Landmark Davao Chinatown set

There is an ongoing program enhancing the good relations between locals and the ethnic Chinese Filipino community in Davao which hosts the only such community in Mindanao. contributed photo

DAVAO CITY — The Chinatown Development Council plans to put up a Golden Friendship Tree to help boost business and leisure traffic in Chinatown.

Targeted for completion before the annual Kadayawan sa Davao festival this year, the proposed tree of friendship is seen to generate goodwill and kinship in a community of ethnic Chinese with Filipino blood or even upbringing.

“It’s a pending project supposedly targeted for completion last year in time for the Araw ng Davao, but due to delays should hopefully be completed before the Kadayawan this year,” said Steve Arquiza, member of the Chinatown council.

The friendship tree would be on a mini island located along Alvarez Street and the Magsaysay Park Unity Archway.

“It is a golden tree that will be properly launched in due time,” Arquiza said.

The Davao Chinatown, the only one in Mindanao, was established in 2003 when then City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order declaring an area to be known as Chinatown on portions of Barangays 27-C and 30-C.

This was an area where ethnically Chinese Filipinos reside and typically establish businesses.
The Davao City Chinatown Development Council (DCCDC) was established to assist in the conservation of the cultural heritage of the area and in the implementation of policies with that in mind.

It is also charged with the management of commerce in the area.

The Council saw fit to formally launch the city’s own Chinatown on the occasion of the Chinese New Year 2009, which fell on 26 January.

Several archways have been built through donations from the Chinese-Filipino community that include the Arch of Friendship located near the Jones Circle; the Unity Arch, located at the end of Magsaysay Avenue where the seaport is located; the Arch of Peace, located at the corner of Santa Ana and J. P. Laurel Avenues right beside Davao Central High School; and the Arch of Prosperity, located along Santa Ana Avenue and León Garcia Street.

These archways were inspired by a pailou or paifang known for its traditional style of Chinese architectural arch in China.

Officials of the Chinatown Development Council encourage establishments in the area to have a China-themed facade to project the Chinatown ambiance found in other areas of the country.

Jasper Huang, council public relations officer, told media the proposal is scheduled for deliberation by the City Council.

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