Our city is located in Southeast Asia, Philippines. It is in the Southern part of Mindanao, North of Davao City and part of the Metropolitan Davao. It comprises of 23 barangays, 9 of which are considered as urban and 14 as rural barangays. The City is predominantly Catholics and has a population of approximately 215,000 as of the 2007 as per National Statistic’s Office census. It lies in the intersection of three major road networks namely: the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway, the Davao-Mati Highway and the Davao-Agusan road and soon to finish the 58 kilometer Davao-Bukidnon road that connects the city to other major destinations in the region. With this, Tagum City serves as a vital economic crossroad not only for the province, and the Davao Region but the entire Mindanao as well.
Historically, there is no official record on the meaning Tagum, but a legend explains how the name Magugpo, the old name of Tagum, came about. At the beginning, Magugpo was nothing but a vast wilderness, inhabited by the Mansakas, Manguangans, Mandayas and the Kalagans in the coastal barangays. The name Magugpo was derived from the native word mago, a name of certain tree, and the ugpo means very high. According to the story, the natives were occupying a river basin inside the thickly covered forest where they could not even see the sun.
On the other hand, the name Tagum was accounted from the old settlers which means dark-green, the color of a river during summer which is the same color of the wood called TAGEUM, commonly used by the early natives to dye their clothing fabric.
Tagum became a Municipality in 1941 and a city in 1994. In 2006 the city was considered a first class city under the component city category and also became the Palm Tree City of the Philippines. It also holds an unofficial record for having the tallest Holiday Tree during Christmas at 153 feet tall, erected at the Freedom Park at the back of the City Hall. It is also the home of the world's biggest rosary located at the Christ the King Cathedral and also one of the region's biggest Catholic basilicas.
The city manages to infiltrate the export industry with goods such as wood chips, veneer plywood, wood lumber, durian and other fruits; however, fresh bananas remain as the chief export product of banana plantations in the city. Educational institution also have a very strong foundation in Tagum with 23 college learning institutions, 10 high schools and 34 primary schools scattered all over the city.
There are also a lot of festivals celebrated in Tagum with the objective to showcase and develop the skills, talents and capabilities of the Tagumeños in different the different fields of events. The most notable among the festivals is the Musikahan sa Tagum Festival. During the music festival performers show their skills in playing different musical instruments like organ, guitar, drums, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, piano, trombone, violin, viola, cello and others. Other musical activities include singing and dancing through Barangay Musikahan, himig handog choral, quintet, rondalsayaw, paskilaban battle of the bands, rap contest, music video, float parade and other music competitions. Due to its weeklong grand music festival, Tagum was adjudged as the Music Capital of Mindanao.
Other festivals include Araw ng Tagum (Day of Tagum), Summer Sports Festival, Durian Festival, Binuhat Festival (Gay Festival), Kaimonan Festival (Indigenous People Festival), Pakarajan Festival (Muslim Festival), Dance Congress Festival, Halal Food Festival, Feast of Christ the King, Christmas Celebration and other barangay celebrations.
Tagum is also considered as a city of parks because of the different parks in the city namely, Rotary Park and Sports Center, Energy Park, Freedom Park, Mangroves Park, Public Cemetery Park, Underwater Marine Park, and Crab Park of which the city is proud to produce soft-shelled crabs for local and national market. People can also visit religious shrines of the city like the Regina Rosarii Shrine, Mary’s Wood Shrine and the mini Shrines of Merville Church and of the Christ the King Cathedral.
Places of accommodations in Tagum vary from Hotels, Inns, Pension Houses, Lodges and Inland Resorts and as of this writing the city have 6 hotels, 11 Inns, 4 Pension Houses, 8 Lodges and 2 Inland Resort for visitors to choose from. Major establishments, coffee shops, restaurants, fastfoods and bars in downtown areas are internet wifi hotspots already.
For games and amusement, Poker is gaining grounds in the city with the establishment of the Red Dragon Poker Club registered under Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Tagum Cockpit Sports Arena – the biggest cockpit arena in Visayas and Mindanao. For fashionistas, the city have few signature clothings like the Bayo, Plains and Prints and others. The city is also very accessible because it is only one hour ride from the Davao City International Airport hence there is a very big chance you will enjoy your stay better if you visit the City of Tagum.
(Photo Courtesy: Bryan Jimenez, CIO, IT Office)