As modernization poses a threat to the preservation and promotion of Davao Region’s history and cultural heritage, the Holy Cross of Davao College has launched the Institute of Davao Studies (IDS) to help raise awareness of the history and culture of Davao Region.

Officially launched on March 4 this year, the IDS, which was established under the Center for Linkages, Internationalization and Language Studies (LINK-IN & LS), aims to become the premier information hub for Davao-related studies in the region.

“It started from a very simple idea of coming up with studying the history of Catholicism in Davao Region. It was in July 2020 when our president Br. Noelvic expressed his interest in supporting the idea and making it more general by including everything about Davao Region,” Rhys Lloyd Lacia, the focal person of IDS, said during his presentation at the launching event.

The IDS committee was formed in October 2021 to facilitate the formation and launching of the institute. The IDS was approved by the HCDC Board of Trustees in January this year, a move which boosts the institute’s confidence in the pursuit of conducting relevant activities.

Among the members of the committee include HCDC President Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C., Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Teresa P. Fabiania, IDS Focal Person Rhys Lloyd D. Lacia, IDS Consultant/Historian Antonio V. Figueroa, and Head of the LINK-IN & LS Sheryl J. Urdaneta.

Prior to the launching program, a webinar was conducted last February 28 to talk about historiography, heritage preservation and local history in LGUs. The webinar also served as a prelude to the launching.

According to Lacia, the establishment of the IDS also sparked the interest of Davao City Councilor Pilar C. Braga, chairperson of the Education Committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Br. Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR, a known historian-anthropologist and a missionary brother of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

He added that the institute will be implementing their projects through collaborations.

“We will be collaborating with a lot of organizations for it to be realized. We will ask for support and collaboration from government agencies such as NHCP, NCIP, also LGUs, SUCs, Public Schools, Private Educational Institutions, and NGOs. We already have our potential leads at the moment and hopefully these partnerships will be official,” he said.

The IDS will be one of the institutions who will advocate for the BA History course in private and public schools within Davao Region.

The Holy Cross of Davao College, being the only educational institution offering BA History in the city, will exert effort in promoting the course as well as offering certificate courses related to history work.

Among the activities targeted to be implemented in the coming months include exposure and immersions, cultural dialogues and conversations, and research studies and publication. This month, they are already preparing for another IDS webinar in continuation of their first successful “Mag-Istorya ‘Ta” Webinar series. 

“We believe that local history should not be taken for granted because this is one of the foundations of our roots and culture as Davaoeños,” Lacia said. (Charisse Tagarao, BA Comm Intern)