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Davao City at 75:

Its mayors--past and present By Greg G. Deligero

IN all its 75 years since Davao City was officially created as such on October 16, 1936, it has had only six mayors directly elected by the people while the other 15 were installed into power by political authorities in Manila.  Unarguably, the longest serving mayor is current incumbent Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, who served for 19 years, and was succeeded as mayor by his daughter, Sara Z. Duterte, the youngest –and first ever lady mayor--to occupy the post.   What has made Davao City unique in the manner of succession in leadership can be traced to factors that were considered in the creation of the capital town of Davao into a chartered city whih was formally inaugurated on March 1, 1937 with Santiago Arti-

aga as the its first appointed mayor.   Historical accounts show that then Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon intimated to then Davao Assemblyman Romualdo C. Quimpo that the

including all sorts of business and trading.   With a population of 15,000 Japanese, Davao had earned unsavory monickers like “Little Tokyo” and “Davaokuo” (the latter referring to the Japanese occupation of Manchu-

  However, historian Ernesto I. Corcino says the Japanese problem was not the only reason behind the appointment of Davao City officials. The national leadership wanted to expand the adoption of the principle of self-governance to

Hence, the creation of Davao City would best serve as a showcase of the Filipinos’ capability of govern themselves. creation of Davao City would address the so-called “Japanese Problem” of the time.   Quezon believed that a charted city run by appointed officials would diminish the influence of the Japanese over the affairs of the city, especially its economy where they controlled primary industries,

ria in mainland China during the ongoing Sino-Japanese War at the time. With their growing economic power, the Japanese were in a position to influence the outcome of any election, thus, the need for local government officials to be appointed by authorities in Manila.

the Filipinos as propagated by political leaders of the United States which at the time granted the country a commonwealth status with a definitive transition period (ten years) preparatory to the granting of Philippine independence.  Hence, the creation of Davao City would best serve as a showcase of the Filipinos’ capability of govern themselves.   The latter reason has significant bearing in the history of Davao in terms of governance.   When the Spaniards left Davao in January 1899, the people of Davao established an interim form of government headed by a Municipal President. Perhaps overwhelmed by the newly--gained freedom to govern themselves, they held elections and changed their Municipal Presidents four times in the span of only 11 months until the Americans arrived in December of that the same year.   That scenario could not, however, be repeated when Davao became a chartered city in 1936 as its constituents were not given the mandate to elect their own leaders, prompting Antonio Gabila, Davao’s first graduate of in journalism and erstwhile editor of the Philippine Collegian at the University of the Philippines, to call the city’s creation “a farce of democracy.” Gabila wanted an elective body to run the affairs of the local government instead of by appointed officials.   However, for the next 18 years after 1937, Davao City was ruled by mayors appointed by the authorities in Manila.   They were Santiago Artiaga (1937-1938), Agustin Alvarez (1938-1940), Pantaleon A. Pe-

layo (1940-1941), Alfonso G. Oboza Sr. (1941-1942), Juan A. Sarenas (1943-1944), Donato C. Endriga (1944-1945), Pantaleon A. Pelayo (19451946), Apolinario C. Cabigon (January- February 1946), Fundador R. Villafuerte (1946-1947), Leon A. Garcia Sr. (1947-1949), Bernardo B. Teves (1949-1953), Rodolfo B. Sarenas (1953-1954), Julian A. Rodriguez Sr. (1954-1955).   The first mayor directly voted by the people was Carmelo Porras, who held the for 11 years until 1967 when he was succeeded by Elias B. Lopez, the only native Dabawenyo (Bagobo tribe) who occupied the highest elective position as city mayor.   Lopez was succeeded by Luis T. Santos who won in the 1971 elections. When Martial Law was lifted in 1981, Lopez reclaimed the mayoralty and earned the distinction of having been elected as a topnotcher councilor, a vicemayor and a two-term city mayor.   After the Edsa Revolution in 1986, lawyer Zafiro L. Respicio was appointed as city mayor and served the post from April 4, 1986 to November 27, 1987 when he resigned to launch his candidacy for city mayor in the first postEDSA elections.   He was succeeded by Jacinto T. Rubillar who was appointed to serve the remaining term until February 1, 1988.   On January 18, 1988, during the first local government elections after the Marcos era, the people of Davao City elected then city fiscal Rodrigo R. Duterte as mayor and who was re-elected for another next two terms.   In 1998, to break his three consecutive terms as mayor, the maximum allowed under the Constitution, Duterte ran and won as congressman representing the city’s first district.   With the strong support of Duterte, the fifth elected mayor of Davao City was lawyer Benjamin C. de Guzman, who held the post until 2001.   In 2001, Duterte reclaimed the mayoralty post and was re-elected overwhelmingly in 2004 and in the succeeding two terms until 2010 when he fielded his daughter Sara, a lawyer, who won as mayor at the age of 33 years.

Meet the mayors of Davao City HON SANTIAGO ARTIAGA (1937 - 1938)

HON. AGUSTIN ALVAREZ (1938 - 1940)

HON. ALFONSO G. OBOZA, SR. (1941-1942)

HON. DONATO C. ENDRIGA (1944-1945)


HON. LEON A. GARCIA, SR. (1947-1949)

HON. BERNARDO B. TEVES (1949-1953)

HON. RODOLFO B. SARENAS (1953 - 1954)


HON. CARMELO L. PORRAS (1956 - 1967)

HON. ELIAS B. LOPEZ (1968 - 1971; 1981 1986)

HON. LUIS T. SANTOS (1972 - 1981)

HON. ZAFIRO L. RESPICIO (APRIL 4, 1986 - NOV. 27, 1987)

HON. JACINTO T. RUBILLAR (DEC. 17, 1987 - FEB. 1, 1988)

HON. RODRIGO R. DUTERTE (FEB. 5, 1988 TO JUNE 30, 1998; JULY 1, 2001 JUNE 30, 2010) HON. BENJAMIN C. DE GUZMAN (JULY 1, 1998 JUNE 30, 2001)




PWC: Davao’s Home o By Lorie A. Cascaro

BEFORE Davao City began giving birth to award-winning and world class artists and designers, the Philippine Women’s College (PWC), a regional school of the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) on Taft Avenue in Manila, pioneered the renaissance of art in the city. This, according to Brenda Z. Barba, director of the Helena Z. Benitez School of Fine Arts and Culture of PWC.   “Actually, it started in the 60’s when the late so-called “father of modern Filipino painting”, Victorio Edades, chose Davao for his retirement. So we grabbed the opportunity of inviting him to teach art,” Barba told Edge Davao in an interview.   Victorio Edades, who was named “National Artist” in 1976, taught art at the PWC during his “retirement” in Davao City along with his family, and continued his artworks until his death March 7, 1985 at the age of 89.   Under his watch, PWC began teaching visual painting to chil-

dren, parents and even professionals through workshops. It was only in 1967 when lawyer Rosa Santos Munda, affectionately referred to as “Tita Rosky” by many, hired Barba in 1967 to teach in kindergarten, elementary, high school and college as part of their curriculum in a one year program called Home Arts.   “I call it the Renaissance of the Art. It was the time that indulgence in art started to flourish here. “Being an artist myself,” Barba said, “I do encouraged children from four years old and above. Sometimes, mother and child; grandmother (and grandchild). Sometimes, we

even invited professionals, doctors, businessmen.”   There was a time, she said, when visual artists in Davao were dormant, hiding like in a cocoon. But thereafter more art workshops have been conducted on weekends at some tourist spots in the city while in the midst of having picnics. The school, she noted, was engaged in art exhibits during those times, while competitions, like on-thespot painting and the like were happening, especially in the 70’s.   “We decided to have our fine arts program, offering a diploma, major in painting. Twenty five years na

ang fine arts,” she said, adding that she has been with PWC for the past 46 years.   With the new dean, Ms. Grace Conde, who has also been very much involved in the performing arts, according to Barba, PWC began producing theatre plays with students and parents as part of the cast and production staff.  “It’s really expensive to come up with a play na ganyan, pero ang galing talaga,” she said, adding that their plays include “Cherry Orchard”, “Miss Philippines”, and “Annie”. She also mentioned that the famous Davao-based dance group, Bayanihan Mindanao, was initiated by a graduate of PWC, Susan Anima, and Marilyn Roque, who was one of the dancers and is now working for a local newspaper. She also cited that Tito Boy Guinoo, now a fashion czar, is also a product of PWC.   Jun Rodino Artajo, a winner in international competition in fashion design, is also a graduate of the Fashion Design program and became one of its instructors.   In 1996, the school decided to offer the interior designing course “when buildings started to sprout in Davao, and people have become fond of arranging their homes’ interior design,” Barba said adding that the number of enrollees in Fashion Design increased since 2005, from five to eight students to 99 students per batch.   Emi-Alexander L. Englis, head of the Fashion Design Department, crafted the fashion design curriculum, graduated from the school’s Fine Arts course and has developed through designing costumes for the school’s production of theatre plays which was his training ground together with his colleagues.   “Pagperforming arts, dito talaga ang mga quality theatre plays like Les Miserables and Walang Sugat. As costume director, Englis did a lot of research on Filipino period costumes,” Barba said.   They will stage another play next year for the 60th year of PWC, incorporating all the disciplines of the Arts in one production.   In next school year’s curriculum, PWC will open courses in visual communication, and film making

Helena Z Benitez

including photography. It will be the first to offer these courses in Mindanao. Davao’s Pride   The PWC concentrates on Mindanao culture. In fact, it established its Mindanao Museum located within the school’s seven-hectare property.   The Mindanao Museum is already seven years old, according to Joan Lim. Some of the items are on loan especially on the Bagobo tribe.   “The items have been there since Isabel Santos, the artistic director of Bayanihan Philippines, conceptualized the museum. We are very fortunate because most of the items are really antique. They have been with

us since 1954. They were donated by Maguindanao’s royal families. Teachers also donated T’boli items to the museum.”   Lim said the school has to be creative considering that PWC is self-liquidating and budgets are hard to come by. “So we really have to put up events. The entrance fee to the museum is P50 per adult, and P25 per student. Before there was a Museo Dabawenyo, many schools brought their students to the PWC museum.”   As the assistant for community extension, Lim links the indigenous people to the museum. “The tribals are our strong points here. They will also help the city’s tourism industry. Malaki ang dreams,” she said.



VOL.5 ISSUE 1 • MARCH 5, 2012


of Artists and Designers The PWC has been actively involved in the city’s events, especially in terms of fashion and designing. For one, during the Kadayawan Festival last year, the Fine Arts, and Fashion Design students created the gowns of the 10 Davao tribes.

  The Davao tribes represented in the museum include B’laan, Mandaya, Kamayo, Bagobo, T’boli, Maranao and Maguindanao.   The PWC has been actively involved in the city’s events, especially in terms of fashion and designing. For one, during the Kadayawan Festival last year, the Fine Arts, and Fashion Design students created the gowns of the 10 Davao tribes. The students continue to participate in exhibits and competitions nationwide.   Barba mentioned that two of the mural paintings in the Museo Dabawenyo along Magallañes Street were artworks of PWC students. She named a few artists who came from their school, like Jeffrey Duhaylungsod, and Asia Summit

winner, who was hired to be part of the advertising department of a big mall in the city. Julius Lu is a deafmute who has been a winner in several national competitions.   Barba also mentioned that their program caters to so-called “special” students who are treated just like the normal ones, although the teachers give them assistance in the case of their deficiencies.   Indeed, PWC has played a major role in cultivating culture and the arts in Davao City. “We’re very much involved every time there are activities like this. We make it a point to assist. We give voluntary help; we give our best students to assist just like during the Mindanao One,” Barba said.   Englis narrated his experience

with the students during the Mindanao One last October 14-17, a trade exposition showcasing the best Mindanao products at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.   “It was the first time nakita ng iba ibang places na andami pa lang ipagmamalaki dito,” he said.   Davao design has evolved much, according to him, and that designers already know how to channel Davao culture into their designs and make them globally competitive and appealing at that. He added, “basically, it’s because of the indigenous materials, tribal patterns and designs.”   “We make the students aware of the tradition, respect the tradition and innovate the tradition,” he said.   The school is religiously keeping Filipino traditions, particularly in their graduation rites by making it compulsory for everyone who attends, including the students’ parents, to wear the Terno for women and Barong Tagalog for men (Filipiniana costumes). And they also perform the rigodon, a Spanish dance assimilated into Filipino culture, during the ceremony.   They always tell their students, “People will treat you with respect if you show to them how you give respect to yourself. And this starts with your pleasing appearance.” Their graduates have brought this style outside the school, with Imelda Marcos, who graduated from PWU, as an example.” Pioneering creative industry   Emphasizing that PWC is focused on fashion design training, Englis said this is “how the academe wants to position itself and eventually to prepare these talents, not only as workforce but also forerunners of the industry in the future.”   “I think, and I would like to be-

lieve, there is really so much effort right now in building the creative industry of the Philippines. Among many countries in Asia, we’re the only country that has not really looked into our creative industry. And, in fact, it’s our strength, basically,” Englis said.   Looking at the Philippines being at the tail end of the pack in Asia towards the development of creative industry, Englis said the PWC envisions addressing this particular need of the country.   “And it was also foreseen by our administrators and trustees, especially Dr. Reyes, because she was really the one who insisted before that this program should be initiated because there was no fashion design yet in Mindanao at the time. She doesn’t want it to be a mere vo-

cational course but to be a professional degree. And we’re the only one in Mindanao recognized by the CHED,” he said.   The PWC has a consortium partner, Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (FIDA), a separate institution for fashion, which is providing the technical skills for fashion designing such as draping, sewing, and pattern cutting.   Englis pointed out that some of FIDA’s students eventually decided to pursue a degree in fashion design, and it’s advantageous for them because all their courses were accredited in PWC.   “So I think Women’s (PWC) has repositioned itself from just an Art and Culture School. We try to be in sync with the global challenges, which is more on developing busi-

nesses and industries from these creative programs. That’s why we would like to call our products “enterprising artists and designers.” That’s how we envision them to be,” he said.   Part of the Fashion Design program is business enterprise. He said it is not enough that students learn how to draw, but they have to learn as well that “art and design are basically businesses.”   “We tell our students in fashion design, at the end of the day your clothes should sell. It’s not enough that you just dream about them, fantasize over your creation, but more importantly, you should look more into the sustainable part of your passion which is of course the business of your crafts,” he said.




VOL.5 ISSUE 1 • MARCH 5, 2012

Undivided Davao and its governors

By Lorie A. Cascaro

BEFORE it attained “chartered” status, Davao City was once merely a part of Davao province, the second largest in the country after Cotabato province. Its boundaries stretched from Surigao (which was also one province) to Cotabato. It used to comprise of what are now the provinces of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental; and the cities of Panabo, Tagum, Digos, Mati and Island Garden City of Samal.   Based on historical accounts, in the middle of 19th century, Davao was known as a geopolitical entity under Spanish control when Don Jose Oyanguren y Cruz, its first Spanish governor, conquered the Davao Gulf area and named it Neuva Guipuzcoa. Its capital settlement was called Nueva Vergara.   Nueva Guipuzcoa was comprised of the towns of Tandag, Tago, Lianga, Mission de San Juan, Bislig, Hinatuan, which today are part of Surigao del Sur, and the towns of Cateel, Quinablangan, Dapnan, Baganga and Davao.   There were 14 Davao tribes or Lumads mentioned in historical accounts: Ata, Bagobo, Calagan, Culaman, Dulangan, Guianga, Loac, Maguindanao, Mandaya, Manobo, Samal, Sanguil, Tagacaole and B’laan. Additional native tribes include Mansaka, Libaon, Mangguan, Matigsalug and Mamanwa.

  It was said that pioneers of Davao’s Christian settlement came from Luzon, the Visayas and other Mindanao province who acted as principals and sponsors in baptisms and weddings.   The population of Nueva Guipuzcoa was based on the number of tributes it received which in 1851 was 1,696 ½ tributes representing 7,330 souls. It was only in 1853 that the first census of Davao was made with Don Gabriel Bangoy as Cabeza de Barangay.   When Nueva Guipuzcoa was divided into the military districts of Bislig and Davao in 1852, “the towns along the east coast fell under the Commandancia of Bislig while those within the Davao Gulf area and southward fell under the Commandancia of Davao.”   With entrepreneurial interest in mind, Oyanguren stayed in Tandag and Bislig, but left Mindanao when majority of businesses were dominated by high officials of the province. He transferred to venture in Palawan but then again left and sailed to Manila where later he served as a judge in Tondo. The Spanish Governors   After Oyanguren (1848-1852), 24 governors followed one after another, who were mostly military officers and “relied more often on instructions and decisions from the Superior Government in Manila.”   These were:Valerio Navarro (1852-1854), Jose Maria Gonzales (1854-1856), Jose Maria Solis (1856-1858), Luciano Cas-


tro (1858-1860), Jose Pinzon y Purga (1860-1861), Enrique C. Carillo (1861-1864), Pedro Ybañez De La Guardia (1864-1867), Jose Del Campo (1867-1869), Francisco Sanchez (1869-1871), Jose Maria Ventura (1871-1874), Timoteo Rodriguez (1874-1876), Jose Coris (1876-1877), Emilio Lopez Lorenzo Moncada Guillen (1877-1878), Faustino Villa Abrille (1878-1880), Joaquin Rajal (1880-1882), Angel Rodriguez Ursua (1883-1884), Julio Alvarez Sottomayor (1884-1887), Maximino Lillo y Garcia (1887-1890), Domingo Gijon Moragrega (1890-1892), Cesareo Ruiz Capilla (1892), Silverio Ros (18921893), Jose Tomasetti y Beltran (1893-1896), and Bartolome Garcia (1897-1899).   Nueva Guipuzcoa was the Fourth District when Mindanao was divided into five politicomilitary districts in 1860.   It was during the time of Major Jose del Campo in 1867 when the name “Davao” was restored in lieu of Nueva Guevara in 1867 upon the petition of its inhabit-


ants   For eleven months, the Christian inhabitants of Davao were said to have exercised self governance after the Spaniards left Davao until the time American military forces came.   Under the American control, Davao was made a part of the Moro Province which had five districts: Davao, Cotabato, Lanao, Sulu and Zamboanga, with Zamboanga as the capital in 1903.   Since then, migration to Davao from Luzon and the Visayas-Davao being a part of “Mindanao, the Land of Promise”--increased its the population. The earliest foreigners who settled here following the Spaniards were the Chinese, Americans, Japanese and Indonesians. The Filipino Governors   After the Moro Province was abolished in 1913 by virtue of Philippine Commission Act No. 2309, Davao was given additional autonomous power through the enactment of the Philippine Commission Act No. 2408 on July 23, 1914.


  During this period, Filipinos were either appointed or elected as governors to administer Davao province with its first Filipino civil governor, Eulalio E. Causing (1915-1917).   Following him were Francisco Sales (1917-1921) and Alfredo Zamora (1921-1922)—acting governor.  The first elected governor of Davao was lawyer Celestino Chavez (1922-1925), followed by Atty. Sebastian Generoso (19251930), Atty. Juan Sarenas (19311935), Atty. Sebastian Generoso (1935-1936), Atty. Domingo Braganza (1936-1937), Atty. Pacifico M. Sobrecarey (1937-1939), Atty. Romualdo C. Quimpo (19401943);  Appointed were Pantaleon Pelayo (1944), Apolinario Cabigon (1945), Ricardo Miranda (1945-1946), Antonio Lanzar (1946-1947), Gregorio V. Cañeda (9147-1948);   The first elected under the 3rd Republic was Ricardo Miranda (1948-1951) followed by Alejandro Almendras (1952-1958)

and Vicente G. Duterte (19591964) who was the last elected governor. Paciano Bangoy (19651967) succeeded Gov. Duterte after he accepted a Cabinet position. Creation of the City   On October 16, 1936, Davao was created a city through Commonwealth Act No. 51, the Charter of the City of Davao, initiated by Romulado C. Quimpo, the first elected Assemblyman of Davao. The formal organization of Davao City followed through Executive Proclamation No. 132 issued on March 1, 1937 by then Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon   The creation of the City of Davao was by way of denouncing growing Japanese control of Davao‘s economy. With the enactment, city officials were henceforth appointed, thus ensuring that the Japanese have no opportunity gain positions in the government unless through elections.   Later, the Davao Province, with Davao City in it, was divided into three provinces: Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte), and Davao Oriental, with Digos City, Tagum City, and Mati as their respective capitals. Davao (which is now Davao del Norte) was further divided into two in 1988: Davao (Tagum City as capital), and Compostella Valley Province (Nabunturan as capital).   The Davao region has five cities namely Davao, Digos, Tagum, Samal and Panabo (March 2003).

Edge Davao 5 Issue 1 - Araw ng Dabaw Supplement  

Edge Davao 5 Issue 1, March 5, 2012

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