Cabuaya, Central (City Proper or the Poblacion), Culian, Dahican, Danao, Dawan (then known as Cabuaya in 1957), Don Enrique Lopez, Don Martin Marundan, Don Salvador Lopez, Sr., Langka, Lawigan, Libudon, Luban, Macambol, Mamali, Matiao, Mayo, Sainz, Sanghay, Tagabakid, Tagbinonga, Taguibo, and Tamisan. 

Mati is the country’s coconut capital whose economy is highly dependent on the coconut industry and other agriculture products and agro-industries. Products such as bananas, pineapples, coconuts and fish are abundant and exported to other countries with linkages to Mindanao, Malaysia and Indonesia. Large deposits of copper also contribute much to the city's economy. Mati is also known for its furniture making and industrial tree plantations. 

The City is also widely known for its natural wonders and white sand beaches, and because of its stunning landscapes and unspoiled resorts, Mati is a major tourist destination in the region. Dahican, with its 17-kilometer shoreline of powdery white sand beach, is one of the most popular destinations in Mati and a favorite hub in the region for water sports activities such as skim-boarding, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and Frisbee.

Dahican Beach

Pujada Bay boasts of 15,700 species of marine life and has been considered as among the richest bays in South East Asia where lobsters, sea cows (locally known as Dugong), bottlenose dolphins, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and different kinds of turtles abound in the bay. It is a marine protected sanctuary for these wonderful sea creatures.

Pujada Bay

The City of Mati celebrates two annual grand festivals: the Pujada Bay Festival which is held every June and Sambuokan Festival every October. Both festivals are relatively new; the Pujada Bay Festival started only in 2004 as a way of promoting and protecting the Pujada Bay, while Sambuokan Festival started in 2001 as a means to unite Matinians during the commemoration of the city's founding anniversary every 29th of October.

Pujada Bay Festival

Sambuokan Festival

Zig-zag Road to Mati

Badas Road to Mati

Mati as viewed from Badas

Lush greenery of Mati

Welcome Signage to Mati

Downtown Mati City

Street of Mati

Mati Municipal Hall

Mati Public Market

How to get to Mati City

Mati can be reached by taking any of the daily scheduled airline flights from Manila to Davao City, or via a regularly scheduled inter-island vessels that ply the Manila-Davao City routes. From Davao City, the easiest way to get to Mati is through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway via private transportation or overland bus ride bound for Mati City - approximately 165 kilometers, or about 4 hours drive from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Davao City.

For more information, please visit

Official Seal of the City of Mati

City of Mati Official Website
City of Mati Facebook Page

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