Wednesday, June 8, 2016

10 Telltale Signs You’re Actually a Davaoeño

Believe it or not, this paradise is only 15 minutes away from Davao by boat.
See also: Another unrelated cover photo but this looks beautiful.

Everywhere you go, you’ll encounter this formidable creature *ahem*. Well for one, you won’t notice that they’re around until they start talking about their preferences in food or anything about their local pop culture. If you’re unsure you’ve met one, here are the 10 signs that your officemates, housemates, or your friends are from Davao. Or maybe you're starting to become one.

1) Everyone in the city knows each other.

It is not surprising for a Davaoeño to have lots of common or mutual friends. Actually, it also exists in some towns or municipalities. However, we have to take note that Davao is a big city (largest city in the Philippines with a total land area of 2,444 sq. km, roughly the equivalent of four NCRs). Population? Almost 2 million.

Davao City. Photo by Bernardo Agulo

Now, how’s that possible? Well, it can be attributed to the schools we've attended for the past years, or through family friends. Half a century ago, the population of Davao wasn’t that big and generations after generations, we were introduced to *him* and *her* as our de facto tito, tita, or family friend whenever we have family reunions, or as mundane as it gets, whenever we accidentally meet them at Abreeza, SM, or Gaisano. More importantly, we all have that aunt or uncle who memorizes the entire family tree including their official BFFs.

2) They only shop when there’s a big sale.

Davaoeños have a knack for thrift shopping. Being one of the most kuripot Filipinos in the world, they will never think twice of spending too much on clothes or any other items even if they have money. They’ll only pay a visit to these international boutiques if there’s a mall-wide sale. 70% off sale? Double mark-down sale? That’s music to our ears! But have you ever wondered why these international brands in Abreeza Ayala Mall or SM Lanang Premier are still open despite the nature of the local shoppers? Actually, their target markets are those people from the neighboring provinces who are willing to spend A LOT for their luxury items.

3) Ganito gud sila mag salita.

Davao City is a microcosm of Philippines. There are so many multicultural communities that thrive here thus the amalgamation of different cultures. The official languages in the city are English, Cebuano, and Tagalog. However due to its cosmopolitan culture, the locals tend to mix Tagalog and Cebuano, hence the birth of the cringe-worthy yet equally funny Davao Tagalog dialect. I also speak like this and I embrace that fact. It just shows that Davao is home to a lot of cultures. Kung may ma-annoy gud na tao sa the way ng pagsalita natin, bayaan mo nalang sila! Oops.

4) They know Nanay Prunsette, Boogie, and Boogie Gamay (Boogie Jr.)

Every Davaoeño knows who these people are especially those who ride PUJs. They are the notorious VIP PUJ passengers. They are one of the reasons why most people are late for school or work. While waiting for the passengers, the barker shouts, “Nanay Prunsette! Nanay Prunsette!”. After several minutes, the barker stops calling her and then starts calling her son. “Si Boogie lang! Si Boogie lang!”. He calls him while tapping the side of the jeep. When the jeep’s almost full, he’ll call her grandson aptly named Boogie Gamay (Boogie Jr.). “Si Boogie Gamay! Si Boogie Gamay!”.

I know most of you think they’re real persons. Actually, they’re not.

Nanay Prunsette = Naay Front Seat = Front seat’s still available
Sibogi = Usog lang = Please move to give way to other passengers
Sibogi gamay = Usog pa ng konti = Please move a little bit. Just a tiny space and we're good to go.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

5) They take pride in their disciplined culture.

Photo by Pinoy Photographer | Flickr

I think most of you here already know the rules and city ordinances that are uniquely Davao (and soon to be implemented on the national scale). There’s a total firecracker ban, the comprehensive and enhanced anti-smoking bill, waste segregation, speed limit, anti-discrimination bill, and a whole lot more. When these local city ordinances were introduced to us years ago, we were actually aghast. But, we saw the good effects to our city. Maybe because we were afraid to pay the hefty fines, which brings us back to item number 2, our frugality. Basta Davaoeño, #DCPlinado.

6) They always complain about how expensive fruits and vegetables are in the metro.

I spent almost two years in Manila for my training and it was really damn hard to keep up with the expensive lifestyle of the capital. The first few months, I was craving for fruits. So I decided to buy some at a local supermarket. I ended up buying only a few items because the fruits were, pardon my French, fucking expensive. In Davao, mangosteen sells for as low as 10-20 pesos per kilo during peak season. Same banana (lol pun slightly intended) goes to durian, rambutan, marang, and pomelo.

7) They don't mind the smell of Durian.

Honestly, it annoys the hell out of me when people show their disgust after they smell the fruit. Well, you can’t please everyone. The native variant is my favorite by the way. Now, I’m craving for one.

8) They absolutely hate cab drivers who refuse them a ride or when drivers don’t give the right change.

Davao cab drivers are honest and they will always give you the exact change. If he lacks even 50 cents, he will profusely apologize for not giving you the exact amount. Not a big deal for me, but at least it shows that they’re trustworthy. Don’t get me started on the notorious cab drivers of the capital (not all are a pain in the ass, to be honest). But I do hope some of them will change for good.

9) They are no strangers to exotic dishes.

Crocodile lechon? Ostrich meat? 10 ways to eat Tuna (ok, this is not really an exotic one but it’s uniquely Davao lol)? Davao is a great gastronomic destination and we are no strangers to exotic dishes. Let these photos speak for themselves. You be the judge.

Photo by Ida Nanette Damo.
More photos here at

10) They always long for home.

Davao will always be my home and I will always find ways to have have a quick vacation even just for a day or two. Nothing beats the feeling of residing in a metropolitan city surrounded by verdant mountains and cerulean seas blessed with a bountiful catch. Not to mention we drink clean tap water and we still breathe fresh air. This is one of the few places in the country where peace and progress coexist.

Ikaw, ano pa ang ma think mo para madetermine na taga Davao siya? I share mo lang gud sa comment section sa baba. Wag ka ma shy ha? Hindi ako naga bite.


  1. thumbs up!!! you summed it up. love my Davao

  2. thumbs up! love my Davao City

  3. LOL laughed so hard at #4! I was thinking, these 3 people may be celebrities or something.Hahaha

    Ochi | Ochi In The City

  4. aaww... mangosteen. I would love to visit Davao for the sole purpose of binge eating this fruit. Totally unrelated, I love how its Leonard and Sheldon. Geeks FTW.


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