In my quest to visit all the 81 Provinces in the Philippines, I learned to love visiting and documenting every Capitol Building I passed by. Such fascination led to my quest of seeing the entire 81 Provincial Capitol buildings in the country – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Provincial Capitol is the seat of every Provincial Government. It is where the Provincial Governor holds her/his office. For some, they consider Provincial Capitol as key representation of the Province – the bigger and grander it is, it means the richer a province is.
I have already visited few Capitols in the country but today I will begin documenting all the Capitol Buildings found in the region where I come from, the Davao Region. Known as Southern Mindanao, Davao Region is composed of 5 Provinces – the Province of Davao Oriental, Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, Compostela Valley and the newest province in the Philippines, the province of Davao Occidental.
Long before the creation of Davao Region, there was only one Davao Province. According to history, the territories along the Davao Gulf were the last territories in the Philippines that were conquered by the Spaniards in 1848 led by Spanish conquistador Don Jose Oyanguren. Following the victory of Oyanguren, the entire territory is called Davao Province with then Municipality of Davao as the capital. The Spaniards ruled Davao Province for 50 years and then passed on temporarily to the Americans and then finally to the Philippine Government. In 1967, with the passage of Philippine Republic Act No. 4867, Davao Province was divided into three provinces – Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.
In 1998, a new Province was created and carved out of Davao del Norte Province. It is called Compostela Valley. 15 years after, another province was created – this time carved out of Davao Del Sur. It is called Davao Occidental, the 5th province in the Region and the 81st Province of the Republic of the Philippines.
PRESENTING THE PROVINCIAL CAPITOLS
IN DAVAO REGION
The Province of Davao Oriental is the easternmost province of the country with Pusan Point as the easternmost location. It is composed of the 10 municipalities and 1 city. The towns of Baganga, Boston, Caraga, Cateel, Manay and Taragona in the eastcoast; and the towns of Banay-banay, Governor Generoso, Lupon, San Isidro, and the city of Mati on the Gulf Side. The Provincial Capitol is located in the Capitol Hill of the Province’s Capital town of Mati.
Davao del Norte is also known as the “Banana Capital of the Philippines”. It comprises 8 municipalities and 3 cities – the Municipalities of Asuncion, Braulio E. Dujali, Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro, Santo Tomas, Talaingod and the cities of Panabo, Samal and Tagum. The Provincial Capitol is in the City of Tagum, the capital of the Province.
The Province of Davao Del Sur is Davao Region’s gateway to the Philippines’ highest peak, Mount Apo, which is at 2,954 meters above sea level. It comprises 9 municipalities and 1 component city namely the Municipalities of Bansalan, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Magsaysay, Malalag, Matanao, Padada, Santa Cruz, Sulop and the City of Digos. The Provincial Capitol is in Digos City, the capital of the Province.
The Province of Compostela Valley is the 78th province in the Philippines created in 1998 and was carved out of Davao Del Norte. It is composed of 11 municipalities namely Compostela, Laak, Mabini, Maco, Maragusan, Mawab, Monkayo, Montevista, Nabunturan, New Bataan and Pantukan. The province is rich with gold ore. Nabunturan, the provincial capital, is home to the biggest gold ring in the Philippines, “The Solidarity Ring.” It is also where the Provincial Capitol is located.
The Province of Davao Occidental is the 81st and newest province in the Philippines created through Republic Act 10360 enacted on July 23, 2013. It was carved out of Davao Del Sur comprising 5 municipalities namely Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Santa Maria, Saranagni and its capital town of Malita. The first sets of elective officials were elected on May 9, 2016. Being a new province, the Provincial Government is still on its way of constructing their new Provincial Capitol.
There you have it. The seats of Provincial Governments found in Davao Region with a little history of the Davao Province.