… well, the municipal hall. And it cannot be called a city hall unless the place was called a city, right?
While the Davao City Hall is probably one of the most photographed structure in the city, not much is know of the structure before that. The current one has gone through restoration after being nearly destroyed during World War II. And then during the 80s, the annex was built or attached to it as with a growing city, the city hall also had outgrown itself with the several agencies attached to it.
So what was the original structure like? You guessed it, a reinforced nipa hut. The photo above was an ebayfind. That find set off a confusion as was the custom of before, most photos have a caption, and then on the right, the studio or photographer that shot it. Somebody was asking, it could have been Zamboanga, yeah, but, why does it have the Davao caption on the left. I have no doubt it was Davao, or the Municipality of Davao, as then, it was not yet declared a city. Davao or the municipality was the provincial of the province, also named Davao. Through the years, the municipal government thought they needed a much stronger and probably a presentable structure, so that’s why we ended up with the current one, albeit, a restored one.
Photographers or studios or before had roaming personnel, who would go around, and position themselves during fiestas or civil holidays to sell their wares, that is the reason why we have the Piang Studio, Zamboanga P.I. caption. That is how they earned in part their living. Or established their network or presence.
As said in my Facebook page, Davao of the Past, was pretty happy to find a rare one, as nothing has been mentioned of it.