Old Davao derived its name from the word “Daba-Daba”. A Bagobo word which refers to a “Sacred Brass” owned by the legendary bagobo chieftain named Datu Duli. Datu Duli lived at the rolling hills of the famous Sandawa Mountain, the ancient name of Mt. Apo. Later on, the letter “O” was added which means justice to the Bagobos. It was added to describe the fairness with which justice was dispensed by Datu Duli among his people. As years went by, the word “Daba-Daba” was shortened to Daba-o which later on was pronounced Davao.
In the account of Gregorio F. Zaide, Filipino historian, he stated that in 1847, Jose Uyanguren, a wealthy soldier-adventurer, offered to the Spanish government a proposition that he would pacify and colonize Davao at his own expense. Governor Claveria approved Uyanguren’s proposal on February 27, 1847. For two years of pacification and colonization, he was able to pacify the tribes and founded a settlement which he called Nuevo Vergara in honor of his natal city in Spain, now Davao City.
However, the Spanish entry into the province was recorded even before Uyanguren’s pacification drive. The early excursion of Spain in Davao del Sur occurred during the period of exploration. Dr. Eufronio M. Alip, Filipino historian, accounted that one of the early Spanish expeditions landed in one of the islets in Sarangani. And that was the Villalobos expedition in 1542.
As a new province, Davao del Sur is composed of twelve (12) municipalities withDigos as its capital town. The seat of the provincial government is located in barangay Matti, Digos City, approximately 62 kilometers south of Davao City and 175 kilometers west of Cotabato City. Its early inhabitants were the Bagobo-Guinggas who occupied the places at the foot of Mt. Apo, the Bilaans of Hagonoy Valley, the Manobos in Malita and Jose Abad Santos and other ancient tribes. The aboriginal tribes were believed to belong to the second wave of Indonesians that came to the island from Southeast Asia years before the Birth of Christ (BC), probably between 1,000 and 2,500 years ago.
These early settlers lived a peaceful life, developed a rich culture unaffected by outside influence until the end of the 14th century when the Muslim Malays from Java and Sumatra introduced the Arabic strain into the ways of life of the early Davaoweños. The Muslim influence became an established fact with the famed Mohammedan leader Sharif Kabungsuwan as its first sultan. Muslim tribes like the Maranaos and Maguindanaos occupied certain places of Davao del Sur. The original inhabitants remained unconverted to the new faith as Christian religion was introduced earlier by the Spaniards during the colonization of the northern islands.
At the turn of the 20th century, other major tribes from Visayas, particularly the Cebuanos arrived and later became leaders of the province. Soon they were joined by the pioneering Ilocanos and Ifugaos who occupied the municipality of Magsaysay. Captivated by the promise of Mindanao, other tribes came and together they built what is now Davao del Sur.
The province had two (2) congressional districts. The first district was composed of the municipalities of Digos, Sta. Cruz, Bansalan, Magsaysay, Matanao, Hagonoy, and Padada. The second district was composed of the municipalities of Kiblawan, Sulop, Malalag, Sta. Maria, Malita, Don Marcelino, and Sarangani.
On January 14, 2013, President Benigno Aquino III signed the Republic Act 10360, which divided the province into two (2) namely: Province of Davao del Sur and Province of Davao Occidental. At present, Davao del Sur has nine (9) municipalities and one (1) component city left under its jurisdiction: Sta. Cruz, Bansalan, Matanao, Hagonoy, Magsaysay, Kiblawan, Malalag, Sulop, Padada and Digos City.
DAVAO DEL SUR AT A GLANCE
|Date Created:||May 08, 1967 (50 years)||Country:||Philippines|
|Republic Act No. 4867||Region:||Davao Region (Region XI)|
|Date Founded:||July 01, 1967||Location:||Southeastern part of the Philippines|
|125°5′ and 125°42′ longitude|
|5°22′ and 6°59’39” latitude|
|Location of Provincial Government Seat:||Brgy. Matti, Digos City|
|Total Population:||868,690; ranked 3rd in the Davao Region|
|Population Density:||221 per square kilometers|
|Sex Ratio:||106 males for every 100 females|
|Component City:||1||Digos City|
|Land Area:||1,968.73 square kilometers (10.01% of Region XI total land area)|
|Largest Municipality:||Smallest Municipality:|
|390.07 square kilometers||45.03 square kilometers|
|(19.81% of province’s total land area)||(2.29% of province’s total land area)|
|Soil Types found in the Province:|
|San Miguel Silty Clay Loam, Cabangan Clay Loam, Madunga Clay Loam, Matina Clay Loam,|
|Miral Clay Loam, Faraon Clay Loam, and Malalag Clay Loam.|
106 males for every 100 females
Meet the Governors
of Davao del Sur
Gov. Douglas RA. Cagas
Present Governor of Davao del SurJune 30, 1987 – June 30, 1992
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2013
June 30, 2016 – Present
Gov. Claude P. Bautista
June 30, 2013 - June 30, 2016
Gov. Benjamin P. Bautista, Jr.
October 2002 - June 30, 2007
Gov. Reynerio E. Llanos
June 30, 2001 - October 2002
Gov. Rogelio E. Llanos
July 01, 1992 - June 30, 2001
Gov. Rodolfo T. Caños
Deccember 02, 1987 - February 01, 1988
Gov. Leonardo D. Suario
June 03, 1986 - December 18, 1986
Gov. Primo L. Ocampo
June 23, 1981 - March 03, 1986
Gov. Nonito D. Llanos Sr.
January 1, 1972 - June 22, 1981
Gov. Ramon delos Cientos Sr.
July 1, 1967 - December 31, 1971