Agri-Industrial Gateway to the World
Long before the rich lowland was discovered by civilization, a group of
stocky-haired aborigines called aetas have already staked a claim and
declared this place their own. Far from being civilized, these aetas led
nomadic life and co-existed with the living creatures of the wilds. They
have few wants and were easily satisfied. With the used of their bow and
arrow - "PANA-SA-BOBOY" as they call it - they hunted for food
which primarily consisted of rootcrops and meat of wild boars. "Pana-Sa-Boboy"
was their most essential tool and it became part of their life. When the
Christian settlers came at the onset of the century, these friendly
natives moved further to the hinterlands along with them their "pana-sa-boboy".
These later evolved into present day name PANABO.
However, the aetas were not the only first migrant in Panabo. They came in unison
with the Kalagans (now called Davao Muslims) and the Angs
(non-Muslims and non-Christians) to settle permanently in a wide
lowland. These migrants grew in number until villages sporadically
mushroomed. They engaged in selling and bartering in trading place
commonly reffered to as the "Panabo-an" meaning TABOAN in the Visayan
dialect and trading center in English. Through the subsequent
years, Panabo-an evolved into the word Panabo, later used and declared
as the official name of the place.
From being a humble
barangay of Mag-ugpo (now Tagum City), Panabo metamorphosed into a
municipality in 1949 through Presidential Proclamation No. 236 signed by
the President Elpidio Quirino.
As the years passed,
vast lands were planted with rice and corn while other areas were
planted with coconuts. The logging and lumber industry also began
to flourish. Expectedly, business began to boom with the
Chinese-Filipinos leading in the commercial ventures.
In the ensuing twenty
(20) years, the wheels of progress in Panabo rolled and spread in all
directions. Agri-business soared when national and multi-national
company growers came in and planted hundreds of hectares with banana for
exports. One move towards the vision of a greater and more
progressive Panabo was the initial construction of a government-owned
wharf between the mangrove area and the golden-sanded beach of Bayawa,
then the town's major resort.
In 1999, the vision of
Citihood started gaining ground. Resolutions were passed favoring
the Citihood of Panabo, including Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 10.
A subsequent resolution requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for a
favarable endorsement of Panabo Citihood to Congress.
Complying with the basic procedural requirements for citihood, Mayor Rey
P. Gavina facilitated the conduct of the public hearing on October 14,
2000 by then Marikina Congressman Romeo Candazo and his party of
senatorial and congressional dignitaries from all-over the country.
The hearing team was literally amazed by the overflowing attendance of
those who witnessed the grand, historical affair.
With nothing but
favorable recommendations, House Bill No. 8680 passed the Senate
readings and was approved in the Senate as Republic Act No. 9015. It was
later signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The last leg of the
legislative and procedural journey was the plebiscite scheduled March
31, 2001. 99% of the voters had willingly cast the favorable "YES"
vote and before the clock struck midnight, Panabo was declared a