Printer Friendly

Davao City: Haven for retirement.

'ONE of Asia's most livable cities...' This was a sobriquet given to Davao City by the now-defunct Asiaweek magazine, especially when incumbent Philippine strongman Rodrigo R. Duterte was its mayor.

Exotic fruits; Floral float during Kadayawan Festival; and Skycycling at Eden Nature Park

A few years back, a blog ( did thorough research, data gathering and analysis on 122 cities of the Philippines. It wanted to know which of them provided the 'best living conditions.'

Five broad categories were considered for computation: stability, 25 percent; culture and environment, 25 percent; health care, 20 percent; education, 10 percent; and infrastructure, 20 percent. The site used the European Intelligence Unit procedure to determine the livability of each city.

It also included the following considerations: financial performance, population density, availability of public and private hospitals, availability and quality of public health service, environment conditions, availability of sports and development programs, calamity-safety index, tourist attractions, cultural and commercial ties, as well as the availability of public and private-educational sectors, including their performances.

Davao City Hall

With a rating of 84.804 percent, Davao City emerged second after Bacolod City, which had 85.183.

The blog site had this to say in its final analysis: 'In the early 2000s, Davao City has been recognized as the most livable city in the Philippines; but, in recent years, it has been outranked by the other faster-growing [urban centers in the country].'

'It is the most important financial and trade center, [as well as] the richest city in Mindanao; thus, its nickname: the 'Crown Jewel of the South.' It is the fifth-best performing city financially, the second-best...that caters to tourists with natural attractions, the fourth [-best] producer of young professionals, ninth in having the most cultural and commercial ties here and abroad, first in calamity-safety index and third in having the best infrastructures among [other] cities in the country.'

Kinilaw na tuna

These days, Davao City is one of the most-often visited in the country. After all, the current Philippine president was its former mayor. His daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio now occupies the highest seat of local governance in the country's largest city (in terms of land area).

Reasons to stay

FOREIGNERS who have visited Davao City (some of them stayed for a few months, while there are others who never left anymore) have only good words to say about it:

'The city is known for its tight security and strict implementation of the law,' a foreigner commented. 'It is also known to be the 'fruit basket of the Philippines:' from it comes the exotic durian and mangosteen, as well as one of the most exported products of the country, which is banana. One will find all of them here.'

A Korean student raved: 'I agree that Davao City is the best to live [in. It] has a lot of potential and opportunities. I almost can't explain how beautiful [it is] to live here [while] studying in one of its schools for almost three years.'

With such accolades, isn't it great for this city to be the place for retirement?

Take it from Bob Martin, an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao. He used to reside somewhere else in the region, but has opted to transfer in Davao City.

'I have lived [here] for almost five years now,' he wrote in his blog,

'All I can say is that I love it here! I believe that Davao City is the best place to live in the Philippines. I have talked to other expats in the area, and they all feel the same way.'

Martin is the publisher and editor in chief of the said blog that doubles as a Web magazine. There, he gives some examples on why residing in Davao City is a great thing to consider:

It is rare to have rain during the day, but there is an expected downpour after dark for about 250 nights per year. Everything is green and lush, yet one can get to enjoy the sunshine almost every day.

One can literally have brunch at the beach, then spend the afternoon at the country's highest mountain, Mount Apo, on the same day.

While the city is large, it is not as crowded as Manila or Cebu City. In terms of size, Davao City is the largest city in the world. Yet, the population is too small to create major traffic jams and other inconveniences.

Western food and other imported items are accessible.

Thinking of going to Baguio City for the chilly climate? Davao has that, too. Just a short, hourlong trip away is Bukidnon, up in the coolness of its mountains. (It happened a couple of times that, when it was very cold there, ice had formed on the road.)

While it also has many of the amenities in large cities, the prices in Davao City are much lower than in Baguio City or Manila. One can live in the Davao del Sur's biggest urban center for about a third of the price that the same lifestyle would cost in the country's capital.

Be anywhere in the Philippines in less than two hours with a cheap flight from the Davao International Airport. From Davao City to Manila, there are at least a half-a-dozen flights daily via four different airlines.

Lifelong residency

MARTIN is not alone. There's Klaus Doring, a German who first came to the Philippines in 1976. He now lives in Davao City with his Filipina wife Rossana Balcom since 1999.

Not only did Doring fall in love with his spouse there; he also became enamored with the city, which was without traffic and high-rise buildings then.

'I think I was one of the first few foreigners then who were staying here,' he said. 'Today, Davao City has changed a lot and is now one of the most progressive in the Philippines.'

He sees himself living there for the rest of his life.

'I was born in Germany, but I consider the Philippines as my second home country,' he pointed out.

On living in Davao, he added, 'I feel safe here. I enjoy life here. I already have my grave here.'

Another one is the best-selling American author Tom Anthony. He liked Davao City so much that one of his novels, Sabine, was set in the southern Philippine city where he used to live.

When asked by this author why he had chosen Davao City as the setting of his novel, he replied: 'I think it is interesting to see a place you know through the eyes of a foreigner-it makes one see it differently.'
COPYRIGHT 2018 Asianet-Pakistan
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 21, 2018
Previous Article:'Mission: PHL' panel members, reps tackle awards details on first meeting.
Next Article:Abac tackles challenges, prospects in Asia Pacific.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |