The history of Davao is brief but interesting. It harks to the past and brings to mind tribal wars. drum beats and ritual fires along the river banks which, according to some sources gave origin to the word "Davao" from daba-daba", meaning fire. The early inhabitants occupying the eastern shores of Davao were the Manobos, Tagcaolos, Guianggas, Bilaans and Aetas. On the western portion were the Mandayas and Bagobos.
The Samals occupied the Samal and the Talicud Islands. Later, the Maguindanaos from Cotabato, Zamboanga and Jolo migrated to Davao and succeeded in driving the natives inhabitants to the mountains.