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Mati History, Philippines

Mati City is the capital city of Davao Oriental which is a Philippine province located in Mindanao. This is the easternmost province in the country and it is highly urbanized, with a population of 105,908 Matinians as of the year 2000 census. The native word Mandaya “Maa-ti” was the root of the Mati City name. This eventually became its name because early settlers in Mati City often use this expression referring to a creek that was located in the center of the town, which had a habit of getting dried up too quickly even after a series of heavy rain falls.

Establishing an outpost in Mati City was Captain Prudencio Garcia who became the city’s pioneer politico-military head in the year 1861. The captain together with a gentleman named Juan Nazareno founded the City of Mati and two additional towns in Davao Oriental. Nowadays, a certain number of families in Davao claim that when they check their family tree, it will lead them to be descendants of these two adventurous gentlemen.

1903 was the year when Mati was declared by virtue of Act No. 21 as a municipality and Act No. 189 of the year 1907 further reaffirmed the Municipality’s Constitution. The name of its first mayor was Francisco Rojas while the first elected mayor in the Municipality was Patricio Cunanan in the year 1923. 

Starting in the year 1967, Mati became the capital of Davao Oriental’s provincial government even up to this date. As per the historians and other historical accounts, pioneer settlers in the city were the tribes of Kalagans, Mandayans, and Maranaos. The cultures that were brought by these tribes carried a strong influence of Arabic and Indo-Malays.

The reasons why these tribes decided to be relocated in the City of Mati are the town’s strategic position and the lands high fertility that even up to this day, still attract a lot of settlers. Immigrants in Mati City include Americans, Chinese, and Spanish people. A lot of Filipinos from different parts of the country also get drawn by the city’s charm. Most of the time people migrate to Mati, either because of marriage, or due to employment shortages in their own cities. As a result, the municipality enjoys a multi cultural heritage coming from the variety of cultures and ethnicity. 

For many years now, the City of Mati has been enjoying greater economic growth due to the fact that the city has better accessibility to southern Mindanao’s trade center, accessibility to the city of Davao, reliable power supplies, has access to a lot of communication facilities, and productive land planted with different fruit trees. With this, Mati is basically a spot in the Philippine archipelago that businessmen would truly consider to invest in and for residents to immigrate in.

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Mati City Ratings

  • Rating87%
    City Rank98
  • History & Culture: rated for 88%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 80%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 90%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 93%
  • Food: rated for 95%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 93%
  • Shopping: rated for 78%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 80%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 97%
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