What’s it like to wander around a place that lives and breathes two different cultures? Well, there’s Davao Chinatown! Davao Chinatown is Mindanao’s only Chinatown and the country’s largest, occupying a whopping 44 hectares of land within the city’s borders.

Photo from Philippines Tour Guide

The History of Chinatown

Then mayor of Davao City in 2003, Rodrigo Duterte, issued an executive order that declared portions of barangays where Filipino-Chinese residences and businesses were concentrated around to be therefore known as the city’s Chinatown. Consequently, the Davao City Chinatown Development Council (DCCDC) was established to help the area’s cultural conservation efforts, as well as policy implementation within that realm of responsibility. Additionally, the council was tasked with managing its commerce.

Photo from Rappler

The council officially launched Chinatown through a week-long festival during the Chinese New Year of 2009, which landed on January 26.

Where is It Located?

Situated less than 400 meters from the city center, the Davao Chinatown is bordered by Ramon Magsaysay Avenue, Santa Ana Avenue, Monteverde Avenue, and Leon Garcia Street. It’s also located just a stone’s throw away from Santa Ana Pier and Ramon Magsaysay Park, making it a highly accessible area with tons of public utility jeeps and vehicles passing through it each day.

Photo from Philippine Primer

The Archways

The 4 archways around the area were donated by the Chinese-Philippine Community. Namely, these are the:

  • Arch of Friendship is located near Jones Circle.
Photo from Wikipedia
  • Unity Arch is located at the end of Magsaysay Avenue.
Photo from Vigattin Tourism
  • Arch of Peace is located right beside Davao Chong Hua High School.
Photo from People Places Philippines
  • Arch of Prosperity is located along Leon Garcia Street and Santa Ana Avenue.
Photo from I Love Davao

The arches signify a gesture of confidence from its inhabitants and are beautiful pieces of architecture adorned with wonderful Chinese symbolisms and striking red colors. 

Culmination of Culture

The Davao Chinatown is an example of what happens when people take the time to coexist harmoniously with their neighbors, with different establishments being formed inside the area such as restaurants, hardware stores, retail shops, and even educational institutions such as the Davao Chong Hua High School. Additionally, places of worship that cater to Chinese and Filipino religions can be observed as you go along the streets! 

If you’ve ever wanted to visit a Chinese cultural hub in Mindanao and witness a melting pot of two different cultures, be sure to visit the Davao Chinatown!

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