Beyond Manila,  Davao City

A Guide to Davao City’s Museums

For one to know a certain place better as far as its history, culture, arts, and other aspects are concerned, museums are the best place to start. Davao City has pretty much some good museums that visitors can check out to better understand the city as to how it evolved to what it is today.

The Urban Roamer was fortunate to visit some of these museums where one can learn about the different aspects of Davao, as well as some other museums worth checking out for their uniqueness and showcasing some lesser known aspects of the city as well.


Located just a few steps away from the Sangguniang Panlungsod and City Hall buildings, the Museo Dabawenyo was a former courthouse which was converted into a city government-administered museum. Thus, this museum deals more with the city’s political and social history from the earliest records available to the present day, a good place to start learning about Davao history. Unfortunately, photography is forbidden in the main galleries except for the other areas like the art gallery where special exhibits are held from time to time.


Not to be confused with the Davao City Museum, the Davao Museum is located within Insular Village and is one of the more older museums in the city. In contrast to the former, the Davao Museum showcases some bits about Davao history and more of the cultural history of the city and the greater Davao region as one can see on display a number of items being used by the different ethnolinguistic groups  living in the region like the Bagobos, Manobos, and Mandayas, among others.


Nof many people know that before the war, Davao City was home to a large and vibrant community of Japanese expatriates who originally came to work as laborers in the plantation before eventually owning a number of key businesses there. The aforementioned two museums would be a good place to start but if you wish to know more about the city’s Japanese past, the Phil-Japan Historical Museum is the place to go. However, this museum is located far from the city proper, in the upper district of Calinan which is an hour’s drive away. Photography unfortunately is not allowed.


As the name implies, this museum is home to a vast collection of animal bones that were originally a private collection of an avid bone collector. While may be thinking of the morbid and creepy at the idea of a bone museum, D’Bone Collector Museum actually offers an educational experience as one can learn about the internal bone structure of various animals. If anything, a visit to this place may be a depressing experience as you get to hear stories of how these animals died, many of them due to human negligence such as pollution or discarded waste that animals ingested.

To be continued…

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