Davao is no stranger to superlatives: Davao City being the largest city in the world in terns of land area, and is home to the largest and rarest eagle in the world, and the list goes on. . . Here are the different titles and monikers attributed to the "City in Bloom".
|Waling-Waling - Queen of Orchids|
Orchid Capital of the Philippines
Davao City is rightfully called a "City in Bloom" due to the vast plantations and garden resorts that grow rare and exotic orchids and other plants. Among florists, Davao City is specifically known all over the world for its famous Waling-Waling, the Queen of Orchids.
Waling-Waling (Vanda sanderana) grows in natural abundance in Davao City particularly at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines' Highest Peak, and is endemic to Mindanao. It grows on tree trunks in the rain forests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat, and other parts of Mindanao. Discovered in 1882, it is the largest of Philippine orchids; growing to 60 to 120 centimeters, it blooms when it is about 30 centimeters long and bears a few sets of flat, channeled, and re-curved leaves. A cluster of 12 to 16 flowers opens in succession, with the blossoms usually lasting for about six weeks. Waling-Waling is 7 to 12 centimeters wide, and has a characteristic two-tone look - a pale purple blotched with dark reddish-purple at the tip to the lower sepals that are greenish with a pattern of netted lines and purple-crimson spots. And because of its unique beauty and elegance, the Waling-Waling is widely used in corsages and wedding bouquets, and has been extensively used by orchid growers for the breeding and production of high quality orchid hybrids. Other top-quality orchid species that are found in the Philippines are the 'White Orchid' (Phalaenopsis amabilis) which is known for its large full flowers, and the 'Flame Orchid' (Renanthera storiei) which is widely used in the development of orchid cutflower varieties. It is worshipped as Diwata (fairy) by the native Bagobos, an indigenous tribe of Mindanao. Waling-Waling blooms best in the months of July to October.
Philippine orchids come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and colors, most of which grow only in old-growth forest, often on branches of huge trees several meters above the forest ground. With some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids, the Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the world. By contrast, Canada and the United States, including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, have only 325 species among them. Most of the Philippine orchids are perched on tree limbs.
Davao's typhoon-free weather all year round with practically no pronounced wet or dry season, and a uniformed distribution of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure, make it conducive to growing rare exotic orchids and plants. Moreover, the Davao City has more than 1,000 square kilometers of lush tropical forest, or about 47% of its total land area with rich volcanic soil that allows rare plants to thrive and flourish freely. All these qualities contributed to the eventual declaration of Davao City as the official "Orchid Capital of the Philippines", by then President Corazon C. Aquino.
|Durian - The King of Fruits|
Fruit Basket of the Philippines - Durianburg, The City of Durian
Davao is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of banana, papaya, mangosteen, and even flowers. Davao's rich fertile volcanic soil makes it most suitable for sustained production of the freshest and tastiest tropical fruits in the Philippines. Since the fruits are locally produced, the prices are comparably much cheaper than anywhere in the country.
Durian has become almost synonymous with Davao City because of its abundance, and because of its scarcity in other parts of the Philippines, many have sought after this exotic fruit. Its distinctive large size and infamous pungent odour, and its formidable dark khaki or dull green thorn-covered husk with thick, short, pointed spines, earned its name the "King of Fruits". It can grow as large as 12 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms. Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk from green to brown, and its flesh from pale yellow to red, depending on the species. The edible flesh emits a distinctive pungent smell, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. While some people regard the Durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. Its infamous odour, however, has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation. Durian is considered by many an aphrodisiac. Although Durian is usually in season during August to October, it is available year-round.
Davao City is typhoon-free and enjoys a balmy weather all year round. It is characterized by a uniformed distribution of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It has no pronounced wet or dry season. Weather predictability makes it highly conducive to agricultural production. Temperature ranges from 20 to 32 degrees Celsius, and the average rainfall is up to 2,000 mm yearly.
|Philippine Eagle - King of Philippine Skies|
Home of the Great Bird of Asia –Soaring High in the New Millennium
Philippine Eagle - "King of Philippine Skies", or the Monkey-Eating Eagle, known locally as "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," which means "Bird King", and whose scientific name is Pithecophaga Jefferyi, is the largest, and most powerful forest-dwelling eagles in the world. It is endemic to the Philippines and can only be found in eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
As early as the 1960s ornithologists have predicted its extinction, and in 1965, the Philippine Eagle was declared an endangered species. Loss of habitat due to the irresponsible exploitation of our forest, massive mining, and uncontrolled hunting is the primary cause that nearly drove the Philippine Eagle to its near extinction. It is now considered as one of the rarest eagle in the world with fewer than 500 Philippine eagles are estimated to survive and remain in the wild today.
The largest number of Philippine Eagles reside in the rain forests of Mindanao, with over 200 breeding pairs in captivity at the Philippine Eagle Center at Malagos Village, Calinan, Davao City. The Center is home to the Philippine Eagles, which are held captive, cared for, and bred. It also houses other species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The Center is tasked to protect and provide sanctuary to Philippine Eagles. While it is primarily a conservation breeding facility of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, it is open to the public for educational purposes. Simulating a tropical rain forest environment, the Center offers visitors a glimpse into the Philippines’s forest ecosystem. The facility is also considered a major tourist attraction in Davao City with its lush gardens and scenery. In July 1995, President Fidel V. Ramos declared the Philippine Eagle as the Philippines' National Bird.
|Davao Convention and Trade Center|
Convention Center of the Philippine South
With the increasing number of modern, sophisticated, and state-of-the-art convention facilities and exhibition centers, complemented by the establishment of numerous new first-class hotels and resorts due to the remarkable influx and steady growth of tourism and related products and services, Davao City has firmly positioned itself as the Convention Center of the Philippine South, and has become the preferred destination for conventions and conferences both locally and internationally.
Gateway to the East ASEAN Growth Area
In 1994, government representatives and businessmen from the Philippines, Brunei, Manado, North Sulawesi of Indonesia, and Sabah for Malaysia have gathered together in Davao City for the biggest historical convention ever held in the region and formally established the newest trading bloc and emerging polygon of power in Asia, the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Philippines-Malaysia East ASEAN Growth Area or the BIMP-EAGA. The BIMP-EAGA was formed mainly because the areas that comprised its member nations used to be a trading bloc during the 12th century up to the 15th century where people enjoyed borderless economies with barter trading as the most common economic practice. Centuries of colonialism, imperialism and the establishment of governments within the chain of islands halted these exchanges.
In the heart of this formation, Davao City paved the way for the re-establishment of cooperation between its member nations to advance the free movement of people, goods, services, and improve cultural and economic ties within the sub-regional trade bloc. Through these developments, direct air and sea linkages to the islands have been established making Davao City the gateway to the East ASEAN Growth Area.