Davao Oriental is a province located in the Davao Region in Mindanao. Also referred to as Region XI, this is the easternmost province of the Philippines with Pusan as the easternmost point. Its boundaries are defined on the north by Agusan del Sur, on the south by Davao Gulf, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, and on the west by Davao province and Compostela Valley.
Davao Oriental was created in the year 1967 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4867. It is subdivided into 10 municipalities and 1 city with Mati City as the provincial capital.
The original inhabitants of Davao Oriental are natives and immigrants from other provinces and the Mandaya Tribe is the most dominant tribe in the province. The dialects used in the province are Dabaweño, Tagalog, Cebuano, Visayan and English language. The province has short dry season and pronounced rainy season. Rainy season occurs during the months of November to January.
Davao Oriental’s top investment industries are coconut and mango production. It is the copra (dried coconut meat) producer capital of the Philippines. The province is also noted as one of the top producers of good quality rice varieties and hybrid rice seeds in the Philippines. Wood processing and mining industry provide new investment opportunities in the province. Davao Oriental is also into abaca and rattan production, as well as producing bricks and marble.
Davao Oriental is rich in culture. The Mandaya Tribe is famous in the province because of their various customary rites and colourful clothes. Mandaya children aging from 10 to 12 years old also has a traditional rite of blackening their teeth by chewing habitually tobacco pellets moistened with the juice of ammong vine. Tourists can also see how the tribe weaves “dagmay” or Mandaya cloth in Mandaya Village located in Barangay Pichon, Caraga.
Another tourist destination in Davao Oriental is the Aliwagwag Falls which is located in the middle of the forest at Barangay Aliwagwag, Cateel. This is considered as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. It has a series of 84 cascading falls appearing like stairway to the sky in various heights. Pusan Point, on the other hand, is the place where the first sunrise in the Philippines can be seen. Other tourist destinations in the province are the Bonsai Forest and the Menzi Tourism Complex.
Davao Oriental is also the home of various festivals. Among these are the Banayan and Bauldayawan Festivals which are held every 3rd week of October and June, respectively. These festivals are celebrated as thanksgiving for bountiful harvest among the people of the municipalities. It showcase trade fairs, street dancing and cultural presentations.
The province’s capital town, Mati, can be reached from Manila and Cebu by taking any of the daily scheduled airline flights to Davao City or regularly scheduled inter-island vessels that ply the Manila-Davao City or Cebu-Davao City routes. From Davao City, Mati is accessible by a 25-minute chartered flight or via a 3-hour private car ride or a 4-hour public utility bus ride on fully concreted and/or asphalted highways.
Using Davao City as transit point, the province is readily accessible to the markets of BIMP-EAGA particularly North Sulawesi (Indonesia), Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia), Brunei Darussalam as well as Singapore.