Davao City (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw, Filipino: Lungsod ng Dabaw) is a city in Mindanao, Philippines which is the center of Metro Davao, the third most populous (as of 2010 Census with a population of 2.26 million, after Metro Manila’s 11.86 million and Metro Cebu’s 2.55 million). With a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers, the city is the largest in the country in terms of land area. The city serves as the main trade, commerce, and industry hub of Mindanao and the regional center for Davao Region. As of the 2010 NSO Census, it had a population of 1,449,296, making it the fourth-most-populous city in the Philippines and the most populous in Mindanao. Davao is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines.
The region’s name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The word davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups’ names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the river Davah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hard v or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawa called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means “a place beyond the high grounds” (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills). When asked where they were going, the usual reply was davah (pointing towards the town). Dawaw also refers to a trading settlement, where forest goods are bartered for salt and other commodities.
Assimilation is the essence of multi-cultural city of Davao. A chartered city, it appreciates differences in culture and tradition of the ethnic groups which joined the local tribes present during its early history as a city.
Davaoeño Cebuano (or Visayan) is the most widely spoken language in the city. English is the medium of instruction in schools, and widely understood by residents, Other languages include Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Japanese.