Posted by: luvin | October 11, 2011

Mindanao 1980-2011 (2)

There is a route, via Bukidnon Province, which is shorter if calculated by distance. However, almost half of the road would pass through a newly opened road which cuts the side of mountain ranges. I can’t imagine what will happen to the vehicle which might accidentally fall by the cliff. The most fearful part of that route, were the rebels, the Moro rebels along the Cotabato area, and  the NPA’s who were feared in Bukidnon. During those times, avoidance were the best option.

The Davao-Butuan-Cagayan road are the most practical choice for us.  And coming from Kidapawan, we would travel by bus going to Davao. It passes through about four towns before it reaches  Davao. The town of Digos is the most economically progressive among the four towns. After Davao, Tagum is the progressive town then Butuan City, then Cagayan de Oro.

Today Digos, Tagum and my home t0wn Kidapawan are small cities. Tagum is the most progressive of the three but not by a mile. The commericialism in these small cities are almost thesame, but they have left behind by miles the other nearby towns. Tagum is now as big and progressive (if not more) as Butuan City. A quick glance would even dictate a better Tagum. The roads are wider, the buildings are taller, Malls are more prominent, and the cars the roams the streets tells something about the economy of the place. In fact Tagum City is one of the most competitive small city in the Philippines.

Kidapawan is more laid back, but the local economy is equally booming. In fact, it has the lowest poverty incidence in entire Mindanao. Davao City is only ranked fourth (in 2009 survey). Digos is the newest city of the three, but was already looking like a small city even before it was finally categorize as a city.


Our second route choice, which is via General Santos City, has experienced the most rapid economic development of all the the regions of Mindanao. Even the once dreaded Barangay Paglas, is now more progressive than its older neighbohr-the town of Buluan. Unfortunately, Buluan looks thesame. There are still fish vendors along the national highway, and people are still chatting along the roads. Passing that town seems going back in time. It did not changed so much.

The road, however have improve a lot. Its all concrete now, and some portion have four lanes. The most dramatic improvement is in the Tacurong City and Koronadal City. (Koronadal was also ranked first once, as most competitive in the country). I would go to Koronadal quiet often (a three hour ride by car from my place), and I can hardly see the old Koronadal. It is far, far different today. And the most telling difference is that from Koronadal going to General Santos, there are already signs of economic activity along the road. It has somehow have been connected by just many kinds of business and people that inhabits the place.

And General Santos City. It is a different animal now. So much different than the Dadiangas (the old name of General Santos City) that I used to see back then. And the concrete surrounding have made it much hotter. One must place for investors to visit.



  1. vin, balik mo FB mo , miss n kita

  2. thanks luvin for such nice compliment about my city of Tagum, nice posts, keep on blogging, our tribe is growing, the keyboard of our desktops and laptops never get tired of complying to our fingers tapping…thanks luvin.

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