Davao City declares Datu Bago as hero

Davao City will now recognize Datu Bago as the hero of the city after an ordinance was passed extolling his greatness in defending the land from Spanish rule.

The City council approved “ An Ordinance Declaring Datu Bago as Hero of Davao City” on second reading.

The ordinance was authored by councilors Pilar Braga, chair of the committee on education, science and technology, and Halila Sudagar chair on Cultural Communities and Muslim Affairs.

In the draft ordinance,  historians and professors such as Macario D. Tiu, Ernesto I. Corcino and Dean Damian Mercader Lomocso are all in agreement based on their research made for their books, Datu Bago is a hero whose life as a warrior fought the invading Spaniards and hindered them from conquering Davao.

It said Datu Bago is the Paramount Warrior of Davao who was also called “Bawwangin” by the local tribes and, a brave Kagan Chieftain.

“In 1839, Datu Bago joined by the Bagobo and Kagan tribes, struck his greatest blow against foreign invaders,” the proposed ordinance said.

It stated Datu Bago was of Kagan, Tausug and Maguindanawon ancestry and that he settled in Bagobo land now known as Davao and he fought long and hard in keeping Davao Gulf free from foreign control.

“The whole area around the Gulf of Davao was under his control,” it said.

Davao was the last unoccupied territory in the Philippines and he heroically defended it against the Spaniards.

Datu Bago in the eyes of the invading Spaniards was a pirate but for the Moros and nationalist Filipinos he was a hero who valiantly defended Davao from Spanish aggression

The statement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, was quoted in the ordinance resolution saying Datu Bago was a leader of the many native tribes in the Davao gulf area when the Spaniards came initially to trade and then colonize these parts of the country

“It is truly unfortunate that the Spanish trading vessel “San Rufo” was attacked by the men of Datu Bago in 1846,” it said quoting the President’s statement in the past.

It said the valiant defense of the Bagobo and Manobo tribes at the mouth of the Davao river was a signal act of patriotism rather than piracy.

“History it is said is written by the victors. It is of no wonder then that one of the most ilustrious hero of our forefathers was written in a bad light,” the ordinance said quoting Duterte’s statement.

“We named the city’s highest distinction in his honor because we only do not pay proper respects to the old warrior, we re-live his heroism
each year as we confer awards to our distinguished citizens. “

It said that in 1969, the City Government  under the leadership of the late Mayor Elias B. Lopez, a Bagobo, created the Datu Bago Awards named after Datu Bago the warrior, as the highest award to be bestowed on a Dabawenyo.

This is for those who  contributed to the development of the city with exemplary competence and dedication and who best serves as a model of excellence and an inspiration to Dabawenyos.