Friday, June 12, 2015

The things that only Davaoeños understand

Photo credit: Spot.ph
Disclaimer: First of all, this is not a paid political post, but I wish the otherwise so as to fund my future trips. Kidding aside, I am getting sick and tired of hearing and reading comments about my hometown and the kind of leadership that our mayor possessed. Read on, outsider.

Moving to Metro Manila three years ago was the toughest decision I made in my life. What choice did I have? It was the only way that I could achieve my lifelong dream of becoming an air traffic controller. It is not new to me when I get various reactions from people when they learn that I am from Davao. Some were curious on how we celebrate Christmas and New Year without fireworks, or how we party at night even if we have a citywide liquor ban at 1AM. Most of them however were curious about our mayor.

For more than twenty years of living in Davao, I have witnessed how my hometown grew and progressed - from a sleepy, lackluster town filled with unwanted elements to a bustling metropolis with investments pouring from both public and private sectors. It is no question on why Davao rose to one of the best performing cities in the country as it had reaped numerous awards both here and abroad.

Duterte became a household name, all thanks to the exposure made by the media, and his recent tirades with CHR Etta Rosales and DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. I have voted for him twice and it hadn't gone to waste. Thus, I have the right to at least defend him from all those bandwagon critics. Simply put, they know nothing.

Duterte isn't new to politics. He was elected as the mayor of Davao City from 1988 to 1998. Since the constitution doesn't allow him to run for the fourth consecutive term, he ran for the House of Representative and won a seat at the first congressional district of Davao. He ran again for mayor in 2001 and was reelected in 2004 and in 2007. In 2011, he became the city's Vice Mayor, succeeding his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was elected as Mayor.

During his time, he had signed numerous city ordinances:

i) 1am liquor ban - party animals in Manila or in Cebu will never like Davao. Why? Last order of alcoholic drinks is at midnight. Through the help of the mayor, the city council amended the ordinance no. 1627, series of 1994 which states that drinking, selling, serving, and consumption of liquors and alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited from 1am to 8am. So how do we cope with this city ordinance? We party at an earlier time and when the clock strikes twelve, we continue the party in our houses or we go to coffee shops or pizza parlors.

Photo by Rudolph Alama

But hey, we Davaoeños still know how to party. See also: the EDM parties.

ii) anti-smoking - nicotine-dependent people will die peacefully in Davao. The anti-smoking ordinance was first implemented in 2002. Smoking is strictly prohibited in public areas. It got more stringent in 2012 when then-Mayor Sara Duterte signed the new comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance and this includes the total ban of shishas and e-cigarettes in all public places. Violating this rule will cost you a fortune. No, not the Fortune cigarette brand.

iii) total firecracker ban - in 2001, the local government officials had implemented an ordinance which prohibits selling, manufacturing, and use of any forms of fireworks/pyrotechnics. Even sparklers weren't spared! Since then, Christmas and New Year in Davao has never been that peaceful and clean. While firecrackers add festivity and wards off bad spirits (thank you China for bringing this belief to our country, really) in Christmas and New Year, it is also the reason why some people spend their holidays on hospitals. And just like that, by the dawn of the new year, some might only have 7 fingers or less brought about by pyrotechnic-related accidents. In Davao, we find ways to celebrate the holiday season in a jubilant manner - we sing our hearts out in karaoke on max volume, we honk our cars for several minutes, or we gather at downtown and be part of the annual Davao Torotot Festival. Non-Davao residents may find it boring, but I'd rather celebrate the holiday this way. I won't take risks of losing a finger or a two. Or die due to asphyxia.

Davao Torotot Festival. Photo by Jeff Pioquinto, SJ

iv) the speed is the limit - in the interest of public safety, the mayor had signed the Executive Order No. 39, setting speed limits within the jurisdiction of the city - 60kph for national highways, 40kph in suburbs, and 30kph in the downtown area. And with that, road accidents in the city had decreased dramatically. Abusive drivers have no place in Davao. A few days ago, Alma Moreno and her driver were both caught by the police due to speeding. They were driving 42kph on a 30kph zone. Even the former Mayor Sara Duterte was caught by traffic enforcers along Quimpo Boulevard, near SM Ecoland because she was driving at 50kph on a 40kph zone.

v) when I say hi, you say pon - Ramon Bautista does ring a bell to everyone, especially on what he did last year during the 29th Kadayawan Festival. The internet celebrity was on hot waters because of his 'hipon' joke. For those didn't know the context, hipon or shrimp is a colloquial term used for a person who has a beautiful body but has an ugly face. When you eat a shrimp, you eat its body and throw its head. Later, the city government declared him as persona non grata. A lot of his colleagues in the showbiz industry as well as some anonymous keyboard warriors reacted on how sensitive Davaoeños were and how we can't take jokes seriously. Butthurt, they say. For those who didn't know, Davao has an Anti Discrimination Ordinance. The ordinance states that it strictly (and vehemently) forbids any kind of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Props to the local government of Davao for doing what was right and just. 

I wouldn't just give credit to Mayor Digong, but also to the entire local government of Davao for drafting numerous city ordinances that made my hometown several pedestals higher than other cities in the Philippines and also to the locals who are willing to religiously follow the law. In fact, ever since I became a registered voter, I voted for him twice during the 2010 and the 2013 elections. Outsiders were quick to judge that we are afraid of Duterte. He may have a straight-forward and a no-nonsense demeanor on media but in reality, he's the opposite. At night, he drives a taxi just to make sure that his constituents are safe (and lucky passengers who hail Digong's taxi will have a free ride to their destination).

Davao City at night. Photo by Jeff Te

Davao City is his success story. Without him, Davao wouldn't be as progressive and peaceful as what it is today. It was recently awarded as the 9th most peaceful cities in the world by Numbeo.com. The water quality of the city is ranked as the second most potable water in the world, following New Zealand. And did I mention that we're the third city in the world that has a central 911 emergency system, the same in USA and Canada?

It is still unclear whether if he'll run for president this 2016 national elections or not. But if majority of the outsiders do not like him just because of what they've read or seen on TV, then SO BE IT. I am tired of reading rants about how hopeless Philippines is. If you want to experience the 'ideal' Philippines, then visit my hometown. It is a place where peace, order, and progress coexist.

Welcome to Davao, a city where no one is above the law.

Life is truly here in Davao.

27 comments:

  1. I would love to live in Davao even moreso after reading this post. I probably have to go out of the city during New Year though, it's been a tradition for me to celebrate New Year by watching the fireworks. ;-p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you believe na takot na ako sa fireworks? Hahaha

      Delete
  2. What I like about Dutarte is the fact that he really implements, executes and sustain the laws that were passed. The Philippines has good laws by the way, the problem is people, including politicians and our security forces found too many loopholes to go around those laws and even though we have laws nobody is executing them properly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LIFE IS HERE - DAVAO

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are a talented writer. Proud Davaoeña here as well! 😉

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice and comprehensuve article. I am very lucky proud to be have been living in Davao City for 21 years. I am now reviewing here in Manila and I can say that life is really there in Davao. I am excited to go home after the board exams. Thank you for this. All mayor Duterte and Davao City haters should take time to read this. God bless :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Karlo! Anyway good luck sa review mo! Break a leg. :)

      Delete
  6. Nice article. I am from Davao City since I was born. I have seen half of the horrors and learned some horrifying stories about Davao before (when it was the "murder capital of the Philippines") from taxi, truck, pedicab drivers, street sweepers and a lot more who have been living in Davao eversince. The thing that I am most proud of Davao City is that we were all able to overcome those dark times, thanks to our local government and the people of Davao as well. Although at 1st most of us were hesitant or angry about some of the ordinances (liquor and videoke at 1 & 2am in our case.lols) but at the end of the day we are able to realize its benefits. Truly God was able to provide us a father who love his city and people, and made sure that we open our eyes for the long term benefits. I am at my late 20's now and looking back I am glad because I was able to overcome my rebellious stage without doing any drug addiction and without my parents worrying about me overnight because in a way I was disciplined by the father of our city Mayor Duterte by force (we have nowhere to go past 2am because our parents didn't know we drink liquor so we can't drink in our houses.lols) and by choice (because as we age we mature indeed). Also, I have friends and friends of my friends who tried doing drugs but they are all okay now and are all professionals thanks to their families and Davao City LGU. God Bless us all Davaoeños. Soar high Agila.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was 11, I was sad that I won't be able to see fireworks in Davao. But hey, We find ways! Haha

      Delete
  7. A great read. Proud of you, bro! You'd said it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, bro! But I hope you're not anonymous. :)

      Delete
  8. Good one RM Bulseco...proud of you on this...have been a witness of Mayor Duterte since he became a mayor in 1988 and how this man so so visible in the streets then implenenting laws. Am not sure how r u related to the Bulsecos of Maa. If so, i know ur parents n ur tito Wee, my classmate n good friend and even to ur mother's side esp dok louie. Hehehe :) definitely, they r super duper proud! :) more of this...keep up the good work of the arts aside fron what r u into it now as ur msin job :) again, going to share ur another piece of your works. Ingat! God bless you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha small world, sir Dennis! Tito wee and tito louie are both my uncles! Achup Maa reprezzzzent! Thank you for your kind words sir. I got fed up after hearing and reading unpleasant comments about our beloved hometown. They pushed me to write. :)

      Delete
  9. veronica rose veroyJune 15, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    Thanks for sharing your article. A had a good time reading early morning here in Jeddah KSA.
    I would like to adk permission to repost in my page DUTERTE FOR BETTER PHILIPPINES and in my group OFW INTERNATIONAL DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT MOVEMENT.

    hope a lot more will be able to read this. Carry on. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Veronica sure, feel free to share this blog post. God bless! :D

      Delete
  10. These are all good points but then, you didn't address his human rights violations. All these successes thanks to extrajudicial killings? Nakakapanghinayang naman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more important question is: Where was 'Human Rights' during Mamasapano encounter, Maguindanao massacre, and all other heinous crimes? Mas nakakapanghinayang.

      Delete
    2. You're looking at it the wrong way. Wala na ngang pag-uphold ng human rights on those heinous incidences you mentioned, but you'll let Duterte's crimes add to the list? So you're alright with a few people killed during Duterte's regime under the facade of progress because these numbers are small compared to Mamasapano, to Maguindanao?

      Delete
    3. from a fellow anonymous..if you are talking about human rights violation and extrajudicial killings...how come sec de lima and chr etta rosales haven't filed any case yet?they were the head of those department who are against duterte and yet until now no cases were filed??hmmm
      ..

      Delete
    4. by the way..rm nice blog thanks..i was reading your blog from the start...when i a have a lull time in the office..thanks..

      Delete
  11. This one is worth the read. These are the reasons why I've always wanted to live in Davao. Davao is a proof of progress.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great article Renz and very informative also! Thanks for this eye-opener on how life is, there in Davao. The only problem is that majority of Filipinos are afraid of drastic change. We don't walk the talk. Davao is clearly an example of what the future of the Philippines would be if Duterte (who I just knew is a relative of our Roa Clan) would be President. Davao, I think, is the only province who implements its ordinances. Haha!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are highly appreciated. Spread love, not hate! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...