Museo Dabawenyo or the “Museum of the people of Davao” is one of the two known museums in Davao. Although it is directly translated as “Davao Museum”, it is commonly known as the NEW Museum. The other museum is known as the OLD Davao Museum which is located inside Insular Village just about a hundred meters from the main gate and is slightly bigger than Museo Dabawenyo.
Because of its fine outside appearance, most locals and foreigners visit Museo Dabawenyo to see a glimpse of the past scenes of Davao in the Philippines. It is a rich collection of the best and most prominent handicrafts that Davao is known of.
Museo Dabawenyo is divided into four rooms: The Indigenous People’s Gallery is a collection of arts, crafts, musical instruments, weapons and like made by the different tribes who lived in the province. The Moro People’s Gallery is collection of miniature houses & boats, musical instruments, chairs, weapons, armors and crowns used by the Muslim people predominantly found in the Southern Philippines. The Contemporary Gallery is a collection of classic and modern designs from wood carvings to paintings among many others. The Memorabilia Gallery is a collection of olden day clothes, bills (money), musical notes, porcelains and a lot more.
At Museo Dabawenyo, all the items are for the eyes only. Touching an item is strictly prohibited. Stepping on the pedestals where the items are placed is also not allowed. They also restrict visitors from posing near the items for photo souvenirs. Silence is always encouraged (to avoid distracting the spirits who lived inside the item. Hahaha!).
The Museo Dabawenyo building is formerly the Court of First Instance. It was restored and rehabilitated to house and showcase the rich history and diverse cultural heritage of the people of Davao. It was established by the City Government of Davao, through the initiative of the 14th City Council under City Ordinance No. 0266-06, Series of 2006 signed into law by Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte on November 15, 2006. It was funded under the Special Education Fund of the Local School Board. The Museo Dabawenyo was first opened to the public during the 71st Araw ng Dabaw grand opening celebration on March 14, 2008.
The Museo Dabawenyo is open from Tuesday to Sunday at 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. It is closed every Mondays for maintenance works and during these holidays: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, Easter Sunday, All Saints Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The admission is FREE.
Museo Dabawenyo is meters away from the Andres Bonifacio Rotunda and Osmeña Park. It is along Fr. Selga St going to Pichon St. Catch a jeepney along C.M. Recto Avenue and nearby streets going to San Pedro or Pichon to get there. If a jeepney turns to the City Hall near Rizal Park or Quezon Park, get down before the San Pedro Cathedral and take a 2-minute walk going to the museum.