Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tagum, my Home ~ Part 1

Highway going to Tagum City proper coming from Carmen/Panabo/Davao City. 
I have spent practically ¾ of my life in Tagum. I may have gone away to study in college but I have come back. I may have gotten married to a Bulakeño but even he considers Tagum as his home for over two decades.

In college, whenever some of my Manila classmates would ask me where I come from, they would ask “Where is that?” after I tell them where. I wanted to tell them “You don’t know where Tagum is? It’s the capital of Davao Province!” But of course I would just scream that in my head then I would patiently tell them where it is, feeling proud that I knew something those stupid and arrogant classmates with imperial Manila mentalities didn’t.

Tagum is just an hour north of Davao City. Even if there aren’t famous beaches or natural tourist spots within the city, it is a crossroad or a gateway to other beautiful places such as Sohoton, Britania, Enchanted River and Tinuya-an Falls to the north, Agoakan and Tagbibinta Falls to the northeast, Dahican, Masao, Pujada and Aliiwagwag to the east, caves of New Corella and Kapalong to the west and the Island Garden City of Samal and the many tourist spots of Davao City to the south. Do you want to go to the mountain or the sea? They’re just 1-3 hours from Tagum.

I will not elaborate much about this city. One can grab a copy of the Tagum coffee table book, a first of its kind about Tagum, and learn more about it there. What cannot be captured in a book are the feelings of pride and joy of a Tagumeño for having Tagum City as his hometown. Compared to some old cities of Luzon or the Visayas, it is a breeze to drive through its palm-tree-lined highways and wide streets and go to almost anywhere in just 10 minutes with different routes to choose from. Residents are fortunate to still breathe fresh air and wake up to the chirping of the birds. The scenery is punctuated by lush green countrysides perfect for walking, jogging, trekking, biking or leisure driving. 

Some of the photos I contributed to the coffee table book of Tagum City
The beauty of a small city is: it is a cross between urban and country feel. Gone was the time when everyone knew everyone else but still it is a delight to walk down town, in malls, churches and markets and bump into a familiar face. Go to a restaurant or a café and chances are one will find friends at the next table.

The sense of familiarity about one’s surroundings somehow gives a feeling of security and confidence. There seems to be an inner compass that guides everyone around so that at the end of the day, a sense of belongingness to the place pervades.

Despite the occasional crimes a city experiences, despite the seasonal flooding, despite the rotational blackouts of recent weeks, I still prefer to live in Tagum with my family. My husband whose work would take him to different places opted for us to stay so we could take root believing that rolling stones gather no moss. When we were kids, our dad told us that even if he and my mom came from Luzon, he wanted us to say we’re from Tagum, Davao, when people ask where we are from.

No matter where we may go, our footsteps will always lead us back to our beloved home, Tagum City.

[Click here for the Part 2 of this story.]


  1. hello mam tess! dropping by. i love tagum and its parks. im good friends with leo timugan and ingrid taotjo.
    about your blog, i think it would be better to have a minimalism background, it is always recommended to use lighter colors. maybe ask your friends to visit your blog (first time) and then look at how they navigate the website. ask them how it can be better.
    and of course, always always write from the heart. that way readers can relate to what you are sharing.

    so nice to see a mom blogging about her family's travel. say my regards to kuya jun when you visit dahican again. i miss my second home

    1. Hi James!

      Wow! You wrote a comment, I'm touched and honored! Thank you so much, hijo! And I'm really grateful for your comment. I will take you up on that. I'm picking up from where I've left off and I still need to feel my way around. Thank you so much for your suggestion, too. Hehe. Ang arteng nanay eto ano? Feeling ko kasi virtual gallery ko 'to. Haha.

      Yeah, I like that "write from the heart" part. That's how you do it, right? Maybe I should do the same thing. May heart naman pero kulang ano?

      Will give Jun your best the first chance I get to visit him and the boys again.

      Hey, you can always come back to Davao (Oriental or del Norte) whenever you can. :)


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