The Top 6 Historical Sites in Davao Region You Should Not Miss

The Top 6 Historical Sites in Davao Region You Should Not Miss

Davao Region is considered to be most visited Region in Mindanao having Davao City as the regional center that also serves the gateway to other Davao Provinces. Aside from its scenic tourist spots and amazing places of interest, Davao Region is rich in history and culture.

While most tourists enjoy visiting various exciting destinations in the Region, some people also love to discover its historical origins that beautifully exhibit Davao’s rich heritage.

Of the many historical sites and landmarks found in the Region, there are only 6 historical sites that bear a National Historical Marker inscribed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

These are buildings, monuments, and sites that have historical significance not only in the region but the country as a whole.

Here are the 6 historical sites you should not miss in Davao Region.


The Davao Penal Colony is the first penal settlement founded and organized under Filipino administration. The settlement, which originally had an area of approximately 30,000 hectares in the districts of Panabo and Tagum, Davao del Norte, was formally established in January 21, 1932.

On December 20, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Forces attacked Davao and the colony was among the establishments taken over by the invading army. It was the biggest prison establishment in the country used by the Japanese invading army as their imperial garrison during World War II. After the liberation of the Philippines, a great deal of repair and rebuilding of the Davao Penal Colony was made as the war had almost completely destroyed the colony.

In 1956, Davao Penal Colony was the first historical site annotated by the National Historical Comminission of the Philippines as National Cultural Property inscribed with a national historical marker.


Port Santa Ana now called Sta. Ana Wharf served as the main Port in Davao in the early 1900s. It is where the first wave of Japanese workers landed in Davao and served as agricultural workers spread in the different parts of the undivided Davao Province. These Japanese workers were instrumental in bringing the development of Abaca industry not only in Davao City but the whole Davao Region.

When the new and bigger Sasa Wharf was opened, shipping activities in Santa Ana Wharf slowly diminished especially when all bigger passenger and cargo ships started utilizing the main Sasa Wharf. Today, it handles mainly domestic and passenger vessels plying Davao City-Samal-Talikud Island routes.

Port Sta. Ana Pier is located within Davao Chinatown along Magsaysay Street. The National Historical Marker is located inside Magsaysay Park. The park used to be part of the huge Santa Ana Port.


Ohta Kyuzaburu was a Japanese merchant from Kobe, Japan who came to the Philippines in the early 1900s to arrange for the importation of the job-seeking Japanese laborers and to act as the labor contractor for the labor-seeking abaca plantation owners. These Japanese laborers were imported to Davao in 1904-1905. Ohta permanently settled in Davao and established Ohta Development Company, the first abaca company by the Japanese in the Philippines. Ohta Kyuzaburu along with his compatriots was instrumental in bringing the agricultural and economic development in the Davao Province.

After his death, an obelisk was built in 1926 to honor Ohta Kyozaburo’s greatest contribution to Davao Province. An inscription read “KS Ohta, who believed in Davao and helped I grow”. Mintal which became the settlement and trade center of the Japanese in the early 1900’s was once touted as the Little Tokyo in the Philippines.

The Monument of Ohta Kyozaburu with the National Historical Marker is located in Mintal Elementary School.


The structure of the City Hall of Davao first took form in 1926, ten years before Davao became a chartered City in 1936. It was built as Municipal Hall of Davao with the enterprise of Architect Valencia and Engineer Santiago Artiaga along with the Davao Jaycees. In 1945 during the Liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese Forces, the City Hall of Davao was destroyed. It took 2 years to reconstruct the building until it was completely rebuilt back to its original form in 1947.

CITY HALL OF DAVAO CITY is the first and the only government building in the Davao Region inscribed with the National Historical Marker. It is located along San Pedro Street, the oldest commercial street of the City.


The San Salvador del Mundo Church is the parish church of Caraga, Davao Oriental. The town was established in 1861 making it as one of the oldest towns in the province of Davao Oriental. When the Jesuits took charge of the spiritual administration of the town in 1871 from the Augustinian Recollects, a stone and wooden church was built in 1877 to serve as mission station of Spanish Missionaries in propagating Christianity in the eastern side of Mindanao. When it was completed in 1884, the church was dedicated to San Salvador del Mundo (Christ, the Saviour of the World).

In 2012, in time for the Caraga’s Parochial Fiesta, the San Salvador Del Mundo Church was declared a National Historical Site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The declaration was made 128 years after it was built in 1884, making it the first and the only Church in Southern Mindanao declared a National Historical Site.


In celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of Philippine Revolution, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines turned over two bronze life-size monuments of Andres Bonifacio to the two most important cities in the country – one in Cebu City and another one in Davao City.

Andres Bonifacio founded and served as supreme leader of the Katipunan movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from the Spanish colonial rule. He was executed on May 10, 1897, along with his two brothers, in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite. They were convicted of sedition and treason against the Aguinaldo government.

The essence of the installation of Bonifacio’s Monument outside of Manila is the nation’s tribute to Ka Andes who loved our country deeply and offered his life to build our nation. The monument which was installed inside Toril Park in Toril, Davao City last December 4, 2013 was unveiled by NHCP officials together with then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and artist Juan Sajid Imao who made the statue.

HERE YOU HAVE IT. The 6 National Historical Sites in Davao Region annotated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. When you visit these places, find the marker and take a SELFIE. After all, these are National Cultural Properties of the Philippines.

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