Mati, Davao Oriental

Mati, Davao Oriental
City of Mati
Lunsod ng Mati
—  City  —

Nickname(s): The Coconut Capital
Map of Davao Oriental showing the location of Mati
City of Mati is located in Philippines
City of Mati
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 6°57′11″N 126°12′58″E / 6.95306°N 126.21611°E / 6.95306; 126.21611Coordinates: 6°57′11″N 126°12′58″E / 6.95306°N 126.21611°E / 6.95306; 126.21611
Country  Philippines
Region Davao Region (Region XI)
Province Davao Oriental
District Second District of Davao Oriental
Settled 1861
Established 1903
Barangays 26
 – Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat (Lakas-Kampi-CMD)
 – Total 682.00 km2 (263.3 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 – Total 122,048
 – Density 179/km2 (463.5/sq mi)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)

Mati is the only city in, and the capital city of, the Province of Davao Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 122,048 people. Residents of Mati are called Matinians.



Mati comes from the Mandayan word Maa-ti which refers to the town's creek that easily dries up even after heavy rain. Pioneer settlers were tribes Kalagan, Mandayan, and Maranao which carried strong Arabic and Indo-Malayan influences.

Captain Prudencio Garcia, the pioneer political-military head in 1861, and his comrade Juan Nazareno founded Mati and two other towns in Davao Oriental. By 1903, Mati was declared a municipality by virtue of Act No. 21. By 1907, Act No. 189 further reaffirmed its local government. Francisco Rojas was the first mayor while the first elected mayor was Patricio Cunanan in 1923. Mati became the capital of Davao Oriental since 1967.

The Japanese Imperial forces landed in town and occupied most of eastern Davao region in 1942. Mati was liberated in 1945 by the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops of the 6th, 10th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th, 106th, 107th and 110th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 10th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and the Davaoeño guerrilla units.

Mati celebrated its grand centennial in 2003.


The City of Mati offers beautiful landscapes and a number of beautiful resorts. The Provincial Capitol building and park rises atop the hill commanding a fantastic view of the Pujada Bay. Other plateaus that offer birds-eye-view of the town are Mati Tourism Complex and Badas Viewdeck.

Mati has always been known as a beach destination. Dahican is one of the most popular destinations in Mati with its 17-kilometer pure, fine white sand shore. Masao has been visited by tourists from Finland, Australia, USA, Japan and Korea. Pujada Bay boasts 15, 700 species of sea life and has been considered as among the richest bays in South East Asia. Lobsters, Sea Cow (locally known as Dugong), hammerhead shark, blue whale, manta ray, and different kinds of turtles are among the most protected by the locals.

Recently, skimming, surfing, and frisbee sports have established a wide fandom among young locals with Dahican being the favorite hub for tournaments in the region.

“Putting Bato” waterfalls located in Barrio Limot is embraced by a wild vegetation.

Culture and festivals

The City of Mati is considered to be quite prosperous. Along with the locals, the adventurers and beach lovers pour in to have the seaside pleasure especially during Pujada Bay, Samboukan and La naval festivals, as they are celebrated in a grand way. The nights look even more colorful and majestic. There are all kinds of facilities to please the tourists like mountain biking, trekking and motorboat racing. There are numerous restaurants, resorts and hotels to welcome the guests. Scuba diving is also another attraction to have fun with the water species.[1]


In the City of Mati, people always want to unwind during the night after a hard day’s work, they do it by going in groups with their friends, and do bar hopping for the entire night or perhaps go on a week end trip to a resort and spend the nights on the beach.

For a traveler, if he is a foreigner and he choses to be checked-in to a hotel in the middle of the city, then during night time it would be his chance to experience Mati’s night life that is definitely exciting. In the city center, he can choose among the bars to hang out with his friends or relatives. By hanging out in the bars, he will be able to listen to the type of music that Matinians enjoy and he will also get the chance to try out the best sea food in the region since the city is a good source of fish and other sea products. This type of nightlife is also usually practiced by the younger generation Matinians. They would often hop from one bar to another to be able to check out if a particular bar would be having some specialties for the night or perhaps showcase one of their favorite local bands.

Before the travelers go on a night out, they should try out the sumptuous meals that city's restaurants offer. Perhaps they can even try out the food of the restaurant during or after their night out, since a number of them should still be opened in the wee hours of the morning.[2]


Mostly, the local people rely on agriculture and agro-industries for living. Different products like banana, pineapples and fish are exported to other countries. This region is linked to the markets of Mindanao, Malaysia and Indonesia. Because of its tropical nature, tourism and forestry are also growing businesses here. Fishery and mining too are contributing to the city's economy.[1]


Pedicab or tricycle is the major means of transportation around town. In recent years, underbone motorcycles have earned quite a popularity among professionals and students, and thus easily became a public transport alternative to commuters who prefer more speed. Jeepneys are available for travels from Mati to the neighboring towns while vans and buses are still the only means of transportation from Mati to the neighboring cities.

Mati National Airport is said to commence operations by 2012 or 2013.[1]

Sister cities


On June 20, 2007, the Commission on Elections officially proclaimed the ratification of Republic Act 9408 converting the Municipality of Mati into a component city to be known as City of Mati.

Final tabulation showed Yes got 18,267 votes while No garnered only 846. There are 18,267 actual voters out of the 51,287 registered voters in 26 villages and 266 polling precincts during the June 18 plebiscite.[3]

However, Mati recently lost its cityhood, along with 15 other cities, after the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted a petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared the cityhood law (RA 9389) which allowed the town to acquire its city status, unconstitutional. The said cities, the court ruled, did not meet the requirements for cityhood.[4]

More than a year later, on December 22, 2009, acting on the appeal of the so-called "League of 16 Cities" (an informal group of the sixteen local government units whose cityhood status had been reversed), the Supreme Court reversed its earlier ruling as it ruled that "at the end of the day, the passage of the amendatory law (regarding the criteria for cityhood as set by Congress) is no different from the enactment of a law, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting law/s, effectively decreased the already codified indicators."[5] As such, the cityhood status of the said 16 LGUs is effectively restored.

On August 27, 2010, Mati City in Davao Oriental is now plain old Mati again. It shares the fate of 15 other cities, after the Supreme Court reinstated a 2008 decision declaring as “unconstitutional" the cityhood laws converting 16 municipalities into cities.[6]

A previous law required towns aspiring to become cities to earn at least P100 million annually, which none of the 16 did.

Voting 7-6, with two justices not taking part, the SC reinstated its Nov. 18, 2008 decision declaring as unconstitutional the Republic Acts (RAs) converting 16 municipalities into cities again.


The City of Mati is politically subdivided into 26 barangays. In 1957, the barrio then known as Cabuaya was renamed to Dawan.[7]

  • Badas
  • Bobon
  • Buso
  • Cabuaya
  • Central (City Proper/Pob.)
  • Culian
  • Dahican
  • Danao
  • Dawan
  • Don Enrique Lopez
  • Don Martin Marundan
  • Don Salvador Lopez, Sr.
  • Langka
  • Lawigan
  • Libudon
  • Luban
  • Macambol
  • Mamali
  • Matiao
  • Mayo
  • Sainz
  • Sanghay
  • Tagabakid
  • Tagbinonga
  • Taguibo
  • Tamisan


External links

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