Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Davao Chinatown Archways

A cool cloudy Sunday morning with no fixed itinerary, I opted to roam around the city center (at least to those that I could walk to from my hotel). Another of those “come what may” times! Can’t do anything else “significant” since I had to cancel my IGaCoS morning tour as it kept raining intermittently. Had to go be at the airport after lunch too. So, killing time? Well yes, we could say that, but I still saw and encountered many things worth my while!

Like what? Let’s see…

Do it on a Sunday
If you are like me who wants to amble around to see more of a place without so many distractions, in Davao, yes, do it on a Sunday Morning. You will love it! The streets that would otherwise be busy on a weekday or Saturday are clearer and you have time to ogle or marvel at just about everything. Take the case of this photo here. Have you seen a Chinatown anywhere on earth that is as “barren” as that place? Well, only on a Sunday Morning! Yesterday, I passed by this place amidst a very busy vehicle traffic, people going everywhere, beggars and just about everything a city is!

Chinatown Arch
There are things like that at many Chinatowns on earth, right? But, it would be a bit hard ogling at those gates in Davao on a normal weekday as where they stand are usually too busy, therefore crowded. I remember when I looked up at this arch Friday afternoon on my way to G-Mall, too many folks also did so, including the traffic officer, some sidewalk vendors and even drivers on the road! Mga atrevida just like me hehe! But this morning, not even the birds cared why I stood there na naka-tingala!

What did I learn anyway? Well, that those lace-like designs up there are actually composed of the durian fruit, the Philippine Eagle and… the logo of a bank hehe interspersed between flowers (probably orchids). Commercial pala ito! But I know now as to when this thing was erected and by who! Do you? Am not telling here! Go to Davao and find out hehe! This is called the “Peace Archway”. I think I have seen 3 or 4 such archways in the city – all leading to their Chinatown. One (I think) is called Unity Arch, while that one near Ateneo De Davao (Magsaysay?) is called Friendship Arch (I think)! Am not sure what the 4th is called – if there is.

Nice of Davao to have established clear demarcations where Chinatown is. Aside from indicating where most commercial establishments may be, it helps people to expect where traffic would be a snarl – so no more complaining! You’d already expect it once you see those ‘gates’. Reminiscent of the entrance to Binondo, right? Yeah, very! I think those are the only places in this country that have such archways leading to their Chinatowns. Well, I think I saw something similar being built in Iloilo City last year, and it should probably be done by now. How about Cebu? None. The whole city looks like a big Chinatown anyway hehe.



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