The New York Times Has Nothing On Davao

First, let me say, I am not a hard core Duterte fan, supporter or whatever you may call it. But I just recently read “The New York Times” article about our Philippine President. And I am writing this post because I disagree with how they projected the Mayor I grew up with.

The New York Times article just explicitly said that our President turned his violent vision into national policy. It can be construed from the article that our President has a penchant for death and violence.

But having been born and raised in Davao City, I understand his craziness and all. The New York Times article does not.

My point may be well, shallow, but here it is New York Times: If I lived in a city where the Mayor has a penchant for death and violence, I would have not felt so safe in Davao City ever since I learned how to party and drink. I would not have learned to follow rules wholeheartedly if the Mayor instilled fear but you know, he instilled discipline. And that’s very fine.

No, I don’t believe he has a penchant for death and violence, as you put it. I think he has a penchant, of course, for peace and order. As well as a penchant for women.

Of course, he cannot please everybody with his policies. Such as, I still don’t agree with the 30kph speed limit. For me, it’s just too slow. I was once caught over-speeding and paid a lot of cash for it with LTO. I follow the rules even if I don’t agree with them at times. But that’s Davao City. I was once caught parked on the national highway, and I paid 10,000 pesos for it. Crazy. But rules are rules. My car’s registration process was ongoing when I got caught.

Having been through a lot of “gimiks” and “drinking sessions” after I turned 18 years old, I can safely say, I did not live in a culture of violence and death. You see, my father still picked me up from school until I was in second year college. So when he stopped picking me up from school, that was when my whole “freedom” began. And as such, the “gimiks” and “drinking sessions” started.

I never had a problem going home very late at night or at dawn. My friends would send me home after a night out, and if none of them had cars on a particular “gimik” night, a taxi ride would do. Sometimes, if money was not enough, a jeepney ride was totally fine and then I walked from the village entrance to our house at 2:00am. I was more afraid of our neighbors’ crazy dogs than the thought that someone would kill me or just plainly attack me like a thief in the night. I was more afraid of ghosts following me.

Nothing happened to me New York Times. Many times, I walked alone at night in our beloved city. Nothing happened. When I saw a patrol car or policemen here in Davao City, then I felt 200% safer. With no police around, it’s just 100% safe. And that’s very fine.

Of course my parents, especially my late mother, nagged me when I got home late. And not because it wasn’t safe, but because they thought I lacked sleep. And they think I could not study well and they had worked so hard to send me to school. And then all I did was party. Point well taken. It was not about being unsafe until the wee hours of the morning. It was more of my well-being. My parents simply wanted me to get enough sleep.

So New York Times, if I can party all night and sometimes until 4:00am and nothing as of yet has happened to me. Don’t you think your article should have been about a President who has a penchant for keeping everyone safe and sound at any point in time, day or night, because he believes that peace and order is primordial in nation building and progress.

He turned his vision of peace and order into national policy.

New York Times, there were only three times I felt unsafe in Davao City: the airport bombing, the seaport bombing and just recently, the night time market bombing. And we were attacked by outsiders. The violence and death came to Davao. It did not come from us New York Times.

So New York Times? Come to Davao City, and let’s party until dawn. Because life is here and not in New York.

By Niño Anthony Occeña Rebucas


Just a regular "Joe" who decided the rat-race in the states was getting to ridiculous for words, and made the move to the Asian side of life.

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One thought on “The New York Times Has Nothing On Davao

  1. Do you actually think anyone in NYC cares about Davao? If you like the guy and you feel that’s how you and other FIlipinos deserve to be treated, more power!

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