Davao Region or Southern Mindanao (Filipino: Kadabawan) is one of the regions of the Philippines, designated as Region XI. It is located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao, and consists of five provinces, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and the newly created, Davao Occidental. The region encloses the Davao Gulf and its regional center is Davao City. Davao is the Hispanicized pronunciation of daba-daba, the Bagobo word for "fire" (the Cebuano translation is "kalayo").
Even before the Philippine independence in 1946, the entire region was already a single province called Davao Province, with Davao City serving as its capital. The province was one of the largest provinces in the Philippines during that time, spanning more than 20,000 square kilometers; it lasted from 1920 until 1967, when the province split into three provinces, namely: Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur. After the division, Davao City was officially named its regional center.
Sprawled along the shores of southeastern Mindanao, Davao del Sur is a place of natural wonders and rarities. It boasts of the country's highest peak - Mt. Apo, the most prized Philippines orchid species like the vanda sanderiana, some of the most exotic fruits and the endangered Philippine Eagle.
Davao del Sur is home to a host of ethnic groups whose culture and way of life have been preserved. These are the Bagobos, the Mandayas, the Mansakas, the Atas, the Kalagans, the Tagakaolos and the Mangguangans. Their arts and crafts are on display in museums and shops.
There is a wide choice of white sand beaches and resorts. In the city, there are numerous hotels and inns. Dining is good and varied. Nightlife is fun. Some of the popular sports activities are golf, watersports and mountain climbing.
Useful Information :
AIRPORT. Davao City is served by the Davao International Airport, 15 minutes by car from the city center. It has adequate traveler facilities: souvenir shops, tourist information center, hotel and travel agency representatives, and car rental services.
AIRPORT TRANSFERS. Taxis are available from the airport to downtown. Hotel Car- Hotel transport can be arranged with hotel representatives at designated counters at the arrival lobby. Car Rental - A trip to the city proper by hired car can be arranged with representatives at the airport.
CREDIT CARDS. Major international and Philippine credit cards are accepted at most hotels, shops and restaurants.
TIPPING. Tipping is expected for many services (waiters, bellhops, taxi drivers, hairdressers). The standard practice is 10% of the bill. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge, so tipping is optional.
BUSINESS/BANKING HOURS. Shops are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday (Although most department stores stay open Sundays and holidays); banks 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday; government agencies and offices, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, private firms from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Saturday.
COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES. International direct dialing, telex facsimile, worldwide express delivery, postal service are available. Newspapers, radio and TV are in English, Pilipino and Cebuano.
ELECTRICITY. Most areas in Davao City are supplied with 220 volts, 60 cycles. A plug with 2 flat prongs is the norms, but pack a universal adaptor to be safe.
WATER. The water is potable. Bottled mineral water is available in most hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.